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Five Rookie Website Mistakes You Can Fix Today

by Andy Crestodina  |  
January 6, 2015

The planning. The design. The writing. The programming and testing. Building a website can take hundreds of hours of work over months of time. And then, finally, it's live.

The result of all that effort depends on a lot of little things. And some of those little things can often hurt the result—big time.

Some common mistakes have big consequences, but they're also fixable. And some of those fixes are easy. This article is about five mistakes that can cause big problems but have easy fixes.

Note: The screenshots in this article are from sites that make big mistakes, but to protect their identities we've obscured their logos.

Mistake 1: Homepage Headline Hints

It's not obvious enough. Your homepage hints at it, but it doesn't explicitly tell visitors what you actually do. This is a devastating mistake that combines several design and content flaws.

  • Your homepage headline is clever but unclear.
  • Your featured image (or slideshow) doesn't show your product or service.
  • Your navigation labels are generic: Home, About, Services, Contact.
  • Your homepage text is all branding and benefits but doesn't actually say what you do.

Not all your visitors know you, so a homepage that doesn't immediately communicate what you do is a big problem.

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Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a Web design company in Chicago. He's also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing. Connect with Andy on .

Twitter: @crestodina

LinkedIn: Andy Crestodina

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  • by Pamela Tue Jan 6, 2015 via web

    Wow, thank you Andy, these are very concrete issues that we can all review and address quickly. Great piece!

  • by Cindy Freckman Tue Jan 6, 2015 via web

    Good reco's. One observation: even though you obscured the logos to protect their identities, you left Innovar's name showing throughout that example... But thanks for the tips!

  • by Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County Tue Jan 26, 2016 via web

    Thank you for the article. We have just updated our website, and I am looking for ways to improve upon it. Super helpful :)

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