4 Damaging Things That Can Go Wrong When Building a Website 

4 Damaging Things That Can Go Wrong When Building a Website logo

People should know the things that can go wrong when building a website given that there are more than 32 million web developers in the US alone and many of them are not trustworthy. A website is a series of web pages made from HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code that is under a common domain name and is stored/ hosted on a computer server that is connected to the internet. A person can set all of this up themselves and host their site on their own computer server but they still need to buy/register the domain name from a name registrar if the website will be accessible to users on the internet.

The 4 main things that can go wrong when building a website are:

  • Bad hosting.
  • Breaking/Bricking the site.
  • Forgotten Essentials.
  • User Unfriendly Layout.

4 Things That Can Go Wrong When Building a Website

Bad Hosting

The first thing that can go wrong when building a website is to pick a bad hosting company. A website needs to have its data one some form of hardware somewhere, but people rarely have their website on their own hardware. Instead, they use someone else’s hardware. This is often done through hosting companies. These companies will/may:

  • Hold the site’s data securely on a server.
  • Maintain the domain and IP address of the site.
  • Allows users to access the website.
  • Help further secure and optimize the website.
Women doing research on computer for technical writing

Things that can be the result of a bad hosting company include:

  • The server and thus the website are often down and unavailable.
  • The website load time is high.
  • The host’s storage does not have enough space for the website’s data.
  • The website’s owner/tech support can’t reach the hosting’s customer service.
  • Hosting does not allow updates to plugins or other software. (I was horrified by this one!)
  • High charges and fees for common services or normal amount of space.

Breaking/Bricking the Site

The second thing that can go wrong when building a website is to break the site; there are many roads to doing this, and they are all one-way (make sure you have backups preferably off the website that can be reinstated if the site breaks).  Things that can break a website include:

  • Activating multiple of the same kind of plugin.
  • Running incompatible plugins at the same time (I was once surprised on a site that SG Optimizer nearly bricked a site because it didn’t feel like getting along with WordFence on that site).
  • Having too many out of date plugins and other software mixed with current plugins and software.
  • Having too many moving parts (videos, animations, etc.) than your site can handle.
  • Writing and Adding bad code. (This is a giant, complex issue in itself; make sure you have backups (and possibly IT help available) if you are new to writing code and are trying it yourself.)

Forgotten Essentials

The first thing that can go wrong when building a website is forgetting essential user interface elements or parts of the website. This causes users to be unable to use the website or find things (such as products or services) on the site (they may not even be on the site in the first place). There are 4 basic parts of a website: a landing page, an ‘about’ page, content pages, and a ‘contact’ page. These can all technically be on one page, but I don’t recommend it since most users hate scrolling down a long page.

Here is a basic part of web design: if users can’t tell what a site is for, you have a website with bad design. At the least, there should be a logo and a slogan on the top (left or center) of every page that tells users what brand the website they are at is for. There should also be descriptive enough titles in the menus to give hints what purpose the site serves (and how big it is).

These days there are user interface (UI) elements that have widely accepted and expected placements and setups in websites and apps. For example, most websites that have profiles have the login/logout on the top left of the site, and most sites have their logo and/or name on the top left of the site. Since this means that users have known expectations about common UI elements, this is helpful for navigation. Set up websites using common placements for elements and users will find them quicker and more naturally (you won’t have to guide them as much).

Don’t forget to get a unique domain name and a current license for HTTPS security!

User Unfriendly

The last main thing that can go wrong when building a website is making a user unfriendly layout or entire site. There are four signs of website bad design: bad aesthetics, terrible navigation, being user unfriendly, and misleading users. Website bad design leads to high bounce rates and unhappy users.

Man looking worried at phone cartoon

A ‘bounce’ in website analytics is when a user goes to one page on a website and then leaves the site. A bounce rate is how often users only go to one page on a site per session (instance that they went to that site). Different kinds of websites tend to have different bounce rates. Content websites have an average bounce rate around 50% since so many users only go to one piece of content (usually information to answer one question).

A website should be easy-to-use and work well with little to no errors. No one wants to use a broken website; thus users will avoid them. You don’t use what you don’t like. Next, the site should be designed so that users find it nice to look at and appealing to use. If a room looks pretty, people will want to go into them. The same is true of websites.

Also, the elements of the site should be finable and accessible to consumers. Users should be able to locate the item easily and without help. If users can’t find a page or button, they definitely won’t read or use it. People with disabilities should be remembered for this: will this page read well for the deaf? Is this text readable to the colorblind? Don’t forget mobile users either! All of the above (and beyond) are consumers that need to be planned for.

Summary

A website is a series of web pages made from HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code that is under a common domain name and is stored/ hosted on a computer server that is connected to the internet. The 4 main things that can go wrong when building a website are:

  • Bad hosting.
  • Breaking/Bricking the site.
  • Forgotten Essentials.
  • User Unfriendly Layout.

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