There is so much information on the Internet to the point that we sometimes find it hard to separate the truth from the lies; the authentic from the fake.
The field of Digital Marketing is no exception. Sadly, these often underestimated myths are common misconceptions that can unknowingly make or break a website.
In this article, we aim to list the top seven website creation myths web developers often encounter.
Myth #1: People read everything, word for word
Let me guess. When you landed on this page, you read the bullet points first before any paragraphs. Well, you’re not alone because most visitors scroll through only 50-60% of pages.
Most of us skim web pages with the aim of finding what we’re searching for as fast as possible. But ironically, people who skim and found the info are more likely to read the rest of the page.
As a rule of thumb, websites that are made for cursory or fast-paced reading are more likely to be read. Just take it from Medium on how they designed their website for readability.
Myth #2: Whitespace is a waste of real estate
It is easy to get distracted on a website. There are a lot of elements that could potentially detract your visitor from completing the desired action.
This is where whitespaces come in. Whitespaces, also known as negative spaces, are the blank or empty portions of your website that helps visitors focus on the important stuff.
Take a cue from Google. Their homepage is filled with whitespace to the point that you intuitively know what Google wants you to do – to search.
The next time you’re creating a website or redesigning one, consider the distance between your website elements like columns, images, and margins to create ample whitespaces.
Myth #3: Flash is still the “in-thing” today
Flash was the “in-thing” for websites during the early 2000s because they added a visual component that made websites attention-grabbing and interactive.
Adobe improved Flash later on and made it SEO-friendly that added to its appeal. Since then, Google can now index Flash files.
But even after the improvements, it is not practical to use Flash anymore since most mobile and tablet devices, notably Apple, doesn’t support it.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, Google Chrome recently ended its relationship with it and Adobe also announced its plans to stop supporting Flash by 2020.
Myth #4: People don’t scroll down anymore
There is often the misconception that people don’t bother to scroll down below the fold anymore; that people are too lazy to find what they are looking for.
Well, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to compress your content above the fold or the part of the website that visitors see when the page loads.
Data says that 66% of attention on a page is spent below the fold and on mobile, 50% of users scroll down within 10 seconds and 90% within 14 seconds.
Design your website to encourage scrolling. It is, after all, better for user experience than splitting up content into multiple pages.
But nevertheless, don’t disregard you’re above the fold. It is still an important space where visitors decide if it is worth scrolling down or not.
Myth #5: I don’t need a mobile or responsive site
According to research, more than 50% of searches now come from smartphones and tablets and we can expect that figure to continuously grow as mobile device adoption increases.
In other words, a big chunk or over half of the people visiting your website may come from these mobile devices.
You’re missing out on the 50% of your overall traffic if you’re not on mobile as 8 out of 10 would leave your website if it doesn’t display well on their device.
If there’s one good investment you can make this 2018, it is to develop a mobile or responsive version of your website, if you don’t one have yet.
Just remember that a mobile or responsive version of a website is a different beast of its own.
In an era where people want things fast, it is always considered a good practice to ensure that your website is loading fast. Among other things, you can use content delivery networks (CDNs) with high-speed storage tools to accomplish just that.
Myth #6: The homepage is still the most important page
Spending most of your time optimizing your homepage may not be the most productive nowadays.
According to Gerry McGovern, more and more customers are going straight to specific pages on your website rather than the homepage.
Google’s continuous improvement of its search algorithm may be the main contributor to the decline of homepage visits since more people now rely on its refined searches.
To illustrate: when your website is in its infancy, your homepage may be the most visited page. But as it grows and Google indexes more pages, people will tend to land on these specific pages instead.
Rather than spending most resources enhancing your homepage, why don’t you give attention to other top performing pages as well and see what you can optimize from there?
Myth #7: Stock photos are substitutes to my own images
What’s not to love on stock photos? They’re sometimes free, they’re high quality, and occasionally, you can even do what you want with them.
But sometimes, we’re forcing the issue. Ever created a page where you had specific images in mind but are constrained by the stock photos you have?
Don’t take your visitors for granted, they can determine which images are forcing the issue. Stock photos that aren’t relevant to the topic of the page may end up frustrating your visitors.
If you can’t find a good stock photo that perfectly conveys your message, maybe it’s time to get a professional to transform that message into an image.
Some of these website creation superstitions are forged by the past best practices during the early 20th century when the World Wide Web just became mainstream.
In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s important to know these myths and attempt to debunk them since best practices of previous years may not be the best ones today.
Have you ever heard of these website creation myths? Do you know anyone who fell to these myths? Share this article and help a friend avoid following these myths again.