So you start up your own company or simply want to entertain a ‘HighTech’ hobby. First, you set up a website; a time-consuming and panic inducing process for even the most tech savvy. Upon its completion, you rejoice – the pain is over! But just because your site is up and running doesn’t mean that’s the end of your problems…
Existing amidst enormously rapid change and development online, a website’s potential for errors and mistakes grows with every minute of its existence. Whether you built your own site or used a platform like WordPress, there are various ways in which your website might be under-performing. Here are the four most common errors that you should be aware of.
Cross Browser Compatibility
Never lose sight of the fact that your website will be accessed by people using the full spectrum of browsers and devices. If you don’t intend to lock out a core section of potential visitors, you should take measures to ensure your site is operable and identical on each platform. Although it can sometimes be tempting to make use of the newest feature on a certain browser, think about who is using your site and whether it will justifiably benefit them; this is especially pertinent with HTML5 and CSS3. Test everything that you do and remember you can make use of the various sites out there designed to make the process easier and less time-consuming.
It’s the ultimate rookie mistake, but it has been made by some of the biggest companies out there. Letting your domain expire can be a costly irritation at best and an ordeal of wasted time, money, and lost business reputation at worst. Leaving your domain without renewal for too long can even result in it being completely deleted, meaning all of the hard work you put into your site is lost. If you need a reminder of the dire consequences of making this simple mistake, just ask the Dallas Cowboys about their website nightmare. In a panic now? Don’t worry – for anyone with a particularly forgetful memory, remember there are auto-renewal options for almost all hosting services!
We are all familiar with them, even if we aren’t sure how or why they appear. Some of the most common HTTP error codes flash up before us (mostly) when something has gone wrong. The most famous of them all is the 404 – roughly translated from its numeric form as ‘either you or I messed up.’ Sometimes the site user may have incorrectly typed a URL, but often it simply means a page has been removed or moved without appropriate action taken. For best practice, use 301 redirects to ensure that users of your site do not land on broken links.
A website comprised of just text and blank space isn’t going to hold anyone’s attention for long, but then again, nor is one full of horrendously blurred and pixelated images. Using photographs and other media is a great way to break up your pages, but only if they load correctly, are optimized for web use, and don’t affect your page load time. The best way to manage this is to check the image size is exactly what you need it to be, and that the file is compressed using a specific for-web program. This will drastically speed up your page performance without affecting the visual quality.
These problems reflect only a few of the most common mistakes made by website newbies, and the list is certainly not conclusive. Nevertheless, I hope they have helped you look at your site from a new perspective. By making changes early on, you can nip problems in the bud and stop them from developing further down the road!