Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up a whole new website, or an established brand looking to give your existing website a makeover, you probably already know that setting up a website is not easy.
However, if you are laboring under an incorrect set of assumptions, it is even harder.
In this post, I plan to debunk some of the most widespread myths about website development.
If you’ve fallen for some of these beliefs, don’t feel bad. You’re not stupid – they are. Running a website is complicated and challenging, and these myths are mostly propagated by amateurs with half-baked knowledge on how to put up a website.
Without further ado, here are six crazy myths about website development that you should stop believing right now.
Myth 1: You can save money by building your website yourself
If you think that building your website yourself can help save you a heap of money, think again. Your website will invariably look more professional and have a stronger impact on visitors if it’s built by a good developer. It will also be more likely to give you a great ROI in the long term.
Trust me, the one-off amount you invest in getting your website set up by a professional will ultimately generate more revenue and less heartache than any attempts to build it yourself.
- Website building requires a strong knowledge of industry practices. It is not possible for you, as an entrepreneur or a manager, to be fully conversant with those. Leave the technical work to the professionals while you focus on building up your market share and increasing your bottom line.
- A good agency and its designers will take time to profile your users, formulate a plan, and do the groundwork. They will know the right strategies to make your website do what it is designed to do, i.e., sell.
- An agency that offers integrated online marketing solutions can also help you with other activities beyond website development, such as web discoverability. This is essential in today’s competitive, SEO-optimised world.
You do need to conduct some research when choosing a web design agency. Ask questions, such as whether they can provide assistance with SEO optimisation and content marketing for your brand or business. See if they offer ongoing maintenance or post-sale services so that you won’t be stuck with a website you don’t know how to manage in the future.
In short, look for a company that gives you a website that offers multiple services and will give you support post website completion.
Image Source: Hashtag17
Myth 2: It is not necessary for all websites to be mobile-optimized
I’m not sure if anyone really believes this anymore – with smartphones making life so much faster on the go, a huge number of people browse websites using their mobiles. Therefore, it is imperative to have a website that is responsive across all devices, and cross-browser compatible.
According to a report by StatCounter, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop internet usage for the first time in 2016. You simply can’t afford to believe this myth, because:
- The objectives of customers who enter your website through mobile are very different: they are generally after quick information and have an impulse to buy more quickly. A survey by ING across 13 European states showed 42% of smartphone shoppers made purchases impulsively.
- Optimizing your website for mobile devices provides your users with a good user experience (UX) because they can comfortably browse your website while on the fly.
- If your website is not responsive, your bounce rate will increase leading to a drop in your search engine rankings.
Websites like Mile High Comics (pictured in the screenshot below) are extremely disruptive and unpleasant to browse. A website that is not mobile-friendly will ultimately drive your customers away.
Myth 3: Writing content for your website is the easy part
Many people who launch their websites defer the content to later. This is because they think content development is easy and can be outsourced to an inexpensive writer. This is a huge mistake. The content of a website is what engages customers the most. It should always be planned first, not last.
- Content marketing breeds a strong understanding of your target audience and competitors. It also makes you identify your key features and benefits, pricing differences and overall values.
- Impressive content is hard to write and takes time. You also shouldn’t assume that if you hire a writer, they’ll get it right first try. This is partly because they’ll need a strong brief to work from – so you can’t expect a miracle.
- Website content should be keyword-optimized, well-written, value-laden, and include a strong call to action. This isn’t a last-minute undertaking or an area where you want to cut costs.
Do not underestimate how long a simple ‘About’ section can take to write. Having a content strategy is equally as important as a site map.
Myth 4: Adding more features will bring more views and customers
A lot of people believe that offering more features on a website will bring them more customers. On the contrary, however, you might end up either overwhelming them or confusing them about what it is that you offer.
How could more features be a hindrance, you ask? I’ll tell you:
- A website’s clarity gets compromised when you add unnecessary features. This, in turn, could cause customers to exit your web page and move onto those of competitors.
- You could be putting in additional work for redundant features which will actually hurt your bottom line.
- Keeping it simple is always best. A few features will suffice, provided the customer gets a clear overview of your product, how it works and how it can help them.
A great example of a simple, fuss-free website is ETQ Amsterdam. Their website design is very simple and the messaging is very clear.
Myth 5: Having a great website alone will generate enough traffic
Many people labor under the misapprehension that building an attractive website is enough to generate traffic. While the design should not be undermined, there are other factors you need to think about to increase your site traffic and on-site conversions.
- Choosing and buying a strong domain name
- The web host you use
- The overall site accessibility
- The content quality
- Keyword research
- SEO (search engine optimization)
Setting clear and measurable goals with an idea of your specific audience in mind will help you go a long way. Prioritizing these goals also will greatly help your marketing strategies for your website. Remember good design is not the only thing that your website needs.
Myth 6: Once you’ve finished building your website, it’s time to rest!
Websites and post-creation often remain forgotten for a long time. You must keep in mind that your website development is an ongoing process. If you think launching a website is a lot of work, then listen up – this is just the beginning!
Update your website constantly, evaluate it, optimize it, and make adjustments to the content and layout according to website data. You will need to keep working on it long after it goes live.
A big factor to consider is the security of your website. Hacking attempts are generally automated. Hacker bots look for vulnerabilities in websites. A survey showed 41% of hacking was due to vulnerabilities in hosting platforms.
Experts from website design agency Hashtag17 recommend the following to minimize attacks:
- Host your website with a reputed provider. Get dedicated hosting if possible.
- Back up your data periodically.
- Use strong usernames and passwords. Avoid using ‘admin’ as your username.
- Use a two-step authentication process.
- Limit the number of login attempts.
Building a website requires strategic thinking and in-depth knowledge of industry practices and market trends. To attract visitors and give your business the strongest market share possible, don’t believe any of the above myths. Now is the time to look at the actual facts and realities of website development, and put your best foot forward.
What qualifies as effective website design is constantly evolving, along with web browsers and devices, so take the time and resources necessary to optimize your site and make sure it delivers the best experience possible.