While most webmasters will be pretty proud of their work and will have a soft spot for their creation (for most of us it’s more than just a money making venture), it’s also true of most site owners that we know it could be better.
Unfortunately the truth of the matter is, that most of us only have a limited number of particular skills. While you might consider yourself a multi-talented jack-of-all-trades, that’s not to say that you’re going to be as good as the professionals when it comes to activities as disparate as designing logos, building code and doing your SEO.
More to the point, you’re not likely to enjoy all of these jobs equally. Most of us will start working online at least partly because we enjoy it – maybe you love the thrill of designing beautiful backgrounds and banners? Or maybe you love expressing yourself and getting heard? It’s just a shame then that all that other stuff has to come with it, the CSS, the SEO and the lining up of miniscule pixels that actually make all the difference.
The real sin here then is that most of us will know where our websites are weak, but will hope that we can just ignore it and it will go away. You might know full well that your navigation buttons are low resolution, but the thought of redesigning them and having to pay for and install PhotoShop is just too much to bear. Perhaps you know your site loads slowly and frustrates everyone, but who wants to sort through thousands of lines of code refactoring for the sake of cutting off a few milliseconds?
Well maybe not you, but you certainly should. Read on to find out why this stuff matters, and what you can do about dealing with it.
The Devil is In the Details
What many of us don’t realise when we visit a website on the consumer side of things, is that most of our opinions are formed about it on an unconscious level. When you look at a website you will instantly decide whether you think it looks professional or not, and you will base this decision on things that are too minuscule to be that noticeable consciously.
Ever gone to a site that looks perfectly nice but not quite felt confident to spend any money there? That ‘gut’ feeling comes from those little imperfections. A low res icon can be enough to send alarm bells and that in turn can prevent you from staying on the page.
Likewise, if your site takes a fraction of a second longer to load then it will ‘feel’ slow and sluggish, and people who are in a hurry won’t want to waste any time there. These are tiny things, but they can add up to cost you significant amounts of money.
Making Your Site Perfect
If you want your site to perform the best it can then, you really need to become a perfectionist and start chasing down all those tiny details. That means making sure that every image is as crisp as possible and as well designed as possible, it means making sure your font is beautiful, and it means making sure that there isn’t one duff pixel on the page. All these things will add up to give your site a professional ‘sheen’ that makes it look like a site people want to spend time on and put their trust in.
And how do you accomplish all that? Well the main way is with outsourcing. As I said – you won’t be able to reproduce work to the same standard as a professional designer if you aren’t a designer, and you writing won’t sound as professional as it would if a professional copywriter wrote it. Invest that bit of extra money and it will add up to a noticeable difference for your users – and when you’re honest with yourself, for you as well.
Even more crucial, is simply to spend time and energy chasing up those little details. Stop making excuses to ignore the ugly logo on your site and commit a day to fixing it – it could just be the thing that’s losing you visitors and profit…