10 Common Website Design & Development Mistakes Small Businesses Make (With Solutions)

March 29, 2022
Website Design & Development Mistakes

Did you know that 62% of consumers will disregard a business if it is not found online?

Not having a website in 2022 is the first big mistake that small business entrepreneurs can make these days. It’s equivalent to starting a business and not telling anyone about it.

Today, a website is not just something that is ideal to have, but a crucial necessity to survive and stay ahead of the competition. A compelling website design can instantly grab users’ attention and impact greatly how users perceive your brand.

A report found that 75 to 94% of people form their opinion about a website based on its aesthetics and first impressions. However, small businesses tend to overlook these statistics and make the mistake of using outdated and unappealing design tactics that drive users away.

If something similar is happening with your website, then it has some potential blockades which need to be dealt with appropriately. Let’s explore some common mistakes (with their possible solutions) small businesses make while designing their website.

10 Common Website Design Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Poor Graphics, Fonts & Color Pallets Choices

Choosing the outdated graphic design, terrible fonts, and unconventional color pallets in today’s age and day hinders your website’s growth. It simply repels users away from your website. Let’s an example of a poorly designed website:

(Image Source)

A visually stunning design helps establish a good impression of your website and is generally associated with a reputed brand. Users feel a sense of trust in websites with aesthetic designs and are taken as the leader in the industry.

Tips  to Avoid Making Poor Design Choices

Here’s how you can avoid making this mistake:

  • Execute a minimalistic design but don’t go too far with it. Balance the context with the right amount of visuals and content to make it easy to understand.
  • Limit usage of different colors to a maximum of 4 or 5. Use the most trendy colors your customer would most likely associate with.
  • Use fonts that are easily readable and large enough for readers to not zoom too much when reading.
  • Use graphic images that reflect your business’s tone and overall sentiment.

Mistake #2: Not Making It Responsive for All Device Users

Most web designers and developers prioritize the desktop version of the website when they commence designing. However, as per a perficient report, smart devices like mobile phones and tablets have taken over the desktop with 71% of global visits coming from them.

Thus, not making your website responsive for these devices is a big mistake that not only affects your traffic volume but also the conversion rate. Responsive web design is the practice to make your website work, look, and feel good when accessed through any device.

Irrespective of device or screen size, your website should automatically adapt to the visitor’s browsing space to offer them a rich experience. 

Tips on How To Improve Responsiveness of Your Website

Let’s see some tips on you can achieve it:

  • Use mobile-friendly templates when creating a new website.
  • Use responsive or CSS/media query breakpoints, which helps website content to respond and adjust to the screen size and layout accurately.
  • Make your images responsive through the CSS width property and max-width property.
  • Also, use the fluid grid to position web elements on a website that is in proportion to the screen size displayed.

Mistake #3: Offering Subpar or Low Page Experience

Google had been working on the Page Experience Update for many years and released it just last year for the whole web. It provided enough time for websites to prepare for this update. Page experience is an important measure of how users see & perceive your website.

Thus, offering subpar or low page experience amounts to an increase in bounce rate, abandoned carts, and lost sales.

Tips on Offering the Best Page Experience

Here’s how you can improve the page experience of your website:

  • Optimize your website for Core Web Vitals to make it load and interact faster with minimized layout shift.
  • Improve the mobile-friendliness of your website by using mobile-responsive templates and platforms.
  • Enhance the page security signals with HTTPS implementation.
  • Also, minimize the usage of intrusive interstitials such as pop-ups that take up whole screen space.

Mistake #4: Poorly Written Content & Improper Use of Whitespace

A poorly written content is one that’s not skimmable. People tend to skim through the content to find only the relevant information. And if your web pages improperly utilize the content or whitespace around it, it’d become hard for users to read through your content.

Here’s an example of improper use of whitespace:

(Image Source)

This could result in the abandonment of your website as visitors don’t have the patience to go through a hard-to-read website. But worry not, as there are ways to make your website scannable & skimmable. Let’s see how:

Tips to Improve Written Content & Utilization of Whitespace

Here are some tips to resolve this mistake:

  • Use proper heading tags, bulleted points, and paragraphs to separate the large chunks of text.
  • Follow an easy-to-read style guide for higher page sessions.
  • Keep your content short and to the point.
  • Optimize whitespace on your website to not make it look messy & crowded.

Mistake #5: Not Keeping It Fresh & Up-to-Date

Another mistake that small business owners make is barring the web development team to update the design of their website. We see new design trends every year, leveraging which can help you keep your website look fresh and updated whenever customers visit.

Understand that your website is often the first interaction of users with your brand. And the first impression you create may stay longer in the mind of those visitors. Thus, it’s important to keep your website fresh & updated.

Tips to Keep Your Website Fresh & Up-to-Date

Let’s see how you can do so:

  • Keep all the content, images, and videos updated as per the market trends.
  • Form a content marketing strategy to share new information through the blog page to attract new visitors.
  • Hire a professional web design team to elevate the designs & give your website a fresh look.

Mistake #6: Designing Website with Free Resources

Since we are talking about website design, another mistake that small business owners make is using free resources for website designing. There’s a reason why these resources are free as they come with customization limitations and poor & unattractive graphics

Due to these limitations, you can’t scale your website when the push comes to shove. Here’s how you can avoid this mistake.

Tips to Avoid Free Resources for Website Design
  • Use only necessary free resources if the paid version has no relevant or useful features.
  • Make a list of all the features and functions required where paid resources are absolutely necessary.
  • Choose a quality website design & development company that helps in selecting the best resources that suit your feature requirements.

Mistake #7: Developing Features & Functions You Don’t Need

While we are talking about the necessary feature development, developing unnecessary features and functions will add a burden to your budget. A perfect and winning website is credited to various elements and features, however, you don’t really need all of them.

As small businesses are tight on budget and don’t have money to burn, it’d be wise if only necessary features and functions are included in the website.

Tips on Avoiding Developing Unnecessary Features and Functions

Let’s see how you can avoid this mistake:

  • Understand all the features and their benefits to prepare a list of absolutely necessary features.
  • Scrape the ones that aren’t really necessary at the initial/intermediate stage.
  • Select only those with the potential to increase user engagement, sales, and conversion rate.

Mistake #8: Optimizing for Traffic and Not for Conversion

Through strategic SEO, PPC, or any other means, you can increase the traffic to your website. However, increasing the conversion rate is something that’s overlooked by most website owners when optimizing the website.

Conversion rate optimization helps increase sales and boost revenue for your website. Thus, not optimizing for it will seriously hit your digital business.

Tips to Optimize Conversion Rate

Let’s see few tips on how you can optimize your website for conversions:

  • Improve your website’s page load speed.
  • Personalize the content and CTAs.
  • Add social proof such as reviews, testimonials, trust scores, etc.
  • Include visual elements that trigger users to take the next step.

Mistake #9: Non-Personalization of CTAs

A personalized call-to-action encourages users to take the next step in the funnel to convert. As per a report, 90% of consumers find personalization appealing while 66% expect brands to personalize their experience.

Personalization helps make CTAs stand out and get easily noticeable by customers which further aids in boosting the conversion rate. Here’s one of the best examples from Mailchimp:

(Image Source)

Tips To Personalize Your CTAs

Let’s see how you can personalize your CTAs:

  • Keep away from using simple CTAs like “Submit Now”, “Contact Us”, etc.
  • Use words that bring a personalization effect into CTAs such as “My”, “You”, “Your”, etc.
  • Be unique and creative while writing CTAs for your website.

Mistake #10: Hidden Navigation & Contact Info

Hidden navigation and contact details can hurt your conversion rate. Effective navigation enables users to move from one page to another in a seamless manner. If users can’t find the navigation to go back and forth on your website pages, it affects the content discovery and ultimately impacts conversion.

Tips to Avoid Making Navigation & Contact Info Mistake

Let’s see how you can avoid making this mistake:

  • Streamline the header and footer navigation for easy access to important pages on your website.
  • Ensure the CTA/contact info, or cart details are shown at the top navigation bar.
  • Make sidebar navigation stand out from the rest of the page content.
  • Use buttons with appealing colors for CTAs.

Wrapping Up – Expert Web Design & Development Services

In a nutshell, these common mistakes are easily avoidable if you know the right steps to take and resolve them. Scour your website to see if you have already made this mistake during the web design and development process. If you find any, pay immediate attention to resolve them ASAP.

You can also take help from expert web design and development services providers like Ronkot. We are a Dallas-based web design company offering pixel-perfect and high-performant website design and development services.

Get in touch with us now to discuss your web design and development needs with more project specifics.

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Ronak Kothari

Founder & CEO