What Makes a Website Boring & How to Make Your Website Wow
We all know what a bad website looks like, but what about a boring website? These are much more common and most of us don’t pick up on the traits because, well, they’re boring. Having a boring website could put off return visitors. Here are just a few traits of a boring website that you should avoid when building your site.
Obvious template design
Wordpress has made it easy for anyone to build a website for free without coding knowledge. This has caused some people to get lazy. They choose a Wordpress template and don’t make any modifications to it. The result is a website that looks like a thousand others already out there.
It pays to spend some time playing around with design. Consider using a few plugins that will further make your website unique (but not too many, as this will cause your site to lag). Another option could be to simply hire a website designer to code one from scratch.
If you’re looking to stand out amongst your competitors, it could be worth looking for a specialist web design company. Such companies are able to cater to niches. If there are others in the area doing what you do, such a company might be able to help create a website that gives you an edge.
Too many stock photos
Not all stock photos are boring, although many are. They’re boring because everybody uses them. These are usually royalty free images that appear at the top of the image search on Google. Try looking for photos elsewhere. Even better, pay a photographer to create unique photos that will separate your site from every other site out there.
Alternatively, no images at all
If your website is mostly text, this too could make your website look modern. A decade ago, it was alright to have websites that looked like leaflets.
Nowadays, the trend is more towards websites that look like a billboard – they’re dominated by images with a few tabs that then lead to other information. Walls of text can be off-putting, especially on company websites where people are shopping and comparing websites at a glance. These visitors don’t want to be reading through five paragraphs just to find out what your company is about.
The exception to this is blogs, which have to be text-heavy by their very design. It still makes sense to use lots of images and to possibly limit text on your homepage to previews of blog posts or titles that when clicked on reveal more.
Too much black and white
Websites have evolved to have less gaudy colors, but some websites have taken it too far by only using black and white. This can work in some cases, but generally it takes a pop of color to add some personality.
This doesn't need to take the form of huge red banners and different coloured text – it could simply be small details here and there. Color layering can be a nightmare to get right, so take care when placing text over brightly colored backgrounds.
Unless your website is for a very niche topic that only people with a certain level of know-how will look at, it’s generally a good idea to put your content in layman’s terms. Technical jargon doesn’t impress people and in most cases it sends them to sleep. Then they look for info somewhere else.
If you’re creating a website for a recruitment company, you’d be better off with a snappy description such as ‘helping to match talented people to the perfect jobs’ rather than ‘human resource sourcing and talent acquisition’.
A good test is to get your friends or family to read it and ask what they think it means – if they have no idea, you may want to simplify it.
Turn Your WWW Into WOW: Extra Tips
In order to make money from your website there are some simple rules you need to follow. When it comes to the WWW - think What-Why-Who and have a plan.
Your website should load quickly. Watch out for memory intensive plugins or conflicting plugins that may cause it to slow or lag. This is one of the quickest ways to send your customers packing.
Security from hackers is important. Fortunately these days, most hosts will do automatic backups for you (although you should always keep a fairly up-to-date backup of your site offline). Additionally never pick a web host that doesn't have 24/7 live support. If or when things go bad, you will want their help immediately.
Always use a .com. And unless there really is no alternative don’t use a dash or hyphen in between the words in a domain name. You want to make your address as easy to remember as possible.
Build an email list from day one. Simple rule, but easily one of the most important.
Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. The key here is to pick one and dominate it, stop trying to do all three. Alternatively, hire someone to look after your social media marketing and make them responsible for the outcome.
Don’t focus on one traffic source. Google, social media, email marketing, podcasts/videos and infographics are all important.
Consistency is key when publishing content. Daily, weekly, monthly, you choose how often to post and stick to it.
Make it easy for people to contact you. What is more, be open to some criticism or less than positive comments about your website. It happens that some comments will come from generally negative people, but the overall experience is that people want to help. Never retaliate to comments or emails!
Regularly ask yourself a question. If, in 10 years (5 years, 1 year, or even 6 months), you were to look back at your actions today what would you change? Do that.
Pay Your Way. There is an increasing trend that the people who make the most money online: they buy a high percentage of their traffic (pay for advertisements). Basically, they have learned additional skills based on lead generation and adwords. If you are not also learning these skills, you could be missing out.
Invest in the future. Don’t presume what you are doing right now will be working in years to come. Keep innovating & educating.
Keep It Legal. Be sure to include a policy page on your site.
Don’t be afraid of highly competitive niche! The reason they are competitive is because there is money in that niche!
Keep moving forward. Never give up. The biggest difference between success and failure is giving up or trudging forward.