Your website may look beautiful, but it is important to remember that visitors are not going to come to your site to admire it. To provide your visitors with a positive experience, you need to make sure you avoid the pitfalls of making basic design errors; otherwise, your website – no matter how stunning – may be harming your business.

Here is our rundown of the top five mistakes that companies make when putting together a website. Use this list to check your own site and make sure you are not guilty of driving customers away.

#1. Slow to load
People looking for information or products online want that information straightaway. The digital world has made us all impatient, with research studies indicating that we are likely to click off a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Check your site across a range of devices and browsers. If the pages do not load in three seconds or less, you really need to overhaul your web design as a priority; otherwise, you could be losing visitors before they even get to see your site.

#2. Unresponsive design
Responsive design allows your site to configure seamlessly across a range of devices. Fail to include this in your website and the chances are that some visitors will have a less-than-happy experience, with pages failing to load properly and potentially hiding important information. If your website is not responsive, hire a professional web design team to change your coding as a matter of urgency. You can easily source great web design in Richmond, Rotherham or Roxburgh without having to spend a small fortune in the process.

#3. Poor navigation
You would be lost in a new town without a map; in the same way, visitors to your website need some sort of guidance in finding their way to the information they need. Choose a navigation system and stick to it throughout your site so that visitors do not have to waste time trying to find their way around. Bear in mind that most web visitors are highly motivated to make a purchase or booking at the moment of searching, especially when using smartphones. Frustrate them and you risk losing out on a sale.

#4. Lack of a search box
Sometimes visitors know exactly what they want to buy, so make it easy for them to go straight to the items they are searching for with a search box. Nobody wants to trawl through pages of irrelevant information before finding the items they want to purchase – the online world is expected to take us straight to the information we want to see. A well-placed search box allows customers to find exactly what they want, so make sure you provide your visitors with one.

#5. Inconsistent web design
This is usually the preserve of DIY site builders, who often do not have the graphic design skills necessary to create a beautiful and functional website. The amateur designer can all too often be drawn into using a variety of tools simply because they are there, leading to web design conflicts and an inconsistent overall design.

Keep in mind that your website should present itself as a consistent and coherent whole, so choose one overall design for your pages and stick to it.