There are more than a billion websites available on the World Wide Web and the number still continues to grow every day. While there are websites that get a lot of hits thanks to their user-friendliness, there are also websites that make the users puzzled, and thus most of them never visit again. What was missing in those websites that made the users exit? What could have been added, removed, or modified such that the hits keep rising again? Such are the questions we will be trying to find the answer to.
There may be many factors due to which a website is not worth visiting. But there are some specific faults that we must have noticed in the majority of websites we visited so far. We will be going through 10 such common faults on which many websites need to improve on.
1. Device Compatibility
We start off with device compatibility which has been an emerging problem in many websites. There are different kinds of devices that we use and the most common ones are Android, PC, and iOS. In many cases, websites appear just the way they were designed in the case of a desktop but the scenario completely changes in the case of an android phone.
When we view the same website in our easy-to-carry smartphones, we may find that certain photos or text are completely misaligned and also that certain options that we found on the desktop have vanished as well. In an era where compact gadgets are found everywhere around us, it is important that a website is compatible with such devices.
2. Page Load Time
Here is another problem that has impacted the majority of page hits. A survey showed that more than 40 percent of the users choose not to visit webpages taking more than 3 seconds to load. Every second of loading increases dis-satisfaction in the minds of users and thus they decide against visiting the same website again.
There are many factors such as many high-quality images, different file types, browsers, too much cache, etc which overall slow down the page load time of a webpage. Thus, all those factors should be kept in mind while designing a website.
3. Locations of Login and Logout
This is an unusual yet intimidating issue with many websites. Let’s consider a situation: “You visited a certain website hoping to register for a certain event. The first thing you may like to do is login. But then you realized that the login button is no-where to be seen. You keep searching in anxiety for several minutes and you finally find it at the top right-hand corner. Somehow you register for the event and finally wish to log out and once again it is deja-vu. After once again searching you find the button after scrolling all the way down. “
In websites where a friendly relationship with customers matters the most, it is very important to ensure that they take the first and last steps hassle-free which are logging in and logging out.
4. Presenting Important Links
This is an extension of the locations of login and logout. Consider a careers portal. What are the links that we would immediately want to see? Some of them may be saved jobs, incomplete applications, apply options, application status, and so on. What if all such options are at sixes and sevens around the website? And what if you have to click a series of links to find those options? A boring task, isn’t it?
There are certain links that form the actual purpose of a website. Such links must be made available together at a single place and must be made easily visible to the user.
5. Re-direction Errors
There are many cases where certain hyperlinks lead to non-existing pages that are shown as errors and there are the rarest cases where hyperlinks take you back to the same page they were found on. Frequent monitoring and maintenance checks of such websites are crucial. On recognizing such links the hosts may decide to remove such links or modify the destinations of such links.
6. Outdated Content
This is yet another aspect that requires frequent monitoring and appropriate modification. Let’s consider a situation “You visited a third party careers portal hoping to apply for an internship. You realized that there is an internship that fits your qualifications. After tapping on it, you realized the job posting had expired many months ago“. This might have even been the case in news websites, institutional websites and other kinds of websites we might have visited.
In any of those cases, the latest content must be made available to everyone at the earliest. The outdated content may either be removed or modified later based on personal comfort.
7. Poor Front End
This refers to the overall design and appearance of a website. The poor front end comes in many forms and some of them may be using different styles, sizes, and fonts, poor alignment of different frames, too much uppercasing of letters, and so on. The front-end forms the first impression in any user be it good or bad.
Having a good front-end not only grabs the immediate attention of the user but also improves user-friendliness and thus more page hits continue to flow.
8. Poor Back End
The back-end consists of server-side programming and validations. It also consists of other crucial factors such as security and backup and recovery. It is becoming increasingly important to provide backup for data in case of power failures or network failures and also to provide security to the data from external attacks such as SQLInject.
Failure of any one of authentication, backup, or security mechanisms is not that easy to recover from. In many cases, it may cost a lot of money, the reputation of an organization, and the privacy of hundreds or even millions. Hence it is very important to take care of every phase of back end development with every required test.
9. SSL Certification
In many websites, we might have noticed a padlock symbol to the left of a URL followed by HTTPS instead of HTTP. This is a clear sign that those websites have an active SSL(Secure Socket Layer) certificate. SSL is a global standard that provides encrypted communication between browser and server.
Once purchased, the certificate is valid for around 2 years and it has to be purchased again. As SSL provides encrypted communication, it makes sure that sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card pins are safely transmitted. Many websites fail to purchase an SSL certificate once it expires or does not purchase it at all and this may cost the privacy of a variety of users and their information.
10. Too Many Pop-ups and Advertisements
We come down to the last fault in a website which is pop-ups and ads. There are a few advertisements that show up on a webpage based on the suggestions of a recommendation system. And in certain rare cases, a few pop-ups may appear here and there which is not that much of a problem but, the complete overdose is a different story.
Now, we have yet another case of poor security, and the integrity of the website comes into question. Too many advertisements not only lead to a negative impression on a website but is also a major factor determining the hits and conversions as well.