The Ink Blog’s
Top 10 Mistakes in Small Business Web Design
- Unclear purpose for the site
- Decide on one to two primary purposes for your site that are customer focused. Design your site around this basic principle and expand content in ways that support this focus.
- Out of date content
- Information that is time sensitive should be removed immediately from the site when the target date has passed. A news page can archive historical information to show visitors previously posted content
- Broken links are also a form of out of date content. Employ a link checking service to make sure there are no orphaned pages in your site or broken links to external web pages. Broken links severely reduce the credibility of a site.
- Poor navigation
- Make sure people can easily navigate to the primary content of your site. Standard pages that are expected on most sites include a contact page, about us and links back to the home page.
- Grammar and spelling mistakes
- Poor grammar and spelling errors reduce the professionalism of your site and make a website appear amateurish.
- Some sites try to put everything they offer on the home page in vast amounts of detail. Although Amazon.com is the poster child of a cluttered site, small business should focus on key points of information that encourage users to visit other pages in the site. Clear calls to action will help engage new visitors and increase sales.
- Flash navigation
- Navigational elements that are not available in non-flash options are a huge mistake. Some browsers and smart phone still don’t use flash which will prevent them from accessing your site.
- Auto playing music, sounds or videos
- Sound elements that automatically play when a page is loaded can create many problems for your visitors.
- Some people may be visiting your site from a library or work and auto playing content can be distracting or embarrassing.
- Many people stream their own music and video over the web as well so when they visit your site the additional sound will conflict with the media they already have playing.
- Huge cropped images
- With the advent of Content Management Systems end users can easily add their own content and pictures to websites. Unfortunately, this means many people are adding pictures directly from their high resolution cameras onto their websites and cropping the images without actually changing the file size. This practice increases bandwidth usage by your web server and makes pages load more slowly for your visitors. Pictures also become grainy and less professional looking.
- Flash intro page
- Many graphic designers love creating graphically dynamic and visually attractive flash intro pages to a website. However, most users find them annoying after the first visit.
- Flash intros also prevent your root URL from being properly indexed in search engines since there is usually little relevant textual content for a search engine to catalog.
- PDFs where a web page should be
- Some websites are filled with PDF documents of primary content which makes navigation cumbersome for visitors.
- Search engines are doing a better job of listing PDF content in search results, but users are more likely to visit a search listing on a web page than one offered in a PDF.
- At a minimum, internal links in a website should indicate if a particular link will load a PDF document. At best, all primary content should be developed in html with print ready content available in PDF.
Very helpful. Thanks for sharing the “Top 10 Mistakes in Small Business Web Design”.
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