Having a new website launched is a fantastic time. If it’s a new website for your business, then it can help the business to get off the ground and instantly reach out to their customers. Alternatively, if it’s a re-design or re-brand, it can breathe new life into your business and inspire old customers to get in touch again.
However, while all that is very good, the hidden secret to ask yourself is “am I getting value for my money”? Let me put this way, if you go to a car dealer and buy a new car that looks all shiny and great, sounds good in the showroom and comes with modern gadgets then that’s amazing. But what happens when you take it home and little problems start appearing, that leather seating wasn’t as good as you recalled, and that the dealer forgot to mention that the car needs filling up every twenty miles. It can get rather frustrating and the same can be said for a website.
If you’ve recently purchased a website, here are some quick and easy things that you can do to test your website to make sure the developer has done 100% of the job.
Using free websites such as Google PageSpeed and Yellow Lab Tools can help provide an idea how your website performs in the real world (a bit like an MOT). These tools will rate your website as poor, good or excellent and show you if it’s lacking anywhere. These results don’t need to be 100% but poor is definitely red flag because search engines use a similar system when ranking websites in their results pages. If your scores are poor, then the website won’t feature high on search results, so by running a quick test you can see if your developer has done their job on areas like compressing images and compressing the website.
Sometimes we are asked by clients to test out websites that they have had done by other developers. One of the common mistakes that we find is within contact and booking forms. Whilst the initial form looks good, if when you press submit, the page doesn’t redirect or present a clear confirmation message, it can leave the customer with a bad experience. Clearly, if your website has faults it’s not too big a mental leap for your customers to think that your business could also have flaws.
As you can see here, when you press submit without providing the right information, the form gives multiple error messages in random places. The message “the field is required” randomly appears as bullets for some strange reason but also below in a colour that is very hard to read!
We fixed that immediately and by coding it correctly have been able to tidy the form up so that it looked better and more professional.
Another common mistake for forms is not checking who receives messages. When creating the website, developers usually set the message recipient as themselves for testing purposes and then put a rule on their inbox telling the incoming messages to go to their spam folder. If they forget to change this after the website is live, that’s where your businesses leads are still going!
So check and test your forms and other areas of your website, because if your customers try to use them and get issues like that, you’re the one losing out.
Most of us have common sense and know when something doesn’t look right, but the person who designed and developed your website should definitely know. So when your website goes live and you have images that look stretched or areas overlapping that just don’t look right, then mention it to your developer. If they come back with the line “there’s nothing we can do” – what they are really saying is “we don’t know how to fix that so are going to lie instead”.
That sort of attitude isn’t helping your business and worse, can leave you worrying what else they have overlooked or left out because they didn’t have the knowledge needed to give your website and business the skill and attention that it deserves.
If you’ve got some website bugs/flaws or are not sure and want some free outside advice, then get in touch here. We’d be happy to advise you on how it should look and if the code has been written correctly.