When was the first time you ever saw a website? Cool, wasn’t it? Did you notice a change between the kind of websites so popular then versus the style of websites that are making big waves these days?
Hello, owner of a business website! Today I am talking to you. Let’s talk about your website, too.
I’ll ask a few questions and then you can answer me in silence or by using the feedback form provided with this article. The purpose really is to spot a number of craps that are
creeping into your website which you probably put there thinking they were cool but end-up hurting your business.
Don’t worry if at times I am harsh with my words and you are hurt with my comments. Personal attacks are not my intention. Let’s just say I am poor on vocabulary, but I want you to improve the quality of your website — is that a business website? — by pointing out the mistakes other people make on their websites, so that you can eliminate them on your own.
Ready? Go, let’s.
Let There Be Flash! And There Was Crap
Your web designer is so good you should probably congratulate him for his Flashy skills.
Hhmm… Was it really your idea to put the cute animation stuff on your homepage or the web designer suggested it to showcase the animation skills he just acquired from a night school?
Seriously, do you think it’s cool? How long does it load before the whole thing shows another button that leads to the real stuff when clicked?
By having a Flash Intro, you are either teaching your site visitor the proper location of the “Back” Button or you wanted him to practice a long forgotten virtue called “Patience.”
The Back Button is so easy to locate if your visitor knows some nice way of asking for help from the guy sitting next to him on the Internet Cafe. If he is lucky and the other guy turns out to be a nice pal, he would even be amazed at his new discovery: that the Back Button is his friend.
And how about Patience? You have a lot of it, yes? Well, according to one recent study conducted by my dog, we human beings are lacking it in great quantities. And that makes you an exceptional person on the face of this planet!
Your Theme Song on the Web? Yucks!
It sounds so emotional. Yeah, you and your wife’s theme song that put on your website. What are the other songs that you put on the album? How much are you selling it?
Here is a brief unsolicited advice: If you are not selling songs and that audio has nothing to do with the message you are trying to convey, for heaven’s sake remove that song from your website. You can be emotional anytime you wanted to. Better buy yourself an iPod or any cheap MP3 Player.
Site visitors are there looking for stuff they wanted the most. If you are lucky they could be buying from you.
Tons of Graphics. Welcome to the World Wide Wait.
Are you the type who thinks that graphics — lots of it — will make your website very attractive and invite more visitors? Chances are, you’ll be in serious trouble if you don’t wake up to the fact that visitors are looking for quality information mostly in the form of text.
The bad thing about graphics, if you are not so careful with it, is that they are a bandwidth sucker that could potentially slow down your website’s download time. Challenge your designer to come up with an attractive web design using graphics sparingly. Your visitors will send you kisses for doing it.
AJAX Here, AJAX There, AJAX Everywhere
Are you an AJAX evangelist who thinks that using it will save the world from possible catastrophe? I can tell you one thing: you are in deep illusion.
Done the wrong way, AJAX could even be dangerous for your website’s security. Don’t do it if you are not sure how to do it right or if your visitors can manage without it.
You, Your Website and Your Visitors
It’s very tempting for a website owner to implement his cool and fancy ideas on his website. I once had a client who wanted to see snows floating all over the screen when you visit his website during Christmas time. This was during the days when everyone was talking DHMTL and how cool it is. Do you want to do the same thing on your website?
As an owner of a business website, don’t let your ego get the way. Put your visitor’s browsing experience at the center of your web design. Make it easy for him to get the thing that he wants. Never, ever put his patience to the test. Remember that your visitors are the main reason why you want to have in the first place.
So, would you care to review and take a look at your own website? Let’s see what you’ve got.