A Must-Do Checklist for Website Maintenance
A website or blog, like anything, needs periodical check-ups and maintenance. You cannot build…
If your website is your place of business you must build it for your customers’ needs as opposed to your own. Many people make the mistake of filling their website with useless graphics or meaningless text. Ask yourself this question, “Is this helping my customer in any way?”
When building your website, there are many small and overlooked mistakes you could be making. The list below covers some of the more common blunders that can easily be fixed.
1. No Consistency or Uniformity – Your website should remain uniform throughout. Do not make each page a different color or design. This will only succeed in confusing your customers and more than likely cause them to go elsewhere. Design your website to flow easily and consistently.
2. Confusing Navigation – Having a uniform design is one major step to user friendly navigation but you must also use simplicity and cleanliness. Do not clutter up your pages with ads, graphics or flash. Keep your pages, clean, sleek and easy to follow. I have been to some sites that had dozens of banners lining up both sides of their pages. This is not only annoying but will cause you to lose most of your visitors quite quickly!
3. Ineffective Color Choices – Something seemingly irrelevant as color can have a lot to do with your site’s success or failure. Research the psychology of color and make wise choices for your business website. When choosing your color scheme, consider your target market, the message you want to send out and the color’s emotional effect on your visitors.
4. Click to Enter Site – Have you clicked on a link anxiously wanting to see what a site has to offer and then you see a page that says, “Click to Enter Our Site”? I have seen this numerous times and frankly it always baffles me why someone would do this. You have just seconds to capture a person’s attention so why would you put a meaningless message and extra click for them to deal with?
5. Elusive Contact Information – You want your visitors to feel that you are there for them when they need you so be sure to have easily accessible contact info for them to use. Some sites unfortunately do not provide contact info of any kind and the first thought that brings to mind is that they do not want to be known or bothered. That will not work for a business.
6. Forced Music – Do not force your visitors to listen to music or a sales pitch or watch a video. Too many sites have automatic music or videos when you land on their homepage. Give your visitors the choice to listen. Do NOT force-feed them these audios or videos.
7. Content Full of Ads – One thing I find very annoying is reading an article and having to go through several ads within the article. I don’t know who came up with this idea but I find it to be very annoying and distracting. In my opinion, providing helpful, clean content is much more effective than filling it up with ads.
8. PDF Files – When providing information and content to readers, do not use surprise PDF files. PDF files can clog up a person’s computer and become very troublesome. If you do have a PDF file available, be sure to let the person know it will be a PDF so they are aware.
9. Empty Palace Syndrome – Building a beautiful palace and not putting anything in it would not be very practical or effective. Think of your website in the same way. Do not focus everything on design and then forget about content. Content is crucial to your success so build a simple, easy to use website and fill it full of up-to-date content.
10. Non-Usable CAPTCHA – I find these to be one of the most annoying things used by many websites. I have had to leave numerous sites because the CAPTCHA was not readable or working properly. If you find it necessary to use this annoying feature, please be sure to check it and make sure it works and can easily be used.
11. Registration Required – Do not require your customers/readers to register for your site unless it is absolutely necessary. Then, be sure to use a simple, clear, concise form. Keep the clicks to a minimum and do not ask for a person’s life history.
12. Hard to Read – We have all seen the sites that have harsh background colors with a non-contrasting text that could not be read. Be sure to provide easy to read text. The best color combination is the standard black or dark gray text on a white or light pastel background. This is the easiest on most eyes. White text on a black background is very hard on a lot of eyes so that might not be a good choice. Also, consider your font. Use a simple clean font without all the curlies and cute designs.
Although this list is a small portion of things to consider when designing and building your website, these tips should help steer you towards more popularity with your visitors and an increase in your business success.
About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 16 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips and How to Market Your Online Business for Free: http://www.SeymourProducts.com