12 Things You Need To Address On Your Website

I used to create websites for people until more people started buying templates. Since I’m not really a designer and I don’t do fancy, I gave up that line of work some years ago. I still take care of my own sites though, and I wrote 3 articles about working through the problems of increasing my mobile speed.

blog and website maintenance

tiring but necessary

This time around I’m updating an article I wrote in 2015 talking about websites and what NOT to have on them. Because I still see a lot of websites that do things most of us would find irritating I thought it was time to revisit the topic of what website owners need to look at when it comes to the user experience.

If you have a website, you know that it represents your business. You want it to look clean, if not professional. There are some people who will tell you that your website needs to look like everyone else’s standards of what a professional website should look like. If you look at my business website, or even this blog, you’ll notice they have their own unique look. Yet they’re clean and professional because they do what I want them to do, and I feel they represent my business just fine, even if they’re not pretty and fancy.

In that vein I’m going to give you 12 things you should check on your website or blog that could be giving your visitors a bad impression:

1. Symmetry.

The first thing people see when they get to your site is whether or not it has a smooth look. Symmetry doesn’t mean that everything has to mirror itself; it means it has to be pleasant enough so that it doesn’t distract and confuse people so they want to immediately leave.

2. Standard fonts.

I’m not saying you have to use one of the standard fonts that everyone else says you should use. I mean that, other than your logo and maybe a few highlights here and there, you should use the same font on your entire page, and on all your pages. If you decide to have a second font, only have a second font; three or more fonts and your page looks like an amateur put it together.

3. Consistency.

Whatever your main page looks like, all your other pages should look the same. The only exception to this might be if you have a sales page for certain products that you want to be able to market independently from your main site, yet still link back to your site. That can be dicey, but I’ve done it when I was marketing a lot of affiliate products.

4. Selecting fonts that are readable.

I used to love wacky fonts, and I might be the last person on Earth who still loves comic sans. These days it’s rare that I’ll use something like that unless I’m creating advertising flyers.

On the web, other than for a logo, you want to make it easy for people to read your content. Lucida calligraphy might look great if you’re writing a letter to someone, but reading page after page with that as your main font will get on people’s nerves.

5. Have some rhyme and reason for where you place your images.

using images on websites

This is called a Humunculus

Not all images end up being the same size, but having multiple images on a site of different sizes that are all over the place won’t get it done. For instance, on this blog I have my code set so that the width is always the same, even if the height changes from time to time.

I’ve stated in other articles that some kind of image helps keep people’s attention, even if it’s just the logo at the top. If your website is more like a blog, it helps to have multiple images every 500 words or so. If you notice my articles, when I have long content I alternate sides. I don’t have a lot of images on my main business site, but it’s something I’ve considered over the years.

6. Don’t overdo highlights and bolding.

We get it; you make pizza for a living. You don’t need to highlight that word over and over on any of your pages. Your visitors will get the idea early on and you won’t look like you’re trying to beat people over the head with what you do.

Instead, if you create products like pizza, showing what different types of pizza might help sales, especially if your images look great. If you’re a consultant like I am, interlinking automatically makes words bold and you’re probably have that link people are used to looking for (which I don’t have because I’m a rebel lol). Otherwise, the occasional bold word isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s relevant to what you’re talking about.

7. Too many colors.

If you’re trying to make a point and it takes a lot of colors, like if you’re a graphic artist, that’s okay. Otherwise, having more than 3 colors on a page is very distracting. If you do it on other pages consistently, it looks like your kid has been picking your colors and you won’t look all that professional.

8. What do you do?

Believe it or not, I visit multiple pages and have to sometimes look around to figure out what businesses do. Don’t talk in platitudes or in industry-speak; you might think everyone knows what you’re saying but trust me, it’s not close to being true.

No one wants to read that your company specialized in changing paradigms and process management to help companies achieve better financial success. What the heck is that anyway? People want to know what you do, what your business is about. If you can’t tell them that in 25 words or less, you need to work on your message.

9. How can people contact you?

I know, you have a contact page with a script that people can put all their information in to reach you, but you don’t give anything away. I don’t even talk to any of these people, and I know I’m not alone.

If you look at my business website you see my phone number on every page, along with my PO Box, city where my business is located, my business phone and my business email, which opens up your email client and allows you to send me an email fairly easily. Stop making it hard for potential clients to reach you.

10. Did a song just start playing?

Every time you startle someone because you or someone else decided to have music, sounds, moving gifs or video welcome your guest you put off more than 50% of your market. I like music, but I don’t want music starting when I go to a website. I get really irked if there’s no way for me to turn it off. Don’t put that kind of thing on your main page unless it has a lot of content. Put it on an About, Services or Bio page instead.

11. Colors in general.

Are your colors overpowering? Does your background color clash with your font color? Is that computer generated snow I see suddenly falling on my screen? You think it’s cute but if it distracts your potential customers, which it will, people will quickly leave your site.

12. Does your content represent you and your business properly?

I used to have to write a lot of the content that ended up on a page I’d created for clients. That’s fine and dandy if you understand what your client does, but if you don’t you need them to step up and tell you what they do with specifics and ask if they’re being represented properly. If it’s your site, this is critical for your business success.

For instance, if you’re only looking to coach new women entrepreneurs in health care and the person who wrote your content has set you up as a mentor and coach for every man and woman on the planet, you’re not being represented well. You have one chance to make a first impression, and you want to get what you do in front of potential customers eyes as soon as possible. It’s your business; make sure it represents who you are.

That’s all I’ve got for now; I hope it’s been helpful.
 

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29 thoughts on “12 Things You Need To Address On Your Website”

  1. Hi Mitch,

    Here I am again :D, I am really reading every blog of you hehehe. Neways, I am planning to make a blogsite using WP, is it okay if I add music on it? The blogsite that I will be making soon will be all about love.

    Hope to have some good advice from a pro 🙂

    Edward
    edward gate recently posted..Swiss citizens come clean on tax cheatsMy Profile

  2. Hello Mitch! I love this post so much very informative. I just started to create my website and your input is very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hey Mitch, I know that there are some folks out there who say that I put way too many adds on my site and that it makes it unprofessional. Heck one problogger even likened Wassup to a Christmas tree. I don’t care though. The ads are either paid for or promote my affiliates.

    Personally I don’t think it detracts from the look and feel of the blogs.

    As to colours I like having a different colour for every post. I always make sure though that whatever colour I choose the font colour has enough of a contrast so it’s easily read.
    Peter recently posted..Hot Sport WAGs Are Hot Sports BabesMy Profile

    1. Hey Pete, this one’s talking about traditional websites as opposed to blogs. Whereas jazz in up a blog is a personal choice, one probably doesn’t want to do the same with a website. By the way, did you ever have one?

  4. Hey Mitch,

    I haven’t visited any blog lately that really just made me want to run. I know that everyone’s site is their own personal choice of course but I think if they want to keep visitors coming back time and time again than they’ll have to make it more pleasing to the eyes.

    I remember when people use to have more videos on their sites that would instantly start playing once you arrived. Thank goodness they moved away from that.

    I agree with everything you shared really. I did visit a popular blog the other day and they didn’t have a contact page. I was kind of upset by that because I wanted to get in touch with them and they were leaving me no possible way. How ridiculous right!

    Great share and hope your week is going well.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..2015 Is Officially Here; Are You Ready To BlogMy Profile

    1. Thanks Adrienne. The one is really more for folks who aren’t as savvy but we both know other folks who have websites doing these things. We assume they’d learn but life doesn’t always work like that. 🙂

  5. Hi Mitch!

    Once again, great post.

    I think I need to go over my website again to make sure that it is giving the right impressions to the readers.

    I also like your point about the music, sometimes when I navigate to a page and music starts playing, I think to myself ‘Oh my, where is that coming from’ then close the window immediately.
    Peter recently posted..What to do in Port StephensMy Profile

    1. Exactly Peter, and when you can’t find it to shut it off it’ll drive you crazy! Luckily, these days fewer people are doing that but it was maddening when it was the newest thing.

  6. Thanks for the tips. I use wordpress on most of my sites and sure would love a method to add a bunch of posts but have them delayed so they are not all posted at once. I don’t know if you know of an app that can do that.
    Jerry A. recently posted..What is comprehensive insurance ?My Profile

    1. Well… this post was about websites, but if you have a blog and you have WordPress you don’t need an app for that. Just select the thing on the right that says “schedule” and put whatever dates you want those posts to go live.

  7. Hey Mitch,

    Would you still consider creating a website for someone who finds himself technically challenged after not keeping up with all the advances in technology?

  8. Mitch, i love what you’ve said about consistency! I couldn’t agree more. You cannot possible build a brand worthy of trust with inconsistent actions!

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great list, thanks for putting this together.
    I try to keep all the fonts and colors simple and easy to read/see. I pretty much choose a clean theme and don’t tinker with it from there.
    I got some work to do on my speed though, that#s something I’m finding hard to improve on. Any more tips on this would be appreciated.

    1. You’re doing it the correct way; good for you! I didn’t use a theme because they didn’t exist when I had a friend initially create my site in 2002. I’m not sure I’d go with a theme if I were to create a new website now, although exploring WordPress software to create one was a killer when I did it some years ago for a friend of mine.

      As for mobile speed, I’ve actually written about it 3 specific times when I was on my quest to get things up to snuff. This is a link to the last in the series, and in that article is a link to the one before it, and the second has a link to the original one: http://www.imjustsharing.com/the-quest-for-mobile-speed-part-three/

  10. I’m in the process of creating my own personal blog. It is complete but I feel that it is too bland in appearance being that it is mostly black and white. Reading this article gave me confidence being that you do not get to fancy with the websites. If they preform they will be preform. This will be my motto. I also will add more images and spacing for the posts so that they appear more reader friendly. Thanks for the post.

    1. Glad to help. Adding a third color wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I’m sure your images will cover the color and, if you decide to post products or advertisements those will add color as well. I wish you good luck with your site; I assume it’s the one you’ve shared here, which I’m about to go check out. 🙂

  11. Hey Mitch,

    I have read so many articles on many websites but I have never convinced with their content… Hope I am really convinced with your great piece of content right away I am going to implement these tips on my personal website.

    And I have read one more article of yours “Results Of My Mobile Speed” working on it to my site based on your tips and it’s working like a charm.

    Thanks, keep up the good work

    Cheers!

  12. Till now I kept thinking why people weren’t engaging with my post , so the images were reasons, those were wrongly placed. Thanks for sharing helped me a lot.

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