SOURCE: DudaMobile

Duda - The Simplest Way to get your Business on Desktop, Tablet and Mobile.

October 23, 2014 08:07 ET

5 Terrifying Small Business Website Trends That Need to End

With Halloween Just Around the Corner, Duda Showcases Some of the Most Horrifying Website Trends Hurting Small Businesses

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - October 23, 2014) - While most people are focused on ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night this time of year, small businesses should be far more terrified of certain website trends that are all but guaranteed to scare their customers away.

Below are the five most terrifying website trends common to small businesses. Small business owners who recognize their sites in this list are advised to immediately make updates before truly giving their customers, and their bottom lines, nightmares. 

Websites that Aren't Mobile-Friendly. While having a mobile-friendly website should be obvious by now, it's shocking how many small business websites still aren't optimized for mobile devices, either through a dedicated mobile site or a responsive site.

Considering that nearly half of total web traffic comes from mobile devices, there is no question customers are visiting small business sites from their smartphones. If customers have to pinch and zoom just to read the text on the page, they probably aren't going to stay around long enough for the business to make a sale. 

"Above anything else on this year's list of terrifying website trends, not having a mobile-friendly site is the most hair-raising and egregious," said Itai Sadan, CEO and co-founder of Duda, a DIY website builder for small businesses. "With so much traffic coming from mobile, small business owners are literally leaving money on the table if their sites don't work across devices."

Auto-Play Video with Sound. It's one thing to have a video automatically play when a customer arrives on a website, it's quite another when that video also has sound. There is a good chance that a potential customer isn't in a convenient place to listen to whatever the video is saying, and if that's the case they will probably just close the site altogether. Instead, businesses should let visitors decide whether or not to watch the video, or at the very least, keep the video muted.

Flash. Including Flash on a small business website should be another obvious no-no, but it's still rampant on many of them -- especially restaurant websites. Flash doesn't work on mobile devices, and Google will actually punish a website's SEO because of it. In addition, Flash can substantially slow website performance and drain visitor's batteries, all of which lead to a horrific customer experience that will likely make them flee rather than buy. Instead, small businesses should consider using HTML5-based videos and interactivity on their sites.

Sadan pointed to special website effects that were developed by Duda for Halloween as examples. "We used HTML5 to create effects, like flying bats and spooky trick or treat buttons, that small business owners can easily add to their DudaOne site using our inSite feature. This gives them and their customers a little something extra for the holiday, without any of the drawbacks of using Flash." 

Virtual Guide. Having a "virtual guide" (think Microsoft's "Clippy") on a business website might seem like a good idea. After all, the price of the technology has come down to levels that are affordable to many small business owners and they can be found all across the web on the sites of many large companies. That means they must be a best-practice, right? Absolutely not. In general, a website should make it easy for a customer to find what they're looking for. Rather than forcing customers to consult a virtual helper, which is something most won't bother with, businesses should ensure their website is easy to navigate. 

Unnecessary Downloads. With few exceptions, features of your small business website shouldn't require your visitors to download plug-ins such as Silverlight or Java. Not only can these programs cause your site performance to lag and result in a poor user experience, but every time you put an obstacle in front of a potential customer, you reduce the chance they will continue through to a sale or conversion. Rather, businesses should build and update with modern web standard suchs as HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, which are largely considered "future-proof." 

About Duda
Duda is a leading DIY website builder for web professionals and small businesses via its products; DudaMobile, a mobile-only site builder; DudaOne, a responsive website builder and DudaPro, which enables entrepreneurs, designers and agencies of all sizes to create personalized and dynamic web presence solutions without the need to invest in hours of costly development time. Duda is based in Palo Alto, California, currently hosts over five million websites and won over ten awards in the last year, including ranking #185 on the Inc. 500|5000 and Small or Medium Business Service of the Year.

Contact Information