Designing a small business website is not easy, even for somebody who has all the technical skills for making one. The internet is awash with overwrought websites, filled with ideas that seemed good at the time, but ultimately make a simply unattractive website. Here is a list of five of the most common mistakes made by startup websites, and ways to avoid them.
Too Much Information
Your instincts drive you to put every possible piece of information about your service onto your main page. This page is a potential client’s first impression, so it stands to reason that putting more information on a page increases the chance that they will find something relevant to their needs. However, if there are more than three or four major points on this page, visitors to the website will feel overwhelmed at seeing a wall of text on their screen. The most likely outcome is that they will skip the site and look elsewhere. Instead, you should focus on three or four major benefits that your service has over competitors. Show the more detailed information elsewhere. If they need to see it, they will find it.
All Style, No Substance
In addition to providing too much information, many novice website designers cannot resist the temptation to try to wow a visitor with flashy design choices and pieces of flair everywhere. While this can make for a memorable website, anything on the page that makes it less easy to use than a typical, “boring” site will grate on visitors’ nerves. Furthermore, a fancy design can easily become confusing and drive away customers.
Poor Color Choices
This problem is simple. A website’s colors should be picked strategically in order to maximize the site’s attractiveness and readability. If you have ever seen white text on a gray background, or violet text on a red background, you know how much damage poorly contrasted colors can do. The solution is very simple. Plenty of websites and other resources exist for choosing a good color pallet, and a basic familiarity with the color wheel can go a long way.
Remember to Ask for Contact Information
Even if a visitor does not buy your service, and realistically, most will not, it is a great idea to keep those visitors in the know with your startup’s news. They may find a need for your services in the future, or might even seek employment as you grow. Be sure to include a way for them to give you some contact information that appears prominently on the first page.
Don’t Leave them Hungry
This advice is particularly important for software startups. If you provide some kind of software, artistic service, or other feature-based service, then giving visitors a sample or a demo is a great way to build their enthusiasm. If they like what they see, they will be far more likely to purchase a full version.