In 2017, the internet has become the main source of information and media. There are more and more budding web designers, bloggers, marketers and small business owners turning to the internet as a source of growing their brand.
150,000 websites are created every single day. But why do we only see the same websites, day in, day out?!
Simple answer – their websites have mistakes. You’ll never see their sites as they simply have too many basic mistakes which inevitably, prevents them from ever ranking highly in the searches. Here’s a list of 9 of the most common mistakes you’ve made when building your site, a long with the fix (because we’re so kind here at Gobble).
9 Mistakes you made designing your site
OK, since WordPress has the biggest market share when it comes to websites, we’re going to stick with these guys. But the principles found in this article can be applied to any website platform. Take note.
1. FREE Themes
Remember that amazing feeling when you hit publish on your website? “I’ve actually created a website, I can’t believe it!” Yeah, we know the feeling. But let me guess, you used a FREE theme. How do we know? Because we did exactly the same thing. Whilst you can create a website with a free theme, functionality and flexibility are virtually non existent. Why not use a free WordPress theme? First and most importantly, usage of a free theme leaves your site in a very vulnerable place with the risk of being attacked.
Free WordPress themes simply don’t come equipped with the tools needed for a serious business website. But most importantly, if you aren’t a developer, a code genius or a PHP king, you’re not going to produce a pretty website.
Fix: Opting for a FREE WordPress theme is the cheapest option, but spending as little as $40, you’re able to produce something your readers and paying customers will love. This means if you opt for spending a few bucks on a paid theme, you’re able to design a fully functioning e-commerce site, business page, blog, you name it. And let me guess, you don’t have a tonne of time on your hands to learn web development or code? Opt for a Premium WordPress theme.
Yes, hacking is real. Something we noticed when we started building websites back in 2010 were the amount of log-in attempts to our sites. Thankfully we had a pretty solid security system in place. WordPress is OpenSource meaning it’s code is more susceptible to attack. Many websites are attacked by ultra low level, low lying hackers or “bots” who want to harm your site. Often this can be a spammy link that is posted in to your blog, which will harm your websites SEO and ranking ability.
Fix: Upload a plugin to your WordPress site called Wordfence. Wordfence is regularly updated making it almost impossible for harmful attacks on your site. You can even view attempted attacks on your WordPress site.
3. Too many Plugins
Ever opened up your plugins manager and thought “Blimey!” – be honest, we have. WordPress is awesome at providing helpful tools called Plugins which allow you to improve functionality and make adjustments to your site without learning any code. However, the problem is, too many plugins or having the wrong plugins on your site means you’ll encounter problems, affecting your overall performance. Or as we found out (the hard way as half of our site did not actually work) you may have a plugin that simply clashes with some part of your site.
Fix: Deactivate all of your plugins. Go through each individual plugin, reactivate each one, one at a time, and test your site as you go along. Once you encounter the problem, BINGO! Issue solved. Searching the internet for possible bugs or reviews on plugins will help you determine whether to use it or not.
Oh, you haven’t performed any SEO on your site yet? Don’t panic, simply go back to our What is SEO article and start from there. “But SEO is too hard” – said a lot of people. See, this is the thing, it really isn’t. Apart from the obvious fact that you’ll have to rely on Social Media for traffic (which becomes exhausting), you’re site won’t ever been found by your paying customers in the search engines (Google). How important is it? 93% of internet usage starts with a search engine.
5. Not Indexed
What do we mean by indexed? Well, before you even think of building your website, you want to make sure you know how to actually rank in the searches. Why? Because the ultimate goal have creating your website was for fans to read or use – correct? But first, they have to actually find it, right? “I ranked a brand new website page one Google in 2 days” – said no one ever. Why? Because we have to patient and first allow for the Googlebots to crawl our website for it to be indexed. So how on earth do you do that?
Fix: Read our article on what the differences of indexing and crawling a website are. Here, you’ll find out how to start ranking in the searches.
6. Responsive Design
Ok, so this one isn’t such an issue is this day and age. Thanks to WordPress, most themes are mobile responsive. This means your visitors can view the same content, features and functions in the same exact way on a phone or tablet compared to a desktop. And more importantly, Google loves you for it. But as with any website, we love how it looks on a desktop, but when we view it on a mobile device, some features just don’t look right and now there’s a peculiar border. Hmmm. Some of your website’s features aren’t mobile responsive. This means that your visitors aren’t getting the experienced they desired. Problem.
Fix: Read our article on Mobile Responsive Websites and take the Google Mobile Friendly test to find out how well your site performs.
7. Images Sizes
Images are make or break for your website. Google love them, your visitors love them and so does Grandma. Question time; Have you ever clicked on to a site, only to sit and wait for images or features to load? It’s agonising. You simply don’t have the time to sit around waiting for a web page to load, and neither do your visitors. Not only affecting your customers, but over sized images are damaging to your site as they slow down your page load speed and affect your SEO score.
Fix: It’s time to go through your images and resize them. For help with this, use Google’s Image resizer.
8. Poor Content
We’ve all been guilty of this one. Not enough time in the day to research a tonne of information for helpful and converting posts for your blog, so you just throw up the first thoughts that come in to your head. The problem is, your visitors hate it and so does Google. Producing poor content or simply not enough content will ruin your SERP (Search Engine Results Page). We come across all too many sites that are packed with images and barely any content. Yes, it’s nice to look at, but that’s it. WordPress was produced predominantly as a blogging platform, so it loves content. Websites built using WordPress are 94% more likely to rank higher than other CMS (Content Management System) platforms, providing you have great content.
Fix: Plan out each and every individual post. Think carefully about your target audience. Whilst WordPress likes anything over 300 words, aim for between 1000 and 3000 words per post.
9. Analysis Paralysis
There’s that word we love. You’ve seen a website that you just love and now you want the same for you site. You buy a pretty theme and start building, but you just can’t get it right. It keeps you awake at night, worrying about the design of your site. We’ve been there. In fact, we took 3 whole months to build our very first site. Spending too much time on the look and feel of your site will send you crazy.Competition analysis, researching what works, what doesn’t, should only be performed once. We see thousands of bloggers procrastinate and worry about the look of their site, so much so they never get started.
Fix: Find a clean, easy to navigate theme and stick to it. Once you’ve uploaded your theme, start producing content. Document NOT create. Your customers don’t actually care that your menu is rainbow red. They just want to know what you can offer them. We aim to build a site with hours to two days.
Mistakes you made Designing Your Site – Final Word
First and foremost, building websites is a learning curve, so never be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge. Take your time. Document everything you do. Enjoy it. Get better.
If your website isn’t working for you, get in touch. We’d happy to offer assistance.