To developers and designers, a WordPress website is their spirit child which they build with their best efforts and skills.
For clients who are doing business online, it’s the place where they present their brand and products, and reach out to potential customers.
But a website doesn’t mean just that.
It’s also place that gives the very first impression of both the business and you the developer/designer who made it to website visitors.
That is to say, an interesting and eye-catching website will make people stay. In contrast, outrageous websites chase people away.
Here are the things that help you bounce visitors off from your website. Just DON’T let your site fall onto one of these traps.
Bad practices that drive website visitors away
If you’re doing one of these, let Taylor Swift sing this song for you
Your website takes too long to load
If your site takes the same time to load its content as the Earth to orbit around the Sun, then it’s done for. Don’t you think that it’s such a huge waste after trying your best and pouring money into ads just to get people to visit your website and it just stops right there? Don’t ever think about testing people’s patience on the Internet!
If your site doesn’t complete its loading in a few seconds, people will leave right away. You can use several of the free speed checking tools below to examine how long it actually takes your site to fully finish loading:
You put plugin functionality in your WordPress theme
It’s a crime to cross the line between a theme and a plugin. Yes I’m talking to you, my fellow developers and designers.
Let me make it clear. There’s a reason for WordPress plugins to exist next to WordPress themes. So if the feature you wish to have is about thevisual appearanceof your website then go ahead and add it in the theme. However if it’s about thefunctionalityof a website, it should be created as a plugin.
Why do you need to use this logic here? First, when adding functionality to theme, it’s very likely that there will be loads of theme conflicts, bad displaying shortcodes, etc. All that makes a website look very ugly and both website visitors and website owners (your clients) won’t like it.
Furthermore, if you build functionality in themes, I’m pretty sure that when your clients switch theme, they won’t be able to keep all their user generated content. You don’t have the right to bind your clients to a theme forever. By doing this, you not only limit your clients but also drive away their precious website visitors with the errors or conflicts that appear in the front-end.
There are popups everywhere
People visit your homepage, and a popup appears asking them to ‘Follow’ you on social channels. People visit your blog, and a popup appears asking them to subscribe to a newsletter. People click to view your services, and another popup tells them that you are offering a discount. Whaaaat?
I agree that popups can increase you website’s subscription rates or even convert visitors to potential customers. But don’t overuse them. Frankly speaking, I hate popups since they’re annoying. Some websites even force people enter personal information to be able to close popup. What the heck!
Your website content is a joke
I know that making websites has little connection with producing content. That’s mainly your client’s job. However, as a developer and designer, you are the one to blame if the website’s text is hard to read, the header tags are a mess, the typography is inappropriate for the business’s brand, or very long content in the blog section makes reader’s eyes hurt.
It’s even worse when people visit the website, looking for information about a service, but they can’t find the information right away, but only after thousands of clicks.
How can you make your visitors stay?
Improve your website loading time
Luckily, there are many tips to save your site from losing visitors. And improving a website’s loading speed is not complicated at all. You can check out our blog and infographic here on why WordPress runs slowly and how to fix it.
Along with these 9 tips, how choosing a good WordPress theme which is not memory intensive for your website also contributes to a fast-loading website. Plus, always exercise WordPress security best practices so your website won’t be affected.
Use plugins for website functionality
Simply put, it’s just that. Don’t be greedy and try to put everything in a theme. By being able to separate a theme from a plugin, you know what you are doing well and can speed up your web development process.
One more plus is that when you update your plugin, it won’t be a pain to update the theme that goes along with it.
Don’t overuse popups
If you are the righteous website developer, don’t let popups appear on your website more than once. Let your clients know it too.
You can test how pop-ups affect your website’s bounce rate and subscription rate with Google Analytics figures. You can trust me then.
Make a beautifully readable website
Start from the simplest things; make sure the text is readable and its style fits your client’s business brand. I shall not talk about this too much; you are an expert at these things already, right?
In the website, especially a blog section, for better visual ease, make the long content easy to skim by increasing white space as well as using short paragraphs. Formatting text and using list types also help the text look neat and clear. Another good way to improve website content is by adding images. No one can love pages that are just a giant wall of text, right? As for me, I would hardly bother to stay and read such pages.
Last but not least, use Google Analytics to check what pages have the highest bounce rate and based on that, improve your content. If you find that visitors have trouble looking for information they want, then make sure they can do it easily
Once upon a time, it was so expensive and difficult for an individual or a business to go online and get a website. But that’s as old as fairy tales now. And what’s more, we have WordPress as the best and easiest CMS out there to craft the websites we want. So, take time to cut out the unnecessary code, polish your design, and write good content. You’ll soon see a good pay-off.
Remember, a good website doesn’t only drive material benefits for us, but also adds to our credibility, no matter if that’s for an individual or a business. Be a good developer/designer and keep a watchful eye on the above problems.