When trying to sell your business, first impressions are extremely important. And, as the common expression goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.”
This message also rings true online. Most internet users are not well known for their patience or their forgiving nature, so we wanted to create a tutorial on some common mistakes to avoid while designing a website. By following these guidelines, you will be able to increase traffic to your website, ensure that your pages load quickly, create a mobile-friendly site, and boost the overall quality of your website’s content.
The first thing you should have is a need for speed. Patience is a virtue, but when surfing the web, users have very little patience. If your pages take too long to load, users will leave. There are many technical things that your website designer can fix in order to speed things up, such as choosing the correct site hosts. But, there are also some quick and simple solutions to this problem.
When using images on your website, make sure to use the smallest ones possible. If you can, try to avoid large, high-resolution images if they are only going to appear as small thumbnails on your site. Using high-resolution images when they are not needed slows down the website’s ability to load quickly.
There are many free websites that can resize or compress images for online purposes. This will, in turn, create faster loading times for your users.
The less complicated your design, the less time users will have to spend waiting for your website to load. Try using the same background for multiple pages, and ensure that you, or your website designer, uses efficient, shortcode on the back end of the website.
To test the speed of your site, try connecting to your site on a mobile phone, using data connection, not a WiFi signal. See how quickly it opens.
Smartphones are a constant. Even when walking down the street, a vast majority of people you see walking by will have their eyes glued to their phone. These days, more and more people are relying on their phones to be their primary way to access the internet. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it may drive customers away.
Some of the most popular website-building platforms, including Wix, GoDaddy, WordPress, and SquareSpace, all have programs that allow you to edit your site via a desktop as well as on a mobile device.
When creating the site on a desktop, the design will not automatically translate to a mobile screen. The easiest way to create a mobile-friendly site is to create it directly on a mobile device. Then, if you want to test your mobile site’s speed, try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Actions such as swiping or tapping are unique to touchscreens and mostly reserved for mobile devices. Make sure that the components of your site respond well to these various inputs. Also, try to use well-known icons for the organization on your site to help visitors navigate easily even on a smaller screen.
Most mobile devices are equipped with GPS, which will be able to help visitors locate your business while on-the-go. Ensure that your phone number and address as easy to find. Posting this information at the bottom of your home-page as well as adding a contact page will make it easy for customers to locate. Link your phone number so that when customers click on the number, their cellular device can give the option of immediately making the call.
Different customers will be viewing your site on different browsers (such as Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox). They will also be viewing it from different technological platforms such as a Mac or a PC. Test how your website looks on each of these browsers and platforms. Does it run the same and look the same on each? Some browsers might require visitors to download plug-ins to reach your site, and this may drive them away. Try to avoid this step on various browsers.
Your customers are coming to your site looking to solve a problem. Going back to the clothing store analogy, if you own a retail clothing shop, your customers might be visiting your website to buy a new hoodie, some new high-heels, or possibly new business attire.
In this case, a categorical organization is your best friend. Separate your clothing into tiered categories such as Women’s, Men’s, and Children’s. Then within each of those categories, sub-categories such as Shirts, Pants, Shoes, etc.
It all goes back to creating a website that makes it easy for customers to solve their problem and get in touch with your business if need be. Make sure that your website is fast and efficient, works on a number of platforms, and provides an entertaining yet fast solution to a customer’s needs.
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Nugno is a Branding & Digital Design studio. Founded and run by strategic branding & digital design experts that shares a love of innovation, design and digital connection.
We create strategy and design with production across all platforms. We’re masters of brand identity and on point with websites and apps. Our skills extend to designing books people want to read and environments they feel comfortable in. We also create engaging motion design and much more.
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Luca Amoriello, Director
Tel: +353 (0)87 383 2134