Here at WestHost, our blog posts usually provide guidance on how to keep your website running efficiently and reliably. However, we rarely talk about what happens when websites don’t go quite as planned. Today we will look at website worst-case scenarios, and what happens when things go completely, utterly wrong.
Below are the most common problems that keep websites from achieving their goals. The following issues can prevent website traffic from engaging with a page, keep customers from completing sales transactions or cause a website to crash altogether.
Overwhelmingly disorganized pages
We are often caught up in adding content in the early stages of web development. We also need to know when to stop. Over time a website can become a garbled mess of information. Too many images, paragraphs upon paragraphs of text, and too many tools to count can not only lead to viewers giving up on a website but can prevent it from loading altogether. Best practice is to keep pages sleek and organized for easy content digestion and browsing.
Without a clearly presented sitemap, websites can become a maze of navigation or page links leading to dead ends, or leading a user back to the beginning at a homepage over and over again. The customer journey should be only a few clicks. So if website traffic is returning to the same page multiple times looking for the magic link to finish a transaction or find the page they are looking for, then your website may be heading towards total disaster.
Lack of personality
Overwhelming amounts of content is just as extreme as no content at all. Simple is great. However, if website visitors don’t get a sense of brand personality then your website may be missing out on some great opportunities. Be sure to let anyone who stumbles across your site know that there are real people behind the pages with goals and aspirations. Customers want to find brands that are relatable to develop brand loyalty and continued support.
Abundance of ads
This website disaster has greatly reduced since we moved beyond the days of Flash banner advertisements. However, we all stumble across a website that hasn’t heard that Flash is outdated here and there. Too many ads lead to slow loading times. They also create a sense of spam or other digital risks. Keep ads to a minimum whenever possible. If you must display ads, try to keep them from dominating your page.
Slow or broken pages
Website loading time is not only important for happy site visitors, but also for search engine optimization (SEO). Make sure that you frequently test your website for broken links or bogged down pages. There are a host of tools that can accomplish most of the heavy lifting for you. For example, our SEO Website Guru can quickly check your website for places where SEO may become a problem or cracks that website visitors may fall into.
Expired hosting or domains
The epitome of lousy websites is an error page when attempting to connect. Nobody likes to be greeted with a 404 issue when you are searching out information. A host of reasons can cause 404 errors. However, the most common reason is expired domains or web hosting. Luckily, this problem is easily solved by setting up a payment method with autopay.