I always say that anyone can build a website from scratch and because this process is so easy, people often presume that creating a successful WordPress website is easy as well. But soon enough the common website mistakes start to surface, and the site that has had hours of work invested becomes a nightmare and sadly begins to crumble.
#1. Common Website Mistakes – Creativity First
Many new WordPress webmasters get swept up with the creativity bug from the start, delving into the depths of coding and serious website edits that should be performed later when experience sets in. This exact website building path has always proved to be treacherous. New Webmasters run into problems and start to feel like they will never get anywhere.
My recommendation is to immediately install a premium WordPress theme, preferably one that is minimalist like the Elegant Themes Simple Press, and then simply start building and adding to your website. Editing the design of your website can be a time killer, especially if you do not know what you are doing. Be happy with what you have got and use your creativity smartly by doing tasks that are actually required.
#2. Common Website Mistakes – Usability Not There
Most people build websites so they can attract website visitors for some reason or another. But Webmasters forget that most website visitors come online to find what they want and find it quickly!
Therefore the only way to make your website visitors happy is to give them what they want fast. This formula is not rocket science, but some Webmasters make things difficult while in the process of creating what they think is an awesome website. Sad but true. They neglect to think about how the user can actually use their website.
Here are a few quick tips to improve usability of your website:
- Your website loads fast because people are impatient nowadays.
- Your content is easy to find through good navigation.
- Your content is easy to read with subheadings, bullet points, and so on.
- You have an option to search your site so people can find what they want.
- You do not have pages where people ask themselves “what should I do here?”
#3. Common Website Mistakes – Nothing Tracked
There are many tools available for free to track your website online but many people presume that a new website is not worth tracking. Adding Google awithnalytics code to your website is one of the first things you must do. It is not written in a rulebook anywhere but it does give the Webmaster an advantage by showing some inside information about who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, and much more.
The other often forgotten item to track is your affiliate links. Webmasters go crazy and place affiliate links and banners all over their site, without even a second thought as to how they are going to distinguish a sale. You might make a sale from a particular affiliate but you might have the same banner listed on about 10 pages on your website. If you knew what page was making the sales then you could optimise its contents and improve sales a bit more.
#4. Common Website Mistakes – Too Much Going On
New Webmasters learn how to add things to their websites and then start going crazy. They often overcrowd the website and put as much as they can on, trying to make it look like it’s a busy place. This is not a fantastic idea for usability as cluttered and overcrowded websites are generally unappealing. Just think about how you feel when your house is really messy and you’ve just got home from work? If you are anything like me, it makes you feel like you do not want to be there.
I wrote an article about sidebar etiquette which explained some of the common website mistakes that people make in their WordPress sidebar. The clutter can be anything from category links, website links, or even to many banners.
I personally believe that too much clutter on a website screams desperation. Desperation to make money, desperation to give the user what they want, and desperation to keep them on the site longer.
#5. Common Website Mistakes – You Intrude
If you are one of those Webmasters that have music playing as soon as the person lands on your site, then you are intruding into your website visitors personal space.
Have you ever been browsing the Internet in the middle of the night, trying to be really quiet, only to land on a page that blasts music throughout the house. Most people don’t realise what volume their speakers are on until some sound actually comes out. It is not only frightening, but it is also downright annoying.
Videos that play automatically can also be just as painful. Your users will not appreciate the fact that you have decided to show them something without giving them the choice first.
#6. Common Website Mistakes – Letting Go
No this isn’t about giving up, it is about not letting go of the visitors that already stepped onto your website. Here is your big opportunity to grab their contact details so you can keep a connection going with that website visitor. Just think about it, if you do not make a connection, that person may never visit your website again.
This is why I highly recommend that you sign up for an e-mail list service like Aweber. I can make $500 from one email message on a $29 a month account and that does not include the value I get from keeping a connection with these people. Yes it is priceless.
#7. Common Website Mistakes – Your Manners Are In The Gutter
If you are are male or female chauvinist racist snobby pig then you better not show people this side of you. Websites and social media are very public and whatever you say and do on the Internet will be on show 24 hours a day, non-stop. This means you have a responsibility to maintain the reputation of your website as you would with any other business.
- Answer people’s comments and questions politely.
- Be patient with other peoples opinions even though they are not the same as yours.
- You are building a website to share your knowledge, not share your one eyed opinion.
#8. Common Website Mistakes – Your Website is About ONE Thing
When people land on your website, do they see that your site is all about you?
- I am wonderful look at this.
- I did this, aren’t I great?
- This person does it this way, but I am the expert and my way is the best.
- Look at me with my flash car and my big house!
- Look at me making money and exposing my income reports.
I’m not saying that talking about yourself is bad, but it is if that’s the only thing you’re doing on your website. It is just like talking to a person and all they talk about is themselves. People get very bored with this and try to avoid that person at whatever cost.
#9. Common Website Mistakes – Get A Goal
Every website needs a goal, well even a few goals, but many new Webmasters neglect this aspect of building a website. They get the idea of building a website but no idea of what that website is being built for.
Some questions need to be asked so you can figure out your goal:
- What is the aim of my website?
- What makes your website different from others?
- What kind of people do I want to attract to this website?
- What can I sell to these people?
Here are my answers to those questions so you can get an idea of how it works.
- The aim of my website is to show people how to build a website that can become successful and make money.
- There are many sites showing how to build a website all blog, but not many that show how to make it successful.
- I want to attract people that do not have a website and do not know how to build one.
- I can sell the best products that people need to build a website.
#10. Common Website Mistakes – Stay on Track
This is the most common website mistake of all, not staying on track. People always seem to think that the grass is greener on the other side and start adding different things that don’t belong on their website.
For example, let’s say you have a computer tips website that shares tips about using computers. People go there to find out how to use their computer. But you see another website that shows how to build websites so you start writing articles about that too. You mix these articles into your computer tips website and your users get confused. Now they are getting e-mail broadcasts that include how to build a website when they only wanted to know how to use their computer.
I cannot stress how important it is to stay on track, because every time you travel out of your boundaries, everything gets watered down. You will no longer have a highly targeted audience, your ads that show on your website will be confusing, and your readers will forget why they came to the website in the first place.
My list of common website mistakes could go on forever as I have personally committed each and every one of them. hopefully this list will stop you from committing the same mistakes.
What mistakes have you made in your website building career? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.
Image credit: Lets Build Websites