6 Common Website Mistakes to Avoid
If you're a DIY website designer, there are many aspects you need to take into account before you get started.
You only have about 8 seconds to make a first impression, so you need to make them count.
This blog post includes the most common mistakes I see DIY website designers making. Read below for tips to help you cut through the clutter to create a streamlined website.
1. No defined logo
When you're just starting your website, you can use a tool like Canva to create a clear and simple text logo. You don't need to try to get super fancy here with design...save that for a graphic designer. If a site visitor can't read or understand your logo, it's going to send the wrong impression.
2. Too many navigation options
Keep your navigation clean with a maximum of five links.
It's common knowledge that by clicking on the logo, a site visitor will be returned to the homepage. Therefore, make sure you remove the "home" page from your navigation. However, feel free to include it in your footer navigation.
If you have drop down options in the navigation, keep in mind the amount of pages that live under each folder. Too many options will overwhelm the site visitor.
3. Cluttered sidebar
You want to keep your options very simple. If you have too many graphics or ads running down your sidebar, they can become distracting.
I recommend getting rid of the sidebar and focusing on what your site goals are when someone lands on your website. Do you want someone to take a look at your services? Or sign up for your email list? Your design should revolve around those goals.
The one and only place I think a sidebar could benefit you is your blog page. You can include a photo of you, small bio and social media links. Remember to keep the ads to a minimum.
4. Lack of CTA's
Every section of your website should have a CTA, also known as call to action. Things like "book now," "I want in," "give me the freebie," or "contact us" are examples of CTA's. This ties back to your site goals - you want to guide the visitor to an action you want them to take.
Tip: use buttons instead of links because they grab the visitor's attention much more.
5. Paragraphs of text
People don't want to read paragraphs of wall-to-wall text. Instead, break up the text with small snippets, use of headings (H2, H3, etc) and bullet points.
Try to focus on the most important phrases of text and format those so that they stand out.
Note: the only Heading 1 on your page or blog post should be your title, so don't use it within the text.
6. Broken links
Before you launch your site, it's important to check every single link on your website.
If you changed the URL of a booking page or change your social media username, make sure to check potential places where you inserted that link.