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5 Common Mistakes with DIY Websites

,With the rise of DIY website builders and easy to use Content Management Systems such as WordPress, it's never been easier to create a simple online home for your business.  However, is your Wix website wasting opportunities?  Or worse, is Squarespace sending your visitors running elsewhere?  Here's our list of the top 5 mistakes we come across.

1.  Cheap Hosting

With major hosting companies charging as little as the price of a fancy coffee for a month of hosting, why wouldn't you jump on board?  For small, creative projects this is ideal - but not so much for businesses.  The low prices are achieved by sharing the server with lots of other websites, and when these sites start to get busy - your site gets slow.  And did you know that almost a quarter of visitors will abandon your site after waiting more than 4 seconds?

Site speed not only affects whether or not people actually wait for your site to finish loading, it also has an impact on your SEO and search rankings. Sites that take longer to load will drop down the rankings, overtaken by faster, more agile sites. 

At SpiderGroup, we offer dedicated hosting to businesses that know the importance of fast, reliable servers.  Find out more about our Virtual Servers here.

2.  Mobile Unfriendly

There are a lot of great mobile-first themes and designs to chose from online for your DIY website but it's important to give your site a try on different types of mobile phone or tablets - not all templates are creative equally. 

Find sections that you've customised with big images, social media feeds or plugins and check them across different devices.  Services like BrowserStack are great for checking over your site without the need to spend a fortune on the latest technology.

If it feels like your hands are performing acrobatics navigating your site on the latest iPhone, get in touch - we know all the tricks for making a site properly responsive.

3.  Underused Blog

It's important to keep your blog updated.  Every new post you make is an extra chance for somebody to discover you on Google - they give you keyword opportunities, SEO opportunities, and opportunities to engage and help your target audience.

Most site builders will have blogging features 'out of the box' but they can't produce the content for you. 

Think about your marketing strategies and what kind of content you would be able to publish on a regular basis.  For those who want to really make the most out of their blog posts, we have a very handy list of 20 Things to Do After Publishing a Blog Post.

4.  No Lead Generation

If you're a small business selling online, its easy to fall into the trap of thinking that getting a visitor to buy something there and then is the only thing that matters.  But having somebody come into contact with your brand online is a success in itself.  Just because they aren't ready to commit to anything at that time, it doesn't mean they wont be ready to at a later date. You just have to make sure you use those contact points and follow up. 

It's important to get your audience to 'keep you in mind'. Mailing lists, newsletters, and social media are ideal for this.  Make sure that it's easy for them to subscribe to your social feeds and share your content, and give them lots of opportunities to sign up to your newsletters.

As a Platinum HubSpot partner, we're able to help you become more sophisticated with smarter lead generation and more conversions.

5. Poor Popup Manners

On the other hand, nagging too much for follows and email addresses can result in a really poor user experience.  With a possible mix of video ads, newsletter popups, GDPR banners, sticky menus, hovering sharing buttons and more, your site can easily become a real nightmare to use (especially on mobile!).

Try to decide what you are trying to achieve with your website and cut back on anything else that doesn't directly support that.  Perhaps even do some user testing on colleagues, friends and family to see what kind of experience they have when using your site.  You could even take it up a level and use heat-mapping tools such as Hotjar to see how your real visitors behave on different pages.

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