10 Simple Website Mistakes to Avoid

Before Content Management Systems (CMS) became common place, website owners usually had to turn to their website developer to change any content. There was a frustrating time delay relying on someone else – and the ongoing costs, of course. However, one upside was that the changes would be done in a clean and tidy manner by the web developer. Today, most sites use a CMS and the owner can log in and make changes themselves. But this is not without a downside in that things can end up a bit of a mess.
 
So here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

a poor quality image

1. Uploading poor quality images.
Probably the most common way to ruin the look of a website is the uploading of poor quality images. Today, people web browse on devices with large, high resolution, retina displays and you just don’t get away with crappy images anymore. A new website usually starts with sharp, high-quality imagery carefully chosen by the designer. This just gives the site a professional, polished appearance. But over time, these quality images are often swapped out for low-quality, blurry images. Or even worse, images that are tall and narrow when the display area is wide and short.
Don’t be that person. Carefully select images that will suit the space they are being uploaded to. Make sure they are of decent quality. And remember, a large image can be made smaller and look great – a small image cannot be made larger without looking bad. Learning some basic image editing techniques such as cropping and resizing can be very useful.



website cms admin panel

2. Not checking your changes.
Another very simple mistake is simply not refreshing your browser while on your website to check how your changes actually look. Often it is because the website owner is in a hurry to add/change something; they log in to their CMS to change a few things but forget to check how the changes look. A good work practice is to have two browser windows open, one for your CMS admin panel, the other with your front-end site. Make changes incrementally – refreshing the browser and checking each time. Sometimes an image needs to be cropped slightly differently, or a line break added to some text – it may seem minor but it all adds up to a polished looking site… or an amateur looking mess.




news blog
3. Having a news / blog but never using it.
This one might seem a little strange but it’s not unusual to come across a website that has an exciting ‘Latest News’ section but the only post in there is the first one that says ‘Welcome to our new website.’ – despite being several years old. After the initial enthusiasm of a new site wears off, the owner is faced with the reality of taking time to create blog posts for their news section, and they never get around to it. Fresh, updated content is a great way to bring people back to your site, grow content and increase rankings.  A blog/news section is the best way of doing this - but you need to be sure you are actually going to use it, or it just looks amateur and off-putting to visitors who are looking to engage with your business.

 

 

 

instant chat box 
4. Having a ‘instant-chat’ feature – but never using it.
Have you visited a site and a little box appears on the side saying ‘Is there anything we can help with?’ – It is fantastic way to chat with someone from your business instantly. But it is infuriating when there is nobody actually there. If you frequent a website and notice that the chat-panel is always ‘unavailable’ it is unwelcoming. But much worse is when the panel pops up and prompts a chat – but there is nobody actually at the other end. It is almost like answering the phone to a customer and not speaking. If you aren’t going to use the instant-chat function do not have one.  

 

 

line breaks cms
5. Not understanding how to do a paragraph or a line break. 
Content Management Systems automatically add in paragraph breaks when you press enter. To just enter a line break without the extra spacing; press shift + enter. Sometimes people don’t know this and end up wondering why their text has huge double spacing and looks ridiculous.

 

 

 


6. Breaking styles.
Your website designer would have set a range of styles to keep things looking clean, consistent and professional. Such as the size and font of your headings, sub-headings, body text, links etc. However, it is possible to break from this and do something completely different. Sometimes people want to put in some text or a link and make it ‘stand-out.’  But nothing ruins the look of a site more than all kinds of odd looking headings, type and links in garish, clashing colors with various fonts, sizes and weights. It is a slippery slope towards making your site look like it was made in 1998. 

 

 

7. Poor content placement. 
You might have a small area on your site for a bit of introductory text. Perhaps a few paragraphs. The mistake is to dump a huge story of text into this area at some point. The text blows the formatting of the site, as these introduction areas are generally never intended to have that many words. Think carefully about the amount of type you are putting in and where is it going. If you have too much, you should add in a ‘read-more’ link to expand the text if the user wishes to read it. Likewise, dumping images into a content area of the site in a way that was never intended, is slowly going to mess everything up. If you add in images in this way, it is a good idea to just ask your web developer to make it all look tidy again after you are done.

 

 

 

social media icons
8. Social media links that go nowhere.
Sometimes web designers will add in common social media links to a site during the mock up phase, just as example placement. The website owner might intend on using social media but never actually gets around to it. So the site gets developed and the icons are there, but are never linked to anything. Years later people are still clicking on the facebook logo to find it doesn’t go anywhere. Embarrassing.

 

 

 


9. Inconsistent staff profile pictures.
Your site should have started out with a consistent approach to staff profile photos. Your website designer should have adjusted them to be a uniform size and profile. Perhaps with the background removed or a specific type of image adjustment. But over time staff changes require new photos. Someone in the business adds the new staff with poorly taken photos from a cellphone or pulled down from a social media account. They’re uploaded with completely different widths, lengths, backgrounds and colours. Some are blurry and pixelated others are poorly cropped. If you are not sure, just ask your web company to do it for you. They will be able to do it very quickly and efficiently and keep it looking great. A professional company has professional looking staff profiles.

 

 

 


10. Too many pages for your navigation area.
When your site was developed, lets say it was designed with 5 pages in mind; Home, about, services, gallery, contact.  Of course there is ample space to add in some more, and over time this expands to be; home, about, services, specials, information, staff, gallery, testimonials, faqs, blog, contact. But now these have pushed well beyond the available navigation space and it looks terrible. If you get to this point, simply ask your web company to add in a drop-down sub-navigation panel or tweak your navigation design so that it fits nicely. This mistake often is a result of #2 where new pages have been added – yet nobody actually checked that they still fit into the navigation area.