7 Deadly Sins of Website Design

posted in: Design | 28

7 Deadly Sins of Website DesignDeciding your small business would benefit by having its own website is the easy part. The tough part is avoiding the nasty pitfalls that make many websites money losers, instead of money makers.

Is your website driving away customers? What factors would drive away site visitors fast? How do you make it more successful?

Those are some of the most common questions asked by website owners.

Creating the perfect website for your needs doesn’t require you to be the best artist or even the best coder. It only requires you to learn and understand some common mistakes website owners make.

7 Deadly Sins of Website Design

If you’re committing these site development sins, it could be costing you more than you know.

  1. Website Sin #1 – Cluttered Design

    You can’t be all things to all people. Decide what content will go on the site and organize it in a clean and logical manner. You should be able to look at the home page of any site and figure out what the site is about in less than four seconds. If you can’t, the site is a failure. Putting too much content on your home page is a common mistake website owners make. Be selective and efficient. If it’s not essential, remove it. Good web design is about minimalism.

  2. Website Sin #2 – Making Things Difficult

    The route from first click to sale has to be easy. It’s important to think like customers. Evaluate the site from their perspective – it will help you figure out potential pitfalls. You don’t have to religiously follow the 3-click rule but it shouldn’t take much more than that for the visitor to get to the information they are looking for. Your site should be easy to navigate and perform the desired tasks. For example, requiring registration to leave a comment on the blog or having customers setup an account before checking out are two good examples of making it difficult for the visitor to do what they are set out to do. Make it simple or your visitors might abandon your site.

  3. Website Sin #3 – Staying Static

    You website is never done. You need to find ways to make it fresh, engaging and relevant. This will not only keep customers interest but will help in your website rankings. You can create separate landing pages for new campaigns and special promotions, add fresh content via blogging and connect your website to your Facebook fan page. Your goal is to keep adding to your website to bring visitors back and keep them engaged.

  4. Website Sin #4 – Copying Your Competition

    It’s smart to check what your competition is doing – this is how you can learn new ways to improve your site and make it stand out. Just don’t be a copycat. If you look too much like other businesses customers could have trouble telling you apart. Also, avoid building generic looking website or those that follow current trends (there are plenty of those on the web too). Instead speak your own voice. Create a unique site, both visually and as far as content goes. Offer a unique experience to your visitors, an experience that speaks directly to your customers and is relevant to your business.

  5. Website Sin #5 – Ignoring Your Audience’s Needs

    In order to be successful, every website needs to be built with audience in mind. We all know that the only reason your website exists is to solve your customers’ problems. But oftentimes, small details we forget to consider regarding your audience’s needs can make a huge difference. Does your website need to be mobile friendly? Will your baby boomer visitors be able to read that small type? Be sure to understand your audience and its preferences before building your site. Rule #1: Design for the people who buy from you or you could be loosing their business.

  6. Website Sin #6 – Ignoring Analytics

    Google Analytics, or any other quality analytics tool available, will help you understand where your traffic is coming from, what keywords people are using to find you and what they’re reading on your site. Armed with that information you can build more of what’s working.

  7. Website Sin #7 – Refusing to Get Help

    Don’t let the fear of spending money stop you from being successful online. If you need more then what a design template can provide, seek professional help. Look online for sites you like. Many have links at the bottom to their designer’s sites, so you can find a designer whose work you already like.

There are a lot of ways for websites to go awry, but keeping a customer focus and using a little common sense will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls… and ensure that you don’t find yourself featured as the worst website of the year!

28 Responses

  1. Business owners will often start with a template only to find out how bad the site performs and how little it gives back in return. Not too mention, those sites have no chance in Google.

  2. People cut corners to protect their bottom line but it will most likely bite you right back, as it’s usually the case with anything in business. Skimp on professional design and you will pay the price sooner or later.

  3. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design | Joanna Ciolek http://bit.ly/j0o3p8

  4. 7 Deadly Sins of #Website #Design http://t.co/BgI22yH via @joannaciolek

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  6. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://bit.ly/m40agz #webdesign Have any of you been sinning lately??

  7. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://t.co/ryEijrl via @joannaciolek

  8. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://t.co/2BD9GcC via @joannaciolek

  9. Seven Deadly Sins of Website Design by Joanna Ciolek;-good tips–http://joannaciolek.com http://lnkd.in/FaiEf2

  10. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://bit.ly/m40agz RT @TimothyWhalin #webdesign

  11. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://bit.ly/m40agz RT @joannaciolek #webdesign

  12. I met two small businesses today that were both using unlicensed stock images. It may not be a sales sin, or a design sin in the strictest sense, but theft is a sin and you can get hammered for it if the libraries find you out.

  13. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://bit.ly/m40agz RT @joannaciolek #webdesign

  14. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design – http://tinyurl.com/6xpzh5v (via @joannaciolek)

  15. Excellent article! I am new to web design and build my own company site using notepad, html, css, and Photoshop. The most frustrating aspect I found was browser compatibility especially internet explorer. I ended up having to make three styles sheets as a result of incompatibility. I appreciate articles like your that provide useful tips and information.

  16. Yes, Calgary. While it makes sense to offer the same website experience no matter what browser is used, it’s ok if there are subtle differences.

  17. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design | Joanna Ciolek http://j.mp/q4fLap

  18. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://t.co/lhXkCF10 #webdesign

  19. I bet 99% of companies out there just think having a website made is ‘job done’. Little do they know!

  20. From what I’ve seen that’s often the misconception. However, there are savvy business owners who understand the reality more clearly.

  21. Is your website guilty of breaking any of these seven deadly sins of web design? – http://t.co/XvyAiKxf

  22. 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://t.co/wiL5Wnxq @bococreative

  23. The 7 Deadly Sins of Website Design http://t.co/klNv9ZaD

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