Often sites present text in fonts that are too small, and/or the colors used for the font and background do not contrast enough to be seen clearly. This is critically important if your customers are over 40 years of age. Also consideration is not given to the fact that many customers may be using an old browser, or a low resolution screen.
All business sites should be technically correct/defect free in their HTML markup and any technologies they use. All markup should be compliant with established standards, and should cater for the widest audience. If the site isn't technically correct, it probably won't work for a large number of customers, who will go elsewhere.
If the design is not professionally presented, your business will not appear professional either. Some sites prioritize design criteria above function, so while it may be very a pretty and entertaining site, it can be difficult to get any information from the site.
If your customers cannot easily find the information they came for, they will go to your competitors.
Flashy animations and effects are fun for designers to play with, but unless you are in the business of selling animations and effects, they may not be appropriate for your site. They may not be presenting your business in a professional manner, and are probably distracting your customers from seeing your business message. In most cases, your customers are visiting your site to get information, not to be entertained. Oftentimes gimmicks don't work in many browsers, and slow down or stop your customers from accessing your information.
Many business sites do not provide basic contact information, such as phone number, address, hours of business, or even detail their products or services. What is the point of a site that doesn't provide these?
Sometimes the information provided is not targeted to the correct audience, or may expose private information which should have been kept private.
Inappropriate use of English will reflect poorly on the professionalism of your business. If your language skills are not up to scratch, hire a copywriter.
News pages are great if you update them regularly (e.g. weekly or monthly). If you don't, your customers may infer that you don't care about them, you aren't up to anything important, or worse, that you have gone out of business. How often have you visited a site where the news page was only updated for 3 months, but hasn't been updated in the last 3 years?
It is all too easy to spend $100 or more a month for hosting a site which could be hosted for $10 a month, or to spend $1000+ for a site design which could have been done for $100 or less. Internet sites should be one of the least expensive and most cost effective marketing tools an organization can have.
See also my page on ten issues to consider before establishing, or while re-evaluating a website strategy.
Copyright © 2010 March 4th Software