Are you losing business because of a poorly-built site? Regardless of how strong your services are, a poorly-designed website can lose you many new customers.
In a world where appearances matter, your website’s design can affect the success of your business. Your website is probably the first thing that a potential client sees and this could affect their decision to purchase.
People are turning to the internet to find products and services. Even if it’s only for preliminary research, we may jump online and go browse a website first before buying goods in-store or online.
Now, try to see things from your customer’s perspective. How does your web site appear to them? Does your site invite them to draw closer and explore things further, or does it make people confused and unsure about where to go next?
How your site looks is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things than can affect your visitors’ experience and their purchasing decisions.
Let’s take a look at some key design issues that can affect your web site’s results and performance:
Web Design Issues
Common web design problems that can affect your visitor’s perception about your site include some or all of the following:
- Color – Poor color combinations can affect your results. This also applies to text and background color. There are tools that can help you choose web colors correctly and even safe web color palettes you can use to ensure that the color combinations you choose will display correctly across various web formats. If in doubt, consult a professional web designer.
- Design Elements – Pages that contain aesthetically unappealing, outdated and just plain old hard to read typefaces can result in users quickly losing interest in away from your website. Visitors can also be affected by inconsistent graphic element choices or overpowering use of design elements.
- Layout – How you lay out your pages can have a significant effect on how visitors interact with your site. Layout considerations also include where your navigational items, links and other elements are used, where menus are positioned on your site, content columns, etc ….
- Responsiveness – Since websites are now accessed using a range of devices with different-sized browsers, it’s important that your web design be responsive. If your web pages do not display well across all devices, browsers and platforms, you may experience significant business opportunity losses.
Website Functionality Problems
Typical website functionality issues include:
- Subpar functionality – A huge turn-off for users is arriving on a site where some links don’t work, videos don’t play and images are missing. Persistent errors are no longer acceptable, especially if your aim is to come across as a professional and dependable company. Your website reflects your business. It’s important therefore, to ensure that all your hyperlinks, videos and images are working all the time. In some cases, these problems are caused by factors like your hosting, or you may not even be aware of it, but it’s important to make sure that you’re always proactive and that you attend to all problems immediately.
- Feature limitations – If your site offers users specific functionalities, then make sure that these are not limited. For example, if you intend to sell products online, make sure that you provide customers with full e-commerce functionality that allow them to select and add items to a shopping cart, enter discount coupons, buy with credit card or PayPal, receive purchase notifications, receipts and confirmations, etc.
Poor User Experience
Invariably, the area that most suffers due to a poorly-built site is in the realm of the “user experience”.
An unpleasant user experience can leave a bad taste in users mouths and lead them to share their disappointment across social media, forums, review sites, commenting sections, etc., bringing you negative attention.
Here are just some of the more common problems that can lead to a poor user experience:
- Ease Of Use – Your site must be easy to use and intuitive to navigate around in. Your product information should not be hard to find. Your customers want user-friendly features and they want to find what they are looking for quickly and without disappointment. Make your content searchable and if you plan to add downloadable information to your site (e.g. videos), make sure that users are given instructions on how to download and access your information.
- Organization – If your web site isn’t well organized and user-friendly, you run the risk of losing not only potential buyers but also current clients. Features such as search engine-friendly URLs, product and service categories and clean areas where topic-related content is grouped or linked together can provide visitors with an enjoyable experience.
- Stimulating Website – Visitors stick around on websites that are user friendly, easy to navigate, and that provide them with eye-catching options. To accomplish this you need a balance between attractive, modern web design and compelling website copy that engages your users. For example, highlight hyperlinks that direct users to your product pages with great graphics beside well-written descriptions. This is very effective and can help you improve not just the user experience on your site, but can also lead to more sales and conversions.
- User Engagement Features – Another thing that helps to improve user experience on your site is to provide interactive features that engage your visitors, such as allowing them to comment on, share, like, download and recommend your content, interact with your staff via a responsive help desk, support forum, live chat, schedule appointments, make reservations, etc … Additionally, you want visitors to move quickly within your site and access your data without waiting around for content to load, so site loading optimization is important.
- Compliance – One of the most important and often neglected aspects of creating a great user experience is to ensure that users feel confident doing business with you online. To reassure your potential clients that your business is credible, trustworthy, secure and professional to deal with, make sure that your website includes legal pages such as a business contact page, privacy statement, terms and conditions of usage, security information, FTC disclaimers, etc.
As the above shows, there are many areas that can contribute to a poor user experience and impact your business results online. If your website isn’t designed in a user-friendly way, you run the risk of not only losing potential customers, but also your current customers too.
Now … what if you have arrived here because you currently have an existing website with design issues that you feel may be affecting your business?
First, be aware that getting a website overhaul can take time and can end up being fairly costly depending on the problem and what kind of site you currently have, especially if it requires extensive code editing.
If you are currently considering having a new website developed or redeveloping an existing website, then we highly recommend that you consider choosing the WordPress website publishing platform.
We plan to share more posts about WordPress on this site, but here are just a few key points to keep in mind about why you should seriously consider using WordPress:
Themes – Inexpensive Web Design
WP themes are unique web site design template systems that let you instantly customize the look of your entire site in minutes.
There are thousands of professional themes available that can be easily downloaded. Many themes are either free of charge, or are extremely affordable, saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars on the cost of website design.
Most themes created for WordPress are responsive and provide you with flexible and customizable features for changing design settings on your site such as color, elements like headers, footers, menus and styles, layouts and more. Themes are just part of what makes WordPress an ideal tool for helping you create a design for your website that helps your business.
WordPress – Modular Scalability
Another great reason to build your site using WordPress is that WordPress provides website owners with almost unlimited features through add-on applications called “plugins.”
Plugins, like themes, integrate easily with your site to provide you with almost unlimited new features or new functionality.
Earlier we talked about issues like subpar functionality and feature limitations as part of the reason why a poorly constructed web site could cost you customers.
Plugins can help you overcome these problems quite easily and inexpensively. If there is a feature that needs to be added to your site, just install a WordPress plugin that gets the job done.
Want a plugin that will let you know about any issues detected on your website like links not working, videos not playing, pictures that aren’t showing or even tell you if your entire site has gone down? No problems … there are plugins that can help you fix that, or let you know about issues so you can correct these immediately!
Want a plugin that will turn your website into an online store or provide you with a complete e-commerce solution? Again, no problem! There are several plugins that will help you sell products online and provide your users with full e-commerce features that allow them to select and add items to a cart, use discount codes, pay using credit card or PayPal, receive notifications, invoices and confirmations, etc.
And just like WP themes, there are tens of thousands of useful plugins that can be downloaded at $0 cost, or that can be bought for a relatively small price, once again, saving you thousands of dollars on the cost of web development.
Learn more about WP plugins here: A Newbie’s Guide To WordPress Plugins.
WordPress – An Engaging User Experience
In addition to being able to address issues caused by a poorly-constructed web site, WordPress can also help you create a great user experience for your customers.
WordPress provides beautiful and exciting themes that cover all types of uses and applications and feature-rich plugins that allow visitors to contact, engage and interact online with you. With the right combination of a WordPress-driven site, WP themes, plugins and great content, you can create a a highly interactive and engaging user experience that will keep visitors coming back for more.
As we’ve previously stated, consumers nowadays will do extensive research online before they make a purchasing decision. If your website isn’t designed with a focus on the customer, consumers will simply move on to another business that does provide them with a better website and user experience.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of issues that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better online. To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.
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Disclaimer: We are not associated with WordPress or any of the WP-related products reviewed on this site. We may derive a financial benefit from sales of products advertised, reviewed or linked to from this site. All images used in this review have been sourced from the plugin’s website and/or from sites that provide Premium WordPress Services