When it comes to cheap websites you’ve got plenty of options. If you are looking to create a website for your business you’ve got everything from packages that allow you to build the website yourself to fully-fledged design companies (like us) looking to secure your business. Paying a lower upfront cost for your website is undoubtedly a plus when it comes to managing your business finances but it’s important for you to keep your eye on the prize – a website that works well for your business.

Let’s face it, you’ve got a financial stake in your website. Will it convert for you? Does it portray you in the light you want? Are you going to be able to use the software afterwards to ensure you can manage the changes you need to without hefty bills? Getting sucked into a do it yourself (DIY) website system might save you a few quid at the start but you could end up paying for it in the long term.

Oh and if you don’t want to read all 12 check out Jon’s really quick video showcasing 3 that are really easy to fix!

We’ve got one rule when it comes to websites – first impressions last!

Here are 12 tell-tell signs of a cheap website design

1. Broken links

Let’s face it, no one likes a broken link. If most of the links on your website point you to a 404 error then quite honestly you can expect a high bounce rate. It’s time to call in your web developer and get those broken links fixed. Not only will indexing services like Google get annoyed with you it’s quite likely that the visitor will leave your website much sooner than making a purchase with you. Conduct an inspection of your website on a weekly basis and fix all the hyperlinks you can find immediately. Not sure where to start – we’d recommend a site audit on NeilPatel.com.

2. A terrible brand logo

A logo should be a badge of pride and a solid standing identity of your brand. It’s one of the most important assets to get right. A poorly designed logo is anything but attractive and certainly does not hold the attention of your end-user. When people look at your logo you want them to instantly remember you, why they want to work with you and the craftsmanship or quality of work that you bring.

If you look at your current logo and go ‘hmm’ then your prospective clients are probably thinking the same thing. It’s time to consider a redesign.

3. A dated website theme shows a cheap website design

Keeping your website clutter-free and simple is one thing but using a theme from a time long past is simply another.

Themes don’t cost that much anymore and you can certainly find something that suits your brand and look with just a little digging on the internet. Don’t forget it needs to be mobile optimised – if your theme isn’t then it really is time to sweep away the cobwebs.

Use an outdated theme and your bounce rate will go through the roof – leaving your business acquisition in tatters!

Buying a new theme isn’t hard – there are even free ones that you can look at too.

4. Low-resolution images are just a no-no!cheap website

There’s just no need for this now. Capturing your visitors with stunning imagery is key to making sure people love your website.

The last thing you want your visitors to experience is an image that’s blurry, pixilated and too small for the gap it’s designed to command.

Gone are the days when you needed to hire a branding photographer (however some businesses really should). You can now grab royalty-free images from fantastic websites like Pixabay – a vibrant community of creatives that share copyright-free images, videos and even music.

Capture the mind’s eye and you’ve captured their attention.

5. Bizarre or non-matching font styles

Make it easy for people to read about your services rather than make it a challenge. Fonts that don’t suit your brand or have weird backgrounds just confuse your audience. Remember your ultimate aim is to communicate what your business does, connect with your reader and convert them into a lead. Fonts that don’t help you to do that are just a waste of space.

Need some font inspiration? Check out Font Pair – it’ll have your font issues sorted in no time.

6. A confusing and chaotic website layout

Now I want you to imagine you are driving for the first time ever to a new destination. In that scenario what you really need are road signs that clearly show you where to go (or a lot of planning). Your website should be no different.

An organised layout, unstructured menu or terrible text alignment are all reasons your users might ‘tune out’ when they visit your website. It’s imperative that your layout works for your audience and makes it simple for them to find the right information and connect with you easily. If they want to learn about you a clearly visible ‘about us’ section should be available. If you have a shop then we want to make it easy for the customers to purchase. Remember humans take the path of least resistance so make everything they do as easy as possible.

7. Non-matching colour schemes

You might not know this but there really is a science of colours. When used correctly they can trigger a variety of feelings and emotions in humans. When used incorrectly they do one thing, increase your bounce rate.

Fear not, there are plenty of colour matching tools online that can help you find the most complementary palette for your brand.

8. Unnecessary pop-up boxes promoting something no one wants

First up, no one is saying don’t advertise on your website – in fact, we’re suggesting the opposite. What you don’t want to do is have endless popup boxes that offer a sign up to a service that no one wants. Full-screen pop-ups can present a different challenge – they make it much more challenging for the user to close. Our top tip is to make it really simple for people to close it down when they want.

9. Dribble space

Too many calls to action sat in one corner of your website. Endless white space because you can’t code it out? These are just some additional signs that your website is poorly built.

It’s important to get your message across but redundant information needs to find a new home – preferably not on your website! Practice good design and minimalism to maximise conversions on your website.

10. Spelling errors cause confusion

No one likes to see spelling errors on a website – they’ll leave your visitors doubting your professionalism. Take a moment to think about that – if you’ve rushed through your website and left mistake after mistake then how can you commit to excellent customer service for your clients. They’ll doubt your attention to detail and to be honest they probably should.

Try installing a tool like Grammarly – it’ll help you construct amazing sentences and back you up when looking for errors.

11. Images, not Alt Tagged

Now if you were speaking to our Head Honcho Jonathan he’d commit that every single image should be alt tagged however that’s not always possible. Making sure that your main images are alt tagged will not only help with SEO it makes your website more accessible than others. Don’t make your cheap website look cheaper when it comes to accessibility.

What is an alt tag? This video will help explain (oh and if you are using WordPress it’ll show you how to apply it).

12. Mobile first

This is an absolute must. If you’ve not checked your website on your mobile phone in a while do it right now.

Ensuring your website works well on mobile phones is key to success. If your website does not work on mobile or simply is unoptimised then you can assume your visitors will leave quicker than they arrive.

Consider your message on mobile. Is it short enough to grab the user’s attention? What about your menu and your buttons – are those set up for a mobile-first experience?

With more and more traffic coming from social media networks than ever before (and let’s be honest it’s growing every single day) getting mobile right will make a huge difference to your website.

Final thoughts…

In summary, we think careless designs that lead to a cheap website should really be a thing of the past. Every business has the option to avoid that negative impact and make a great first impression. Make sure you deliver a first great impression when people visit you!

Does your business need a website makeover? Want to speak to someone about your options? We’d love to hear from you. Click here to contact us today.