5 Common Website Mistakes You Might Be Making

5 Common Website Mistakes You Might Be Making

Jul 1, 2021

Even professional website developers make mistakes. Does your website need work? Here are five common website mistakes we’ve all made.

1. Not Responsive

Web designers have been using ‘responsive’ as a buzzword for decades. When a website is responsive, it means it reacts well to what users what to do – regardless of whether those users are using smartphones, tablets, desktops, or other devices.

A responsive website has easy-to-follow navigation, a clean layout, and a compatible design across all devices. Users can easily understand the purpose of each webpage and navigate without issue.

A non-responsive website has an unclear purpose, crowded visual elements, confusing hierarchy and navigation system, and an overall poor user experience.

Your website might look great on desktop browsers – only to fall apart on mobile or tablet browsers. You have a non-responsive website that needs work.

2. Poor UX

UX is an overlooked part of web design. You might create the world’s most beautiful website – only to discover that users have no idea how to navigate the website.

Poor UX will quickly force users to click the ‘back’ button. It’s the fastest way to force users away from your website.

Common UX problems on websites include:

  • You’re putting too much cognitive load on users
  • There’s too much visual clutter
  • You don’t have clear navigation or visual hierarchy
  • You’re trying to reinvent the wheel with unique website design and only end up confusing users
  • Interactive elements of your website are not clear, leading to confusion for users

3. Lack of Accessibility

Accessibility is another overlooked area of web design. Your website needs to be accessible to many different individuals, and this includes people with disabilities or even temporary conditions where accessibility matters.

Accessibility isn’t about making text large or making colors contrast; instead, it’s about making sure your website can be understood by screen readers, screen magnifiers, and similar tools. Individuals with disabilities are already accessing the internet without issue. They don’t need you to change your entire website to make it accessible: they just need you to accommodate their software.

Some common errors that reduce accessibility include:

  • Your website relies too much on color as a navigation tool, or you exclusively use color to differentiate between items
  • Images do not have alt text code (crucial for screen reading software)
  • Website is not tagged to work with voice control systems
  • You don’t provide transcripts for videos or podcasts (say, via in-sync captioning)
  • Usability.gov recommends using 508 testing to make sure your site complies with accessibility guidelines.

4. Poor Performance and Slow Speeds

Users will wait a fraction of a second before clicking the ‘back’ button on a slow website. People are busy, and nobody wants to wait more than two seconds for a website to load.

Poor performance and slow speeds will quickly inhibit the effectiveness of your website.

Installing too many plugins can slow your website to a crawl, for example, making it difficult for users to navigate.

You can solve poor performance issues by switching to a new web host, reducing the size of your webpages, and using fewer full-size images on your webpages.

Test your website performance on multiple devices and from multiple locations. A website might load quickly on your home computer because you’ve already cached most of the data. In reality, visitors are waiting 5+ seconds for each page to load, inhibiting usability.

5. Lack of Call to Action or Purpose

What’s the point of your website? What do you want users to do?

  • Are users supposed to read blog posts on your website and leave?
  • Do you want users to request a free quote or estimate?
  • Do you want users to call or email you for more information? Should they submit their personal info through your online form?

Internet users have a short attention span. They jump between websites rapidly. If your website has no clear purpose, users don’t know what they’re supposed to do with the website.

Make sure every page of your website has a clear call to action. Whether it’s a personal website or a business website, a clear call to action is crucial.

By solving these problems, you can build effective websites that give users the information they need as quickly as possible.