Be aware of these common pitfalls when designing your website:
• The home page does not quickly tell you what the website is all about. You should be able to visit the home page of any website and figure out what the website is about, what type of products it sells, or what it is advertising within five seconds.
• The poor use of popup windows, flashy advertising, splash pages (pages with neat animations and sound effects but which you have to watch for five to ten seconds before you are taken to the real website), and other website design features that draw interest away from your website, products, and/ or services.
• Poor website navigation. This includes broken hyperlinks, hidden navigation, poor wording of navigational links, links that take you to pages with no links, links that take you to the same website page, and pages with no links back to the home page (always include a link back to the home page so that regardless of where website visitors are, they can find their way back home!).
• Believing that because you have a website, you have a marketing campaign or overall marketing and advertising strategy. You need to understand that your Website is not your marketing strategy. Your website is just a part of your overall marketing strategy, depending on your business goals; for example, if you have a successful restaurant but want to advertise and promote your business on the Web. Creating a website is great, but if it is not promoted and advertised, no one will ever find it. By passing out business cards with your website URL embossed on them, you are using a traditional marketing campaign to promote your website. If you offer a downloadable/ printable coupon from your website, you are successfully using your website as part of your marketing strategy to meet your goal of increased restaurant sales.
• Failure to attain website relevance and content updating. There is nothing more dissatisfying to a web customer than visiting a website that is grossly out of date. Incorrect pricing, products no longer available, dated content, and ancient advertising all signify to the website visitor that your devotion to your website is suffering greatly. Cramming your pages with non-relevant material will detract the visitor from getting the point of your website (the five-second rule mentioned earlier).
• Avoid too many text effects. Forget flashing text, reversing text, gymnastic text, or other eye-popping and dizzy effects, which do nothing more than annoy your website visitor. Don't create a "loud" website that contains so many blinking, flashing, twirling, and spinning icons, text, or graphics that visitors are overwhelmed by the effects and under-whelmed by the website content.
• Limit the number of graphics on your website so that you don't overwhelm your website visitors with "graphics overload." Don't use animated GIF images on your website. These were cool ten years ago, but in today's professional environment, they are just another "loud," annoying distraction that website visitors don't want to see.
• Don't incorporate frames into website design. The use of frames within a website will drive customers away faster than anything!
• DO incorporate the proper website design elements to ensure that your website is ready to be found by search engines and for a small fee Website Design Services will upload and install Drupal software with built in template.