Common Website Design Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

As the year draws to a close, you’re probably starting to think about how you want to do things differently next year, or the things you want to begin doing in 2021. Now is a great time to plan and strategize and decide how to move forward.

One of the tasks on your to-do list may be to refresh your website or develop a new one from scratch. An up to date, well-designed, and user-friendly site is crucial in these tech-dependent times. However, to ensure the best use of your time and money, you need to know some of the common mistakes people make, for you to avoid. 

Not Designed for the Target Market

One of the key things many entrepreneurs get wrong is not targeting their website to the specific target market they’re going after. Your site can’t be all things to all people; instead, it should be designed to attract the interest of the exact type of person who buys your products or services.

Write content relevant to the audience and include all the types of details they’d want to read. Don’t weigh the text down with things that would be irrelevant to them. Use photographs relevant to your customer base, too, such as pictures of seniors using your product or service types, if that’s the primary age group that buys from you.

Also, ensure the site’s design, the way it functions, and its features work for your target market. It pays to enlist the help of web developers who have plenty of experience working in your sector and in creating websites for your demographic. For example, search online for “website development for franchises” or “websites for tradespeople,” etc. You could also ask business owners who target the same customer type as you who they used for their web services. A referral is handy to have. 

Too Much Clutter on Pages

While you want to provide plenty of helpful information for customers when they come to your site, you don’t want to overload pages with too much clutter. This is a common mistake. Avoid having lots of text, clashing colors, and too many graphics competing for attention, as this will overwhelm people, and they’ll be more likely to click away sooner. 

Every page of your website needs a decent amount of white space – the empty, “negative” spots left unmarked by text, graphics, forms, and the like. This part of the page doesn’t have to be white, color-wise, but keep it at least in a neutral shade that people don’t consciously notice. 

Always break up text into short paragraphs with space between each. Not only is this easier on the eyes, but it also makes the information more digestible. People are busy and tend to merely scam a lot of website text. Smaller chunks make more sense, as a result.  

Bad Font Choice

It’s a simple thing but can make a world of difference: choose the right font. Many business owners choose a fancy font because they think it will make their products or services seem more elegant, creative, or interesting, but the outcome is usually a negative one instead. 

Your website’s text should be easy for everyone to read, including those with more limited vision. The simpler it is, the better. Choose a size that doesn’t make people squint to read, either. Plus, use the same font throughout the whole website to achieve consistency. 

Slow Server Times

Another problem that arises with many websites is that they don’t load quickly enough. Consumers expect to see what they’re looking for within mere seconds and often click away to another site if they get frustrated by slow server times. Avoid this situation by testing your website regularly to ensure it’s up to scratch. 

If the site is sluggish, investigate the reason(s). The issue may stem from the site design, whereby you have too many videos or images or their file sizes are too large, so this slows everything down. Alternatively, you could be using an inappropriate website hosting service that can’t keep up with the user demand, so it throttles everything back. You might also have a slow website for other reasons, so speak with your web designer or IT consultant for assistance. 

Other website mistakes include:

  • A layout and functionality that isn’t user friendly
  • Missing a call-to-action on the website
  • Lack of proper security measures to keep hackers out
  • No ability to measure website performance
  • An unclear brand message
  • A website that isn’t mobile-friendly

As you design and later refresh your website, think about all of these elements and try to look at your site from your customer’s perspective. The web pages are for them, after all.

Ryan Kh

Ryan Kahn, known as a career coach and television personality. Ryan Kahn is founder of The Hired Group, author of Hired!