MYTH #1: I can save money by just using a free website tool
Free website tools can only do so much and require a lot more time and effort than most people may realize. Many people spend a lot of time with research and energy attempting to make a free website work for them but still don’t get the desired results. Most free websites are also limited in their functionality and have hidden fees. In the process, you may realize you are pouring more money and time into a site that can’t meet all your needs anyways. As far as UI is concerned, free websites keep your options limited. You won’t be able to customize your site to the way you envision it.
Also, using a free website means you don’t own your content. Free hosting is like renting a house.
SEO is a huge aspect of web development that many people don’t realize. Optimizing your website for Google is a must-have for any business and having free websites doesn’t allow for absolute optimization.
So, while tempting, going with a free site will usually mean more of your time, less features, no daily backups, limited web support, and constraints on: aesthetics, ecommerce, data files, analytical tools, SEO optimization, campaign tracking, responsive design, and security measures.
MYTH #2: Building a new website can be done quickly
Building a custom website takes time for a reason. The planning stages should not be rushed. You should have a clear plan before even beginning development.
All written content should be completed first. The process includes reviewing client goals and analytics, finalizing a sitemap, creating wireframes, approving designs, building page templates, and optimizing the content.
For a professional website, all of this needs to be done using best web design and development practices, consideration to ADA compliance, SEO, all while also keeping your company goals in mind. Once the site is built, there is testing to be done, revisions to be made, and finally the launch.
If your needs include specific implementation of databases, ecommerce, or any other special features or interactive pieces then this will require custom programming from development experts.
Building a custom website is time-intensive — as it should be. When it comes to your business’s website, you want the team developing it to be detail oriented, organized, and thorough in their testing.
MYTH #3: How the site looks on desktop is most important.
This used to be true — but now this statement is false. More and more users are accessing the internet through their mobile devices which means that websites should be immaculate on mobile view. In July 2019, Google changed the way they index and rank websites; they now predominantly use the mobile version of the content. If you are already using the mobile-first approach, your desktop and mobile content should be almost, if not exactly, the same. You don’t want to have a bunch of unique custom features on desktop view that won’t translate easily to mobile view.
MYTH #4: Once a website is built, that’s it! We’re done.
It would be nice if it were that easy! However, while you may have your web hosting settled for a bit — many of the other pieces need regular attention. Be sure to keep fresh content flowing in. You should regularly watch for bugs, security updates and errors. As your business evolves, be sure to update your site timely with accurate information. Nothing turns off a potential customer faster than out of date info! In short, once you build your website, be sure you have a plan for maintenance, support, and routine content updates.
MYTH #5: Building a new website simply entails dragging and dropping content from the old site, onto layouts on the new site.
Like mentioned before, there are so many more aspects to building a website than transferring content to another UI. There’s SEO, meta tags, redirects, inbound links, etc. Goals may have changed or evolved and analytics should be reviewed to see what was and wasn’t working before. UI/UX layouts should be reviewed as well to see what improvements can be made, flow better, and improve bounce rates. A new website build is a good time to review all old content and see what is still relevant, what you should consolidate, and how you can improve your existing content.
MYTH #6: Aesthetics are priority
Of course aesthetics are super important, studies show that colors and fonts, and the UI does make a huge impact on user decisions and impressions. However, you should not sacrifice functionality and user experience for aesthetics. For example, it may be really cool to add a pretty moving graphic to the page, but if it slows down the site speed then it’s not worth it. If it looks cool to add a hamburger menu for the navigation, but that menu type neglects the need for two very important CTAs — then that might not be the best option.
Ultimately aesthetics need to serve a purpose and add value to your website (other than being purely decorative.) Any and all graphics also need to be optimized so they are not adding extra weight to your site and increasing load times.
MYTH #7: Every bit of information about your business needs to go on your website
You have all the information behind the scenes so it is natural for you to feel like everything needs to be communicated to the user on your website. However, a website is a landing point for a user to see a summary of what you do. It’s also a way to guide them to take the action you want them to take. As long as you have the who, what, where, why, and how on your website (including the CTAs) you are all set.
There is such a thing as decision fatigue. If there are too many options and too much information on the site it can be overwhelming and confusing to the user. Limit the amount of content available as well as the number of CTAs. Organize the content you decide to have in a very clear way so the users can find information quickly and easily.
Myths – busted!!
If you are in need of a website and ready to partner with professionals for your custom website development, Gray Digital Group develops responsive, mobile-first sites that meet accessibility requirements. We’re also happy to help with custom designs and advanced functionality.