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Avoiding Basic Web Mistakes: Website Dos and Don’ts
If you new to the website creation scene, then chances are that you will make many mistakes and learn from them along the way. Creating and maintaing a website can be tough business, and it is perhaps more efficient not to make your own mistakes and instead to learn from the mistakes of others. There are so many ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ that one could talk about in relation to creating your own website, but here are just some of the basic things you will need to keep in mind as you move into website creation and design.
DO: Make complementary social media sites for your website
Social media is an excellent tool for driving traffic to your website and increasing brand awareness, so ensure that your website at least has an associated Facebook page and Twitter account. If you are really social media savvy, don’t be afraid to go the whole way: Pinterest, Tumblr, FourSquare—everything. Just remember however that social media networks require a constant diet of content to feed followers, so pay attention to their upkeep.
DON’T: Forget about your domain and hosting renewal date
Most people buy their domain and hosting on a rolling yearly basis, so it is important that you remember to pay when you enter your renewal period (assuming you are not paying via standing order or direct debit). The same works in reverse: if you do not want to renew your domain and hosting, then read the fine print carefully. Certain unscrupulous companies wait until after the cut-off cancelation period to email you about renewal, thereby forcing you to pay for an extra year of hosting that you do not want. Don’t fall for the trap, and note the necessary dates down in your calendar.
DO: Accept help as a beginner
You must accept that, as a beginner, you will not be producing masterpieces of web design straight away. In fact, as a beginner, you will likely find yourself confined to using a free website builder or a content management system. Fear not though: you have plenty of time to build your skills, learn more about HTML/CSS and start designing things by yourself. The internet is a wonderful resource for learning about website maintenance and design, so accept some help and start learning.
DON’T: Neglect site maintenance
Many people go into creating websites and blogs with wide-eyed naïvety and uncontrolled enthusiasm, which often quite quickly runs up against the wall of reality. After buying a website, there is often a rapid drop-off in upkeep and interest after 6 months, as people become disenchanted with being unable to reap immediate results. Be patient, and don’t neglect your website. If you give up, it will never get anywhere anyway.
DO: Remember design basics
Sometimes it is quite easy to go overboard with web design and forget basic things like avoiding clashing colours and displaying a prominent call to action. Make yourself a brief checklist of things you need your website to include and ensure the end product fulfils all your goals (and fulfils them well).
DON’T: Resort to spammy marketing
While it is possible to buy a thousand fake Facebook likes or hundreds of links pointing towards your website, it is never a good idea. Why? Black-hat social media marketing and search engine optimisation never pays. In fact, if Google sense you are using nefarious means to promote your website, they can actually penalise it and prevent your website from showing up in Google searches. Go organic and do things the long and hard way: in the end, it is better for your website.