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DIY Web Design – Mistakes To Avoid

1. Not Mobile Responsive

There is really no beating around the bush here, a website needs to look just as good (if not better) on a phone/tablet as it does on desktop with all the same information. You miss out on a lot of opportunities by not having a mobile friendly website. Visitors today expect a website to be fast and compatible on all devices.

Another reason to for the importance of a mobile friendly website is Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites and has switched to mobile first indexing.

What does this mean?

“Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.” You can read the full article here.


2. No Clear CTA

First things first, what do you want visitors to do on your website, or even better what do visitors want to do on your website? Take a minute to think about this question. This is an important puzzle to solve for a web design and development company. A good website will tell people what to do next, or where to go next.

A Call-To-Action (CTA) is an appeal to users, inviting their response to take some desired action. On websites, the CTA is usually a button with some copy. CTA’s should invoke an action and should include a direct message, so the user knows what will happen if they take that desired action.

What makes a great CTA? A great CTA will stand out on the page (recognizable), it will tell the visitor what will happen next (clear), it is placed in an appropriate space on the page and requests an action.


3. Cluttered And Unorganized Web Pages

Think of this as walking into a hoarder’s house, there is stuff everywhere, without rhyme or reason, its uncomfortable and makes you want to leave ASAP.

Same thing for web design, often people without design experience just vomit content onto a page without thinking how the user will interact with your website or what they are looking for when they visit your page.

It is important to know what visitors are looking for when they visit your website and make that content easy to find, don’t throw everything on the homepage, nobody wants to scroll though huge blocks of text or look at random images, especially on mobile. The navigation (menu) on your website needs to be clear, concise and organized in a way that makes logical sense.

4. Not Optimizing Images

Imagery plays a vital role in the look and feel of a website, images and visuals need to look sharp and convey the proper message in relation to your websites content. One of the biggest offenders of a slow website is unoptimized images. Whether you have found some great stock photos or are using your own, its important to optimize them for the web. What does this mean?

There are three aspects to optimizing images:

1) Reduce the file size – aim for 200kb or less

2) Reduce the dimensions of the image – images don’t need to be 3500×2000

3) Crop the photo, removing unnecessary parts of the image – this will help with #2

All three aspects can be done using a free online tool which you can find here. Using this website, you can crop photos, reduce the image dimensions and compress your images. You want to keep your images at 200kb or less.


5. Not Installing An SSL Certificate

Security is of utmost importance, using an SSL has a couple benefits that should not be ignored. First and foremost, it encrypts information sent between your website and visitors, ie) someone fills out a form with their personal information and sends it to you.

It is also a trust signal to visitors, websites that use an SSL certificate will have a green padlock and https in the URL bar on Google. Websites that don’t will now show the website as “not secure” or have a padlock with a red line through it, this is a major red flag to potential customers. Secondly it can give your SEO a slight boost in search rankings in accordance with Google’s secure web initiative. Back in July this year Google began the switch to displaying http websites as not secure in its effort to make the web a more secure place.

There is much more to securing your website against hackers and protecting sensitive information of your visitors, but using an SSL is a step in the right direction.


6. Not Hiring A Professional

Your website showcases your company 24/7 and is the centre of any online marketing campaign. It is usually the most accessible and convenient source of information about your company, including services, contact information, customer support, FAQ’s etc. A business’s website is often the first time a potential customer is introduced to your brand, and first impressions count! You don’t have long to impress visitors when they first come to your website, so if your website looks like it was just thrown together they will likely leave your site and go to your competition.

A professionally designed website will look, well… professional. Information is presented in a clear and easy to digest way, so customers can easily find what they are looking for. A professional web design agency with a good reputation will ask about your goals and really want to learn about your business and brand.

Beware of any web developers that don’t ask a lot of questions about your company, goals, services and what you want your website to achieve. There are a lot of fantastic web design companies in Nanaimo and all over Canada, but we’ve heard enough horror stories to know there are some bad ones too. Just due some research on any agency you are thinking about hiring to do you web design and ask for references, any reputable company will gladly put you in touch with previous customers.

It’s important to have a strong online presence for your business. The better your website designed the more you gain from it. Have a website and not sure its performing as good as it could, or thinking about building a website, book a discovery call with us today and lets discuss how to achieve your business goals and objectives.

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