With all these opinions floating around, it can be tough to differentiate credible expertise from Joe Schmoe’s 2-cents-gone-viral.
So in this post, I’m setting the record straight and revealing the truth about 5 common website misconceptions.
Website Platform Misconceptions
1. If I use Squarespace, I won’t own my content
Even if you use Squarespace, your content is still yours. Squarespace simply reserves the right to use it for a variety of purposes (marketing, etc.).
Most social media sites have a similar policy outlined in their Terms of Service.
All your content still belongs to you, but the owner of the platform you’re using to host content can create the policies regarding how that content can be used. This is something to note. But, in my opinion, it’s not something to worry too much about.
2. WordPress is hard to use, expensive and breaks often
Ok first, let’s talk about the WordPress learning curve. When drag and drop site-builders started to get popular, several companies (like, my favorite, Elegant Themes) came out with WordPress-compatible drag and drop builders almost anyone can use. So, these days, WordPress really isn’t much harder to learn that Squarespace.
Next, let’s cover the cost of using WordPress. In my experience, the platform itself is really affordable, and there millions (maybe billions?) of of free and low-cost themes you can use to make your site look great for next to nothing.
Sure, you can be super fancy, and get a custom-designed theme. That may cost a pretty penny, but it’s a cost you’ll only incur when you first launch your site. From then on, you shouldn’t encounter many significant expenses related to your WordPress website.
And finally, about WordPress “breaking”…people tend to think WordPress breaks because a plugin they’ve installed on their WordPress site breaks. But this isn’t actually a WordPress problem. As long as you’re using updated, reputable plugins on your site, you shouldn’t really have issues with your site “breaking.”
Website Content Misconceptions
1. Banner slideshows connect better with website visitors since they showcasing “more” of my brand
These days, most websites have some sort of banner at the top of the page, or at least the home page, when you first navigate there. Since banners are so prevalent, “banner blindness” is becoming widespread phenomena among website visitors.
“Banner blindness” is the idea that most people expect to see a banner now, so they tend to scroll past them without much thought when they land on a webpage. Although banner blindness is a real thing, this doesn’t mean you should go banner-less or dismiss the content in yours.
Banner space is still prime real estate. People know to look there when they’re interested in your “most important” information. However, almost nobody is sitting there and watching banners scroll through multiple pages of info or photos. And banner slideshows can slow down the user experience on your site, so stick with a clear and simple banner that contains only the most important info/photo.
2. My ‘About’ page is a great place to share my life story
Website visitors are impatient. In most cases, people are on your site for a specific purpose, and that purpose (usually) isn’t to learn your life story.
Give people what they’re looking for when they land on your About page. Most of the time, they want to:
- Know more about what you do
- Know how you can help them
- Relate with you (a little bit)
- Take action to experience more of the value you offer
It’s always good to make your About page more personal, but don’t overwhelm people with tons of info and pictures and your whole life story. somewhere to share your life story. Keep it short, to the point, visitor-focused and consider including:
- 2-3 sentences about what you do
- 2-3 sentences about who you serve and how you help them
- A photo of you and 2-3 sentences about your background, interests, etc.
- A clear call-to-action
Here are a few clear, effective About pages you can reference as examples:
Website SEO Misconceptions
1. It’s all about the text and links!
There are countless misconceptions about the topic of website SEO, in general. Over the past few weeks, I’ve published a series of posts and videos that cover a lot of what you need to know when it comes to SEO. (Check out ALL of my SEO resources here!)
But one of the common mistakes I see people making, is that they think all SEO comes down to your content and links. While those are major key players, there’s definitely more to it. Optimizing your images for SEO can be a huge help in boosting your SEO.