Common Website Problems

Common Website Problems

URL Canonicalization Problem

This problem occurs when your web server responds to requests for your domain name both with and without the "www". More information... The fix is to add the following code to your server .htaccess file, replacing with your own domain name. This example will always return pages WITH the www prefix.

RewriteEngine on RewriteBase / RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [NC] RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

Duplicate Home Pages

This problem occurs when your web server returns your home page as both and To Google, it likes like you have two home pages, both identical. The fix is to add the following code to your server .htaccess file. Replace index and html with the actual file name and extension of your home page:

RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /.*index\.html\ HTTP/# RewriteRule ^(.*)index\.html$ http://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

Entry Page

Does your web design use an "Entry Page" containing little more than a picture and an "Enter Here" button? This is the #1 killer of visitors to your website. Ask yourself: If you had a store front with nothing displayed in the window, and put up a gate with a "Press to Enter" button, would you get many visitors? Of course not! Bad Idea!

Unreadable Text

Does the graphic design of your website use "artsy" combinations of text and background color that make the text hard to read, such as light-grey text on a white background?

Why on Earth would you want your text to be hard to read?

Poor Formatting and Navigation

Does your text stretch all the way across the page, or include underlined words that are not links? Is your website navigation incomprehensible, inconsistent, and difficult to use?

Bad Layout and Broken Links

Does your website have a cluttered and confusing layout? This will cost you sales. Does your website have broken links that lead to error pages? (People and search engines view these as an indication of a low quality, unmaintained website.)

Unnecessary Flash Animations

Does your web design use distracting and unnecessary animations that blink, dance, prance, fade and are otherwise distracting? You may think they're cute, but visitors find them annoying and unprofessional.

If you answered any of these questions with a "Yes", then your web design should be revised.

Examples of Good Web Designs

The #1 thing you want to do with your website is make it easy to use and ensure that the visitor has a good experience. Here are some characteristics of a good website:

Simple, Easy-to-Use Navigation

Your web design should have a menu or navigation bar that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. Standardize it on every page. Do not use an image map for navigation.

Fast Page Download Times

Google is the most popular search engine, in part, because it has a simple, uncluttered, and quick-loading search page. If your web design is cluttered with oversized pictures, animation, or (please don't do this) self-loading audio, visitors will click away from your page out of impatience.

Site Consistency

Every page on your website should reflect a consistent web design theme. If some pages have different backgrounds, graphics and text sizes, it will look disorderly to the visitor. If your website has a poor graphic design or disorderly appearance, they will go somewhere else.

Optimized for Search Engines

This is the single most important thing you can do to improve your website design. Get our free SEO recommendation.