It’s an exciting time when one buys their first domain, web hosting account, and gets ready to set up their website. The first step to any successful website is picking the right theme, which is so very important to ensure users are properly engaged. If a site has certain negative aspects of its theme, it can send users back before they actually read anything on the site. For those newbies to the website creation process, below is a compiled list of the top five mistakes to avoid when picking a website theme.
1.) Small Font Size With Similar Background Color
Having a user-friendly site is imperative to retaining users on the website. Different themes use different font sizes. Previewing content on the theme is necessary to ensuring the font size is normal and not overly small. No one is going to take the time to read any website text they have to actively squint at to see.
When it comes to the font color, it’s vital that it doesn’t blend in with the background color of the webpage. Having a dark gray color text with a black background can be extremely hard to read. In contrast, having a light yellow text on a white background is very much unreadable as well. Preview the text color against the background color to ensure the text stands out.
2.) Simplicity Is Key
With thousands of theme options available, it can be a hard decision to find the ideal one. Comparing each theme to the next it becomes very obvious that some themes are flashier with animation and complex layouts than other themes. While it may seem better to have more, in the case of a user-friendly website that’s not true.
Too many flashy animations, color contrasting, menu options, and social signal sharers can overwhelm a new user to the website. While all these options may seem very tempting, remembering the goal of the website should help one decide on the right amount of extra features. A website is made to help users find the information they’re searching for. When a site is overwhelming many searchers are unable to navigate the site and instead hit the back button.
3.) Choose A Responsive Theme
Everybody knows that the majority of web searches are done via mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Choosing a responsive theme will allow a website to adjust its layout depending on the user’s device and screen size. This provides a better viewing experience for the user.
Many themes are responsive, however, there are still some non-responsive themes out there. To test if a potential theme option is responsive one can use a mobile-friendly test. These are easily found by typing the respective test name into a search engine, such as Google.
If a website is to be designed to be search engine optimized to receive free traffic, the theme must be responsive to show up on the first page of any Google search. Back in 2016, Google made all their first page results for any search term that a user may type into the search bar exclude websites which were non-responsive.
4.) Check For Browser Compatibility
There are many different website browsers that users will utilize to visit websites. These include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla FireFox. Different website themes may show up differently depending on the Internet browser the user is accessing. Some theme creators have tested their design on all Internet provider browsers to ensure the theme loads correctly on each one.
However, some creators omit this process. While in the process of choosing the right theme for a website it’s a good idea to test the theme on multiple browsers. If one doesn’t have access to these different browsers on their computer, doing a simple Google search for ‘viewing a website in different browsers’ will provide the necessary tools.
5.) Avoid Sluggish Themes
Having a slow load time for a website is a surefire way to ensure all potential visitors hit the back button without reading a word on the website. The typical amount of time a searcher will wait for a page to load before they hit the back button is two seconds. Any website that takes longer than two seconds to load will lose the majority of their potential viewers.
A slow load time typically is a result of a sluggish theme. This can happen due to the following reasons:
The website coder is not quality. This tends to be due to using a theme that was created many years prior. As coders develop their skills, they create newer themes. One should avoid using themes that are older than two years.
To ensure a website has a non-sluggish theme one can use a website speed test. Many of these are provided by web hosting companies and can be easily found by doing a simple Google search.
At the end of the day, the purpose of any website is to provide information for users. If a site’s theme is not set up to ensure streamline operation for new users, the site isn’t going to help anyone. By paying close attention to these top five mistakes that many newbies to website creation make, one can create a website that is user-friendly and sure to last.