5 Major Website Problems with Quick Fixes
Most businesses recognize the importance of a website to promote their business online. What many site owners forget about is ongoing site maintenance.
With ongoing changes in technology, design and search engine best practices, even the best website becomes outdated quickly. Some ongoing updates are important to make sure you’re always providing a professional image online. Here are five common problems that older websites may face that can be fixed quickly:
As browsers change and websites get more complex, clean code and web best practices become more and more critical.
Smartfurniture.com recently invested in speeding up their website, with a big payoff. Faster load times meant better search engine rankings and more sales.
Fixing a slow website may not require a full redesign. To start with, you can run a test to see how fast your page is loading (Google Webmaster Tools’ Page Speed is a free way to run this test.)
If the test shows there’s a problem (it takes more than 1 or 2 seconds for a page to load), it may be time to look at improvements to your site.
Web users spend only seconds evaluating your website and deciding if they should stick around. The harder it is for them to find what they want, the less likely they are to make a purchase.
This is why consistency is critical on a website. You need the same layout, colors and fonts throughout so that users can quickly and easily navigate your information. Plus, a consistent website looks much more professional, which means they’re more likely to trust you and your business. Sometimes, simple changes to images, layout and fonts can make a big difference in your web results.
If your site has more than four or five pages, especially if it has a large database of information or products, a built in search is vital. This simple add-on helps users find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and easily, and can increase the time people spend on your site and the likelihood that they’ll buy from you.
Does your website look cluttered? Are there more graphics than text?
The more clutter there is on a page, the harder it is for visitors to understand the purpose of the site or find the information they need. Stick to the purpose of the site and keep it simple. Less can be more.
Nothing pushes visitors away faster than finding broken links.
Broken links say, “We haven’t looked at this page in a while.” Or, “We’re not focused on making our site easy for you to use.”
It’s important to regularly check your website to make sure all links are working. One free tool for this is W3.org’s Checklink, which will check all links one page at a time. If you prefer a set-it-and-forget-it approach, try a service link LinkTiger which will crawl your site and send automatic reports if it finds a problem.
How do I get things fixed?
Some of these, like broken links, you may be able to fix yourself if you’re comfortable editing content on your site. Otherwise, a good web designer or developer may be required. Still, in most cases, a fix will be cheaper than a full redesign, and will pay off in a stronger brand and more customers in the long run.