A company website is a storefront, calling card and catalogue rolled into a single platform. Something this important, unfortunately, requires a great deal of care and delicacy to produce and maintain properly. There are plenty of guides on what you should do to keep your site modern, clean and effective—check out this handful of things to avoid at all costs.
- Don’t use Flash. While a great deal of websites still utilize Flash to make highly interactive websites with all the bells and whistles of a clean CSS page, Inc. reports that Adobe’s decision to deprecate support of Flash on mobile devices could deal a major blow to these brands. Since as much as 25 percent of all web traffic is mobile as of 2014, cutting off mobile access could lose your company one out of every four prospective customers.
- Don’t go crazy with your color palette. It’s easy to fall into this particular trap, incorporating for enough color to scintillate your visitors’ visuals, but this can actually work directly against your intent. Too many colors looks busy, unprofessional and even unfinished, so it’s best to stay within the range of your corporate palette—which should be dictated primarily by your logo—and maybe an extra neutral or two. Use more color where it really counts.
- Don’t “pad out” your content. According to Web Design Ledger, rambling too much or using paragraphs that are too long can and will drive visitors away. Always follow the three second rule when it comes to drafting and positioning your content: if you can’t figure out the point of a page in three seconds or less, do it over! This counts for headlines, calls to action, and every other design element you want your visitors to see.
- Don’t opt against image optimization. Your website needs to load in under three seconds, and that means you need everything optimized for speed. Don’t use full-size HD images scaled down with HTML, keep your CSS files compressed and free of clutter, and keep the size down on your larger images. Compress your JPEGs (within reason) and limit the color palettes on your PNGs and GIFs.
- Don’t go font crazy. Your site needs to be visually engaging, but this should never come at the expense of readability and class. Limit your font usage to a maximum of three sitewide: one for headlines, one for content and one, if applicable, for calls to action. Fonts should work together, accenting each other’s differences and enhancing each other’s strengths. Too many fonts completely ruins this presentation.
Does your website fall into any of these design pitfalls? It’s never too late to make things right; whether you’re doing it yourself, hiring a freelancer or contracting with a professional agency, now is the time to reject the bad and release all the good that your website design can offer. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but you should never assume that exception applies to you. Go over your website for these common problems today, and save your company from losing visitors tomorrow.