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8 Ways To Ruin A Great Website

business | web design by Shannon Noack on December 30, 2010 | 1 Comment

ruinedEveryone starts out with high hopes when a new website is created. It’s bright and shiny and everything your company is looking for with their online presence. It defines you perfectly, shows your professionalism and character, and showcases your company’s services well.

Your company has spent much valuable time on this process because it is so important to you and the success of your business, so you assisted with brainstorming, planning, and implementation until you received the finished product.

Once your website is completed, with polished copy, beautiful images and all, the process isn’t over. You must maintain your site, making sure there aren’t any spelling or grammatical errors, that the page structure continues to work well, that users understand the hierarchy and are navigating through it easily, and that people are achieving the purpose that you’d like them to on your site. All of these require regular updates and continual tweaks.

Search engines will continue to crawl and index new content and pages, so it’s important to give them a reason to crawl your site by giving them new content on a regular basis. Also, users won’t have a reason to come back to your site unless you offer them the same thing. Regular maintenance, updates, and additional content can cause your site to go downhill if you aren’t careful though. Here are 8 things to watch our for so that you don’t ruin a great site.

1. Bad hosting

You want to show that you’re running a professional company with services worthy of purchasing, so choosing the cheapest hosting for your top-notch site  is not going to be your best bet. The hosting company you choose is an important decision, one that shouldn’t go to the lowest bidder. Your host provides you with a lot of valuable things, they host your email, they make sure your site stays up, and they keep your website files safe and secure. Don’t open your site up to hackers by choosing the wrong host.

2. Too much text

Over time, you add more and more text, rearranging sentences and adding more content that will help describe your products better and more fluently. At some point you may just need to separate one of these pages into several pages, making sure that any one page doesn’t get too lengthy, especially the homepage. Long pages of text aren’t necessarily bad if it’s needed, but if they can be split up into multiple pages, it’s a better bet to ensure people will read them.

3. Irrelevant content

Before the site is first published and made live, it usually gets read by several people, making sure there aren’t any errors or issues. After the site goes live, it may be passed to a few different people, or just updated without taking the big picture into account. Irrelevant content can be added easily if this happens, but you need to make sure that everything that’s added is relevant and important for your users.

4. A stagnant blog

The quickest way for a site to look outdated is to not post regularly on your blog, letting it go stagnant. A blog should have new content regularly, and posts usually have dates attached which is a dead giveaway if you’ve gotten behind for a few weeks. This schedule can be different for everyone but I recommend that you should be posting at least once a week in order to keep your readers interested and to entice new subscribers.

5. Outdated content

Without a content management system, it’s tough to keep your content up to date. Even with a cms, people seem to forget to update their site when they have changes within their company. Important things to update are new phone numbers, change of address, staff changes, mission statement revisions, new or additional services, or anything else that may change throughout the year.

6. Different voices

After a company’s site is complete, it’s common that the owner will hand the maintenance off to another employee. Different people can write differently but it’s important that the content on your site is seamless and doesn’t have a different voice or tone to it. The text needs to represent your mission and brand by having 1 cohesive voice throughout.

7. Confusing page hierarchy

Adding new pages when they are needed is a great way to keep your site up to date with the changing needs of your company and your audience. However, it’s important that the hierarchy of the site and the flow of the navigation be considered with each change. If you need a new page for a new service, but everything else is on one page, you may need to consider moving all services to their own page in order to keep continuity and make sure your users aren’t confused.

8. Bad images

Changing out images or adding new ones is a great way to keep your content looking fresh and updated. However, you must keep in mind the style and feel of the site with each new image. You can change the look of a page with a new image, especially if you feel the current image isn’t quite right, but don’t change the overall feeling of the site by choosing an irrelevant image or something that just doesn’t fit in.

Regular maintenance is a good thing for your website keeping it up to date and relevant for your users. However, many things can steer you off track, and ruin your great site. What other things have you seen that have ruined a great website?

1 Comment »

  1. The Best of Snoack Studios’ Blog from 2010 | Snoack Studios Blog
    January 7, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    […] Text and Font Usage on the Web 10 Tips To Elevate Your Website 10 Keys To A Successful Blog 8 Ways To Ruin A Great Website […]

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