The Website Jack Built
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The Website Jack Built
DIY Website Case Study
In this case study, we are going to look at the website Jack built. Now for the sake of this article, we have protected jacks identity and we won’t be showing exact screenshots of his website.
Now to set the scene Jack and I met quite some time ago when I was training small business owners to use Dreamweaver to build there own websites. As time progressed Jack and I became good mates and we worked together to grow his business online. Jack had great ideas to move his business website forward but struggled to know where to start.
Jack and I worked together for about 4 or 5 years and we slowly grew the online presence of his business using best design practices and technology. As Jack’s business grew so did his ambitions and I soon found myself building more and more websites to keep up with Jack’s side business opportunities.
You see Jack liked to take opportunities by the horns and run with them. The problem we had was often those opportunities did not align well with Jacks core business. Now let’s say Jacks core business is sporting goods sales for the sake of this article.
We built Jack a great website to sell his sporting goods from and it was working to generate business and traffic. One day Jack came to me and said I have this great opportunity to sell some sports drinks. Whilst sporting goods and sports drinks could go together typically we would add them to the same site and try to showcase the new product. But one day Jack came along and wanted to sell cryptocurrency training.
I said to Jack great but you really shouldn’t have that on the same website as it doesn’t relate to your main website. So we built a new site for this product and service. As you can see Jack is a serial entrepreneur and likes to jump on bandwagons. The problem is often by the time you have seen a bandwagon it is already too late. So we eventually found that Jack was spreading himself to thin and this was causing different parts of business both the core business and additional business ventures were starting to fail.
So after several years, Jack decided to go out on his own and build his own website on a well known DIY website platform (WIX). I wished Jack well and helped him the best we could to transition to his new platform of choice. We harbored no ill will towards Jack and really hoped he would learn from the lessons we had learned together. Sadly this was not the case and jack still made a few major mistakes with his new website. Let’s look at these mistakes and cover them in depth so that you can learn from the website Jack built.
Key Lessons Learned
Overcrowding The Website – We see this quite a lot of business owners and that is overcrowding. The first mistake Jack made was to roll several of his other websites into one big website. This means that he now had one website that was selling multiple un-related products. It was hard to navigate the site to find anything your looking for and is still that way.
Whilst Jack appears to know what he is talking about with each product it really does look disjointed. It means that jacks credibility for any one product or brand is in jeopardy and his marketing message is being lost.
Over Complication – Imagine you arrive at a website and on the home page, there is a pile of different things screaming out for you to click it. This is how Jacks home page looks and it is overcomplicating the process of conversion. Jacks website homepage makes it very hard for a viewer looking for specific information to know where to click to find that info.
You see on Jack’s website homepage there are more than 45 links visible to various topics. As well as those links there is more than 20 images and social sharing links also competing for your attention.
Design & Branding – The next big mistake Jack has made is with his design and branding. The overall layout is all custom designed by Jack and has very little thought put into the way it is laid out. When designing a website there are some critical things that need to be looked at in the planning process. By planning these things such as color, layout, balance, and shape you have a clear path to follow in the build process.
Jacks website has some major mistakes in these areas including using 5 or more different colors for buttons and headings. The background color is a teal blue color and the content area uses what I can only describe as a manilla folder color. The header background is a white color and the combination all together just does not work.
Conclusions & Key Points Summary
I guess what I am saying here and the point I am trying to get across is that first impressions count. You see you have less than 10 seconds to grab your website visitors attention. Are you blowing that opportunity by making mistakes like Jack did? In summary, the website Jack built gives you these key points and takeaways.
Key Take Away 1 – Don’t overcrowd your website with competing messages, ideas and concepts. When your thinking of adding a new page to your site ask yourself, does this page fit and is it necessary?
Key Take Away 2 – Don’t just throw everything on the page and assume people will read it. You only have a few seconds to grab a visitor and if the content is overcomplicated and makes it difficult they will simply move on to the next website. Try restricting a page and it’s content to 1 key topic and 3- 5 related subtopics.
Key Take Away 3 – Think about your branding and the overall design of your website. Plan how things will look and how the content will flow on the page. The age-old adage of preparation prevents poor performance rings especially true with websites. Don’t miss your opportunity to design things properly the first time.
Martin is a website designer with more than 20 years industry experience. Specialising in WordPress website design, WordPress website care, WordPress website hosting and much more.
When not building websites for clients Martin enjoys, playing online games, taking and editing video and photo as well as spending time with his family.