For online customers, your website is probably their first contact with your company. This means that it is important that your website design makes an excellent first impression.

Internet users are spoilt for choice and will not hesitate to crowdsource a competing site if they do not connect with your brand. For this reason, it is extremely important that your website design does not fall victim to any rookie mistakes.

Here are ten common web design mistakes that make your website look unprofessional.

No clear call to action

Calls to action (CTAs) are words or phrases that encourage website visitors to take a specific action on the site. A common CTA is a button that takes the user to a specific page, section or destination.

To generate clicks and conversions, your calls to action must be eye-catching. They should be obvious to the user and fit with the aesthetics of your site. You can use CTAs to direct visitors to important information, such as product listings, job portfolios or contact details.

If your site does not have a clear CTA, visitors will be confused about the purpose of your site. This will not reflect well on your business and is likely to drive away potential conversions.

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Unresponsive web design

Responsive web design is no longer optional in modern web design - it is essential. According to Google Analytics, over 68% of all website visits in 2020 will come from mobile devices. Your website needs to be able to adapt to screens of all sizes, from small mobile devices to tablets to large desktop computers.

If your website design is not mobile-friendly, you are guaranteed to lose a huge number of potential conversions. As more and more people are using mobile devices to discover new brands, it's important that your business invests time and effort in stable, high-quality mobile web design.

Inconsistent branding

Your brand will be the first thing customers judge your business on. This includes your logo, typography, colour palettes, product packaging, language used and more. The brand tells a visual story to visitors and should answer many of their initial questions about your business. What is the purpose of your brand? What type of product or service do you offer? What demographics do you serve?

All pages of your website should convey the same brand identity . This is so that visitors who have never seen your brand before can easily understand the purpose of your business. If your site's branding is not consistently implemented, this will result in mixed messages being sent to customers, causing confusion. Customers who don't understand your brand won't stay on your site for long, so consistent branding is paramount.

Readability problems

There are many web design mistakes that can lead to readability problems. Everyone should be able to easily process the text on your site, and if this is not the case, you need to redesign your site immediately.

One common cause of readability problems is the font. As an absolute minimum, fonts should be at least 16 pixels for basic text and larger for other elements such as headings. You should also pay attention to what type of font you are using. A handwritten script font will be much harder to read at smaller sizes than a regular sans-serif font and may alienate potential customers.

Another common readability problem is a poorly chosen colour scheme. If your site's text is difficult to read against a background colour, you need to choose different colours, otherwise it poses a huge accessibility problem. You can use online tools such as Color Contrast Checker to check whether the colour contrast of the text to the background meets WCAG standards.

Slow charging times

Your website should load as quickly as possible. The ideal loading time for a website is around 1-2 seconds - anything more than that and it is very likely that internet users will abandon your site before they even see your homepage. Long loading times can also negatively affect your website's search engine rankings.

There are a few simple tricks to avoid this mistake. Firstly, make sure that any images and graphics you use are optimised for the web and are 500 KB or less in size. Secondly, make sure that your web developers make sure that all site code files are minimised as much as possible. You should also try to combine similar file types (JavaScript files, for example) into single files. This reduces the number of HTTP requests your site has to make, which reduces the loading time of the entire page.

I do not update the content

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your website is not keeping your brand content up to date. This makes your site look extremely unprofessional to new visitors, as it can give the impression that you don't care about your site, or worse, that your site is no longer maintained.

To ensure this does not happen, refresh your content regularly. Check that images, banners and other graphic design on your website do not refer to dates or past events. If you no longer sell a particular product, remove it. A great way to attract new visitors is to blog on your website. By regularly updating your site with informative content, you will build customer trust and ultimately increase the likelihood of conversions.

Poor performance

Finally, your site should pass a number of performance tests before launch. These include:

  • Your site is compatible with all modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc.). If your site breaks down in a particular browser, you are likely to lose a huge proportion of potential conversions.
  • All images and graphics are compressed to an appropriate standard.
  • Your site should still provide basic functionality with JavaScript disabled - not every user will have it enabled.
  • Your website can successfully run browser caching. This means that your resources are downloaded to the user's computer so that they can be loaded more quickly on their next visit. This makes your website load much faster for returning users, which will make your website look much more professional.

By ensuring that performance standards are adhered to, you eliminate a number of risks that can lead to an unprofessional reputation for your site.

If you want to build or redesign a website, Geopolitan IT Grudziadz can help. Contact contact us today to see how we can get your project off the ground!