5 Reasons Why Websites Fail

Web Goddess Blog

My client base consists of roughly 30% new website customers who have never had a website and 70% website rebuilds and rescues. And there is a common theme within that 70% that keeps repeating when I try to uncover what has gone wrong with the site they already have or had.

So, here are the 5 most common of those reasons why websites fail and how you can avoid the same happening to yours:


#1 – It doesn’t do what it’s meant to do…

Inarguably the most annoying reason I hear for a website not working is that it’s basically not fit for purpose and never has been. And because of this, businesses just leave it to rot because they cannot face going through the whole design process again.

If you want to hear exactly how painful this can be, check out this awesome video testimonial from Elspeth Alexandra about her previous website experience!

I’ve come across countless web design companies who simply never ask their clients what the actual purpose of their website is. A very simple question you may think, but THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION of them all.

In fact, one client had already been through two WordPress builds and had only ever been asked which template she preferred rather than any questions about her business goals for the website.

So, what can you do about it?

Make sure that when you are employing someone to build your website or you are building it yourself, you set clear goals and ask:

What does my website need to do for me and my company/brand/product/service?

This will then inform how it needs to be built and the flow and connections that need to be made between pages and calls to action on the site.


#2 – Outdated Technology

A common myth that I hear all too often is that once a website is built it will last forever.

Seriously, do you see how quickly technology is advancing? How often do you update your mobile phone and other tech? … websites are no different.

In my own business, I have been through 3 iterations of my business website in only 8 years and no doubt will go through more in the future (rebuild on the horizon as I type)…

I commonly rescue Drupal and WordPress websites that haven’t been updated for years.

So, what can you do about it?

Plan for the succession of your website just like you would for the people in your business or the other technology that you rely on. If you employ a company to build your site or have built it yourself, ask:

What maintentance or upkeep does my website need to keep it working optimally?

And then plan to look at your website at least monthly to perform updates and iron out any kinks. Even website builder websites need to be looked at, as their technology updates may mean you have to look at changing your template or updating some elements of your site from time to time.


#3 – You’ve been left Hanging

This happens all too often:

  • a company will offer a great package to create your website telling you that it’s easy for you to manage once built, but you find that it is anything but easy.
  • the company who coded your site using technology you don’t understand is no longer in business and you can’t change anything.
  • a friend built it for you as a favour, but doesn’t do that anymore…

So, what can you do about it?

Be involved from the start and ask questions like:

What access do I have to the site to update it?
Do you provide training to help me update my site?
What support do you provide if I get stuck?
What happens if you go out of business?
Can I move my website somewhere else?

You need to be involved in your website and learn a little about how it all works, rather than simply relying on someone else to do it all for you. And, remember your website is an investment and a business expense, so free is NOT best!

#4 – You don’t understand how to measure its success

Some websites are actually performing better than their owners believe they are because they have no interest in the analytics data that the site produces. You can give up too quickly on a website that you don’t feel is working unless you can see progress being made in terms of visitor numbers and engagement on your site.

I had a recent enquiry from someone complaining that their website was not bringing in any business but when I checked it had far more visitors than they knew about. These visitors did not turn into customers because the website didn’t actually make it easy for them to find what they came for (see Point 1 above!).

So, what can you do about it?

Check your figures! And if you don’t have access to the analytics on your site, make sure you ask your web design company:

What access do I have to my website statistics?
Has Google Analytics been set up for my site?
Do you provide training for these or manage them for me?

Take control of your data and learn where people are finding you, what’s working and what’s not and change your strategy accordingly. Your website won’t work unless you do.

And that brings me to my last point…


#5 – You don’t have a consistent website strategy

Websites are a living beast that require attention and love. You need to create a strategy that includes your website – and not just as an afterthought. Without your care and attention, your site will drop down the Google rankings, or stay languishing on a page that no-one ever visits.

Your website your responsibility! 

So, what can you do about it?

Make sure that you are blogging regularly and keeping the information on your site up-to-date – and if you have a WordPress website that your plugins and other technical data is updated regularly.

Regularly ask yourself:

What information is out of date?
What new content of value can I add to my website?
How can I make my website more appealing?
Where can I share my website for the greatest impact?

So, is your website failing you or are you failing it too?

Give me a yell if you would like some obligation free advice on the best way forward for you.

Web Goddess




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