Are you losing customers because of a poorly-designed site? A poorly-constructed web site could lose you potential buyers and cause more problems than you can handle.
In a world where visually attractive things matter, the look of your website can be very important to the success of your business. Your website is probably the first thing that a visitor sees and this could affect their decision to use your services.
People are now turning to the internet to find products and services. Even if it’s only preliminary research, we will probably turn to our smart device and go visit a web site first before purchasing something in-store or online.
Now, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How does your website appear to other people? Does it invite people to draw closer and explore things further, or does it make people confused and cautious about what to do next?
How your website looks is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more than can influence your visitors’ thoughts and their purchasing decisions.
Here are just some of the more important design issues that can affect your site:
Web Design Problems
Typical web design issues that can affect your prospect’s perception of your website include:
- Color – Poor color schemes can affect your results. This also applies to text and background color. There are ways to pick web colors correctly and even safe web color palettes you can use to ensure that the colors you want to use will display predictably across various mediums. If in doubt, consult a web design professional.
- Design Elements – Web pages that contain unpleasant, outdated or just plain hard to read typefaces can easily result in visitors quickly losing interest in off your site. Visitors can also be affected by design inconsistencies or excessive use of design elements.
- Layout – The way your pages are arranged can have a significant effect on how visitors navigate around your site. Layout considerations also include how your navigational menus, links and other guiding features like search boxes are used, where menus are positioned on your site, page columns, etc ….
- Responsiveness – As websites are now accessed through various devices with different-sized screens and browsers, it’s important that your web design be responsive. If your website does not resize automatically to work on all devices, browsers and platforms, you will lose valuable opportunities.
Site Functionality Issues
Some common website functionality issues include the following:
- Persistent website errors – A huge turn-off for users is arriving on a website where hyperlinks don’t work, videos don’t play and graphics are missing. Frequent site errors are not acceptable for any website, especially if your aim is to come across as a professional and dependable business. Your website is a reflection of your company. It’s important to make sure that all your hyperlinks, videos and graphics are working at all times. Sometimes, problems are related to things such as your hosting, or they may even be unbeknownst to you, but it’s important to make sure that you’re consistently proactive and that you attend to problems as soon as possible.
- Feature limitations – If your web site provides users certain functionalities, then make sure that these features are not limited. For example, if you intend to sell goods or services online, make sure that you provide users with full e-commerce features that allow them to select and add items to a cart, apply coupons, buy with credit card or PayPal, receive purchase notifications, receipts and confirmations, etc.
Poor Web User Experience
Typically, where customers suffer the most because of a poorly-designed website is the “user experience”.
An unsatisfactory user experience can leave a bad taste in users mouths and lead them to vent their disappointment in social networks, forums, review sites, commenting sections, etc., bringing you unwanted negative attention.
Here are some of the most common problems that can create a poor user experience:
- User Friendly – Your site must be easy to use and effortless to navigate around in. Your product information should be easy to find. Your customers want user-friendly features and they want to find things as quickly and as effortlessly as possible. Make your content searchable and if you plan to add downloadable content to your site (e.g. PDF price lists), make sure that visitors are given instructions on how to download and access your information.
- Organization – If your site content isn’t organized and user-friendly, you run the risk of losing not only prospective clients but also current clients. Features such as search engine-friendly links, product and service categories and clearly-defined areas where topic-related content is grouped or linked together can help provide visitors with an enjoyable experience.
- Stimulating Site – Visitors stay longer on websites that are user friendly, easy to navigate, and that are stimulating. This requires finding a balance between attractive, modern web design and compelling content that engages your website users. For example, highlight links that direct visitors to product pages with professionally-taken product pictures beside well-written product descriptions. This can be very effective and will help improve not only the user experience on your site, but can also help you get more sales and conversions.
- Interactive Features – Another aspect that helps customers want to stick around on your website is providing interactive features that engage your visitors, like features that let them\visitors comment on, share, like, download and recommend your content, interact with your staff via a responsive help desk, support forum, live chat, schedule appointments, make reservations, etc … You also want visitors to browse quickly within your site and access your data without waiting around for pages to load, so having your site optimized for faster loading pages is important.
As you can see, there are many areas that can contribute to a poor user experience and negatively impact your business success online. If your site is poorly designed, you run the serious risk of not only losing prospective clients, but also current customers as well.
Now … what if you have arrived here because you currently have an existing site with design problems that could be affecting your business?
First, understand that getting problems addressed on an existing website can take time and can also end up being fairly costly depending on the problem and what kind of site you currently operate, especially if the work requires rewriting code extensively.
If you are considering having a new website built or overhauling an existing web site, then we suggest that you seriously consider choosing the WordPress website management platform.
We plan to publish more posts about WordPress on this site, but here are just a few of the things to keep in mind about why you should seriously choose WordPress:
WP Themes – Flexible Website Design
WP themes are unique web site design templates that let you completely customize the look of your entire website without touching the site’s content and changing any of the underlying site functionality.
There are literally thousands of professional themes available that can be easily downloaded. Many of these are either freely available, or can be bought relatively inexpensively, saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars on the cost of web design.
Most WP themes nowadays are fully responsive and provide you with customizable features for changing design settings on your website like color, template elements like headers and footers, layouts and more. This is just part of what makes WordPress such a great tool for helping you achieve a design for your website that works for your business.
Learn about WordPress themes here: [LINK TO ARTICLE ON THEMES]
WordPress Plugins – Powerful Features
Another great reason to choose WordPress is that WordPress provides you with almost unlimited features through add-on applications called “plugins.”
WP plugins, like themes, integrate easily with your website to provide you with almost unlimited functionality.
Earlier in this post we looked at areas like subpar functionality and feature limitations as part of the reason why a poorly designed web site can lose you potential buyers.
Plugins can help you overcome these issues quite easily and inexpensively. If there is a functionality that needs to be your site, just install a WordPress plugin that will get what you need done.
Want a plugin that will let you know about any problems detected with your website such as links not working, audios not streaming, images that are missing or even tell you if your whole web site has gone down? No problems … there are plugins that can help you fix that, or notify you about issues so you can correct these immediately!
Need a plugin that will transform your website into an online store or provide you with a complete e-commerce business solution? Again, no problem! There are several WordPress plugins that will help you sell products on your site and provide your visitors with full e-commerce features that allow them to easily choose and add products to a cart, enter discounts, complete purchases using credit card or PayPal, receive purchase notifications, invoices and confirmations, etc.
And just like themes, there are tens of thousands of fantastic plugins for WordPress that you can install on your website and are freely available, or that are relatively cheap to purchase and will save you thousands of dollars on the cost of website development.