Website Development Mistakes: Here are 6 ways to boost your website performance & increase customer acquisition.

The craft of website design is both art and science. We all want an aesthetically pleasing website and we want our user experiences on websites we visit to be equally impressive. This is the aim of good web design. However, the reality of most websites is that they fall short of this good intention. Website development mistakes are prevalent, and they can ruin the overall web experience.

Today, websites have become ubiquitous, blending into the woodwork, and delivering a cross-platform experience for desktop and mobile devices. The line between traditional websites and mobile apps are vague, at least to the typical consumer. Online purchases, or eCommerce, grow exponentially every year and have forever changed our shopping behavior. Social media has pervaded the zeitgeist of our modern, connected world. The importance of the digital world has never been more omnipresent than during this year of global catastrophe. For every organization, a website is a vital necessity. The importance of good web design and avoiding website development mistakes are considerations that every business should pay close attention to.

An attractive website is a good start, but if your website does not engage your audience it will not lead to measurable success. In this article, we will be exploring the top 6 website development mistakes and how to fix them.

Website Development Mistakes #1.
Undefined requirements.

website development mistakes

Who is your target audience? What are their needs? What are their expectations for the website? How will your target audience be able to provide feedback on the new website?

During the initial meeting, your web design consultant should ask you several questions about your business or organization. Try as best you can to be prepared to answer questions, such as:

  • What is the business, non profit organization or government agency structure?
  • For a business, what are your annual revenues?
  • For a non profit organization, what are your revenue channels?
  • For a government agency, what is the source of your funding?
  • Do you have an existing website?
  • What are the website’s call to actions?
  • Does the website use a content management system (CMS)?
  • Does the website sell products or services online?
  • Does the website have a client portal that allows them to access their account information?
  • Is the website updated on a continuous basis, and how many content contributors work on the website?
  • What is the level of technical expertise within the organization?
  • Will the organization be able to support the new website after launch or will they require a maintenance plan?

Before you start work with a web design agency, it is important that you take the time to establish some goals. Ask yourself these questions: Why are you choosing to build a new website at this time? What are you trying to accomplish? What does the website need to do to achieve your goals? What are the key metrics that will determine success?

Website Development Mistakes #2.
Poor UX/UI.

website challenges

When you first consider designing a website and handing your ideas over to a website designer, the first thing you are likely to do is think about the website’s architecture. The order of the pages, categories, and layout are a top priority because aesthetics matter when it comes to UX website design.

How you do this can be significant to the success of your online presence. A website with poor User Experience (UX) and a poor User Interface (UI) will result in a high bounce rate. This is the rate in which people visit your website and leave immediately after viewing only one page. Check out this article from our friends at NeilPatel.com on how to reduce bounce rate sand increase conversions.

Many factors can lead to poor UX/UI. This can include over-designing, confusing navigation, convoluted messaging, poor mobile display and no calls to action. Any one of these factors can lead to a higher bounce rate. Unfortunately for many websites, they may have some or all of these shortcomings. In a nutshell, website UX/UI is visual storytelling. Here are some examples of websites that do a great job narrative storytelling.

Website Development Mistakes #3.
No calls to action.

website development mistakes

As referenced above, no calls to action can lead to poor UX/UI and a higher bounce rate. But that is only the beginning of your problems. Without strong calls to action, you are leaving your prospective customers lost at sea without an oar. Let’s take a minute to define the term. A call to action (CTA) is any proactive step you take on your website to drive your site visitors to a pre-determined, desired outcome. We like to use the phrase moving the user to action. CTAs can include a link to your eCommerce store, a Donate Now button for non profits, a Sign Up button for the company newsletter, or a contact request form to get in touch with your sales department.

Website Development Mistakes #4.
Not mobile-friendly.

website development mistakes

A website that is mobile-friendly is referred to as a responsive website. The concept of a responsive website is simple. A responsive website will adapt to the screen size and capabilities of different devices. For example, if you load a website on the web browser of a PC and a tab on an iPad or smartphone, the website will look just as sleek and users will be able to navigate the website seamlessly on any device.

The opposite of a responsive website is when a website doesn’t fit the screen of a device or has slow loading times because the website was made for devices with more powerful capabilities – and thus becomes unresponsive for mobile users.

Responsive websites are crucial due to the exponential trend in how we as a society make web searches. Gone are the days when we would only sit at our desktops to browse the web. Nowadays, almost everyone’s jeans – or hands – are equipped with a smartphone, making web searches mobile and convenient.

Website Development Mistakes #5.
Not search engine optimized.

seo expert san francisco

For many business owners, SEO is one of those black boxes that contain mysterious and somewhat magical treasures. The primary intent for SEO is to improve your rankings organically, meaning that the website achieves high ranking based on the merits of its content and without manipulation tactics that can get you banned from search engines. You may not really care how they do it as long as the results are delivered. But this can be unwise as unscrupulous SEO consultants can lead you down the road to disaster. An SEO expert should freely share his SEO philosophy, his SEO tools and tactics and provide realistic expectations for how much it will cost and how long it will take to achieve and maintain your SEO goals. Also, a good SEO consultant will provide you with a roadmap for success and provide weekly or monthly reporting to demonstrate progress.

It’s important that the SEO consultant outline his approach, which should include the following key tasks:

Technical SEO

Remove search engine penalties
Remove plagiarism penalties
Duplicate content audit
Improve technical efficiencies

Inbound SEO

Content optimization
Keyword analysis
Meta descriptions
XML sitemap creation

Outbound SEO

Local SEO optimization
Google My Business management
Organic backlink building
Directory listings registration
Reputation Management

Click Here for more information on these tasks from a previous blog.

Every successful SEO campaign begins with a technical review of your website to identify problems that will need to be corrected before your SEO campaign can truly begin. All the SEO strategies in existence will not be successful until you have a website that is properly search engine-friendly. In some cases, this may require a complete re-design and development of your website. Click Here to learn more about our search engine optimization services.

Website Development Mistakes #6.
Inadequate security.

Wordpress Website Security

Do not allow yourself to be fooled into the false belief that your website is safe from security breaches. Every day, thousands of websites get attacked by hackers, exposing your sensitive company and customer data to those with criminal intent.

For those of us in the web design industry, the emergence of open source and in particular WordPress as the dominant website platform has been nothing short of amazing. In 10 short years, the prevalence of expensive, proprietary .NET platforms has been usurped by a humble blog. Today, WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, with over 75,000,000 active sites.

With all the accolades, however, there has been a controversy that has plagued the platform for years: security. Is a WordPress website a secure website? I will put this issue to bed with two words.

Yes, but…

The reputation of WordPress as not secure is based on a myth wrapped in truth. The reality is, most CMS use similar security protocols and architecture, but WordPress from its humble roots made it very easy for lazy developers to unwittingly create an unsecured website by not following simple best practices.

Here are 4 best practices to follow to keep your WordPress website safe:

Be Smart With Your WordPress Password.

This is the frontline of defense. Do not create a password using personal information that hackers might figure out. Make it long and non-sensical. Use at least 6 characters and a mashup of letters, numbers, punctuation, lower and higher cap. Make sure to change out your password at least every three months.

Install a Security Plugin.

WP security plugins are a great way to keep your website safe against security vulnerabilities. Here are my recommendations for the 7 best security plugins available:

  • WordFence
  • BulletProof Security
  • Acunetix WP SecurityScan
  • 6Scan Security
  • Sucuri Security
  • iThemes Security
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall

Stay Up To Date.

Keep your CMS core and plugins current. Just make sure to backup your website before making any updates. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself hire a professional to manage your updates.

Work With a Dependable Development Agency.

The sad truth about the WordPress myth is that most attacks are human-related. Find a developer that adheres to WP best practices and can design and implement a security update schedule, including backups.

Website Development Mistakes.
Conclusion.

website development mistakes

Overcoming these website challenges will help to boost the performance of your website and lead to greater customer acquisition and retention. If you are interested in working with us regarding your website design, then connect with us today and get access to testimonials from our previous clients so that you can be assured of the quality of our work. When you get in touch, we will listen closely to help develop your goals into achievable results. Everyone on our team is looking forward to bringing your project to life, so get in touch today and organize an initial discussion.

To schedule your own complimentary web design consultation, call us at 888.938.8289 or email us at inquiry@deepblue.com.

D E E P B L U E Knows the Market

Top California Digital Marketing Agency

D E E P B L U E is an award-winning and industry-leading San Francisco web designer that delivers measurable results. Learn more about our web design services and contact us to schedule a complimentary needs-assessment consultation.

When it comes to these hot new trends, the team here at D E E P B L U E is ready and willing to use them when designing your site. In fact, many of the new trends follow the work we have completed, making us proud web design trendsetters. If you want to get your hands of a site that is innovative and designed beautifully then give us a call, we’d love to work with you.

Anna Oderinde

Anna Oderinde is a project manager at DEEPBLUE.

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