7 Website "Faux Pas"

By admin, October 13th, 2009

1. Designed by …. at the Bottom of Your Site

Your website is a marketing tool for your business. It should be optimized for building your brand and promoting your business. This link (often added without permission), is essentially free advertising directing people to another site. Would you tolerate someone hi-jacking your business cards or logo just because they designed it?

2. Using Flash or Java for the Main Menu

Sure you get some fancy effects, but doing this can cause a lot of problems. For one, Flash introduces a bunch of usability problems. As well, some search engines can’t follow links embedded in Flash and Java. That means when crawling your site, they never get past the homepage. It also makes it hard for visitors to open a page in a new tab or copy the URL.

3. Splash Pages

Splash pages serve the same purpose as TV commercials, to interrupt and annoy people. It’s no surprise then, that most consumers hate them. Some argue that they provide a good place to promote your brand or call attention to something important, but a properly designed site can do that without imposing an extra click. To add insult to injury, splash pages require extra time to design and create, so you end up paying more for something that just gets in the way.

4. “About Us” on the Homepage

For most sites, the homepage is the most visited page on the site. That means it’s valuable real-estate. You should be taking full advantage of that. It’s okay to mention that you “… provide high value solutions to economically diverse problems …”, but also say something real on your homepage. Suck visitors in with strong calls to action and/or your USP.

5. Ads on Your Business Site

I’ve never really understood the logic of doing this, but I still come across it from time to time. By placing ads on your site, you’re encouraging people to leave. Your website is there to promote your business. External links should be chosen carefully because they affect your visitors experience. Some services (like Google Adsense) even allow competitors to place ads on your site, so this is something you should avoid at all costs.

6. Using Your ISP for Hosting or a Free Hosting Service

If you’re an average business, you paid hundreds or thousands for your website. If that’s the case, you should put your site on a server that’s going to make it really sing. Free hosting is free cause it’s bad (slow speed, doesn’t handle higher traffic very well, limited set of features). Good hosting doesn’t need to cost a lot. You can often find a good package for less than a few hundred dollars a year.

7. Not Having Your Own Domain or Your Own Email email@at-your-domain.com

This is a big one. When you don’t have your own domain you look like you’re not serious about business. Domains are cheap and are often free when you sign up for hosting. Having your own domain allows you to build your brand and show people you aren’t a “fly by night” operation.

More Reading

9 Signs You Shouldn’t Hire That Web Guy

Category Icon Posted in Basics, Effectiveness

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