Common Mistakes of DIY Websites
Website builders like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and GoDaddy make creating your own website easier than ever. That is why so many government organizations try to find in-house or DIY website solutions to promote themselves. While this may be cost-effective there are many common mistakes that can occur when building your own website.
In order to help you avoid these mistakes, we’ve complied the following list of mistakes we’ve seen on DIY websites and ways you can fix them. Some solutions you may be able to do on your own, others may require the help of a professional.
Fix It Yourself:
It’s very common to see website text aligned in the center of the page or bolded in places it shouldn’t be. The text on your website needs to be aesthetically appealing and easy to read. Choose a simple font, regular case, aligned left, and makes sure the font color contrasts the background enough. The only exceptions to this are page headings and subtitles, which may be bolded.
No Page Title:
When someone shares a page of your website what will the post say? Will it have a nice image? You need to include pages title and featured images on your website. Try to think of page titles that are interesting, rather than generic. For example, at GovUnity instead of titling a page “Home,” we might choose a title like “GovUnity: Leaders in Website Design.”
While it is good to have titles and descriptions, you don’t want to overload your website with text. Your home page should include an attractive image that showcases your brand, and a simple description about what you. You also don’t want to have too many thin content pages. Rather than creating a page for every element of the website, try subdividing content within the overall site.
If you are designing the website yourself, odds are you’re also writing the content yourself. Makes sure that you take your time and read through everything carefully before you publish it. Have a friend or coworker go through it too, to help catch any typos and make sure it all makes sense.
Forgetting the User Experience:
When setting up your website it is good to identify goals, but it can also be easy to think more about what you want from the website than about what users need. You may choose a layout that you like. But you need to ask, what will your website visitors like. What will help create the best user experience?
Obviously one of the appeals of creating your own website is the cost. But remember that by doing it yourself you are already saving money. So, use a well-known CMS like WordPress, rather than some unknown platform.
Fix It With Help:
Many website templates are not built with responsiveness in mind. They focus on the desktop experience and forget that most users will probably be visiting their site on a mobile device. Fixing this issue may require the help of a professional web developer.
Not Search Engine Optimized (SEO):
Most template designs are not search engine optimized. This means a template website will appear lower in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, making it harder to find. Professional web designers and developers focus on coding, content, and more to make sure your website is optimized for all major search engines.
In previous blogs we have mentioned that template websites are less secure. This is because if hackers can break into one template that often means they can access to other websites as well. Additionally, if you mess with the coding of your website at all you may be opening up doors for security breaks. Professionally developed websites will have an SSL certification that helps assure user that their information is safe on your website.
Most website templates are fairly generic, but your website needs to reflect your brand. It can be hard to incorporate things as simple as your logo with a template design. A website designer can custom design a site built entire around your brand, to meet your needs.
GovUnity will work with too to find a professional and affordable website design solution. In response to COVID 19 GovUnity is offering website design and hosting services to communities without a web presence as part of a $70/month 3-year contract. This offer is valid now through December 31st. Contact GovUnity today and work with our team of experts to build a website that meets all of your needs.