Web design is a big deal.
Great design helps create a great experience for the traffic that comes to your website. It also offers functionality, look and feel that converts traffic into customers.
Many entrepreneurs spend hours, down lots of coffee and get a headache trying to design a beautiful website. Only in the end they end up with a very unsatisfying site.
It can be frustrating.
To save you the countless hours, wasted cups of coffee and headaches, here are the four most common pitfalls that entrepreneurs face when it comes to web design.
#1: Site Design is Not Optimized for Converting Traffic
As a designer, I love dreaming up grandiose site designs full of beautiful colors, images and fonts. The options for a website excite me.
But I always come back to reality because I know web design is not about my personal preferences or likes. It is not even about my client’s preferences and likes, but it is about my client’s audience.
Great web design is about the audience’s likes and preferences.
Often I have to ask this: What is the purpose of your website?
It should be to convert traffic into paying customers. It is a tool to help nurture and convert leads, and in some cases, to sell directly to them.
This is why great web design needs to be built for your customer.
I see many entrepreneurs and beginning web designers make this mistake over and over again.
They design the site based on how they feel or what they think looks good. They do not take the user and his or her experience into consideration.
Good web design will make buttons, calls-to-action, fonts, images and everything else on your site optimized for your users; and to get those users to take a specific action.
Many designers and business owners like to debate design features like the best font size and style for a website.
The answer is simple. Pick the best design for your audience. If your audience is older, then use larger fonts.
#2: Not Designing a Mobile Version of Your Site
Google recently made an algorithm change, and it was noted that responsive web design will be given a larger role in ranking websites as more people browse the internet with their phones and tablets.
Why did Google make this change? Because mobile internet use has skyrocketed. In 2015, 80% of people use a smartphone to search the internet routinely.
At Anphira, responsive web design is standard and done for all of the sites we design.
You will be amazed at the number of people who do not plan for mobile responsiveness.
This is a big mistake. As noted above, not planning for mobile design will impact your ability to be found in Google.
- Without responsive design, your site may not rank anywhere near the first page, even if you are following all of the other SEO rules.
- Not only will your site not rank well, but you are also making the first mistake: not optimizing your site for converting traffic.
- Most people will leave your site as fast as they come on it if your website is not set up for mobile or tablet versions.
Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of not thinking about mobile design when they pick out website themes. Many modern themes have responsive design, but not all of them do. If you are going to use a theme, make sure it has responsive design, or hire a web designer to develop a mobile and tablet version of your site.
#3: Not Planning for Security
If you own a physical business location or even your home, would you leave it unlocked when you go somewhere?
Most of us would not do this to our businesses or our homes, yet we do this with our sites.
Very few entrepreneurs and web designers plan for security. Most people think that their site wouldn’t be interesting to a hacker.
But there’s a problem with that thought: hackers rarely ever go after specific sites. Hackers send out bots to roam the web and try to hack any site they come across. With these bots, hackers can attempt to hack thousands of sites while they sleep every night.
I want to be clear: it is possible for your WordPress site or any other site to be hacked.
We have worked with many clients getting their websites restored after facing security threats. Some have been small, quick fixes, and others have been month long projects to get the site back up.
Security becomes increasingly important with the more payments you accept and private information that you collect.
If you do not want your business to be ruined by this event, beef up your security. Hacking can easily be prevented.
You cannot afford to have no security on your website.
#4: Thinking You Can Do it All on Your Own
How hard can web design be, right? Change a few colors, some images and fonts, then you are good to go.
Hopefully by now you realize that good web design is more than your ability to change some colors. Web design skills take practice over and over. It is like any skill or craft that you could learn.
The best web design requires hard won knowledge of psychology, customers and user actions. Web design is more than making a site look good, a site needs to convert. It needs to be safe and secure. It needs to be easy to use.
Trying to do web design on your own will end up costing you hours of wasted time. You will spin your wheels into the black hole of web design as you get frustrated that you cannot get the site to look exactly how you want it.
How much is your time and sanity worth to you? It is cheaper in the long run to hire a web designer so you can focus on the important aspects of your business like sales or serving your customers.
How many of these mistakes are you making? Have you had a different experience or think there are more mistakes people make? I would love to hear them.