It’s a simple enough question – nobody using the internet wants to find themselves browsing a shit website, so as a business trying to find potential leads or sales via a website, why would you have one?
A shit website comes in many forms. Sometimes it can be purely a visual thing – poor quality graphics and a very dated look, whilst other times it could be down to the functionality, with issues such as slow loading speeds, inefficient layout, and broken links creating a poor user experience.
Typically, this sort of low quality website comes down to one simple thing – cost cutting. By cutting costs, you’re also cutting corners, with the result being a shit website that will put off prospective clients. Web design can often be an expensive job, but there’s a reason for that – putting together a website of high standard can take up many, many hours, from the initial brief to the design, build and testing. You’re not just paying for the hours and hours of work, but you’re also paying for innovative, unique ideas, and work carried out to the highest standards.
It helps to think of a new website build as an investment. Businesses might invest in more staff, equipment and marketing, but a new, high quality website should be considered just as important an investment. A good website can increase your reach and visibility, in turn bringing in more enquiries, sales and business – eventually, it will pay for itself!
So, aside from spending more money, how can you ensure you don’t end up with a shit website? Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you might have a shit website:
1. Little, poor quality content
A website should be filled with all the information a visitor will be looking for. For a lot of companies, displaying information and selling points for their services and products is the main aim of their website, so a site having very little information on it is a sure fire sign of a job poorly done.
To add to this, it’s not always about quantity, but also the quality. You can have a site filled with thousands of words, but if they’re full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, and is written in a way that makes it difficult to read, there’s no point.
2. Inconsistent branding
A good website should have the business’s branding running right through it. Branding is designed to give potential customers a specific intended message and certain connotations, but on poor websites, brand guidelines are often forgotten, with random colours used, and a mish-mash of fonts.
Without that unique identity set out by a well-designed brand, the website could be for absolutely any company.
3. Poor colour combinations
According to stats from colourblindawareness.org, approximately 1 in 12 of the world’s men suffer with colour blindness, something that also affects around 4.5% of the entire UK population.
So, when a website displays text in a colour that clashes with a similar colour behind it, information can be lost as it becomes impossible to read. Poor colour combinations are so simple to identify and resolve, yet it’s something that happens on so many low quality websites.
4. Unclear navigation
How can a user be expected to click around your website to find more information or get in touch if your menus and links are completely unclear. Maybe your hyperlinks are poorly formatted so they aren’t highlighted amongst standard text, or maybe your menu is hidden, with only an unlabelled button bringing it up? Sometimes buttons just won’t work, or links you click take you to a completely incorrect page? These are all extremely clear, obvious signs that your site falls under the “shit” label.
5. No mobile responsiveness
Data from statista.com shows that 52.2% of worldwide web traffic comes from mobile devices in 2018, yet a huge proportion of websites still aren’t formatted to display efficiently on them.
If a mobile user loads up a website and has to keep zooming in and out and moving around the web page to actually find what they’re looking for, chances are they’ll exit quite quickly and find a mobile-friendly alternative.
It’s industry standard now for websites to be built with full responsiveness, meaning one design will adjust to the device it’s being viewed on, rather than having an alternative mobile website, or no mobile version at all.
6. Poor Google rankings
This isn’t always down to your website being poor – it can also be down to being in a highly competitive industry that might lead to you requiring an intensive SEO campaign.
However, a shit website can cause your rankings to be considerably lower than those of better designed competitors. So many factors lead to this, including a lot of the above points. For example, Google recently introduced its “mobile first” indexing algorithm that has a keen focus on better placing sites that are tailored towards mobile users.
Rankings are decided by an endless number of factors, but things like broken links and little original content can lead to penalisation, while things such as a site that isn’t very user friendly, offering a poor user experience, can lead to visitors exiting, which in turn leaves you with a very low average session time, and a high bounce rate, both of which tell Google your site isn’t good enough for a high placement.
Overall, paying little money for a shit website is a wasted investment. You’ll get no business, and as such no return. Paying more might at first seem like an expensive decision, but eventually you’ll see just how worth it it is. You’ll have a website that you can be proud of and your visitors will be happy to use, with that investment generating a great return. Don’t be afraid to spend more to get the job done.