Web design pitfalls: Avoid mistakes made by 90% of website redesigns

Redesigning your website can be a rewarding process, after all, you know what kind of website your product or service needs better than anyone else, but beware! Web redesign is a minefield, where the unwary can fall into traps and the amateur can look, well, amateur. With this in mind, here are seven things to consider…

1.    Typographical errors

It sounds simple, but nothing looks worse than spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Re-read every bit of content, or ask someone else to do it for you, anything really that helps you sniff out mistakes. Don’t fall at the first hurdle, if you get this wrong your visitor will think your business acumen is as bad as your spelling.

2.    Make sure your site ‘flows’

You may ask, what exactly does this mean? Well, you should always make sure the visitor recognises the obvious path of travel through your site. Make it painfully obvious at all times what they should do next because confusion will lead them to leave and go to another site.

3.    Don’t use hit counters

No one visiting your site cares how many hits you’ve had to be honest so don’t bother with them. If it’s high - people think you’re lying, if it’s low – people think you’re rubbish so it’s really not worth it.

4.    Avoid long pages

No one wants to read an essay on your website so keep text down to the essentials. Try and weigh up the quality and relevance of the information with the length of the page and find a happy medium. Text should be clear and succinct, to achieve this try and use the following…

•    Bullet points
•    Large fonts
•    Contrasting text colours and backgrounds

5.    Don’t have any ‘Under Construction’ pages

These pages look sloppy and amateurish so make sure you don’t have any hidden about your website. Edit the code so visitors cannot visit pages that are under construction until they are ready to be published.

6.    Use images and graphics sparingly

There is nothing worse than a lengthy ‘loading’ screen and it will only put your visitor off before they have even entered your site. By all means be creative and use visual techniques but don’t go overboard.

7.    Test and evaluate your site

Use Google Analytics to see your site’s metrics and evaluate its success. Analyse areas such as ‘average time on site’, ‘bounce rate’ and ‘brand engagement’ and then compare them against the industry averages. Analytics SEO provides a useful set of Google Analytics Metrics to help you gauge how well you are doing.

So, now you know what to watch out for you hopefully won’t be in that 90% that fall into the same old traps but a part of that top 10% that makes their website redesign, work for them.