There are too many awful websites on the web these days. Too many web developers launch websites without considering design conventions (needed guidelines on how to improve a specific design) or even marketing strategies. They all just jump into design tactics ignoring the fact that designing, developing and launching a meaningful site takes time, knowledge, understanding, constant practice, money and patience to get it done the right way.
What’s to blame for this?
The fact is, we find ourselves in a world where technology tries to make things easier by simplifying the task. Less than two decades ago (20 years), the web was a new development. Web developers had to cram in tons of HTML code just to make a page which could not stand amongst the poorest of websites today. But these days, there are tools made to simplify the task of developing websites without knowing a single line of code. It still beats me how there are still a lot of terrible websites today.
As a developer, maybe you developed a site for your friend and he/she liked it and you thought “Yeah, I’m pretty good at this.” Then you get paid to build a corporate website. Acting like the guru you thought you were, you promised your client a fast delivery and after two weeks, you realize your website is still behind but you launch it anyway and to your client’s dismay, your site is one hell of a mess.
As a client, you had a thought about a website and putting nothing into paper, you looked about for a developer, “Oh, he charges $10 and his samples are very nice.” You then go ahead to hire the “cheap” web developer and realize your site is an abomination to the web.
Building a website is not all about tactics but it also involves having a strategic vision.
Yes, you know by now – your website sucks! And I’ll tell you why. There are a lot of key indicators of poor website strategy. Listed below in no particular order are the reasons why your website sucks. Make sure you keep these in mind when you plan to work on your next launch. Some of the reasons why your website sucks are:
Ugly Logo and Graphics
You’re supposed to be professional but why does your logo look like it was made by an eight year old? If you must have a really cool website, the logo and graphics of your site must catch the eye. It’s your first impression. It’s what the visitors notice but you chased them all out because it’s so terrible.
Distracting Backgrounds and Poor Contrast
Your text should never go to war with your background. It’s the princess of your site; it’s what the people want to see. If you’re using a dark background, then use a lighter text. If it’s a lighter background, then use a brighter text. If the contrast is terrible (“white background, yellow text anyone?”) it doesn’t look pleasing to the eye. I mean, we would have to wear shades or something. Also your background matters a lot. Consider it first. Make it simple and not exaggerated. Do not have a background that shows multiple stars or some other stuff, it distracts the attention of the audience. It just doesn’t fit.
This could make or mar your website. Different sections of your site are bound to come in different colors, but do they combine well? First of all, think about your business; a pink layout may go with a make-up shop but does it fit the concept of banking institution. You need to find the right combination of colors that fit interlocked. I advise you make use of the color wheel to find matching colors. If not, reduce the colors you apply to your website to at least three colors. It’ll look nice and neat when combined with white space. Yes, white space is not such a bad thing, it makes website look neat and simple.
Is there too much content on one side of the page? Do all the videos line up on one side while the text on the other? If yes to both, your website truly sucks. You need to weigh things out in your mind. Equally distribute the content on the page so that it does not look skewed on one side and empty on the other.
Too much information but Lack of Detail
Is your homepage stockpiled with all the services you offer? Your website sucks because of this. You don’t have to bombard your visitors with too much information on the first visit; it could appear too much and confuse them. You need to make your services a need-to-know-more thing. Let your visitors discover this information as they browse further into your site.
Your website sucks because you paid no attention to detail. After designing your website, you need to go over it and check for little things you could alter and add. A little stroke, or light/shadow effect here and there could male all the difference on your website.
Poor Site Navigation
Your website must suck if your site navigation confuses your visitors. If your visitors get lost when surfing your website, you’ve done a really bad job. Navigational links should lead to the actual destinations they show. No one clicks on these links for fun; they want to arrive on the pages where the navigational links outline to them.
No clear call to action
Your call to action has to be clear. As a web developer, you have to be straightforward in what you want your visitors to do. Want them to submit their emails, say so. You want them to read more, state it simply. If your call to action is unclear, your website sucks.
Excessive Use of Flash
Nobody wants to get onto your site and have to update their flash player every now and then. If you can utilize flash very well, then use it sparingly. Too much of it could turn your website into a junkyard.
Horizontal Scroll Bar
Avoid this. The appearance of horizontal scroll bar looks unappealing and bad. Try your best to hide this. Standard browsers should not have a scroll bar at all. Consider having a mobile responsive theme (advisable) or have a different mobile site. Responsive website tends to be less suck-ish.
Outdated blogs and Bad user experience.
Your website sucks if you do not update your blogs. Once in a while, you have to make use of your blogs and social media. Also, bad user experience spells out “sucks.” You have to run surveys and optimize the process of letting users have access to the information they want to see.
Too much sauce
Keep your website clean and simple. Cut off needless components and other plug-ins that adds no value to your site.
Inconsistent link colors
Stick to one type of color for your links and make it obvious that it’s a link.
No Contact Information
Well, how do your customers reach you to inquire about a product or service? Include your email, phone number and address on every page on your website.
Your website is Boring
Your website has to feel alive. Your visitors need to see personalities on your blogposts and other content. Make it interesting!
Trust me, there are a thousand things that make your website suck. So, look through your website and see what makes it suck and change what you can.