This could be one of the greatest areas that is left behind when a user decides to build a website themselves. The lack of knowing and pushing what the website is for has a dramatic impact on whether the website will drive sales or not. The message you are trying to portray to users should happen within the first 10 seconds of the user coming to your web page and at least a phone number and email address where they can get more information are critical to your website producing sales for your company. The sad thing is that we have talked to many decision makers that have said that they have not done business with certain companies because there was not any contact information readily available on their website, so they went to a competitor that did. Keeping the sales goals of the website in mind, whether it’s to give a phone number, send an email, fill out a form, or inquire today is a key part to having your website be a success for your business. (credit)
The hosting and domain name renewal has been another issue that has come up. It is very important that dates for the renewal of hosting and domain name are put on a calendar or checked on a regular basis. Often times, renewal dates are forgotten and another company buys the domain name, leaving you with printed materials with an outdated domain name. Or the website hosting is shut off and the business misses a sale from a prospective customer.
It is difficult to see a business that has worked so hard on their website and has their email address @yourbusiness.com on all of there business cards and they forget to renew the domain name and someone takes their domain name. We have seen it happen more than once. For this reason, I would highly recommend a complete website solutions provider to take over this task for your business. The major domain name registrars will send out email alerts, but if they are blocked or never get to the person in charge, the domain name will expire. If you choose to go with a professional web design company though, they will usually try to contact you via phone and make sure that you would like to renew the domain name so that it does not get picked up by someone else.
Hosting is a very important piece of having a professional website and can have a huge effect on the success of the website. Many people we talk to are so concerned about saving a few bucks on the website hosting that they forget what they will not be receiving if they go the cheap route. Usually the cheaper the website hosting, the more people there are on a web server. The more people on a web server the slower the web server. This translates into slower load times for your website along with search engines not being able to crawl your website. Ultimately your website receives a lower search engine ranking, potential customers lose interest from the amount of time it takes to go from page to page on your website and they leave and go to your competitor. Our word of advice, don’t go cheap in the hosting arena. A solid foundation goes a long way for future success. It is also important to know when your website hosting is due. Hosting can also be tied to the company emails; if the hosting is down, so are the emails and the website. This is another reason why it is important that the due date is tracked and made aware of.
Website backups can be critically important if you have databases that run your website, or if you have data that is stored on a server. Once again, it is not a good idea to go cheap on hosting if this data is valuable to your business. The hosting company should have great customer service, get back to you relatively quickly and give you some type of backup option. I know you may be saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah….”, but when push comes to shove and the hosting company decides to go out of business and you are left without backups, you will have wished you had worked with a professional web design company that took care of all of the backups. They could have had your website back online with another hosting company within a matter of minutes, rather than gone forever. (credit)
Bad Web Site Design
Why are there so many bad web design techniques in use today? Anyone that spends time online sees them everyday, and they make us all crazy. With a wealth of good web design information available, you would think that these web sites would change their ways. Below is our TOP-TEN list of the worst web design techniques.
#1 - Pop Ups and Broken Back Buttons
You hate the site and just can't hit the back button fast enough, but the web site has broken your browsers back button, locking you down to throw popup ads at you faster than you can close them.
Do these %$*@#? Web sites truly believe, that if they bombard you with popup ads fast enough, that you will actually buy something from them?
I wouldn't buy water from them if I were on fire.
#2. Huge Flash Intro Screen
How about making a visitor with a slow dial up connection wait 5 minutes to load your site, so they can watch some Flash effects first. Visitors don't want to wait to see a cartoon, or a fireworks display, just to see your products on your site. Most will hit the back button if they have a dial up connection.
#3. Horizontal Scrolling
Web sites can really drive people crazy making them scroll left and right to read each line. I don't think anyone likes horizontal scrolling. So why do so many sites have horizontal scrolling? It is a result of poor design, period.
To all you sites with horizontal scrolling, either make your site width 800 or 100% to fix the problem already.
#4. Slow Load Time Problems
Slow load time, is usually the single biggest problem for an e-commerce site. When customers try to navigate around the site, looking for items they want to buy, the site drags at a snail's pace. Most visitors leave and find a faster site to purchase from.
Most often this is caused by: cheap web hosting, too many graphics, un-optimized graphics, or poor coding.
#5. Overuse of Banner Ads
I have visited e-commerce sites that must have been in 20 banner ad exchange programs. Frankly, the site looked like the classified section of the back of a cheap magazine. Banner ads for casinos and lingerie don't belong on a golf equipment site. It looked like this site was actually selling golf products, but the average user would be very confused.
#6. Poor Spelling
Computers come with built in spell checkers. Why do some people just go out of their way not to use one? You are broadcasting your intelligence level to the world when you display your poor spelling on the Internet. (Buy sum cool thingz on mi sight!)
#7. Lots of Moving Things
Banners flashing, graphics twirling, words scrolling, with a string of fireworks chasing your mouse pointer.
Now, try and read the white text on the black background with all of that going on.
It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.
Please limit your site to only one moving or flashing object per page.
#8. Plenty of Music
Make sure your site cranks up some really loud, meaningless music, so you get everyone browsing the Internet at work in trouble. That is a super-fast way to make someone hit the back button. A lot of people surf the web at work, and could be potential customers, so don't scare them off with pointless music!
#9. No Contact Information
You have searched the site high and low and are ready to buy. But now, you can't find how to buy it, or how to contact anyone for more information. What is the site for then? No way to buy and no way to contact anyone. Did they forget an important part?
Please include contact information, or a contact link, on every page of your site, so your visitors can contact you if they want to buy something or make an inquiry. Maybe your visitor wanted to give you $10,000 for your domain name, but unfortunately now you will never know.
#10. Garbage Sites
Yes, make sure you include 10,000 words related to products you don't even carry, just so that I find you on the search engines and then waste my time looking all over your site for it. Trust me, I am not going to buy what you're selling if you trick me to your site with items you don't even carry. I found a site on a major search engine that had about a thousand pages of garbage, that all took you to his Ebay link. (credit)