Building your first business website is a complicated process. There are plenty of things you need to do right to make sure it launches successfully. At the same time, there are several common mistakes you definitely want to avoid.
In fact, some mistakes can drag your website down so much that they completely negate its positive elements.
Listed below you’ll find the six worst mistakes you’ll want to avoid when building a new website. If you can manage to avoid them, your business site will stand a much better chance of drawing a high level of traffic once it launches.
1. Choosing the Wrong Domain Name
Your domain name is essentially the website’s digital address. It’s how people will remember your site, so it has to be simple and memorable.
You should pick a domain name that is similar to or identical to the name of your business. That way, the domain name is easy for your visitors to remember and your brand will seem more cohesive. Never choose a domain name that is comprised of random letters and numbers or that isn’t obviously related to your business.
2. Picking a Bad Hosting Service
Your website’s hosting service can affect customer experience through a variety of factors, including:
- page load times;
- site uptime (how often the site is accessible);
- resources such as bandwidth or RAM;
- storage space; and
- search engine optimization (SEO).
You should only ever settle for a hosting service that has proven reliability. If you pick a bad hosting service or insufficient package, your website will never reach its full potential. As such, you also need to consider what type of hosting you need to choose. Avoid shared hosting if possible as you’ll have to share server resources with other users. Instead, consider fully managed VPS hosting as this gives you plenty of resources and you won’t have to worry about server maintenance or security.
3. Having a Cluttered Homepage
Your website’s homepage is the first impression people will have as it relates to your brand. That being so, it should be streamlined and easy to navigate. If a homepage is cluttered and has buttons or pictures scattered around nonsensically, it can drive people away and rapidly create a negative brand image.
Additionally, a cluttered homepage can destroy your selling funnel as it may misdirect customers to sections of the site they didn’t intend to visit.
4. Ignoring Key Pages
Your business website should always include a few critical pages at a minimum, such as a contact page and an “About Us” page.
These pages provide visitors with information about your business as well as the means to contact you. Failing to have these pages can make you seem unresponsive and turn people away from your site.
5. Having an Unoptimized Site
Your website should be well optimized for top-tier performance and efficiency at all times. Page load times should be lightning-fast. It should never take more than 200 milliseconds or thereabouts for content to load. You can increase site optimization by:
- compressing image sizes;
- storing data on visitors’ computers through caching;
- removing unnecessary content or media files;
- freeing up storage space; and
- speeding up data transmission.
Optimize your website for mobile users. Plenty of internet traffic comes from people using mobile devices these days. By optimizing your site for mobile users, you’ll get that traffic and have a more welcoming site overall. By contrast, having an unoptimized site will drive people away from your business.
6. Pages Littered with Broken Links
Lastly, don’t allow any broken links on your website. Broken links are simply links that lead to defunct web pages or otherwise don’t work. Before launching your site, check that all the links work correctly and lead to their proper destinations.
These six big mistakes are relatively simple to avoid, especially if you practice good website-building strategies as you start out. As you work on your site over time, you’ll also become naturally better at avoiding these issues before they hinder overall performance.