The 10 most common mistakes to avoid when creating a website


12 minutes reading

You are about to build your first website. Congratulations. That’s one of the most important steps in your business endeavor, as over 90% of people visit a store after looking at its website. Moreover, about 97% of people learn about local businesses online. Therefore, a website for your business will open a lot of doors and allow you to offer your products or services to a significantly higher number of potential customers. Moreover, brand awareness and reach will skyrocket as your business becomes much more visible.

However, simply having a website is far from enough. For example, about 55% of users will refrain from recommending a business if its website is poorly designed or difficult to use.

Naturally, just like with anything new, when creating your very first website, you should be extra careful to avoid some common mistakes almost everyone makes with their first web portal. As we are just as invested in your success as you are, we created a list of 10 missteps you should consider before you start building.

Mistake 1: Not doing any research

Research is the cornerstone of any business endeavor, and creating a website is no exception. You probably already have an idea about your customers. If you do not, this is your first order of business – finding out everything there is to know about your industry, sector, niche, and, most importantly, your audience. Each audience has its specifics, and a website dedicated to a specific audience needs to know much more than the lingo. Each industry has its standards for a reason, and you should strive to build upon rather than completely deviate from them.

Moreover, just like with any product, you need to know your unique selling point, whether it is relevant to the market, whether it will attract a specific segment of the niche audience, and what the needs of this particular segment are.

Do research before starting a website

Furthermore, you need to start researching SEO as early as the planning stage to create your website according to all the search engines’ recommendations.

Research is a lot easier than it used to be back in the days before the internet. As you are targeting a specific audience, all you need to do is check your competitors and see their designs and how they attract an audience and build upon that. Furthermore, make sure to check your targeted audience’s forums, social media pages, and other social hubs, where they share what’s good and what’s bad. Typically Reddit is a very good place to start, but be mindful that people looking for the same product in different locations might be vastly different.

For example, people looking for cars in Wyoming have different needs than those looking for a car in Los Angeles. Not to mention those looking for vehicles in Germany or India, for example. So, make sure your research is not only targeted-audience-oriented but also geographical-location-oriented.

Mistake 2: Choosing the wrong domain name

With 1.13 billion websites worldwide and 10,500 new ones every hour, it’s easy to establish that finding the correct domain name is not as straightforward as it sounds. Your domain name is just as important as your brand name. Thus many new companies these days name their brand after their domain name. Mainly because it’s pretty hard to find a suitable free domain that hasn’t been taken yet. Thus looking for a play on words or some sort of abbreviation is today’s norm.

Before you get to the domain name, you need to choose your TLD. The Top Level Domain is among the highest DNS server types and is essential in pointing your users to the correct IP address containing your website’s data. To put it simply, the TLD is the end extension of your domain names, such as .com, .net, or .org. Each TLD has its specifics, so you need to consider which one would be best for you. You can find a very detailed explanation of how to choose the perfect domain name for your business in our dedicated article.

Find the right domain name

In a nutshell, your domain name should be brandable, easily memorable, effortlessly spelled, and without numbers, hyphens, and special symbols. Most importantly, your domain name must hint at the industry in which you operate and should not stop you from branching out. Finding the perfect domain name is far more complicated than finding a free name in the free-domain search engine.

Mistake 3: Choosing the wrong hosting plan

Finding a fast, reliable, and secure web hosting service like HostArmada is crucial for your website’s success. The load and uptimes depend directly on the power, location, and type of the servers where your website is hosted. However, even if you choose HostArmada as your hosting service provider and have high-speed, cloud-based web hosting services that provide you with lightning load speed and practically no downtime, you need to choose a service plan.

Typically our consultants will give you valuable advice on what plan would be best for you, but still, it’s far better for you to do your own research. For example, if you are a small business that just started and you need a simple website with up to around 30,000 visitors monthly, you can easily go for our Start Dock plan. However, if you offer some unique products and allocate enough budget for advertisement, the Web Warp plan would be much better for you.

Finally, if you are a retailer, who expects massive growth over the next few years, the Speed Reaper plan will accommodate your needs perfectly. Naturally, you can upgrade your plan as you go, but it would be far better to have a plan from the very get-go. This way, you can take full advantage of some pretty lucrative discounts.

Mistake 4: Putting aesthetics over user experience

Don’t get us wrong – good aesthetics are pretty important when creating your first website. However, they should always come second after usability. For example, if an element looks astounding on a Desktop, but doesn’t fit the mobile or tablet versions of your website, unfortunately, it needs to go.

Sure, a mesmerizing design look will surely capture your audience’s eye, but what will convert them into customers is your website’s usability. No element in your website should be there just for pageantry. Don’t forget that a website’s primary purpose is to further your business growth. Naturally, you’d want to create a customer journey that will transform the reader from a visitor into a paying customer. Thus, distracting them with pointless yet fascinating graphic elements is counterproductive.

The global fashion retailer Zara is an excellent example of a well-designed website with a poor user experience. Though the idea is pretty good, it was obviously done with little usability in mind. The menu is barely visible due to the colors, and users can’t navigate effortlessly.

A screenshot of the Zara website

Even when finally finding the menu, the navigation there is complicated. Thus, despite the visually stunning design, its lack of user-friendliness will affect their visits. Well, maybe not in Zara’s case, as they are a world-renowned brand, but for a new website, such a mistake could be detrimental.

Mistake 5: Using poor design

While usability is definitely a priority, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for a visually stunning web design. Moreover, it takes roughly fifty milliseconds for a user to form an opinion about a website. Thus, it literally takes a blink of an eye for a customer to decide whether they would be interested in browsing your website or not. In addition, about 57% of customers wouldn’t recommend a business due to the poor quality of its website design, regardless of the product (or service) quality.

This being said, one of the worst transgressions we often see in new websites is using WordPress templates without customizing them according to the industry specifics. This creates generic websites that, although functional and most often user-friendly, have absolutely no personality. Keep in mind that people have at least 10 open tabs when looking for a product. If your website fails to capture the customer’s attention, they will most likely go to the competition, regardless of whether your product is better, cheaper, or more useful to them.

So, what should you do? You can still use WordPress themes if you don’t have the budget for a professional web designer. Still, it’s quite important to make them your own. The best WordPress Themes have countless customization options that will make your website highly functional and visually stunning, even if you don’t have any knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So, if you are wondering how to create a visually stunning website, this article is a good start.

Mistake 6: Disregarding some valuable pages

There are a variety of websites, all with specific tasks. For example, you can have a retail website, a portfolio, a lead generation website, a service offering website, or a brand information website. They are all vastly different in their purpose, design, and content. However, there are some pages you simply can’t miss. For example, skipping on creating a blog section on your website will seriously hinder your SEO efforts and the ability to attract fresh new audiences through search engines. Moreover, an About Us page will close the distance between you and your customers, as you will literally greet them yourself. More importantly, this page gives you legitimacy and establishes you as a reliable source.

A screenshot of our mission page

However, the contact is probably the most important page of all (after the home page, of course). The contact info doesn’t need to be on a dedicated page. Still, it has to be at an easily reachable place where people will confirm they can actually communicate with the person behind the curtain. A study by KoMarketing found that about 44% of all website visitors will leave if there is no communication information, emails, physical address or a phone number. Needless to say, losing half of your audience just because you forgot to put your contact info is not a great business start.

Mistake 7: Creating inefficient content

“Content is King.” This credo has been around for quite some time now and is gaining validity by the day. Great content on your website will ensure more traffic, a higher conversion rate, better sales, and, of course, higher profits. Writing great content, however, is anything but an easy task. When creating their first websites, people often try to give all the information in length. They ride everything they find interesting about their product or service on their front page simply because they find it valuable information. People, however, are reluctant to read lengthy texts, especially when they first land on your website.

The home page is definitely not the place to get into too much detail. That’s why you need a blog. You need to keep your content short and to the point. With a lot of images and graphics if needed. Most importantly, do not build your website content around your interests and what you think is important. A better strategy is to find out what your audience is looking for and develop your unique selling point around that.

Needless to say, everything on your website should be immaculate. A cluttered home page will only discourage people from following the pre-build customer journey, resulting in higher bounce rates, much fewer conversions, and lower profits. Moreover, you must ensure all your images are of high quality, as they are crucial to the user experience. Lipton is an excellent example of how you can ruin your website with an image of poor quality. This is something you shouldn’t cheap out on.

A screenshot of the Lipton Website

The bane of new websites, however, is the wording. Most often, website owners fail to highlight their product’s or service’s important features, leaving the audience with more questions than answers. Copywriting is an art form, and if you didn’t dedicate the time to learn a bit more about it, it would be best to hire a professional to write it for you. However, having a bad copy is nothing compared to using jargon, swearing, or spelling mistakes. While slang and swearing can be helpful in the hands of a skilled copywriter, they are the fastest way to chase away your customers if you don’t know how to use them. More importantly, Google actually penalizes the use of swearing.

However, nothing is as damaging to your reputation as spelling or grammar errors. These mistakes can cost up to 50% of your sales.

So, what can you do?

Firstly, give yourself enough time to come up with the copy. Then, after you’ve written it, leave it for a day or two without publishing it. Then, recheck it and make the needed corrections. Finally, it would be best to ask someone else to have a look at the copy as well. That’s the only way to ensure you won’t mess up your content.

Mistake 8: Not including a clear call to action

Your website has a purpose. Whether it is to sell something, to give information about your products or services, to act as an online business card for your brand, or simply to be your portfolio, you need to articulate what exactly you expect your readers to do after they have read your content. This is one mistake that new website owners make quite often. They expect their content to be persuasive enough so that their readers would be interested enough to take the next step on their own.

Unfortunately, that’s not how customer behavior works. Instead, you need to place a clear and visible Call To Action (CTA) that will tell your audience exactly what they are supposed to do to continue (or finish) their customer’s journey. If you want to learn more about the types of CTAs, you can check out our dedicated article on the topic.

Mistake 9: Disregarding SEO

SEO is the cornerstone of your website’s success. Over 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine, while 53.3% of your entire traffic comes from organic searches. Moreover, about 60% of all marketers are adamant that their highest quality leads come from search engines, as about 15% of them close the deal. This makes SEO one truly golden investment. So naturally, if you invest time and efforts in your Search engine optimization, you will reap much higher traffic, which will come at practically no cost at all.

Unfortunately, dealing with SEO is a whole science. There is a lot you need to learn before you can make your SEO outstanding. Still, for starters, you should consider placing meta headlines, tags, and descriptions, as well as learning a bit more about keyword use and which keywords would work best for you. 

Mistake 10: No budget for advertising

Working on your SEO is a great idea, but it takes between 3-6 months to start working and bringing you customers. In the meantime, it would be an excellent idea to popularize your website the old-fashioned way through paid advertisement. You don’t need a massive budget for this endeavor. You should consider the expenditure a brand awareness campaign, where you might get some leads in return. For your campaign to be most effective, you must share your website through various channels like social media, PPC campaigns, offline marketing, and others.

Creating a good marketing campaign has a lot to do with your initial research. You need to know your audience and their interests to be able to capture their attention and advertise yourself where they are most likely to visit. For example, if you sell bikes, having a guest post on cycling-dedicated media is a perfect idea. Going on bike fests or advertising in bike parks is also a good strategy. The main concept is to have your website everywhere, so people can learn about it.

Let’s recap

While a decade ago, merely having a website was enough to put you ahead of your competitors, today, you actually need to invest in creating your online home. This takes a lot of skills, and while WordPress can help you with designing solutions, you need to customize your website to make it unique and your own. Moreover, you need to invest time and effort into your content or hire someone to do it for you. Finally, you must consider how you will get your traffic. Of course, SEO is a must, but it takes time to start working. So a better idea would be to invest a small amount in some advertising.

Before all of that, however, you will need a great domain name and outstanding hosting. Luckily we can help you with the latter. So check out our plans and ask one of our representatives which one of our plans will fit your needs best. On top of getting fast, reliable, and secure hosting, you will also get a free domain. Your first website awaits.