December 4, 2023
e9digital Checklist: 9 Most Expensive Website Errors (And How to Fix Them)
Law firms of all sizes benefit from a website. Potential clients don’t use the Yellow Pages to find the type of lawyer needed to represent their case. Instead, they ask for referrals.
It’s true. Approximately 59% of legal clients seek a referral to find a lawyer. Only 17% of clients use Google to find a lawyer. So, while you’re still missing out on client acquisition if you don’t have a website, the biggest piece of the pie comes from referrals.
The holidays are just around the corner, and you bought yourself an early present: the DeLorean DMC-12. It may not be able to time travel, but it’s giving your inner 12-year-old LIFE!
So, you’d never buy your dream car and then neglect to change the oil.
Every six months or so, you do the required maintenance to ensure the car runs as smoothly as the day you purchased it.
Because if you don’t change the oil, the engine will fill up with dirt and debris that’s picked up as you drive. This clogs the oil filter, circling dirty oil back into the engine. If left long enough, this ruins your engine. And for a DeLorean, an engine rebuild costs over $4,000.
Just like you have to do regular maintenance for your DeLorean, you must maintain the health of your website.
Don’t set it and forget it; websites need regular maintenance to remain profitable.
Keep a website design agency on retainer to eliminate the following expensive errors on your website before they bulldoze your bottom line.
1. The Website Error: Slow Page Loading Speeds
Your website contains dazzling images, active graphics, and captivating videos to entertain your target audience. However, if it takes ten seconds to load a page, then customers won’t be there long enough to see it. 53% of visitors abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
The Fix: Optimize Page Speeds
A digital marketing agency will know the best practices for page speed and the most up-to-date solutions. For pages that load slower than molasses, there are a few tricks of the trade to improve the speed.
- Compress images to minimize the size in bytes without compromising the quality.
- Use plugins (additional software for your website) to speed up processes. For example, WP Smush compresses images on WordPress sites.
- Remove unnecessary redirects from links and menus
- Cache web pages and allow browser caching
- Add a content delivery network (CDN), which delivers content closer to your customer’s location
2. The Website Error: Broken Links
A potential customer finds your website through your helpful blog content. They click on a link, and it doesn’t take them to the page they want to find. Instead, it goes to an error page. Broken links like this increase the bounce rate, which is how many people view your website after only looking at one page.
The higher the bounce rate, the less likely your website visitors will convert to paying customers.
The Fix: Utilize an Audit Tool or Link Checker
Agencies use tools such as the Ahrefs SEO audit to check for broken links regularly. This highlights on-page and SEO (search engine optimization) issues, and it’s a great way to find multiple errors on your website at once. Additionally, you could use a simpler, free tool like Online Broken Link Checker. Ideal for small websites, there’s a 3,000-page limit for the free version.
A 404 page appears when customers click on a broken link. On top of regularly checking links, create a custom 404 page for your website that includes a personalized error message from your team. Also, include a list of helpful internal links that guide customers to what they’re looking for to reduce the bounce rate.
3. The Website Error: No Website Backup
If your phone has ever taken a dive in the Hudson River and you didn’t have a cloud or computer backup, you know how horrible it feels to lose all of your personal data. The same thing can happen to your website. With no backup, entire pages can be lost if an update goes wrong or a hacker corrupts your data.
All the money you’ve put into SEO, content, and more can be gone in seconds.
The Fix: Backup Your Website
Avoid the sinking feeling and utilize a cloud service to regularly back up your website. Of course, if you have a website maintenance agency on hand, they can handle all this for you. Some of the top options include:
How often you make changes to your website indicates when you need to create a backup. If you’re a busy ecommerce site with regular listing changes, perform daily backups. If you’re a lawyer who posts weekly blogs, then do the backup after posting every week.
Additionally, make backups whenever a big change occurs on your website, such as a major update or edits to the homepage.
4. The Website Error: Weak Authentication
Yes, passwords are a pain to remember. Unfortunately, “easypeasy123” could be hacked by someone in one hour. All of that sensitive information on your website database must be thoroughly protected through strong passwords and boosted security measures.
The Fix: Elevate Your Security Measures
Security must be a #1 priority to maintain your customer’s trust. Digital agencies utilize the following to protect your business’s sensitive information.
- Create strong passwords with Google’s help.
- Set up two-factor authentication, which requires a password and another step to identify the user. Face recognition, fingerprint, and mobile devices are all popular options.
- Limit admin-level users for your website.
- Secure data at rest through symmetric encryption and in transit through asymmetric encryption.
- Never let SSL/TLS Certificates expire.
5. The Website Error: Outdated Content
It’s really easy to be pumped about your website when it’s new. You promise you’ll write a blog post every week! But then, you’re busy putting out fires for your clients.
A month goes by, no fresh website content.
Google’s search algorithm uses meaning, relevance, quality, usability, and context to rank results on the search engine results page (SERP). Outdated content can tank your SEO since it may display irrelevant information, so your website will quickly fall off the first ten results of the SERP. And guess what? 75% of people will never scroll past the first page.
The Fix: Hire an Agency to Write Regular Content
Don’t fall behind on your content. All the hard work of creating a website to secure more clients has gone to waste if no one visits. When you don’t have time to write regular blogs or make changes to your homepage, hire a website design agency to do it for you. e9digital has copywriters and website maintenance experts on staff to craft personalized content for your target audience.
ChatGPT is another option for content, but it’s not a “get rich quick” solution. It can be a great tool when used by writers who know how to craft compelling, educational content. If a writer is feeling stuck, ChatGPT can generate new ideas. However, all the work must be proofed and fact-checked, since the AI program has made up citations previously.
6. The Website Error: Ancient Plugins
Plugins are additional software tools that customize website content and apps. If your website is created using WordPress, you can find plugins for pretty much anything, including:
However, they need regular updates. If not, they’ll start to make your website run slower, and may even compromise security.
The Fix: Update or Delete Old Plugin
Just like you regularly back up your website, update it as well. This includes plugins, themes, and any other software connected to your site. Additionally, you may find that you don’t need a plugin anymore. Delete it, or else it bogs down the page speed like barnacles on an old pirate ship.
To understand this better, you need to know about the front end and the back end of a website.
Front end: The visual part of the website that users see and interact with.
Back end: The site structure and system, responsible for storing and organizing data.
Plugins take up a lot of a server’s processing power. Any front-end plugins have to be loaded with the page they’re connected to. Too many front-end plugins slow down the page speed, which is why it’s best to delete old ones that are no longer needed.
7. The Website Error: Clunky Code
Code defines the structure of your content. It’s essentially directions for web browsers that explain how to show your website to visitors. And bad directions take longer to understand, even speed readers like Google. Clunky code bogs down page loading times and creates bugs for website maintenance.
Code can be full of errors, including multiple HTTP requests, infinite loops, and bloated libraries. Other excessive style additions make the browsers load slower, creating slow page loading times.
The Fix: Clean Up Your Code
Website maintenance experts should regularly review your code to decrease the size and improve file loading. You could have ChatGPT write code for you, but is it right? Always have a human check your code to ensure it will run as fast as possible. Coding is essentially speaking another language, so don’t skimp out on this step.
Hire experts to code right the first time, or else you’ll be paying for it later in lost potential customers.
8. The Website Error: Incorrect Site Forms
Forms are the go-to way to collect contact information for email newsletters, sales inquiries, and more. But forms only work if there are no errors on them. For example, the form may work fine on a desktop, but the “submit” button is cut off in the mobile version. Over 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. In this scenario, you’re losing out on half of your business due to a form error.
The Fix: Test Your Forms
A form test is not one and one. Test your forms for:
- Mobile usability
- Tablet usability
- Popular browsers
- Correct response location
- Confirmation emails to the desired recipient
Don’t forget to check for typos or incorrect information on the form. Make sure that all the required information, such as phone numbers and email addresses, must be filled out before the form can be submitted.
9. The Website Error: Neglecting Accessibility
Any website design agency worth their salt will create an accessible website. This must follow the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed in 1990, this law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including communications and public accommodations.
Follow ADA compliance for website accessibility to ensure every person can read and access your website. This is just good business—you want everyone to benefit from your valuable services!
Even if you start with an accessible website, a plugin or software update may mess up the accessibility.
The Fix: Conduct Accessibility Audits
At least once a year, conduct an accessibility audit with a third-party verification. This should include one round with accessibility experts and one round with professional testers who have disabilities.
“In the dynamic landscape of technology, accessibility is a continuous journey, not a destination. Regular website audits act as a compass, guiding organizations towards sustained inclusivity, reflecting a commitment to providing an equitable online experience for all users.” – Jason Solak, Senior Production Manager
Supercharge Your Website Maintenance With e9digital
Keep your website’s engine running like a Ferrari with the maintenance experts at e9digital. We have a robust team that implements website maintenance best practices from early design to final product.
Once your website is finished, we offer affordable ongoing website maintenance packages to make small fixes, conduct audits, maintain backups, and more. To learn more about our full-contact creative, contact us today.