Designing a website is a process of which the people involved let their imagination run wild for better or for worse. When creating a new site, some have a very detailed vision of what they hope it will be, while forgetting the main purpose of a website, which is to drive traffic and conversions. Here’s a list of a few common mistakes that can be made during the design process so you know to avoid them when bringing your site to life.

1. Ignoring Page Speed

It doesn’t matter how nice your site looks. If you don’t have optimal speed for both the desktop and mobile version of your site, your bounce rate will increase and you will lose out on conversions because the visitors of your site will have grown tired of waiting for the basic functionality of your site to carry out.

You can get a sense of the speed of your site by using Google PageSpeed Insights. This is a crucial part of website development that needs to be among your highest priorities.

2. Uploading Massive Files

Among the factors that can slow down the speed of your site, one of the most common factors is having file sizes from images and videos that are far larger than they need to be. A basic rule of thumb to avoid running into this problem is to save your photographic images as jpgs, save videos as an mp4 or mov file, and save all audio files as mp3s.

When an image is uploaded directly from your phone or camera, it tends to be 3 to 5 times larger than it needs to be. You need to resize the images to look nicely when surrounded by the other content of your site pages, and you need to make sure that the images are optimized for different devices that visit your site (desktop, phone, tablet) so that it delivers a consistent experience.

Make sure to compress the files you have so they don’t occupy to much space.

3. Designing For The Wrong Customer Base

In order to drive conversions, your site needs to deliver the message to your desired demographic through conveying the right image and give them the functionality that helps them browse your site as efficiently as possible. Different customer bases react differently to certain designs. If you’re running an ecommerce site that sells clothes to people ages 18-30, there will likely need to be a high emphasis on design that clearly shows a superior offering to your competition. On the other hand, if you’re a plumber offering your services to a retirement community, you need to make it as simple as possible for the visitors of your site to fill out the contact form.

Before you get too far into the design of your site, you need to make sure it matches the needs and/or desires of your clientele. While it’s a great thing to put your vision into the site, you need cater to the needs of your customers as they are the most vital part of your business.

4. Unnecessary Visuals

Today, there are many contemporary sites that add a lot of visual effects to their homepages to catch the eye of the visitor, but don’t really serve any purpose beyond that. As a matter of fact, many people are off put by moving graphics on a homepage because they become immediately associated with pop-up ads. If moving visuals don’t serve an additional purpose besides looking cool, don’t implement them into the design of your site. Instead, focus on earning the trust of your customers by writing concise content that leads the user right where they want to go.

5. Not Prioritizing Responsiveness

Many small business owners have a preconceived notion that their potential customers are unlikely to convert from their mobile site. Today, over half of all web traffic comes from mobile phones, which means that responsive design needs to be accounted for on both desktop and mobile.

One major thing you can do in order to account for a responsive experience on mobile devices is to reduce the sizes of your images or even remove some media entirely to ensure a simple, yet quick experience that helps your business convert.

If you get in touch with an experienced design company, it’s very possible to end up with a unique, contemporary, site that functions incredibly well. When entering these type of projects, your main mission needs to be designing, driving, and converting.

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