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Pretoria Web design, 15 mistakes people make with web sites


Building a web site can be an investement or it can be a nett cost to your sales, here are 15 things I want you to do, if I am working for your competition, It make my life a whole lot easier.

Sometimes the first contact anyone has with your business, it's products and services is your web site. That is, if they can find it at all. Most web sites are out there in a void of their own making, not being seen by anyone.

Don't spend money where it counts

This can be avoided by not spending money unnecessarily on things that won't work, It can also be avoided by spending your money where it will work 10 years ago we were advising people to get their own domain name, and yet there are still businesses that have web pages with names like

With the cost of a domain being less than R 200.00 for domain and hosting packages available for less than R 100.00 per month this is a false economy, All it projects is that you are too cheap to have a domain and email addresses that match your brand. This hold true of using free website builders. Your business looks like it's battling if you can't afford to do a decent job.

Please buy a budget web site for only R 499.00

Nobody can build a decent web site for R 499.00. It is not an economic proposition worth exploring. I have written my own Content Management system and could put together a 5 page web site for that kind of number, but will not for three reasons.
  1. You would not get results from it because I would have to do the bare minimum just to make a tiny profit
  2. It would require you supplying all content ready to copy and paste, and experience tells me that if you are willing to cut corners to save money, you are going to not be unhappy if the content is not great
  3. If you are not going to get results, you are going to tell everyone that the website was a waste of money and that they should not use my services

I know that the work to get results from the web cannot be done for R 499.00 even if a basic website using a content management system could be done in a few hours. Nobody will spend time building a unique web site for that kind of money, so you will be stuck with third party templates, and nothing complicated.

Please use WordPress or Joomla for a 5 page web site

Budget web sites tend to be no more than 5 pages, It is true that you can get great themes free using WordPress, But building a 5 page website using Wordpress defeats the object of using a package like WordPress. WordPress is a blogging platform that can be used to create a 5 page website and often is. It's easy. it's simple and takes minutes to put together, but as a 5 page website it has tons of overhead and will be slower than a Land Rover from 0 - 100.

In my personal opinion, WordPress has too much overhead for a blog, but as a user friendly system cannot be beaten. I have other issues with the system, but many people use the system and are getting great results, If you are going to DIY your web site, this could be he best option, You will need to learn about plugins,adding more overhead to do some SEO, but it's not impossible.

Build a 5 page brochure ware web site

The web is a source of information, people on the web are looking for information to help them make a decision. If you can fit all the information about your company on three pages, it might be better to do a single sales page, to try and close the sale right there. A page on the web is not the same as an A4 page. This article on it's own won't fit on 4 A4 pages, yet it is a single web page.

Brochures don't work on the web unless someone requests them to find the full specifications of a Product, but you already know that, don't you?

Make sure your website cannot be seen and navigated on mobile devices

Responsive design is the new buzz word, web sites are designed to shrink to fit on mobile devices, Sometimes people build separate mobile websites. This website will shrink to fit the device it is being used on. This is important for more reasons than just being available to all site visitors. Mobile ready web sites get better results on Google.

Responsive Web Design in Pretoria

Make your information impossible to find

It boggles the mind but I have seen web sites where finding the information you are looking for is nigh impossible. Finding prices is not even that easy. If you are running a business like a spy, Information is need to know, You are losing customers.

It's this simple, if people can't find the information they are looking for, they will go elsewhere. If you have ever given any information to prospective clients, chances are good that your competition already has it, including those price lists you protect so religiously.

Please don't put up great content

This is the biggest mistake that people do on their 5 page websites, They have no content that people will want to read. People are not online looking for adverts, They are looking for information, the better the information you put out there, the longer they stay. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to buy.

Repeat visitors turn into customers. let me repeat the, repeat visitors turn into customers, If they have nothing to read or consume on your web site, they will find it on someone else's web site, where they will buy. Once you have a prospect on the hook, you don't want him to leave. Chances are that if I spend an hour on your web site learning all about that whiz bang new camera and it's lenses, I found all the information I am looking for and the price is not going to put me in the poor house, I will be a buyer.

Don't update your website, the older the info the better

Some information will never need updating, a 10mm body washer is a 10mm body washer and is unlikely to change. There is only one bit of information that will have changed since 2015 when you built your web site, the price.

I don't understand why you would be advertising something as 10c when it is now 20c with a notice that prices are subject to change without notice. When I phone and you respond with, it's 20c now, the web site is out of date, my reaction will be to phone your opposition to see how close to the 10c they will go. I already know I am going to hear, just how crazy that price is but if they offer it to me at 19c, I will buy it from them. If you had, had the correct price, I wouldn't have been annoyed and phoned them, I was probably expecting to pay 20c anyway.

Please overload your page with images, small text and adverts

Nothing pleases me more when I am doing the due diligence before tackling a web development project and I find that the companies I am competing with have unreadable information, with over powering images and the page looks cluttered. It means that I am going to find it easy to compete with the web site.

If you want to upset me have an easy to navigate site with pages dedicated to specific products or services, because I'll have make my site better in order to achieve the client's goals.

Make it impossible for people to know what you do

This is not only a problem on the web, I don't think I can count the amount of times I have travelled behind a car with great sign writing, you can tell they didn't skimp. The graphics are awesome, the design is off the wall, and then I start thing what does ABC Corporation do? The signage in my mind is useless unless I am a regular client of the company and know what they do.

Imagine if I was considering having corporate T shirts made and printed, and ABC specialised in just that but I phone Billy's T shirt shop, because ABC didn't tell me what they do on their signage or their website. I hear you say, that's impossible, nobody is that stupid, but yet I have seen web sites with the company contact details, a motto and a great mission statement and not one bit of information about their products and services to be found.

Please ask for contact details before supplying any information

I have seen web sites where you had to log in to get any information, They wanted me to supply my details to someone that I was unsure had any value for me. This is important, NOBODY WANTS TO GET SPAMMED. If they had the info I was looking for, I wouldn't have left and gone to another website that had the info.

Offer value to those that you want to get contact details from. Information is currency, and I am not giving you my details for no good reason. If there is no value in me giving my contact details to you, why would I?

Please don't make your contact details easy to find

Just recently I was on a web site offering a great deal on something I wanted to buy, The specs were just what I wanted, the price was great, There was just one question I wanted to ask. I searched the site and I was dedicated because I could save a nice sum of money on the thing. There was nowhere on the site that had any contact details, I could order, pay by card and wait, but there was this one question I needed an answer to, and no way of contacting them.

In my mind the questions arose, what if they were scammers? what if they were not and my goods arrived as promised but there was something wrong? Where are they, could I just pop down the road and collect? What country were they in? Guess what I bought it somewhere else that could answer my question, and I could see where they were, who they were and speak to someone on the blower.

Make your site slow, in fact make it ponderous,

We talked about overhead earlier, The more code that has to be processed by the server, the slower a site will be, If the images are big and I am not talking dimensions, here I am talking bandwith intensity, Unoptimised images use more bandwith and slow the web site down. An image that uses 1 mb will take 20 times as long to download tham one that is only 50kb,

Some interesting statistics on download speeds of sites. If a site takes longer than 2 seconds to download you are losing readers. If a site takes 3 seconds to download the probability of the person leaving is 32% higher than at 2 seconds, at 10 seconds that probability is 123% higher. The slower your web site the higher the bounce rate. Bounce rate is defined by people hitting the back button to go back to their search.

Please use photos you found on the web

When I am investigating sites, one of the things that gives me joy is seeing photos with the words stock photo shining through. When I see this I know you were to cheap or too lazy to get up and go and take a photo of your own. I also know that your other efforts at optimising your web site are non existent and I am going to have to expend less effort on my clients web site to beat yours, I know that giving my all will mean you will never compete.

Seriously when I check your images on a reverse image search and find you have stolen others work proclaiming it as your own, I know that a world of trouble awaits you when the owners of the images are made aware.

Please open every new page in a new tab or just open a new page when I start closing the current tab

It's not as if pop ups and new windows are not fantastic. It's just that instead of having 122 tabs I'll now have 127 that I probably won't find time to read. Pop ups are no longer as popular as in days gone by, because everyone hates advertising and ignores anything that looks like an advert or spam.

Also if you are plagued by web sites using these tactics, stop surfing porn or sites that act like porn purveyors but if you must get Ad Block and never get bugged by the spammy businesses out there.

If you liked this please share it, it really makes my day and I really appreciate it.

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