Everyone makes mistakes and websites are no different. However, there are some obvious pitfalls you can avoid. Below are some simple tips to keep you on track.
1. Having a super long domain.
We get it. There are only so many domains out there that make sense. We do a lot of work here in Montana and sometimes finding a domain can be tricky for businesses in a common name space.
We inherit a lot of website work from previous developers and often find ourselves stuck with really ugly URLs. For example, say you own "Cool Fast Cars," a high-end car dealership that shares its name with a accessories manufacturer in a different state who registered coolfastcars.com. What do you do? What you don't do is register the domain "cool-fast-cars-montana.com." Trust me as a guy with a hyphen in his domain name, those things are terrible. Try telling that to someone over the phone--you sound stupid. A better option is "coolfastcarsmt.com" (we are in Montana remember) or better yet, cfcars.com.
2. Having an inconsistent message or interface
What is it you do? If you're like a lot of small businesses you probably do many things. We recommend finding a good umbrella term and make that your main message. Focus on something thats works for your personas on a broad, but obvious level and then work in your indivdual services or products from there. This keeps the message consistent and what you do clear. Having different looks, interfaces and designs for everything you do makes you look unorganized and sends the impression you're not very good at any of them.
3. Poorly executing a rebrand
If you decide it's time to drop that logo your cousin's friend did for you 8 years ago for $50, make sure you do it well. Slapping a logo into your header makes you look lazy and uncommitted to the change. People will have trouble recognizing your new identity or won't take it seriously. If you commit to this, you have to really commit. Go all the way...print materials, change your web layout and update old ads that are getting circulated. Wipe that old logo off the face of the earth. You can always look back at it and laugh later.
4. Having "Coming Soon" content
Are you adding content and want people to know its coming? There's a difference between teasing something and just not getting it done. Never use "coming soon" pages unless the page itself has a specific date on when the content will be released. Show you have a plan and stick to it.
5. Form over Function
Content, content, content. Just because something looks nice doesn't mean it's good. Make sure that your content is useful, on brand and directed at your target audience to fulfill their needs, not yours.