Maybe it's because we're trying to hit an urgent project deadline. Maybe we just have this intense excitement about launching our business on the web. Or maybe we just want to be the first ones within our industry to capture that large market share by selling to consumers immediately.
Regardless of the reason, rushing to create a website will only give ourselves more trouble in the future as several frustrating problems will start popping up to slow down the entire site and prevent important features from working properly.
Thus, resulting in a poorly designed experience that frustrates customers in various aspects.
If those problems aren’t avoided, it could risk losing you sales, web traffic and the ability to generate quality sales (or leads), which ends up costing the business even more in the long run.
So, let’s explore the 10 common problems businesses would usually face when they get a new website, alongside the solutions they can take to fix them as soon as they appear.
1) The Final Design Looks Horrible!
This usually happens when businesses put price over quality by prioritizing those who can offer them a website at the cheapest amount available. As a result, this ‘low-budget’ option will inevitably produce something such as this:
Not only does this create a terrible first impression of the brand, but it also communicates to customers that the business is unprofessional and only offers ‘cheap’ or ‘low-quality’ products and services that are not worth spending on.
Thus, this leads to the perception of claiming ‘the final design looks horrible!’, as they were given an end-product that damages the reputation of the business, which cost them customers that could have resulted in potential leads and sales generated for the company.
Another reason for such a scenario to happen is due to the miscommunications between both parties in the early stages of the web design process.
For instance, certain freelancers and agencies do not provide a ‘mockup’ of the design (a visual representation of the product) for the website unless they are asked.
This is a huge problem because businesses aren’t able to visualize how the entire website will look at the very end, while being under the impression that the design references given were enough to communicate what they wanted their site to look like.
Hence, this leads to more wasted time and in some scenarios, more money spent because of ‘re-design’ fees, as they need to start from scratch by redesigning the entire site.
Always ask (or search) for a design portfolio of the potential candidate
This is especially easier when you’re looking for a web design agency, as they will have plenty of past projects to show their expertise and experience in building websites for businesses across various industries.
Here’s an example:
Moreover, ask for a mockup of the website, especially the homepage so everyone can discuss the direction of the design.
This lets each party (particularly the business) list down their likes and dislikes for it so it can prevent any ‘last-minute’ surprises regarding the design looking different or horrible as mentioned above.
By doing so, you are able to build an attractive, high-quality website that not only impresses customers on the first go, but also a professional brand that establishes your authority in one’s respective industry.
2) The Website Isn't Showing Up On Search Engines!
After launching a brand new website, most businesses expect to have their website found in various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. immediately.
While it’s easy to think that this is the case, the reality is actually much different as search engines require time to use a software called ‘web crawlers’ or ‘spiders’ to discover (or index) your website.
Not only that, but there also several factors that determines how quick it’s found such as:
- Number of Pages
- Content Quality
- Site Structure
- Quantity & Quality of Backlinks
A good estimate is to give it a few days because it can vary between several hours to weeks according to the characteristics (or factors shown above) of the website.
But what happens if it’s still not found after a few weeks? Then there’s likely a technical issue (ranging from back-end code to SEO) that’s preventing your website from being found, which causes the spiders from search engines to ignore you.
There are several solutions to help resolve this:
a) Contact the person (or agency) who designed your website
They should be your first solution as they can investigate for technical issues within the site. This helps to resolve those errors quickly so the spiders can start indexing your site as soon as possible.
b) Get help from Google’s support resource
Next, you can try finding a solution from Google’s resource page by looking for answers from the community. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to find the answers to your problems as the community has helped many users and businesses troubleshoot all kinds of different problems.
c) Look for SEO services that are able to assist you in this matter
In the worst case scenario, you’ll need to look for a company who provides search engine optimization (SEO) services as they can help look into your website for any issues and errors that’s preventing the site from being indexed.
This is especially easier when working with a web design agency, particularly those that offer SEO services as well.
Not only will they ensure your website is built with this aspect in mind, but they’ll also provide you with the necessary tools (i.e. Google Search Console) and guide you through a step-by-step manner in case you want to manage your website on your own.
This helps the business to save on cost, especially for the fees needed to redesign the website or to hire an SEO service that’s exclusively contracted to resolve and prevent such issues from happening again in the future.
3) Why Is It So Difficult To Use The Site On Mobile Phones?
This happens when the website isn’t built to be ‘mobile-friendly’, which essentially means having a site that is easy to be used on mobile devices (smartphones & tablets).
As shown, mobile-friendly websites take into context the smaller screen size available, which makes it easy for customers to view, use and browse the entire site.
If that isn’t done, then you’ll likely get an interface that is clunky, hard to use and ‘unsmooth’, which results in a frustrating experience for users that leads to them giving up and leaving the site for someone else’s instead.
Have your website built to be ‘responsive’.
Note that the term responsive is used instead of mobile friendly, as the latter refers to having a scaled-down version of your website to make it friendly for mobile devices.
However, this also means having to spend more on creating another site just to cater to this other segment of users.
Instead, responsive design is used because it allows the website to responsively adapt itself to different devices (desktops, tablets & mobile) by adjusting its images, content, layout size according to the screen size of a given device.
Thus, saving the need and cost to create a separate mobile website.
During the early stages of building the website, a web design agency will usually get all project stakeholders involved to do a usability test, which allows them to monitor for any bugs and issues when it comes to using the website on different devices.
Here, you can then take this opportunity to test out the site on as many devices as possible. In fact, it’s encouraged to do so as it helps prevent the final product from being limited to only working well within one device while failing in the others.
But why should businesses care about optimizing their website for mobile phones? Isn’t a desktop version enough?
To answer that question, here are some statistics regarding the usage of mobile phones for customers (in 2021):
- There are currently 4.88 billion smartphone phone users worldwide, which equals 62.07% of people in the world.
- 69% of internet users prefer to look for reviews on their phones rather than approach an in-store employee
- 6 out of 10 shoppers say the option to via mobile is an important factor in brand selection.
From there, it’s clear why businesses need to pay attention to mobile users as they make up a large portion of the web’s traffic, which is crucial to customer acquisition and revenue growth for the company in the long term.
4) It's Taking Too Long to Load! What's Happening?
There are many reasons why a website (and its pages) might load very slowly. Some common ones includes:
- Large media file sizes (unoptimized images & videos)
- Too many themes, plugins and add-ons
- Unnecessary code and functionalities
- Slow and poor quality hosting
Other times, it could be a range of more complex technical issues such as:
- No caching installed
- Network issues
- Bloated database overheads
- No content delivery networks
Similarly, contact the person (or agency) who designed your website.
They can quickly identify any issues that’s causing the site to slow down while also providing recommendations on how you can prevent such headaches from happening in the future.
If not taken care of, customers will continue to be frustrated, to which they will leave and get what they need from other alternatives instead.
Moreover, search engines will also penalize slow-loading websites by pushing down its rankings and replacing it with other sites instead. This makes being found online especially difficult as the business will then have to compete with even more companies that are after the same objective.
In any case, your website needs to be built as ‘light’ as possible, which is the model offered by web design agencies as they only use the most necessary code needed to ensure your entire site is kept running smoothly and efficiently 24/7.
5) I Want To Edit The Website. How Can I Do It?
For some businesses, it’s understandable that they don’t have the time or expertise to be spent on editing their website, to which they will then outsource the task to third parties instead.
However, if they prefer to do this on their own because they like the flexibility of updating their website’s content (i.e. product listing & blogs) whenever they choose to, then they can have that option as well.
Integrate a content management system (CMS) into the website.
Simply put, it’s a software application that allows users to create, edit, store and publish any digital content. This allows you to easily make any changes to the site’s
content at a moment’s notice without much hassle or technical expertise.
In fact, most web design agencies offer this as an option for businesses early on during the discussion phase of the project before they start building the actual website.
6) How Do I Track The Number of Users Visiting My Website?
Starting off, it’s great that you are aware of the need to track the amount of visitors coming into your website.
However, if you’re unsure why analytics is needed, especially when it comes to running a business online, then here’s a summary on what you need to know in regards to tracking the number of users coming into your website:
- With analytics, you can easily tell how many users are visiting the site on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
- Next, it provides important information about the profile of your users (i.e. age, interests, country etc.)
- Besides that, it helps you understand the performance of your website, such as which page is the most popular amongst users (i.e. ‘best sellers’ page).
- Not only that, but you also get to visualize how visitors are using and moving around the site (i.e. homepage > best sellers > sign up > promotions > check out)
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on what analytics can do for your website, as there are plenty more ways businesses can utilize the data to measure the success of their website in terms of acquiring and retaining customers going forward.
Integrate a Google Analytics account with your website.
To get started, you can refer to this guide by Google. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that the person (or agency) who designed your website has already done so.
In that instance, just contact them regarding this and they will guide you through on how you can start using the analytics to measure your website’s performance, while easily viewing and accessing the data at any given time.
7) Why Are The Numbers For My Visitor Traffic So Low?
With a new website, it’s normal for this to happen because search engines are still crawling (or inspecting) the contents of the entire site to determine how valuable and relevant it is to users based on the keywords they’re searching for.
From there, it will assign a rank and page number to your site, which influences the amount of traffic it can potentially get.
Simply put, the higher your website ranks, the more likely you’ll get a higher visitor traffic number.
However, if the numbers are still low after the site has gone ‘live’ for a few weeks, then it shouldn’t be a cause for concern as it takes time to gain traction and build up the numbers, especially if you’re starting out at a lower rank.
But, there are other things you can do to speed up this process as well, which are - advertising and digital marketing (especially SEO).
Create an advertising and/or digital marketing strategy to promote your website.
Some businesses are equipped with enough resources (i.e. marketing department & advertising budget) to handle this, to which they’ll be able to solve this problem from their end.
But for those without such privilege, they’ll need to do this on their own or outsource the task to a digital marketing agency instead.
Another solution is to ask the web design agency that helped build your site for advertising and digital marketing services. Oftentimes, some will provide this as an add-on service, while others might be more specialized in just designing the website itself.
Thus, most businesses tend to go for an all-in-one creative agency who offers a wide range of services such as advertising, branding, digital marketing, web design & development, print & media production, packaging design, etc.
Through this ‘360 degree’ approach, companies are able to get a one-stop solution to meet all their business needs from a single point, without having to deal with multiple third parties that requires extra time, effort and cost to manage in order to successfully promote their website.
In fact, they’re often a better choice because these ‘360 creative agencies’ take a different approach to helping companies achieve their goals.
One of which is by conducting in-depth discovery sessions with them to better understand their business as a whole (i.e. its challenges & objectives) before providing anything that doesn’t contribute to accomplishing the goals of the business.
From there, they will tailor-make a comprehensive solution that’s uniquely designed to help them achieve their business objectives, in both the short and longer-term horizon.
8) Why Aren't There Any Leads or Sales Generated?
There are several reasons as to why a website might not be generating any leads or sales. Some of which can range from simple issues such as:
- Lack of call-to-action buttons (CTA)
- Missing contact information
- Non-existent lead generation methods (i.e. inquiry forms)
In other instances however, the problem could be much bigger as they relate to the overall website in various aspects, such as:
- Unoptimized landing pages
- Poorly designed user experience (UX)
- Non-existent social proof
- Wrong user traffic acquired
Optimize your website according to the objectives of your business.
Before a website is built, one needs to understand why they are creating one in the first place. For example:
- Sales (or lead) generation
- Attracting partnerships, donations, investors etc.
- Informing & educating users
- Communicating with users
- Brand building
Once the business is clear on the main goal for its website, then they can start optimizing various aspects of it to help them accomplish their objectives.
In this instance, sales and lead generation requires the website to be designed in a way that persuades users entering the site to be converted into customers that will purchase your products and services.
This is done so through:
- Sales-optimized landing pages (i.e. clear CTAs on important pages to directs users into taking action)
- Lead generation funnels (i.e. content marketing through blogs and EDMs)
- Refined user experience (i.e. designing the user’s navigational journey to be simple & as efficient as possible)
While traffic volume is one aspect to measuring the overall success of a website, converting them into leads or sales however, requires businesses to take a different approach in order to overcome this challenge.
Similarly, it’s why companies often go for a ‘360 creative agency’ as their discovery session helps them understand the true purpose behind creating a website in the first place.
From there, it acts as the main influence that affects the overall visual, content, site structure and more, which ultimately contributes to a website that is primed for generating leads and sales for the business.
When not optimized however, the company will then perceive the site to be a poor investment as it does not justify the ROI they’re expecting due to the number of leads and sales generated.
9) Why Is It Saying 'This Site Is Not Secured'?
Oftentimes, this happens when a website is rushed through or hastily created as it didn’t take into consideration of various important factors (i.e. security). Thus, leading to an outcome such as this:
In the past, most websites were using HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), an unsecured channel of passing and exchanging information between the users and the site.
This meant that anyone viewing or browsing the website was vulnerable to having their data stolen from third parties (i.e. hackers & cybercriminals) who might have ill intentions of using it for malicious purposes (i.e. stealing credit card info).
As the general population becomes more educated on topics related to the internet (i.e. cybersecurity), businesses will need to be ready to address customer concerns about the safety of their information.
If not done so, it will scare and drive them away from your website as they are aware of the risks and consequences of being exposed to a site without proper cybersecurity measures in place.
Moreover, this increases the likelihood of cybersecurity threats happening regularly for the company’s website such as:
- Data breaches
- Phishing attacks (i.e. stealing employee info through emails)
- Malware attacks (i.e. corrupting important data)
Switch to HTTPS by obtaining an SSL certificate.
For some, this process might be difficult due to the complexity of needing to understand various jargons as well having the technical know-hows to successfully obtain the certificate.
Thus, they often outsource this task to agencies instead to save time, cost and human resources.
In any case, an experienced web design agency will have already done this early on before launching the website, as they always ensure that every necessary step is properly taken to protect their client’s website from various cybersecurity threats that are out to sabotage the business.
10) I Don't Know What This Error Is! How Can I Fix It?
Sometimes, a website will give an unknown error (i.e. broken links) or have certain features and functions important to customers to stop working all of a sudden.
This might cause businesses to assume that their site is down, broken or even hacked by cybercriminals.
In such instances, the company can try their luck with troubleshooting these problems on their own by searching for guides and tutorials online.
However, if they don't have the time or technical expertise to spare into managing these issues, then there’s only one alternative left.
Get a website maintenance package.
Not only does this help address the unknown errors and issues that pop up, but it also provide other benefits that are important for keeping the website in peak condition, such as:
- Performance monitoring (i.e. to test for any errors within pages, features & functionalities)
- Content management (i.e. to ensure the content is SEO-friendly)
- Regular software & plugin updates
- Routine website backups (to have a backup site ready in case the main one crashes)
Because of that, it’s clear why businesses would choose to have this add-on service as they know the time needed to train their employees into managing the technical aspects of their website is costly and time-consuming.
Thus, they’d rather outsource it to web design agencies who have an experienced team dedicated to such tasks.
By doing so, they are able to avoid costly downtimes that affect their online operations, while saving them the frustration of tackling such difficult problems that are not in their area of expertise.
In summary, these are the 10 most common problems that are likely to occur when businesses are getting themselves a new website.
However, to ensure that such issues don’t occur on a regular basis, it’s important for companies to go back to the basics and focus on the fundamentals instead - building a great website.
This essentially means selecting the right candidate (or most in case a web design agency) to carry out the job, particularly an experienced one. Not only that, but the company should not be prioritizing price over quality when such an asset is so crucial to the overall growth and success of the business.
By doing so, they are reducing the risk of having an underperforming investment because they’re getting a beautiful and professional looking website, optimized to help them achieve their desired goals and business objectives in both the near-term and longer-term going forward.