How Poor Website Design Can Lose You Money
Are you missing out on business because of poor website design? No matter how strong your services are, a poorly-constructed website could lose you prospective buyers and important sales.
In a world where first impressions matter, your website’s design can contribute significantly to the success of your business. Your website is the first thing that your web visitor sees and this could influence their decision to purchase from you.
Think about how you do research about products and services nowadays. Even if we’re only doing preliminary research, we will instinctively fire up our laptop and go browse somebody’s website first before purchasing products in-store or online.
Now, put yourself in your customer’s position. How does your digital presence appear to others? Does it invite people to draw closer and explore things further, or does it make them confused and cautious about where to go next?
What your visitors see “above the fold” (i.e. what you first see in your screen) is only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things than can influence your web visitors’ thoughts and their decision to ultimately move forward with you.
Let’s take a look at some of the key website design problems that can affect your web site:
WebSite Design Problems
Some common website design problems that can influence a prospect’s perception of your website include some following:
- Color – Poor color schemes can impact on your results. This also applies to text and background color. There are methods to choose web colors correctly and even safe web color tools to ensure that the color schemes you select will display correctly across various web formats. If in doubt, seek the services of a web design professional.
- Website Design Elements – Web pages that contain unappealing, outdated and just plain ugly visual elements can turn users away from your website. Visitors can also be affected by inconsistent graphic elements and overpowering use of design elements.
- Layout – How your site is arranged can have a significant impact in how visitors navigate around your site. Layout considerations also include how your navigation items, links and other useful guiding elements such as search boxes are used, where menus are positioned on your site, content columns, etc ….
- Responsiveness – As digital information is now accessed using a range of devices with different-sized screens and browsers, it’s important that the design of your website be fully responsive. If your web pages do not display well across all devices, browsers and platforms, you may incur business losses.
Site Functionality Issues
Some common functionality issues include the following:
- Subpar functionality – A huge turn-off for visitors is landing on a site where hyperlinks don’t work, videos don’t play and images aren’t displaying. Frequent site errors are not acceptable, especially if your aim is to come across professionally. Your web presence is a reflection of your business. It’s vitally important therefore, to ensure that all your links, videos and graphics remain working all the time. In some cases, these issues may be caused by external factors such as your hosting, or they may even be unbeknownst to you, but it’s important to make sure that you’re always proactive and that you attend to all problems immediately.
- Feature limitations – If your business offers visitors specific features, then make sure that these functionalities are not limited. For example, if you intend to sell goods or services online, make sure that you provide visitors with full e-commerce functionality that allow them to choose and add products to a shopping cart, apply discount coupons, complete purchases using credit card or PayPal, receive notifications, receipts and email confirmations, etc.
Poor Web User Experience
Normally, where your business suffers most noticeably because of a poorly-designed site is the “user experience”.
An unpleasant user experience can leave a bad taste in users mouths and lead to sharing their disappointment in social media, forums, review sites, commenting sections, etc ….
Typical problems that can cause a bad user experience include some of following:
- User Friendly – Your website design should be easy to use and effortless to navigate around in. Your product information should not be hard to find. Your site visitors want user-friendly features and they want to find what they are looking for quickly and with minimal hassle. Make your content searchable and if you plan to add downloadable files to your site (e.g. presentation slides), make sure that visitors are given instructions on how to download and access your files.
- Organization – If your site content isn’t organized and user-friendly, you run the risk of losing not only potential buyers but current customers too. Having features such as search engine-friendly links, product and service categories and sections where your content is grouped or linked together provides visitors with a good user experience.
- Stimulating Features – Users stick around on sites that are user friendly, easy to navigate, and that are stimulating. This requires achieving a balance between attractive, modern web design and compelling content that engages your website users. For example, highlight links pointing to your product pages with beautiful images alongside well-written product descriptions. This is effective and can help you improve not only the user experience on your site, but also improve your sales and conversions.
- Engaging Features – Another thing that helps to improve user experience on your site is to provide interactive features that engage visitors, like features that let users 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 … You also want visitors to navigate quickly through your site and access your information without waiting around for pages to load, so having your site optimized for page loading speed is important.
As you can see, there are many areas that can contribute to a poor user experience and impact your business success online. If your website design is poorly constructed, you run the risk of not only losing potential paying clients, but also your current clients as well.
Now … what if you have arrived here because you currently have an existing website with design problems that you feel are affecting your business?
First, understand that getting a website design overhaul can take time and can also end up being somewhat costly depending on the problem and what kind of website you own, especially if the work requires extensive coding.
If you are currently in the process of having a new website developed or redeveloping an existing site, then we suggest that you consider building or redesigning your site with WordPress.
We currently publish more posts about WordPress on this site, but here are just some key points to keep in mind about why you should seriously consider using WordPress:
WordPress – Unique Website Design Features
WordPress themes are unique website design templates that allow you to completely customize the look of your entire website without affecting the site’s content or modifying the underlying software.
There are thousands of great-looking themes available that can be downloaded. Many themes are either free, or are relatively cheap to purchase, saving you hundreds of dollars on the cost of web design.
Most themes for WordPress are responsive and provide site owners with customizable options for changing design on your website like the color, template elements like menus and headers, layouts and more. This is just one of the many things that make WordPress such a powerful tool for helping you create a design for your website that works for your business.
WP Plugins – Virtually Unlimited Functionality
Another compelling reason to build your site using WordPress is that WordPress provides you with modular functionality through add-on applications called “plugins.”
Plugins, like themes, integrate easily with your site to provide you with virtually unlimited features and new functionality.
Earlier in this article we looked at problems in areas like subpar functionality and feature limitations as part of the reason why a poorly designed website can end up losing you money.
WP plugins can help you overcome these problems quite easily. If there is a functionality that needs to be integrated with your website, just install a plugin that will help you get things done.
Need a plugin that will let you know about any issues on your site such as links not working, videos not streaming, pictures that are missing or even alert you if your entire site is down? No problems … there are plugins that can help you fix that, or notify you about issues so you can correct these immediately!
Need a plugin that will let you turn your site into an online store or provide you with a complete e-commerce business solution? Again, no problem! There are several inexpensive WordPress plugins that will help you sell goods or services on your site and provide your users with full e-commerce functionality that allow them to easily select and add items to a shopping cart, apply discounts, buy using credit card or PayPal, receive notifications, invoices and email confirmations, etc.
And just like themes, there are literally tens of thousands of great WordPress plugins that can be easily downloaded at no cost, or that you can purchase for a relatively inexpensive price and will save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars on the cost of website development.
Learn more about plugins here: Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugins
WordPress – An Immediate Website User Experience
In addition to being able to correct issues caused by a poorly-constructed website, WordPress can also help you provide your web users with a great user experience.
WordPress provides beautifully-designed and visually-exciting themes that cover all needs and uses and applications and feature-rich plugins that allow visitors to connect, engage and interact with you. With the right combination of a WordPress-powered site, WordPress themes and plugins, plus great content, you can create a very a highly interactive and engaging user experience that will keep them returning to your website.
As stated earlier, consumers do extensive research online before making purchasing decisions. If your website isn’t designed to provide your visitors with a rewarding user experience, consumers will not return and simply move on to another business with a better website design or better user experience.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of problems that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better online. To learn more about using WordPress please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.
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