If building a website is like building a house then this is certain: when built properly, they both require interdependent components combined into a functional and aesthetics whole.
In a house, the components are things like carpentry and plumbing; in a website, there are things like search engine optimization (SEO), conversion optimization and responsive web design.
Both can be enormous projects with tons of variables and outcomes, which explain why so many houses and websites turn into money pits. To keep this from happening to your site, avoid these top 10 traps commonly misdone.
1. Not Knowing It's Purpose
Why do your company want to build this website? Until you and/or your stakeholders can answer that question, do not start. Many companies have only a vague idea of what they want their site to do or they saw that their competitors have websites nicer than theirs.. Others ask their site to do too much, not enough, or the wrong thing altogether. There must be some objectives your company wants to achieve with the website be it to generate leads, sales or improve an existing workflow.
2. Inadequate Budget
Having a purpose is a must, but without the proper budget, your project will be a bust. Companies tend to grossly underestimate the time and expense of building or upgrading a site, which forces them to make compromises down the line. Check out our web design price guide for reference.
3. Incomplete Team
Without a plumber, your house will leak water. Without SEO and conversion optimization specialists, your site will leak precious online leads. Very often, companies focus too much on finding a cool designer and forget about the many other disciplines involved in building a fully competent website.
4. Lack Of Project Management
Building a site has many components - site mapping, wireframing, copywriting, design, programming, etc. - a detailed schedule is essential so everyone on the team knows who’s responsible for doing what and when. Even for smaller projects, chaos reigns when planning is lacking.
5. Political Infighting
As the project proceeds, every vested interest in the company wants a mention. Every manager has a strong opinion about how to phrase every idea. This is how a 20-page site balloons into an encyclopedia, and how crisp sales copy turns into verbal sludge.
6. No Wireframe
A wireframe is comparable to a house blueprint, laying out the basic navigational structure and functionality of a site. Fixing issues in a wireframe is a fraction of the cost to fix them after a site has been designed. A wireframe is the best website project tool companies don’t use.
7. No Content Writers
Lack of content is the biggest bottleneck in 99 out of 100 website projects. It’s easy to say, “We want a 50-page site,” but it’s another thing altogether to actually write content for those 50 pages, especially when your options are an in-house expert with no writing skills or an agency copywriter with no industry experience. To fix this problem, see #3.
8. No Calls to Action
A great website tells a story and allows users to interact with your company. When a site simply just talks at users, telling them in excruciating detail how great you are, they leave unimpressed and unengaged. Although it’s obvious that a site should persuade users into subscribing to a newsletter, asking for a quote, placing an order – for the most part, these calls to action are absent or placed wrongly.
“Ready, fire, aim” is a bad way to launch a site. Perhaps worse is “Ready, aim, aim, aim, aim.....” If you don’t want the project blowing up in your face, accept the fact that your company's website will never be perfect. So don't kill your budget (and team morale) with expensive delays over minor revisions, launch the site, start collecting leads and orders, and gradually improve it over time. Most users don’t even notice the imperfections that keep you tossing and turning all night!
10. Horrific Web Hosting
It’s almost funny that after spending tens of thousands on a website and brilliantly avoiding traps #1-#9, a company chooses the wrong web hosting option to save a few dollars and sees all its work go down the drain by terribly slow loading pages, excessive downtime, and inability to make updates efficiently. It’s like building the house of your dreams on quicksand.
To know how to build a strong sturdy web design strategy with all the latest, most professional digital marketing techniques, download the eBook below for free, and be on your way to firestart a revenue-generating one soon!