8 Common Website Problems and How to Fix Them

Designing

A problematic website ruins the usability altogether. Even when its visuals are so great, there is no saving grace to a dysfunctional website. And when we say dysfunctional, it encompasses everything from broken links to slow loading to non-mobile optimization. Here are some of the most common website blunders and their fixes.

Common website problems

1) Presence of broken links

These non-functioning links impact the overall quality of the website. First, it frustrates the users. Second, it frustrates Google, leading for the tech giant to assume that you aren’t practicing diligence to update your contents at the very least. The number of error pages on your website is a clear indication that your site is of low-quality.

The fix:

Run monthly checkups on the site to identify if there are any broken links and remove them one by one. Good thing there are several free tools online that you can use.

2) Slow site loading times

One of the reasons is the slow server wherein your site could be hosted using a shared account. This means your website is sharing the server with hundreds to thousands of other websites. You can check with your hosting company to know if the site is hosted on a dedicated server. If not, you may request for this service, but it may entail additional cost.

The fix:

Likewise, check your speed score in Google using its PageSpeed Insights tool. Just key in your domain and click Analyze. The tool analyzes the contents of the site and determines which elements are rendering it slower. It generates suggestions to make your website even faster that it is now.

3) Non-specific page titles

A website includes several HTML elements although the most important are the title tags. The title tag sums up the entire content of a website or web page to Google and other major search engines. Still, some websites can’t get them right somehow that even when the owners search for their own domain, the website appears as is with the same title throughout the website. In fact, there are websites that appear in Google using the filler texts lorem ipsum. We’ve seen many of them. The search engine looks for duplicate title tags to gauge the uniqueness of the site, losing out on traffic due to such duplicates.

The fix:

To check, you may do a name search as “site:yourdomain.com.” Head on to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) to analyze your website. The tool also provides information on other HTML errors such as missing title tags, duplicate meta descriptions, missing descriptions, etc.

4) Duplicate homepages

Not all website owners are aware of this, but the problem occurs when the server returns two versions of the homepage – the yoursite.com/ and the yoursite.com/index.html. The major search engines especially Google may regard this as duplicate content and thereby, penalize the website by de-indexing it.

The fix:

Fixing it is simple, only it requires a technical to do it. The .htaccess file must be edited. The following code must be added to the server <RewriteEngine on | RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /.*index\.html\ HTTP/# | RewriteRule ^(.*)index\.html$ http://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]>. Any editing mistake may ruin the entire website with a 500 internal server error. The index and html must be replaced with the homepage’s actual file name and extension.

5) Presence of entry page

Believe it or not, but a lot of websites still commit this dreaded mistake. Well, there are websites that require the use of entry pages. However, for other websites with an entry page that is totally unnecessary, they’re just barring their visitors to navigate their ways through the site easily. Check your bounce rate; this could be the reason it is so high. In fact, a site that requires the visitors to click the “Enter Here” button loses 25% of the traffic.

The fix:

There is no other way to fix this but to remove it.

6) Canonicalization problem

When a website is not properly canonicalized, Google may also assume that it has a duplicate. Canonicalization refers to an individual page that can be loaded through multiple URLs, the most common of which is the URL with www and without www. This means that a website is configured at www.yoursite.com but not at yoursite.com. When multiple URLs exist, Google will choose the best URL to represent the content based on the query.

The fix:

Most importantly, the website must use a uniform format; all pages with www if it uses www and all pages without www if it uses no www. You cannot mix www pages with non-www pages. If you currently have these pages, make sure that the non-www pages redirect to www and vice versa. Use 301 redirection to ensure that the homepage is in just one URL. Also, help Google bots index just one version by adding <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.yoursite.com/”> to the page you want them to index.

7) Email address exposure

Some business opts to publish their email addresses on the site itself. There is nothing completely wrong about this if you aren’t very concerned with receiving spam emails from entities that use web crawlers to scrape email addresses. Your web developer should have advised you to remove it and offer an alternative.

The fix:

Otherwise, the developer should’ve used encryption techniques when publishing your business email add to minimize the possibility of or prevent spamming altogether.

8) W3C markup validation non-compliance

An international association which develops web standards, the Word Wide Web Consortium (W3C) offers its own markup validation service. Such a service ensures that the website is compliant to the standards. Sadly, not all websites are W3C compliant. While W3C compliance may not be considered as a ranking signal or factor itself, poor coding can possibly harm other ranking factors. Thus, compliance is necessary.

The fix:

One way to solve this is subjecting the site to thorough tests to determine its overall health.

Some of the problems and their respective fixes are too technical. A solution is to let the experts do the fixes for you if you cannot tackle them yourself. It is better to just let them fix the problem than do it by yourself and ends up with more harm than good.

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