If you're building a website for the first time, it's important to give it a professional, modern layout that's easy to navigate. Even expert web designers aren't perfect, but if you don't have any web design experience, it's all too easy to repeat the mistakes of the past and create a website that turns visitors away. Avoid these five common web design mistakes to prevent that.
1. Too much information
Today's internet users want simple, clean layouts with plenty of white space. They also want to understand your website's message immediately. If you overwhelm the eyes with too many graphics or large chunks of text, you will distract from your goals. A business website should zero in on its target audience immediately, so decide which three benefits or perks are the most important to convey to your audience. You can elaborate later, but save your homepage for this simple, straightforward introduction.
2. Browser and mobile incompatibility
Modern technology demands usability and compatibility. That means your website should be easy to navigate and free of errors, no matter which device or internet browser your readers use to open it. SITE123 technology already gives you access to easy mobile optimization tools, which adjust your website's content for different screen dimensions and devices - A responsive web design. However, one of the most common design mistakes is forgetting to test your final product. No matter what, don't publish or share your website until you've tried to access it on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.
3. Outdated fonts and design
Some telltale website features can date your website, even if you only created it last week. If visitors spot fonts or layout features that they haven't seen since the early 2000's, they might assume your site is outdated and move on to a business that keeps up with modern times. For example, your navigation menu should consist of clickable buttons, not static graphics with links placed over them. Color and font are also very important indicators of a website's (or a web designer's) age. Don't use more than three different fonts on your website, no matter how many pages you have, and make sure none of these three are Comic Sans or Papyrus. These were too trendy a decade ago, and they're not as readable as simple sans serif fonts anyway. Stay away from bright neon colors, and make sure links change colors after they've been clicked. Other outdated features include hit counters that track page views, embedded Flash media, and animations or audio that play automatically.
4. PDF files and other static text
You want readers to access your information as quickly and easily as possible. That won't happen if they have to download Adobe Reader just to view your mission statement, or save an article to their desktop before reading it. Even more importantly, search engines cannot crawl images or PDF files for keywords. Search engine optimization (SEO) depends on this. Make sure all the text on your website is entered in HTML5 or simply plain text, so that readers can find and read it without a problem.
5. No call to action or contact request
Many businesses and personal bloggers forget to speak directly to their readers. Make sure there's at least one actionable statement on your homepage, and ask readers for their contact information as well. Even if they don't stay on your website for very long or contact you, they might be interested eventually. When you know how to reach them, you can keep them updated with relevant news, reach out to them about promotions, or simply gather information about your demographic.
Luckily, SITE123's free website and mobile optimization tools are your best defense against amateur blunders like these. If you want to make sure your customers or readers don't go elsewhere, try a free trial of our business website builder and start exploring your options. You'll be a pro in no time!
Build your website using ready-made styles and layouts. No design or coding skills required. Just enter your content and 1, 2, 3 - it's up and running!