1. Not owning your domain
The first website mistakes I see in new clients is not owning your domain. Most businesses do not understand just how easy it is to lose your domain if you don’t own it yourself. Did a designer or developer say that they purchased it under your name? This is a red flag! I have personally dealt with clients who lost full contact with their previous web designer. Since the domain name was registered on their account it is GONE (with very rare exceptions).
If your web designer has your domain, politely (this is a bad time to make a shady designer mad!) request for them to transfer it to your account. The most popular site is GoDaddy but any site that hosts domains will work. Tip: If you’re paying more than $20 a year look elsewhere! I personally recommend Google Domains.
2. Not owning your files
Even if you love your web designer and they claim to back up your website, you still should have your own copy. Despite having good intentions this is another problem clients have had prior to coming to me. Simply ask your designer for a ZIP file of the website. Nearly all websites these days are linked to a database so you would ask for a copy of that as well. I provide all my clients with a zip file of their website regardless if it is new, fixed, or redesigned.
3. Not having all your business information in one place
One of the most important things to do when dealing with a website is to have all your information in one place. This includes images, descriptions, products, and any other relevant information in cloud storage. As your business grows you frequently need to give access to web designers, digital marketers, and everything in between. Doing this will greatly reduce the downtime when you are excited to get your business moving.
Web guys like myself will also need the storage to add our own resources such as new logos, business cards and any other digital creations. If you are in the market for a new website this could shave weeks off development time. I highly recommend having your email be through Gmail (they still let you keep @yourwebsite.com instead of @gmail.com). Doing so unlocks Google Drive and their other suite of services.
4. Not checking your information cross platform
This one is very straightforward but important. Make sure your Google My Business, Yelp, Apple Maps and anywhere else your business is listed have the same and correct information. Search engines frequently pull from these sources and inconsistencies do not reflect well on the quality of your website. It also helps to have everything related to your business under one email. Need help with getting an email@example.com? Contact me!
5. Not having an immediate call to action
Imagine somebody has 5 seconds to look at your website. Could they figure out how to buy your product, book your service or contact you? Are they immediately distracted by an overwhelming amount of text? This is the most important part of websites and the basis for landing pages. Before you meet with your web guy (or me!) it is very useful to understand your product and service to the point where you can sell it to someone in the fewest amount of text. Providing the framework for your web specialist will save him time, which means less money spent!