Web design services can be conservative, or costly. Some brands spend several thousand dollars on custom website design, while others might pay less than half of that. Because a site is so important, the higher cost may seem worth it. But no matter how much one pays for their web design services, mistakes can and are still made.
Web design mistakes are not always obvious to the owner. Rather than focusing on cost, brands need to make sure their designer of choice is up to date on what makes a website great.
The 5 Biggest Web Design Mistakes
Design firms can market themselves to the hilt, promising all of the experience, bells, and whistles a brand could want. But are the features they’re offering truly what matters? These are the five biggest mistakes seen on websites that cost thousands of dollars.
Even if a brand could be described as ‘eclectic’, everyone needs to rein it in concerning different styles. Wildly different color schemes, fonts, font sizes, and images do not attract visitors. The same applies to extremely bright colors that make visitors wince, flashing components, and a slew of poorly sized images on a single page.
Poor content arrangement.
Even worse than having little content is content that is splashed carelessly onto a page. The margins are practically nonexistent, and paragraph breaks and subheadings are barely present. The freshest content should always be the most prominent, so visitors know the business is active.
Any hint of mystery.
If a visitor is not sure where to go from the home page or has to hunt for navigation, this is a very bad sign. Having no indication of what the business does or how one should contact them is just as bad. A site visitor should be well-oriented to the purpose and navigation of the site at all times.
Slow load times.
The biggest website sin is latency. If a popular site is selling products, they could miss out on $2.5 million annually should the website slow down by a single second. Nearly half of all website visitors think a site should load within a few seconds. Web design services that do not make speed a top priority are doing brands a disservice.
How a website looks and functions when accessed via a mobile device is an important topic. It is not enough for the page to be responsive enough to fit the screen. It should be possible for visitors to still click links and expand menus without tapping over and over again, or accidentally bumping into other links.
5 Key Features of Great Web Design
What about sites that get it right? Here are five of the most important features a user-friendly website has.
There is a very good reason that many top-quality web design services also offer content writing services. Quality content is what keeps people on a website. Sites should continuously offer new content and be sure to include high-quality images alongside clean, optimized copy.
Simplicity and balance.
A splashy, feature-loaded website is not somehow more worthy of someone’s time than a carefully arranged site that makes sense. Menus and links should be placed prominently and in a way that aligns with the flow of the page. Color schemes can certainly be adjusted to taste and branding but should never clash or assault the viewer’s sensibilities.
Ultimately, a spare page with few elements and great copy will perform better than one bogged down by a ton of ads, buttons, images, and more.
There is SEO within written content, and also technical SEO. Things such as security, index status, title tags, site speed, and more should be tended to by a web designer. If there are pages associated with the site that are not regularly updated, consider de-indexing them. And of course, mobile responsiveness is another important component of good SEO.
Users should be able to scroll through a site at a reasonable pace and feel as though they get what is going on. Fonts are the appropriate size, headers are employed, all copy is spaced and presented in a way that makes it suitable for scanning. Everything is broken down in a way that makes it high consumable.
For example, a website for a local spa would offer a bullet list of services on the main page. The menu can invite them to read more in-depth about these services. This way, the visitor does not have to scroll through long descriptions of services they are not interested in.
Choosing the Best Web Design Services
A great web design service won’t just focus on layout. They will inquire about the brand to create a user experience that communicates more than a mission statement ever could.
They will also understand the importance of page content. The page content is essential for additional helpful techniques such as interlinking. Linking to other pages – especially those “deep enough” to be left to drop-down menus – is an ideal way to take visitors further into the brand experience.
In closing, here is a list of points to consider when choosing a web design service.
- Experience. They should have sample pages or links to other websites they have built.
- Questions. A web designer should ask a business at least as many questions about their goals as the business asks them.
- SEO. What techniques will they use?
- Content. Does their service also create written and visual content?
- Maintenance. Who will update the page, and what kind of maintenance should be performed, aside from regular fresh content posting?
- Domain. A business should own their domain name.
- Analytics. Any site owner should stay on top of important information like bounce rate and time spent on a given page. Good web design services should offer this information to brands.