5 Web Design Blunders of Small Businesses

By / Jun 7, 2011 / Tips
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You’ve decided to invest a lot of time and money into building a better web presence for your company. The last result you want to see from all this hard work and money is no growth in traffic or business from the new website. Before your company can reap the rewards of releasing a new website, you should take time to consider some of the key factors that lead to a more visible and customer friendly website. Here are a five major design blunders and what to do about them.

1. Site Is Too Busy, Spacing Is Key

Everybody loves bells and whistles, but when all the bells and whistles cause your site to load slowly and cover up your content you are at a serious disadvantage. For every flash animation or widget on your web site, your site’s loading time will increase while your screen real estate decreases. Your site should ultimately draw focus to the content, not what’s surrounding it. When there’s not enough
room on the screen to cleanly display your content you need to go “back to the drawing board”.

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2. Confusing Navigation

Your website is first and foremost the digital representation of your company. The site provides a user experience for any potential customers that come across it. If your potential customer has to spend their time trying to learn how to use your website to find the information they need, they may grow impatient and decide to move on to the next company’s website. Remember to have clear, concise and
easy to use navigation for your website. It is key to a rewarding user experience.

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3. Spelling & Grammar Errors

When you see “Were the #1 dog Food company in the wrld!” does it inspire confidence in you to buy that dog food for your beloved pet? This may seem obvious, but both spelling and grammar are CRUCIAL to your credibility online. If a company can’t take the time to proofread their work, what does that say about their products and services? Something as trivial as a typo can have a huge lasting impact on your
online business.

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4. Using White Space To Your Advantage

Just because there is a little white space on your page does not mean you need to fill that space in. Use “white space” to your advantage in reading web copy. Allow surrounding images and colors to pop. Always remember, the focus of your site should always be drawing people to your content while offering a pleasing design surrounding said content. A bit of white space can help to distinguish the separation
between the design and content.

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5. Keep SEO In Mind

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major component of any good web strategy. When designing your new web site it pays to spend some time on your SEO strategy and how exactly you want to fit that strategy into your content and site design. Quality content with legitimate mentions of key words and topics related to your business will help to bring more business your way.

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About the Author

Mike Barbre is a social media professional and technology enthusiast. When he's not using Intermedia's Exchange Hosting, he can be found following Intermedia on Twitter and as a fan of Intermedia on Facebook.

9 Comments

  1. Pragmatic Design
    June 7, 2011

    Thanks for the post. It’s amazing how often these pop up, especially on CMS websites where the designer’s careful work can be undone by their client.

    Reply
  2. Brian Altenhofel
    June 7, 2011

    If the CMS has been properly implemented, then the client can’t touch the design.

    Reply
    • Angelee
      June 8, 2011

      Esp with the late upgrades of WP, many old users have been facing issues yet. I’m a new user, but I’m one of those having troubles with some broken codes… If only Im a bit more technically expert!

      Reply
    • Owen
      June 28, 2011

      I think ‘Pragmatic Design’ might have been referencing grammar and typos rather than design – you might have a solid design but once the client starts to upload content you have no control, and as the author writes: “Something as trivial as a typo can have a huge lasting impact on your online business.”

      Reply
  3. ASpikes
    June 7, 2011

    great advice for everyone that runs a site

    Reply
  4. Toronto Web Design Company
    June 7, 2011

    Great article! Among all the advices, i think ‘Navigation’ is the ‘Key’ advice. Very often we come across sites which are confusing and do not give the visitor a clear picture of what the site wants to say. I think this is the biggest reason why websites loose visitors.

    Reply
  5. Justin
    June 8, 2011

    Ironic that the Core Division screenshot you’ve chosen to demonstrate (Non-)Confusing Navigation falls foul of the next blunder, Spelling & Grammar errors ;)

    Reply
  6. Buzz
    June 8, 2011

    Mainly common sense advice, but amazing how many of these points often get ignored… As mentioned above clear practical navigation is key.

    Reply
  7. Pam
    June 8, 2011

    #4 should read NOT using white space to your advantage since the title is 5 Web Design Blunders – and the others are listed as just that, blunders. ‘Using white space to your advantage’ would seem to me to be a positive tactic, not a blunder. IMO. Similarly #5 should read “NOT keeping SEO in mind.” The premise is well taken, just semantics on the writing is what I’m taking issue with.

    Reply

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