Using a ready-to-use website template is a very common mistake that new web designers make. One of the cool things about the Web is that it is very visual. Using a website design template can save a lot of time and effort for any new web developer. But, like any tool, you can run into problems if you don’t pay attention.
Color schemes, layout, and graphics are the main design elements in any website template. Each website should be designed around a theme, ease of use, and achieve any special goals or end results. Many new website designers get lost in the visual, which can have a negative effect on usability and search engine optimization.
If you look at some of the most popular sites, the common element is simplicity and ease of navigation. There are few dancing bears, flash intros, or explosive special effects. Text navigation is mostly used by everyone. They may have some very well-designed graphics and some design elements, but keep them simple for the user.
Ease of use and easy navigation must follow the two-click rule. This is a simple rule that implies that any user must be able to find what they are looking for on any website with two clicks. With the lack of attention and the impatient attitude of most surfers, you have to give them what they want quickly. Usually, you only have about 5 seconds to get their attention.
I use templates a lot to save time and effort on a new layout. Some I developed myself, others I bought and they give me a solution of at least 70%. They may have some graphics that match my theme and/or some colors and layout that suit my purpose for the website. But some key elements may also be missing.
Most website templates have great visual effects and good color combinations. But many lack several elements that are important to users and our search engine friends. Here is a list of common mistakes that I see all the time when a web designer uses a website template.
- Navigation: problems with the menus
- No sitemap or confused sitemap
- Ignores the folding position
- No designated title and subtitle H1 or H2
- Unchanging color of visited links
- Everything looks like an advertisement
- Design standard violations
- Bad search options
- Opening new multiple banners window
- Irrelevant Images
- Slow speed
- Information Architecture mistakes
- Only high-profit redesign priorities
Graphical, drop-down, pop-up, or other methods of displaying menus may look good, but sometimes they confuse the user and are invisible to search engine robots. These are two good reasons to use a text menu somewhere that display all the necessary navigation links.
Sitemaps are important for the same reason mentioned above. Both users and search engines can see a snapshot of everything on your site and access it quickly. This increases your chances of being indexed quickly and gives the user the ability to double-click.
The folded position is where the bottom of the monitor stops viewing the page. All important information should be displayed above that line, if possible. Do not make the user scroll the page if it is not necessary. Any navigation, special links, attractions, or critical information must always appear above the fold line.
H1 and H2 designate important information for the search engine robot. A good search engine optimization is to put your keywords in the first title that the user sees. Obviously, the title should also induce the reader to continue reading the web page.
It is quite easy to correct all of these problems during the initial design stage. Although I created hundreds of sites, I still use a checklist. The more details and everything you can do to make it easier for the user and search engines, the more successful your site will be.
A website template can save a lot of time, but you need to make sure that the end result has all the necessary resources for users and search engines. Make your site user and search engine-friendly by making these small changes or additions.