A great deal of website owners nowadays are self-taught.
Blogs, portfolios, local business sites, online stores — there’s nothing a one-man team can’t build with DIY website platforms and content management systems.
Of course, these spirited individuals also get some assistance, but usually only in the form of guides, tutorial videos, and other online learning resources. The only problem is, the way information travels through the internet also perpetuates the spread of misinformation, which could end up hurting the success of self-learners rather than augment it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man webmaster or a stacked team of developers. If you want to stay on top of your game, you need to know how to separate the fact from fiction.
In this post, we’ll discuss four myths that could be hurting your website’s profitability.
Let’s get started.
Myth #1: Less is Always More
One of the prominent web design trends in recent years is the use of minimalistic design, and it’s not hard to see why.
Not only does it make website building, it also improves the readability and visibility of crucial page elements. Unfortunately, some website owners take it too far and create something that looks too plain and uninspiring.
Here’s an example of a lacklustre website that could really use a makeover:
Keep in mind that there’s a fine line between minimalistic design and a complete bore. In the example above, it’s clear that the webmaster settled for the absolute barebones of a blog, omitting featured images, logos, or anything else that has any semblance of color.
As a result, they’re only left with their post titles to perform the vital task of grabbing the audience’s attention.
Spicing Things Up with the Right Elements
Instead of making your website completely devoid of life, what you need to do is understand who you’re targeting and identify the elements that will make their journey easier.
Do you want them to quickly grasp the statistics that back your product’s effectiveness? An infographic or explainer video will make data-driven information more digestible and shareable on social media.
Need to convert your audience into newsletter subscribers? Build a landing page that highlights your value propositions, a compelling call to action, and the actual opt-in form.
Whatever you do, don’t push for minimalism for minimalism’s sake. Be smart about your website goals and see to it your pages are properly equipped to accomplish them.
Myth #2: Pack All Conversion Elements Above the Fold
One widespread myth that even experienced developers tend to believe is the idea that they should squeeze every essential page element above the fold. This is the area of a site that’s immediately visible to the audience upon loading.
To be fair, the above-the-fold myth was actually a real issue in the past, particularly in the mid-nineties when people weren’t accustomed to scrolling through websites.
Today, however, scrolling is like second nature to the online audience — be it on a desktop or mobile device. That said, you no longer to compromise the visual appeal of your website for the sake of cramming everything in a limited space.
Inserting Elements that Encourage Scrolling
Statistics show that online users tend to be more engaged just below the fold, peaking at around 1,200 pixels down the page.
To maximise the view-ability of this section, a good strategy is to incorporate directional cues. For example, the Le Mugs website uses a simple “Scroll Down” button along with vertical navigation buttons to tell the audience that there’s more to see.
Myth # 3: You Only Need a Hosting Upgrade
As your website grows in traffic, the typical advice is to upgrade to a more capable hosting plan in order to accommodate your bigger bandwidth needs.
While it’s definitely a reliable strategy if you want to maintain your website’s performance, it’s definitely not always the most cost-effective.
A Content Delivery Network or CDN, for example, could cost less than a dedicated server while providing more perceivable performance gains, especially if your website caters to the international audience.
Put simply, a CDN reduces latency by leveraging a network of proxy servers that distribute cached website data to users across the world. These servers are also referred to as “Points of Presence,” which are assigned to deliver content to users within its proximity.
Other Strategies to Improve Loading Speed
Apart from leveraging a CDN, there are several other ways to improve your website’s loading speed without upgrading your web hosting solution:
- Use PageSpeed Insights
Your website’s loading speed depends on multiple factors outside of your hosting solution. With Google PageSpeed Insights, you can narrow down on the specific performance-related issues that affect your site as well as the necessary optimization strategies you can apply.
- Compress Your Images
To make sure the visual content you incorporate into your site doesn’t consume too much bandwidth, use lossless compression tools like TinyPNG and Compressor.io. These work by reducing an image’s file size without any perceivable changes in quality.
- Minify Your Code
Myth #4: You Don’t Need Anyone Else
Out of all the wake-up calls outlined in this post, the hardest one to swallow would be the fact that you need more than two hands to succeed.
It’s true that you can get a website up and running without depending on anyone else. But even with the most powerful tools in the business, you still need manpower to execute your marketing strategies effectively.
Link building, social media marketing, content development — there are simply too many things for a single person to handle alone.
The good news is, you can always count on freelancers to fill content gaps and do tedious work, such as writing content, conducting blogger outreach, and fine-tuning your website’s design.
Here are some of the freelancing marketplaces you can start with:
In website development, knowledge is still one of your most valuable assets.
Debunking the myths listed above is only the tip of the iceberg. The next step is to keep seeking learning resources that will help you up your web design game and inch you closer to success.
Do you think we missed an important myth that must be clarified? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!