What’s the one thing most website owners dread the most?
An error message on their website.
The world of web development can be confusing and complicated for novices without a lot of background in the field, and facing a 404 error on your landing page can make you want to throw in the towel.
But did you know that most of the common website problems can be taken care of without a fancy web design resume?
Avoid the wrath of the search engines and get your website in top shape with our solutions to the 13 most common problems.
1. Search engines hate outdated design
The sad truth is that if your website still looks and functions like something out of the early 90s, you’re not only risking having a poor user experience on your website.
For example, while a white font on a bright background isn’t directly related to website performance, it makes the copy on your website very hard to read.
Similarly, cursive fonts that mimic handwriting can be difficult to read on mobile devices, so always choose web-safe fonts that look clean no matter what size the user’s screen is.
Bad website design will eventually make your website look bad in the eyes of search engines, too. If visitors can’t find what they are looking for, they will end up exiting your website fast – the higher your website’s bounce rate is, the worse the site will rank in search results.
There are plenty of resources out there that help you learn more about web design, and with the right tools (like Zyro’s website builder), you can revamp an entire website effortlessly.
Since anything and everything is customizable, users can build impressive online stores, portfolios, and business websites with ease.
Heatmapping tools help you understand visitor behavior and strategically position all of your website elements for maximum impact. And the background remover helps you add a truly professional touch to all of your images.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to keep an eye out for more web design inspiration – you might not even realize you love a particular design style until you’ve seen it in action.
2. Confusing user experience
Also relating to bad design, a website’s user experience plays a huge role in whether visitors stay on your site or not.
Like with bad design, if the user has a hard time understanding where everything is on your site, they will not stay around for long. Your SEO will take a hit from a high bounce rate, and users are unlikely to return to your website, resulting in poor site traffic.
If you’re trying to run a business online, a long user journey can negatively impact your bottom line and reduce your overall orders and sales.
- Adding visible and clear call-to-action buttons and sections to your landing pages
- Adding a navigation menu at the top of your website
- Making your menu sticky, so it stays visible even if users scroll down the page
- Critically assessing all of the pages on your website: can some be combined?
- Adding breadcrumb navigation to your pages
3. Poorly coded website
Unless you’re a pro web developer and you coded your own website, poorly written code could be causing a mountain of problems for your site.
From unexplained errors to security threats, sloppy code is one of the most common reasons why users aren’t showing your website enough love.
Bad code could affect the way your content is displayed on your site. It could also be the reason why the user experience is confusing or downright broken.
The thing about code is that you need to have the technical know-how to be able to identify why a bug or an error keeps happening in the first place. That could be difficult if you’re not used to working with coding software.
Some of the most common code-related problems on your site could be:
Incorrect robot.txt files
Google and other search engines use algorithm-powered bots to crawl through each page on your site in order to index it. If your robot.txt files are incorrect, the bots won’t know which page to index and which one to ignore. This means that a page that you don’t intend to be found on search engines could be shown on the first page of Google.
Lack of a sitemap file
Similar to robot.txt files, a sitemap is a file that gives search engine bots information about everything on your website. Think of it as the summary or a road map of your website. A sitemap helps the web crawlers to understand all the content on your site together with the robot.txt files.
Extreme use of subfolders in URLs
If your website has plenty of pages that visitors can access, you could run into issues with URL strings with too many subfolders. This means that the farther away a page is from your main landing pages, the longer the URL string gets. You can judge this by looking at how many forward slashes there are in a given URL. More often than not you can simply create a more user- and SEO-friendly URL string for each web page, instead.
Multiple 404 errors
A 404 error is one of the most common site errors caused by broken links. You’ve probably stumbled across one, too. Broken links can be caused by typos or by hosting issues, but they always result in a difficult and frustrating user experience.
No HTTPS found
Depending on how your website has been set up, lack of HTTPS encryption could be causing you code-related problems. Your website should always be built for HTTPS, not just for HTTP.
Usually, code-related problems arise only when your site has been built for you by someone else.
If you’ve outsourced your site to a third party, make sure you keep their contact information safe in case of any code-related problems down the line.
It might also be good to check your service contract and see if you have the right to get a certain amount of bugs fixed without additional costs.
4. Low media resolution
Ever since the dawn of HD, low resolution media has become the enemy of website owners everywhere.
It’s safe to say that few miss the grainy, unclear media from the past – but it should also have no place on your website in 2021.
Low-resolution images undermine a critical aspect of your brand, whether you’re an individual or a business – it makes you look sloppy and unprofessional.
It’s certainly not the best way to tell your potential customers on social media or on your site that you’re the leading expert in your field.
Thankfully, there are quick and easy ways to get around low-resolution images without sacrificing the page speed of your website.
Here are a few tips to help you fix low media quality on your website:
- Always use pixel-perfect templates. This way, you’ll save time having to fix up certain pages on your website in the future.
- Resize your images. Sometimes compressing your images can mean the quality drops significantly – use resizing tools that do not compromise the resolution of your pictures.
- Try image upscaling tools out. These tools help you upcycle older pictures that would otherwise have too poor a resolution to look good on a modern website.
- Use a logo maker for your logo. Logo makers are not just cheaper than hiring a designer, they are also optimized for web use – meaning that your logo will look good without compromising the quality.
5. Subpar content quality
Believe it or not, but it does matter what you write on your website – and poor-quality content could negatively affect your website.
Search engines display your page in the search results based on how well your content is answering a user’s search query. If you’re not paying attention to your content, or have no content in the first place, you might be making it very hard for potential customers to find you.
Having a blog can fix this: you’ll be able to create content, build your brand image, and generally speaking convert visitors better to buying customers.
And we’re not talking about just sharing your thoughts and feelings about the world. A blog can be a great addition to your overall marketing efforts since it allows you to create long-form content and dig deeper into topics and issues that are related to your field.
Plus, you’ll be able to start enjoying organic internet traffic, when your target audience finds your content interesting and relevant.
If you’re new to the world of content writing, Zyro’s AI Content Generator can help you find your feet. Just type in the keywords that you need content for, and the AI will do the rest.
You’ll get unique content that probably only needs a little tweaking before publishing – it’s worth remembering that AI can’t yet write quite as well as humans.
But the content generator does the heavy lifting for you, meaning that you can fix big sections of content in a fraction of the time it would take to write it from scratch yourself.
6. Slow page speed that repels website traffic
Let’s say you’re browsing the internet and click on a link to visit a website.
How long would you want to wait for the page to load?
We dare say not for long. Slow website loading speed can cause your site lots of problems:
- You won’t be able to retain users
- You’ll have a high bounce rate
- Your search engine rankings will suffer
- If you’re running an online store, you could be losing revenue
Did you know that the moment your page loads for more than 3 seconds, your website starts to suffer from all the bad effects of slow speed?
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to increase the loading speed of your web pages.
You could compress the different files on your pages and look at the type of content that shows ‘above the fold’, or on the screen when the page first loads.
If you’re hosting your website yourself, look at the bandwidth your hosting provider has allocated to your site, and whether it can be increased.
Make sure you’re using a modern, lightweight website design and have taken care of all the critical aspects of site security (like SSL certificates). This is especially important if a lot of your traffic comes from mobile devices.
A broken link might not seem like a big deal, but lots of funky links could also be slowing down your website’s load time. Using tools like Google Search Console to identify the pages with link issues is a quick way to improve slow loading times.
7. Little to no search engine optimization implementations
Have you ever wondered why your website isn’t showing up in Google, despite how amazing it is?
If you’ve not optimized your website for search engine bots, no matter how well-designed your site is, it’s not going to come up on Google’s search rankings.
It could be that you haven’t actually submitted a sitemap to the search engine, or your website could have too many broken links.
At their best, well-optimized websites bring in a lot of qualified organic traffic. This means that the people visiting your website aren’t there by accident. Instead, they have high intentions of making a purchase or signing up for a webinar, for example.
That’s because the content on your website is answering the search query they had when they took to Google, for instance, to look for the best leather shoes for men.
- Use keywords in strategic places on your web pages
- Use the right formatting and headings
- Target the right keywords for a blog post
- Make sure the meta tags on all your pages are the correct length
- Remember to optimize your website for mobile phones and other devices
- Have both internal and external links to relevant websites and pages
- Have an SSL certificate
- Don’t copy-paste or duplicate content, ever
- Monitor broken links with tools like Google Search Console
The world of SEO is constantly changing, so it’s worth keeping on top of the newest trends by following blogs that focus on SEO issues, tips, and tricks.
8. Lack of integrations, analytics tools, and tracking
Not having the right integrations and extensions that help you understand your website metrics can also cause headaches and website issues for website owners.
Without tools like Google Analytics and social media marketing solutions like Facebook Messenger, you’ll operate in the dark and make decisions based on guesswork, not data.
Such poor practice can leave you missing out on traffic to a seasonal landing page and can inhibit the growth of your site overall. That’s why it’s important to keep monitoring your site and constantly strive to improve the conversion rate (the number of users who make a purchase or perform another desired action).
Some of the best free tracking tools you should consider are Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. These powerful integrations make it easy to monitor and analyze your web traffic and manage various marketing campaigns.
For example, Google Analytics makes it easy to understand, retarget, and remarket content for visitors who have visited your website in the past. The tool also helps you track and manage different types of marketing campaigns, and much more.
If you’re not sure what integrations and extensions you need, think about the purpose and direction of your website.
Do you want to grow your online store and make more sales? Integrations that help you automate things like order management could be useful for you.
Or are you on a mission to build a small but tightly-knit community instead? In this case, you might want to invest in decent social media sharing tools, for example.
Social media tools like HootSuite make it easy to schedule, manage and publish social media content on various platforms simultaneously. These kinds of integrations help you stay on top of the bigger picture.
9. Security issues
Let’s face it – if your website has any kind of security issues, you’re looking at a huge red flag.
In the worst-case scenario, your website could become a target for hackers and other third parties who have no good intentions in mind.
There are plenty of ways to make sure your website is secure, but the fastest ways to get started include:
- Having an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate enables your website to communicate with web browsers like Mozilla and Chrome in a safe, encrypted way.
- Using only strong passwords. That means using upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your passwords, and not recycling the same password across multiple platforms.
- Using a secured internet connection or a VPN. Using a public wifi network leaves your website vulnerable to phishing attacks.
- Enabling two-faced authentication for your accounts. This way your online accounts (be it for your business email or your website account) can’t be accessed by any malicious parties even if they know your login details.
- Using only trusted third-party integrations and extensions on your website. Sometimes your site and potential customers will thank you in the long run for spending a bit of money upfront on trusted and safe integrations and tools.
When it comes to web security, it’s wise to use common sense and take a step back. If you personally wouldn’t want to make a purchase on a website that hasn’t got SSL encryption, it’s most likely that potential customers of your website wouldn’t either.
If you operate in Europe, make sure your site also addresses how you manage, store and use visitor’s personal information.
10. Cross-device and platform incompatibility
In the digital age, it’s just such poor practice to not make your website mobile-friendly.
Ideally, the mobile-responsiveness should have already been inbuilt to your website’s design, especially if you’re using a website template.
This way, you save the time and effort of consulting web developers to fix issues related to how your website looks on smaller screens.
For example, when building your website with Zyro, the builder automatically creates a mobile version of your website.
Toggling between the desktop and mobile websites is easy in the intuitive site builder, too:
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re not just losing out on mobile users – your SEO will suffer, too.
It’s no secret that Google has been working on mobile-first website indexing for years now.
11. Low-quality hosting
It could be that you’ve done everything you can to optimize your website, but are still running into problems like slow page loading speed and poor search engine results.
Especially for WordPress websites, poor-quality web hosting can create various problems.
You might have to use a subdomain, making it harder for your website to dominate Google and other search engines.
Or your website could be limited to a fixed bandwidth or server space, making it difficult to deal with sudden peaks in traffic or lots of web content.
Ideally, you shouldn’t have to opt for low-quality free web hosting, regardless of whether you’re on a budget or not. Website builders, unlike most WordPress websites, offer free top-quality web hosting as part of the service.
With Zyro, for example, you get a website, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, guaranteed uptime, and much more for a low fixed monthly price.
Some annual plans also include a free custom domain, and for a small additional fee, you can use your domain name for your professional email, too.
12. No eCommerce functionality
Are you using your website to sell products or services?
Do you also use a proper eCommerce solution?
While you can certainly sell online without a fancy online store (eBay, we’re looking your way), if you’re serious about your eCommerce venture, you should consider setting up your own shop.
By using a marketplace – or worse, trying to make money by waiting for people to fill out a contact form to get in touch with you about your product – you usually have little control over the look and feel of your store.
You also pay sometimes hefty commissions and other extra fees and have limited ways to communicate with your customers.
Online selling is having a moment and shows no signs of slowing down, so make sure you’re also getting your share of the pie.
Opting for your own online store has many benefits over marketplaces, like:
- Available payment integrations. Giving your customers the ability to choose from a wide range of different payment methods encourages them to finish their order, rather than abandoning their shopping cart.
- Live chat (for both you and your customers). Being reachable and ready to reply to your customer’s questions can make or break a sale. And similarly, using a professional website platform ensures you get help when you need it.
- Full commission on sales. Marketplaces are known for taking care of their commissions, leaving you with sometimes just 50% of the order value. With your own store and a proper platform, you won’t have to worry about being out of pocket.
- Fully customizable storefront. A properly branded store not only looks cool but also helps to build trust with new and existing customers, making it easier to scale your business.
- Order, inventory, and customer management in one place. With your own store, you’re guaranteed to have full control over the whole sales process, niftily managed from one single dashboard.
13. Lack of maintenance
Sometimes, site problems can also mean that you’ve been neglecting some essential page maintenance for too long.
Let’s say you updated a page in a hurry, and added call to action buttons with important links to order and contact pages.
A month later you wonder why nobody has made use of your very relevant and valuable offer. If you’ve made a typo in linking your call to action buttons (resulting in broken links), it’s no wonder you’ve not made new sales.
To avoid these types of problems, it’s important to regularly maintain your website and meticulously check through your whole site.
This way, you’ll be able to make sure that:
- Your contact details are up to date on every single page
- There are no broken links on your site
- On-page SEO (think image alt text, the overall meta tag of your page, and so on) follow the most up-to-date practices
- Your web design looks good on mobile devices and desktop computers
- Links to your social media accounts are correct
- The web address of any given page looks SEO-friendly
Make your own website problem-free today
As you now know, keeping your site up and running without errors is relatively easy.
Just make sure you’re regularly updating and maintaining your website – the best websites work smoothly on both desktop computers and mobile devices.
Fixing up broken links and making sure your contact information is up-to-date across your site will help you turn potential customers into paying ones.