Building and designing a business website today is an exciting process (for both developer and client). There are so many directions that a project can go and the solutions available are seemingly endless. With this wealth of options, we have noticed some ill side effects for site owners due to overindulging in new technology.
Too much automation
Nobody likes unnecessary work, and given the opportunity to streamline our days, we’ll take it every time. A business website can certainly do this for you, but take care not to cut yourself out of the loop. Over-streamlining and automating processes to the point that you are no longer directly involved can be a big negative. In many market sectors, clients need and expect direct interaction. Without it, it can appear like your business is hiding behind contact forms and code. Find an even balance and don’t forget they want to buy from you – not the code.
Too much information
Some business website owners (especially early on) want to include everything but the kitchen sink on their sites. While this can make for a large and informative site, in our real-world observations it can lead to people contacting you less. If that is the goal (which in some cases might be appropriate), then go for it! But, if one of your main goals is to have people contact you, tread carefully. Providing lots of authoritative information can be good for creating brand trust. But if your site visitors can effectively window shop your site, they may not call to find out more. Most site owners need these calls to keep their sales conversions high. Typical websites, just like brochures, will rarely outsell a good business owner or salesperson. If this is important to you, be sure to include just enough information to get them interested and come directly to you for more.
Too many gizmos
Who doesn’t love having the latest and greatest toys? As web developers we are always on the lookout for the next big thing – but they aren’t for everyone or every application. Consider whether the feature is useful and/or needed before adding something just for the “cool factor”. Yes, social media is hot right now but do you need to include every social network, app and widget on your site? And yes, animated intro pages are very visually appealing, but is it really helping you turn site visitors into clients? Remember that the site is for your clients, and pick solutions that best fit the audience and content. Like in most things, moderation and proper application is the key.