Can you answer “YES” to each question below? Many websites fail to meet the basic requirements enabling them to gain an audience and meet their goals. These are some of the problems we encounter regularly, all of which can be remedied, resulting in improved performance. Click on the question to learn more about each topic.

Does your site load securely?

In the top left hand corner of your browser where it shows your website address, you should see a little grey lock. If you don’t have a grey lock next to your address, that means your site is not loading ‘securely’ and browsers such as Chrome may give visitors a warning that it is ‘unsafe’ to visit.

The lock occurs when you site has a valid security certificate. These are usually offered through your web host. Some hosts charge for it, others don’t. I recommend ClickMonster.host as the certificate is included in the hosting fee. If your site has a certificate now but at one point did not, and all your links are going to http instead of https, there is a plugin to force all the links to https and remove the ‘insecure’ error.

Is your site mobile-friendly?

As of May 2022, 58.26% of all web traffic came through mobile phones. (source)

If your site is not mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on visitors/customers!

Some sites employ services to display a mobile version of their website, so that they essentially have two sites – one that shows up on a computer and another one that shows up on a phone. These services are not free! Unless your site is so large that a mobile-friendly redesign would be unfathomable, the same site should be able

A mobile-friendly site will display text at a readable size, change the menu to a different mobile-friendly format, and cascade elements on the page so that the images are an appropriate size. A site that is not mobile-friendly will squish all the content into the width of the screen, which makes it hard for the user to click links and read content.

Recently redeveloped site that previously used Duda mobile, but that had stopped working, and the host’s proprietary content management system was difficult to use. The new site is mobile-friendly and is easily edited.

Does your website load quickly?

If someone finds your site in a search engine, clicks the link, and they don’t see anything appear right away (2-3 seconds), they’re going to abandon your site click on the next link.

What can cause a site to load slowly? Mainly content. If your site is loading large videos hosted on the site (instead of on YouTube or Vimeo), or your upload images are fit for print or right off the camera/phone rather than optimized for web, your website will take longer to display the content. Using too many fonts (fonts that are not system-default fonts such as Arial and Times Roman) can slow your site down. This also depends on your host. I had to move a site off of GoDaddy for hosting because it was loading so slowly. I duplicated the website over on ClickMonster.host and sent screenshots of the resulting speed tests. They changed hosts immediately. It had previously loaded at 7 seconds, and the same content on a different host loaded in less than 3 seconds.

Curious about your own site’s speed? Head over to gtmetrix.com for some interesting feedback! If you don’t like your results, let’s talk about fixing it!

Does your site communicate clearly?

Within five seconds, the visitor of your site should know what you offer, how it can benefit them, and how to engage your services (or buy your products).

When you’re close to your business, it’s hard to know how others perceive your website. You already have a ton of knowledge and information which should be obvious. But is it obvious to someone who knows nothing about you or your business? Do you have a succinct statement that shows prominently on your home page that specifies exactly what you offer in clear language?

I like the advice from Donald Miller’s book which is all about clarifying your message. It’s kind of like an elevator pitch. You only have 15 seconds with someone – what would you tell them? In the world of websites, you have closer to 3-5 seconds, so it better be a clear message!

Is your site visually appealing?

If your site utilizes all the above along with captivating graphics and imagery, you’ll have a better chance at your visitor staying on your site longer and potentially becoming a customer.

One thing you want to make sure of is that you have permission or the license to use images. Any image found by ‘googling’ is subject to copyright. There are free images available at sites such as pixabay, pexels, and unspalsh. Those sites rely on advertising by paid platforms such as Shutterstock, which will offer more specific imagery. You many need to create an account to use their images.

There are so many ‘shiny and new’ elements available for websites such as animations, parallax, and color changes, but just because something is available doesn’t mean it needs to be used. Go easy on the animations. Don’t bury too much info in a huge slider – research shows that most people don’t engage with them, and they can take a long time to load. It’s a balance! Aesthetics and practicality.

If you have a style guide, make sure your site conforms so that branding is consistent across your marketing platforms. Use one to three fonts and colors. There are many sites out there to help you choose a color palette, and your web designer will also help create something beautiful from your imagery, or help you select some. Fonts.google.com may not have the exact fonts you used on your business card, but there should be something close. Installing your own web fonts is possible, and can set your site apart from the crowd. Just make sure to have a backup font available!

Does your site need help?

READY TO HAVE AN OUTSTANDING WEBSITE?

Get in Touch!