Business owners know that the key to a prosperous online presence is to have a website. Whatever other means of creating your brand’s awareness you may use, online is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. It’s easy to suggest what you need to have on your website (we’ve created a couple of posts about that subject, here and here), but is the opposite true as well? As it turns out, it is. If your business’s website contains any of the items we have listed below, you need to get professional help to remove them ASAP!
- Flash animations and plugins
We have already discussed Flash in a previous blog post, but we have to reiterate what we said here: Flash is basically ending, if not gone already from several browsers and programs. Animations, videos, and several other elements using Flash are no longer going to work on your website next year. Not to mention the great risk you take in keeping it up on your site now; it’s a dying software that attracts a lot of nasty computer viruses and more. Switch to a more up-to-date program if you simply can’t part with this aspect of your business’s website and get rid of Flash ASAP.
- Automated music/video clips
These were pretty popular when Myspace was a thing, but now it’s not. Yet, some websites do still automatically play audio and video when you reach their home page. Not only are these annoying, but also they can force a website’s loading time to slow down to a crawl. Sometimes even moving the mouse to mute the audio or video clip can be an effort to the user, depending on how old the software or plugin being used is. If you still think these are a good idea, you’re wrong. Leave these features in the past, where they belong, and get them off of your business’s website.
- Broken links
Nothing says you don’t care about your website quite like reaching a 404 error page on your website where there should be helpful content, accessible features, and whatever else you want your customers to find. This one’s a no-brainer, yet for some reason almost every website has them and they don’t seem to notice until after a valued customer points it out. That’s not something you want, either!
Some broken links are easier to find than others, and nowadays WordPress sites offer effective plugins to detect this sort of thing. However, some links are trickier to fix than others, and the number may be so huge that you don’t have time to fix them all. If that’s the case, and there’s more than just broken links to remove, then maybe a new website is actually for the best. It sounds expensive, but for your company’s sake, an overhaul of a site update is worthwhile. Here are a few other reasons why.
- Non-helpful images
Note that we did not say ‘all images’. That’s because images remain a powerful tool for your website; it’s what draws people in to read more of the article you published, or to learn what your company is all about, or to see if they really want to buy that bouquet of flowers or that cleaning product you’re offering.
When we say non-helpful images, we mean the images that are doing a number of things:
- They’re forcing your website to slow down, because of loading time
- They’re very, very obvious stock photos that people can detect from miles away
- They’re pixelated images that look like someone was an amateur (which is usually the case)
None of these images are helpful and they all should be removed altogether or at least re-designed to look more professional and not force a site to load slowly. Don’t go cheap when it comes to images, because doing so will show customers that you are in fact cheap. And if the images are too big for a site to handle, then they no longer suit their purpose. Take them down.
- Extra-long contact forms
We know there are certain details you may need from your customers in some cases, but you don’t need to know their life story. So why build a contact form on your website based on all the nitty-gritty details? Some forms we’ve seen have asked for so many things that it’s no wonder people aren’t bothering with them—they’re too long, they’re too invasive, and they’re too demanding.
If you really want people to use a contact form on your website, whether it’s for getting in touch with you or to sign up for an e-newsletter, you only should ask for three things: an e-mail address, a first name, and a last name. That’s it. Other parts that are okay to add should be a message box (which should always be marked as ‘optional’) and if you need to a category drop-down menu as to the subject of the message.
Any more options than these, and you’ll be making people feel like they’re giving away too much of their personal information—which to some, can be a big risk to take. So, if your contact forms are longer than the average 4 blocks or so, get help to shorten the form or just remove and replace them entirely.
There are a lot more things that are worth removing from your website, but in most cases it’s for the best that you get professionals to help you out. If there’s too much work to be done removing all of these five things and more—maybe it’s been too long since it was updated—then get a new website you and your staff can be proud of. Give us a call and we can help make that dream website a reality—without adding any one of these items, mind you!