Common Mistakes Web Developers Make

1. Forgetting about Website Standard Conventions

Even since the internet was developed, users have been trained how to interact with a website. People will get frustrated with a site if things don’t match their expectations such as

  • Text that is underlined is not a link
  • They click on an icon in the header expecting to go to the home page, only to find it goes no where
  • It takes several clicks to find contact information or the contact tab is hidden
Here at Hartzler Digital Media, we take pride in making sure your website meets all standard conventions.  We have browsed thousands of sites and we know how to build easy to use sites.  And we always keep in mind the end user and how easy it is for them to navigate your website.

2. Creating Slow Loading Website

Users hate slow websites.  More than 40% of users will leave a website if it does not load within 3 seconds of click the link.  Some common things that we do to avoid slow load times:

Resize images to the correct size.  If an image has been uploaded to the server at the full 3000×2000 pixel resolution, it’s going to take awhile for that picture to load, especially with slow internet speed.  We always right size every image on your site to ensure the fastest loading times.

Load JavaScript in the Footer.  Most programmers will unnecessarily load all of the page’s JavaScript files in the head tag.  This will actually stall the page load.  Except for critical navigation JavaScript everything else can be loaded in the footer of the site.  We do our best to always follow this simple rule.

Load CSS Externally.  This is another big time saver.  If each item is styled on each individual page, on every page refresh, all of the code needs to be reloaded.  If you use a separate .css file to house the stylesheet, then the computer will save it in a cache file and it won’t have to retrieve the style information over and over.  Every theme we build a site we use an external stylesheet.

Extra CSS Code. Say your WordPress site is built from a great theme at, but you are barely using any of the style elements that the author has built into theme – remove that extra code! There is no sense leaving in there in case you will use it later. Trust us, later never comes.

3. Don’t Teach Clients How to Use WordPress Site

WordPress is a powerful website building tool for developers and it’s even more powerful for the business owners too. WordPress makes it easy to for your clients to make changes themselves without bothering you for every single small itty bitty change.

Teach Clients the Basics. After every project, we take an hour and show the client how to use their website.  We don’t send a generic WordPress video that has nothing to do with their site.  We talk them through each piece of their site and the difference between posts, pages and media menus.

Design with the Client in Mind.  We have never met a client that likes writing HTML code. So make it easy for them, don’t make them learn how to code a website.  Take the extra time when developing to make the site extra user friendly.

Remember the less you teach your client, the more they will rely on you to make their “urgent” changes, which will create all types of headaches!

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