Five Mistakes Businesses Make When Designing and Launching a Website
It’s difficult to run a modern business without an online presence. Customers expect organizations to have a website where they can see the products available and submit their orders. Yet, as many companies have learned the hard way, a website is not an end of itself.
A poorly thought-out site leaves a negative impression on visitors and ultimately works against the brand. It’s vital that businesses take cognizance of the major pitfalls of web design and find ways of avoiding the mistakes that have proved costly for others.
1. Absence of Clear Goals
The reason for setting up a website may seem pretty obvious. It’s after all an online version of the business. Still, to have a successful website, getting down to the specifics is crucial. Whereas the goals must align with business strategy, they have to be broken down to avoid ambiguity.
It’s all well and good to seek revenue growth but how do you intend to do that? The building blocks of higher revenue may include lead generation, live chat support, reduced technology overheads and search engine optimization.
2. Downplaying Compatibility and Technical Requirements
There are technical requirements around designing and launching a website. If, for instance, the new website is an upgrade of an existing one, there may be a need to relocate content to a new content management system (CMS).
Such a transfer entails more than copying and pasting text and files. There’ll be format and compatibility factors to be taken into consideration. That ensures the integrity and internal consistency of the content is not compromised in the process. Poorly planned transfer may lead to dead links and content incoherence.
3. Not Paying Attention to the Mobile Interface
One of the major consequences of the smartphone and tablet revolution is that the majority of internet users now access the web using a portable device as opposed to a desktop computer. For this reason, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer a good to have; it’s a must-have.
Since portable devices have smaller displays, the lack of mobile compatibility is a common source of end user frustration. Fortunately, a lot of web development tools now include the option for a pre-formatted, auto-generated mobile version of the main website. Of course, this still requires testing to make sure the final product is functional on each device.
4. Unrealistic Turnaround Time
Running a business often requires quick decision-making in tandem with changing market conditions. However, that does not mean decisions should be sporadic, ad hoc and not the result of a logical process.
Many businesses set unrealistic deadlines for the design, development and launch of a website. Whereas a web design firm in Seattle would be able to create a great quality website even in such a time crunch due to their experience, it’s highly likely that less experienced companies would be able to meet a deadline but with an unsatisfactory quality
For best results, start planning early and give the developer adequate time to do their work well. Depending on the complexity of the website, reasonable time could vary from a couple of weeks to more than a year.
5. Inadequate Testing
Don’t make the mistake of rushing the site to market before rigorous testing. The testing should cover every aspect that affects the user experience including ensuring the site can withstand peak traffic.
Make sure all links work as expected, images display on all devices, there are no typos in the text and any inputs are correctly stored in the database.
In conclusion, avoiding these mistakes comes down to the quality of pre-planning. Organize initial meetings with all key stakeholders including the web developer, in-house IT department, marketing and customer service. Share progress updates with this team to ensure nothing falls between the cracks.
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