Top DIY website mistakes (+ how to fix them!)
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Let’s face it, you’re not a web design expert. And that’s okay.
You’re probably a health coach, yoga teacher, or healer. You know wellness and you spend your days inspiring people to live a healthy and intentional life. What a gem you are!
But it’s no secret that if you want to have a successful wellness business, having a pretty and strategic website is not an option. With the world of wellness exploding in recent years, it’s now more important than ever that you stand out from the crowd, and your website is one of the best ways to do just that.
And unless you have a few thousand to throw down on a custom designer or are lucky enough to have a web designer best friend, you’re left with the DIY option.
Now if you’ve already attempted designing your own site, you know how overwhelming it can be. It’s no piece of cake!
But fear not!
I’m coming at you with the biggest DIY web design mistakes so you can ensure your site looks high-converting and beautiful.
Use this list as an audit of your own website...how many of them are you guilty of? 😬😬😬
1 | Poor quality images
If there’s one dead-giveaway of a DIY site, it’s bad photos.
And what marks a poor-quality image? Pixelation, blurriness, or photos that don’t really relate to your brand.
Your photos are a major backbone of your website, and poor-quality ones show a lack of professionalism and dedication to your business.
Think about it, we humans are visual creatures. Our sight is how we take in the world, and what do we do when we see something not very visually appealing? Our gut reaction is to look away.
You want your visitors to think of your website as their happy place so having great images that are nice to look at is crucial.
And photos you took with your 3-year old iPhone just aren’t gonna cut it. Sorry!
So how do you get high-quality photos?
Well ideally, you hire a photographer to do a brand photoshoot with you. Having worked with a brand photographer ourselves, we can say it’s one of the best investments we made in our business. We now have a collection of images that perfectly reflects our business that we can use in so many different ways.
Or if you have a friend that knows their way around a camera, ask them to take some photos of you. You don’t have to use a professional photographer for them to look good!
Remember, few things will build trust in your brand like showcasing photos of you being you!
Now if working with a brand photographer just isn’t in the budget right now, don’t let that be another excuse to not build your website or start your business...yep, we’re calling you out! (in a very supportive way 😊)
Stock photos are a great resource and can help fill in the gaps until you can get photos taken yourself.
The important thing is to make sure they’re high-quality stock photos that represent your brand well.
Here are some of our favorites websites for stock photos:
Wellness Stock Shop: This site can’t be beat for health and wellness stock photos. Most of our photos in our website templates come from here!
SC Stock Shop: Great resource for photos with a feminine vibe and amazing desktop images and flat-lays.
Kate Max Stock: Similar to SC Stock Shop with its feminine vibe, but offers a little more variety.
Unsplash: Favorite resource for high quality free stock photos.
2 | Slow loading site
Let’s face it, in our world of instant gratification, we have little patience for anything slow, including websites. (guilty as charged 🙋♀️)
According to Kissmetrics, 47% of your website visitors expect it to load in 2 seconds or less, and if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of them will start reaching for that back button.
While there are many things that contribute to your site speed, image files that are too large are often the biggest culprit in slow loading websites.
The most important thing when optimizing your photos is to make sure they’re under 500KB.
The easiest way to do this is to make sure all your image files are .jpeg files since they’re a smaller file size. The only exception is images that need a transparent background (i.e. A logo or icon).
The next step is to check the size. Banner images (ones that span the whole width of the screen) shouldn’t be more than 2500 pixels wide
All other images can be between 1000-1500 pixels wide.
After you’ve checked the file type and image width, if you’re still not under 500KB, run your image through one of these websites:
They compress the size of your image without sacrificing quality and it works really well!
This is the process I use before uploading any image to my website and it really is so easy but makes such a difference.
3 | No brand Bio/Tag Line above the fold on the home page
Have you ever landed on a website and it took you forever to figure out what the business actually does? Or you couldn’t find the important information easily so you just abandoned all hope and headed for the back button?
Yeah, we don’t want that.
You want your website visitors to know who you are and what you do within 5 seconds of landing on your home page.
And one sure-fire way to do that is to display your brand bio/tagline somewhere near the top of the home page where it’s hard to miss.
Remember how I said earlier that we live in a world of instant gratification? Well this applies here.
And remember how I said you want your website to be a happy place for your people?
Well the best way to do that is to let them know if you’re the person to help solve their problem and not make them hunt for important info.
Do yourself a favor and make your people happy (cause happy people pull out their credit cards!)
4 | Too many items in your main navigation
Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It’s when you have to make a decision but you get so overwhelmed with all the options you don’t take any action at all.
Well that’s the exact opposite of what we want to happen when someone lands on your site.
You want to be very intentional about what pages you link in your main navigation so you don’t overwhelm your visitors with options. Make it very clear what you want them to do...yes that means you might have to hold their hand a little bit and that’s okay!
Ideally, you should have no more than 5-6 items in your main navigation, but the less the better.
Only the most essential pages should go up there, and everything else can be linked in your footer or throughout the rest of your site.
5 | Not enough white space
When beginning the design of your new website, it’s easy to want to cover every square inch of the page with images and information.
That’s a big no-no.
Again, this leads to visual overwhelm and that’s not what we want.
Don’t be afraid of white space (aka negative space)--let your content breathe!
The best designers out there know how to make the negative space just as integral to the design as the content itself.
Negative space creates separation and also establishes hierarchy as it draws the eye to the most important content on the page.
A good rule of thumb is to design your page how you think you want it, then remove half the content.
You really don’t need as much as you think you do.
6 | Writing in big chunks of texts and not using headlines
I’m gonna keep this short and sweet.
Don’t write in big paragraphs.
This isn’t 5th grade english class where you need to have an intro sentence, three body sentences, and a conclusion.
We live in a world of scanners and this means you want to break up your copy (text) as much as possible.
Notice how this blog post is broken up into 1 or 2 sentence “paragraphs?” And notice how it’s been pretty easy to read? That’s what you want on your site.
Bulleted lists and headlines are also a great idea to break up your copy and to help guide your reader to the important info.
7 | Not thinking about mobile design
Your website design can be beautiful, it can function flawlessly and be highly effective but if it’s not compatible with mobile devices, you could be losing out on lots of $$$.
According to Statista, about 50% of global web traffic originated from mobile devices in 2018. 50%!
This means half of your potential customers or clients are finding you on their smart phones.
Give them a pleasant experience by making sure your site looks good and is easy to use on mobile devices.
Well, that’s all friends! I hope that was helpful and know that I’m cheering you on!
Tell me... what are you struggling with the most when designing your site? Comment below and maybe I can help!