Thinking about tackling the design of your new website all your own? Kudos for taking on such an important project. Your website is the face of your business and often the only way people can find you. Nailing the look and functionality is critical.
Luckily, you have at your fingertips many online website builder tools that promise to be easy to use and budget friendly.
Just make sure as you create that crucial piece of branding collateral, that you avoid these mistakes website DIYers are prone to make.
Forgetting about the mobile experience
Increasingly, people view websites on their phones and tablets. Your website must be mobile-friendly. You simply don’t have a choice anymore.
Make sure you choose a website builder that offers responsive templates. Such templates are set up to work on any device and will use the visuals, features and text you provide but change the view depending on what device is used. You can rest assured your website will always look good.
Ignoring customization options
In general, website builders offer limited customization. Some offer more than others, so choose one that offers you some flexibility—and then use the customization options.
If you don’t do at least something, your website could look pretty generic or exactly like other websites.
Focusing too much on looks and not on function
Sure, looks matter, and with some website builders, you will have your pick of interesting designs. However, it doesn’t matter how pretty your website is if it confuses visitors or they struggle to find what they want.
Pay close attention to how you organize and display content. Use dropdown menus and a clear navigation bar. And integrate callout buttons so people can find important elements.
Burying your most critical information
It’s nice to think that people will read every word on your website and that they’ll scroll on forever until they learn all the details. They won’t.
That’s why it is mandatory that you put critical messaging at the top of every page. Additionally, you MUST make website pages easy to scan. Visitors aren’t going to weed through paragraphs of dense text to learn about your services or products.
You have a few seconds to grab their attention and convince them to keep reading, so make those seconds count.
Using stock images
Stock images are cheap, free even, but the chances of them showing up on another website are high, and customers could have seen them before.
A better choice is to use real images of your products, employees, location and even customers. If you aren’t handy with a camera, consider hiring a professional photographer for a few hours. Those images will resonate more than anything you can find on a stock image website.
Botching the copy
If you aren’t a professional writer—or at least a really strong writer—hire one. Poor writing, grammatical mistakes and typos kill your credibility. More important, however, is that you have to convey your brand messaging, sell your products, and convince people to do business in mere seconds. That typically takes the skill of a professional copywriter.