5 Common Website Mistakes you Might be Making

 In Design, Web

Today, with the advent of easy-to-use template sites like Squarespace, and WordPress, among others, it’s becoming increasingly easy for anyone to make their own website. There are a lot of resources out there if you’re just starting out, but if you’re not an expert, you may not be aware of some of the rules of thumb or able to avoid a web design faux pas. If you’re designing your own site, we’d like to offer our expertise as well about common web oversights to avoid:

1) Lack of responsiveness.

Make sure your website looks great on all devices. Even if you think it’s responsive, unexpected issues can still come up, especially across different devices and browsers. Make sure to check it on a variety of different devices soon after launch in order to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

2) Slow speed.

If users spend too long waiting for your site to load, be aware that they may get frustrated and probably won’t stick around long. It’s true that you don’t have complete control over loading speed, as it’s also of course affected by your user’s Internet connection, but make sure you do everything you can on your end to manage load time. This means making sure that you’re not uploading large images or other files that slow down the site.

3) Unclear navigation.

You want to make sure that users have quick access to the information they need. Make sure your site is user-friendly and important information, such as address and phone number are easy to find. There should be navigation (probably in the top bar at least) so that users can easily find what they are looking for, and every page links back to the home page.

If someone has to search forever to find what they need, they probably won’t have a positive experience, and as a result it will reflect poorly on your organization. We recommend having contact info in a few different places on your site–perhaps both in the footer and in the top navigation. However, as far as repeating other types of information that is not as essential, don’t go overboard. If your website has too many pages or links that open to new windows, the experience can become overwhelming for the user.

4) Social presence.

Make sure you link to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or whatever social platforms you use. This provides credibility, and speaks further to the last point about easy access. Plus, encouraging website visitors to follow you on social can help keep you top of mind!

5) Uncompelling or overwhelming design.

Make sure you have a clear brand identity, which is augmented by a logo, controlled color scheme (you don’t need to use every color in the rainbow), and a set of well-paired typefaces. A good rule of thumb is to avoid using more than two or three different colors or fonts together on the same page at the same time.

There’s many more web blunders we could add to this list, but we think we covered the heavy hitters, and hope you got the gist! Keep things simple, and focus on a user-centered, responsive design. If you’re in need of a new website, or if you have any questions, please let us know and don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Carly Fox is CMG’s Associate Art Director. Carly originally hails from Pittsburgh, but now considers herself a Michigan native. After working as an intern at CMG for a year, she is now a full-time member of our design team. As Associate Art Director, she works as a creative project manager and manages creative production on larger projects.

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