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Expensive Website Design Mistakes To Avoid

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Some web design mistakes won’t just negatively affect user experience – they could lose you money. This could be through loss of potential customers or it could be through vulnerability to lawsuits. Here are just a few expensive web design blunders to be wary of.

Using copyrighted images

Many copyrighted images are widely available to download through the likes of Google images and Bing images. If you use a copyrighted image without the owner’s permission, you could find that the image is removed – or worse you could be sued.

Always approach the owner of a copyrighted image before using it and pay them if necessary. There are sites like Pexels where you can find free images if you don’t want to pay anything, however it can often be worth spending some money so that you avoid using generic stock images (which could make your site less exciting for visitors).

Failing to change outdated information

Using incorrect information on your site can be costly, especially if it fools customers into thinking they were buying something that they weren’t. A customer is in their right to sue if they have been given false information. Incorrect information tends to be accidental – the most common case it when information becomes outdated, and a company forgets to change it. This could include failing to adjust the price of an old deal or failing to alter information on a product that has since been modified by the manufacturer.

Always consider if company changes will require updating your site so that you can avoid these costs. It may be possible to automatically alter some information such as setting a temporary deal to only run for a month. There’s also the option of adding disclaimers to protect yourself against errors, which leads to the next mistakes…

Failing to add appropriate disclaimers

Disclaimers can be used to legally protect you in many ways, preventing you from being sued in some cases and helping you in making rightful claims against others. Most sites use disclaimers to protect against inaccuracy of information, but they can also be used to claim ownership of original content and to disclaim third party responsibility (possibly important if you display third-party ads on your site).

You can find examples of disclaimers across the internet. If you’d prefer, you could also hire a legal copywriter to create these disclaimers.

Using non-responsive design

Websites can be viewed on a variety of devices including PCs, smartphones and tablets, each with different screen sizes. When a website is designed responsively, it will automatically adjust to whichever device it is viewed on. Non-responsive design could mean that a website formats badly on certain devices. Some older non-responsive websites may even be non-compatible with tablet and mobile users (considering that half of all web traffic is thought to be from mobile devices, this could mean losing out on half your potential visitors – which could be a lot of potential customers).

You can use Google Search Console’s Mobile Friendly Test to see what your site looks like on mobile device. If your site’s design doesn’t change, it could be worth hiring a web designer. Most modern websites are built to be responsive – it’s likely only to be owners of older sites that need to worry about this.

Adding too many plug-ins/embedded media/high resolution images

Certain features such as plug-ins, embedded media and high-resolution images can have a negative impact on the loading speed of a website. Adding a couple of these features is unlikely to have much of an impact, but adding lots of these features most definitely will make a difference (especially for those with lower speed internet). Slow-loading pages can deter visitors – many will leave before a webpage has had a chance to fully load. As a result, it could be harmful to business.

Make sure that your website isn’t too reliant on these features. Optimize images so that their file size isn’t as huge and try to trim down any unnecessary code. Other features can also cause a website to load slowly such as a slow hosting server, which may also be worth looking into.

Overlooking ADA compliance

All modern websites need to be ADA compliant. This a set of guidelines set out by the Americans with Disabilities Act which ensures that web users with disabilities are able to use your site (this could include add captions for deaf users or avoiding flashing colours to protect those with epilepsy). Failing to meet these guidelines could not only result in you losing out on disabled users, but could also result in you possibly getting sued.

You can find a guide on this at sites like Revision Legal. Most professional web designers will take ADA compliance into account – it’s likely to be older websites that have a problem.

Poor website navigation

Poor website navigation could cause you to lose even your most promising leads. Hiding your contact details and overcomplicating the checkout process are the most damaging examples of this – customers shouldn’t have to go through a virtual maze just to use your business.

Make sure that navigation is simple. If customers need to ring you up to get a quote, make your contact details large and clear and consider adding a call button that automatically allows mobile users to call you. If you have an ecommerce business that allows people to buy your product/services directly thought your site, make sure that the checkout process is no longer than three pages and that there is a progress bar to show customers how much longer they have to check out.

Using an insecure payment gateway

Your website’s security is paramount. An insecure payment gateway could allow hackers to hijack it so that they’re receiving your money, or worse they may even be able to steal private details of customers, which you will have to provide compensation for.

Make sure to use a secure payment gateway like PayPal to avoid these threats. You may also be able to add extra security features such as hiding users’ passwords as they’re being entered and requiring customers to receive verification emails.

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