In today’s digital age, having a website is essential for any business or individual looking to establish an online presence. However, many website owners make common mistakes that can negatively impact their site’s performance and user experience. In this blog post, we will explore the most common website mistakes and provide valuable insights on how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Using a platform other than WordPress
WordPress is open-source software used by hundreds of millions of websites. For any website of importance to you, WordPress will allow you the most flexibility to do what you want, and in many cases at less expense than alternatives. With WordPress, you won’t be locked in to any particular host, and you can easily move your site elsewhere if you want…something the famous SaaS companies (e.g. Wix, Weebly SquareSpace) do not allow.
The Zero2Webmaster SuperSite is built on WordPress because with WordPress you are generally limited only by your imagination and technical prowess…and there are multitudes of developers who could help you implement your crazy idea if that were really necessary. In reality though, the vast majority of website owners could accomplish their website goals using the tools already available in the Zero2Webmaster SuperSite, as we have curated the very best WordPress plugins out of the 60,000+ available, and we have tested them extensively in real world business situations on live websites.
Summary: All other platforms are dead ends because they limit your flexibility, charge you too much, require complex coding knowledge, and/or won’t let you migrate away. All roads eventually lead to WordPress. Save yourself the hassle of a future site migration or re-build, and choose wisely now: WordPress!
Mistake #2: Cheap hosting
Inexpensive is great, but don’t resort to using hosting that puts your site on a shared server, or that causes you to have a slow website. Hint: if it say’s $2.49/month, avoid it. Avoid GoDaddy at all costs.
Cloudways is a good choice that Zero2Webmaster has used for many years. They have a clean user interface, great hosting and excellent customer support.
With a Zero2Webmaster SuperSite, you get fast hosting on your own server, and you don’t have to worry about configuring or managing your server because we handle all of that for you.
Mistake #3: Failure to apply basic SEO principles
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of increasing the chances that your website ranks high on search engine results pages.
Use a respected SEO plugin (such as RankMath SEO). Always use page titles that will resonate with your readers. Use header tags (e.g. H1 for the page title, H2 for section titles). Give images alt text and relevant file names. Link to your new articles from elsewhere on your website.
The image below shows RankMath’s window that allows me to ensure that Google knows what this post is about, and that Google’s search results pages display this post in the way that I think will lead to the most click-throughs.
The image below shows the Kadence Block control that allows me to set this section’s title as an H2 Header. Google now knows that this header is equally important to the other section headers (which I have also set as H2 Headers), but less important than the page title (which is set as H1).
The Zero2Webmaster SuperSite comes with sample posts in which the H1 and H2 settings are already configured; you can easily start typing into the sample post, which is what I am doing right now! This is the very first post I am writing on this site, and the site is built on the exact same SuperSite platform that we provide to our clients. For my next post, I will likely just duplicate this post and then insert different text and photos…at peace in my knowledge that the proper Header tags are already set.
Here you can see how I set the Alt Text and image Title for the image below. This helps search engines and disabled people understand what the image is all about. I also have a (somewhat) relevant filename…a lot better than IMG_1267. These are simple ways to drive traffic to the site.
For your website optimization pleasure, we will be certain to include RankMath SEO in your Zero2Webmaster SuperSite.
Mistake #4: Not regularly adding new content to your site
Aside from completely forgetting that one owns a website, the number one reason for not adding content is lack of knowledge on how to add the content. Perhaps your original developer disappeared. You are afraid to touch anything on your site, so you just avoid it. That’s a warning sign! Stagnant sites do not get much traffic and sites without fresh content appear abandoned, which can repel potential clients. You need to hire a consultant or developer for one hour to show you the basics of how to add content to your site. It will pay off!
A primary goal of Zero2Webmaster is to educate website owners so that they have a great website platform AND the knowledge to grow their site’s impact…which is generally done through the addition of content that their donors, supporters and clients will find valuable. As such, Zero2Webmaster provides our clients with email support and access to weekly Office Hours. We want to ensure you have regular access to a web design expert, so that you can regularly be publishing new content on your site.
We can also help you plan out and organize your website content with Airtable, an indispensable free tool that can make you much more productive. Below is an example of how I plan out, organize and visualize SAVE THE FROGS! content using Airtable.
The SAVE THE FROGS! website runs on the Zero2Webmaster SuperSite platform!
Mistake #5: Using images that weren’t reduced in size:
Large images will really slow down your page load times, which will annoy your website’s visitors and decrease the likelihood that search engines will display your site in search results. The photos you take on your camera are likely 1MB or greater: too large for your website! So you must get in the habit of always preparing your images for your website prior to upload.
Use Photoshop or a free image editing tool like Fotor (which offers nonprofit discounts!) to reduce the size of your images.
Use a free tool like ImageOptim as the final step to optimize your image. It usually reduces image file size by another 20%.
There are plugins like Smush that can reduce file sizes site wide but if you follow my guidelines you won’t need it – fewer plugins is always preferred.
The image below above 1024px wide and 131 KB.
Are you wondering where the cool art came from on this page? I created it in Midjourney. You can hire me for an hour and I will show you how to create amazing AI-generated art in Midjourney and Adobe Firefly.
Mistake #6: Using a page builder other than Gutenberg
We’ve already concluded that your website should be built on WordPress. Now we have to decide how best to build our pages. Third-party page builders like Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder and Thrive gained popularity around 2018 as they allowed design possibilities that WordPress did not natively provide.
However, it is no longer 2018! The modern WordPress native page builder (known as Gutenberg) has become extremely popular because:
Furthermore, there are plenty of free block plugins that significantly extend Gutenberg’s potential, allowing for endless webpage customizations.
The pages on this site were built using the Kadence Blocks plugin, which even at its free level, is AWESOME!
I’ve taken hundreds of my favorite web page creations, saved them as templates and I serve them out to all Zero2Webmaster SuperSite users via the amazing Kadence Cloud plugin, which enables website owners to insert professionally-built, mobile-optimized templates into their sites in just a couple mouse clicks. That means that whether you want to get artistic or you solely want your text and images published ASAP, you can do that using our recommendations laid out here.
As an example of the power of templates, look at the Zero2Webmaster Offerings section below. It took me a total of 80 seconds to add it to this post. It shows our newest six offerings, and will dynamically update as new offerings are added to the Zero2Webmaster Shop.
Feel free to share this image – please link back to https://zero2webmaster.com or tag us on social @zero2webmaster
By addressing these common mistakes and implementing best practices, you can ensure that your website stands out, attracts visitors, loads fast, and achieves its intended goals. Best of luck with your website creation! Stay tuned for more valuable tips and insights in our upcoming blog posts.