Where Businesses Go to Grow

Five Things that Can Go Wrong with Your Website Design

BY Peg McDermott on Jun 6, 2020 / IN marketing strategy

So you went out and bought the most expensive web design that money could buy, but did you really get your money's worth? Just because you've paid for something to be extra-fancy doesn't mean that it's useful for your visitors, or that it's doing you any favors in terms of SEO. Here are some of the traps people frequently fall into when they assume that more expensive sites are automatically better.


1. Form over function. If creating a pretty website has caused it to become difficult or confusing to use, potential customers will get frustrated quickly (restaurant websites are notorious for this!). Sites can be both nice-looking and functional, so you don't need to sacrifice either aspect, but priority should definitely be given to function over form.


2. Poor navigation. Sometimes, in an attempt to be clever, web designers will try to get innovative or artistic with navigation styles or categories. Navigation should be obvious, and the categories should be clear. Your visitors should not have to guess several times to find a particular piece of information, and you should make it easy for them to find the information again on repeat visits.


3. Auto-play. So you have this cool video or audio that you want your visitors to hear - you should just have it auto-play as soon as people visit the site, right? Probably not - auto-play can be jarring at best, and angering at worst. By all means, put your video in a prominent place where people are sure to see it, but give the user control over when to play it.


4. Withholding or hiding contact details. Considering that businesses usually create a website to increase their customer base, it's shocking how many business websites there are where the company contact information is either buried in some strange place, or worse, not on the site at all. Make it easy for your visitors to reach you in as many ways as possible, including an email address and phone number.


5. Too much Flash. There was a time when Flash intros were all the rage, but these days, visitors to websites (especially business websites) want instant access to information. If you insist on having a Flash intro, it's essential to offer the user a way to skip it and get to the main site. Also, keep in mind that some mobile devices won't even display Flash content, so there's that concern, as well.