As we get more and more work from customers that are totally fed up with their previous web designers we see websites that have some really important things missing from them which would give them that edge over their competitors.

Here’s a list of some of the major failures we see or don’t see on websites

1. High res images

The web is becoming more and more up to date in terms of look and design, and especially your products, they should be gleaming and really showing off what you have to offer. Old pixelated images are no good and just makes your site look cheap. Spend some money on decent images or take some good ones of your products with a camera or even iPhone. You don’t have to host them either if your worried about space, upload them to Facebook or something like flickr, you can always then bring them through onto your website.

2. A detailed “About Us” section

If your potential customer clicks to view your about page its because they want to know more about you or your company. So in short, tell them! and include… high res images! Unless you have an amazing reason not to, you should include info about the owners and all staff. Some people have great stories to tell as to how they got set up so why not tell it. People like to know the real people behind the business.

3. Maps or post code

Where are you located? If you have an office and a customer wants to find your office they would like to be able to find you on a map or using their sat nav. An online map means they can scroll, zoom in and out of, and print.

tip: Have the map open in a new browser window. Keeping users on your website and letting the map display in a big size in a new window. Keeping them trapped in a 200 by 100 pixel embedded box is very annoying.

4. Know how your website displays on a Smartphone

Its amazing how many business websites don’t have a website that is designed to work on a mobile phone and loads are not iPad compatible. Go check your site now 🙂

5. Flash, image-texts

It is not 1995. You should not be using flash EVER. Its just a no for like a million reasons and really gets me mad 🙂 There’s no reason i can even think of that you would want to use flash, the cool effects flash makes can now be done using other tools and software without making your website look and perform terrible.

6. Contact details

Listing all the people in the company makes it easy for potential customers to get straight to the person they need. So make it easy for them. Have your contact number throughout your website for yourself and all your departments. This will include your accounts department, who the press should contact and the bloke who orders the stationery etc. direct phone numbers and email addresses work best, amazingly we find a lot of people just don’t like using web forms though we have one on our site anyway :p

7. list all your products!

The times we hear, “yeah we actually offer that but didn’t put it on the website as we thought no one would be interested…” Your site should tell customers everything that you do. In plain English. Your site should list every product, every service. If a customer is looking for a specific service that you offer they should be able to find it in three clicks or fewer.

It’s not an exhaustive list i could go on forever but worth just flicking through your website and see how many of these things you have got right.