How to Fix a Not-So-Stellar Website

Back in 2011, I wrote a blog with tips on what not to do if you’re going to build a website yourself. 8 years later, all of those tips still apply and we still recommend that you hire or at least consult with a professional before designing your own website. But let’s say you DID consult a professional that maybe wasn’t so professional (aka not Stellar Edge)?

Have no fear, Stellar is here!

Here’s a few tips of things that, if they exist on your site, definitely need to be fixed.

  • Broken Links – If there is a link on your site and it’s not going to where it should be going (aka a 404 error), that’s a major issue. Not only is it a usability problem for your site visitors, but Google no likey. They will rank your site lower in search results if your site has errors like these. 

How do I fix it? Use a tool like Broken Link Check to scan your website and return any broken links and then hire us to fix them!

 

  • Non-Responsive – With the wide variety of screen sizes that exist these days, simply having a mobile and desktop version of your site is no longer good enough. Sites need to be responsive meaning that the design will adjust based on the screen size of your user’s device.

How do I fix it? Use a tool like Screenfly to test your site across multiple devices and ensure everything looks great no matter what!

 

  • Too Many Clicks – Users should not have to click more than twice to get to the information they need. If things are buried too deep in your site, visitors will get frustrated – especially on a mobile device. 

How do I fix it? Make the most important information super accessible – hours, location, shop buttons, and contact forms should be one click away from any page a web user might land on.

 

  • Being Too Clever – Your navigation and buttons should tell people exactly what they’re going to get when they click. While it’s fun to think of unique ways to set yourself apart from your competitors, web users are creatures of habit. They are conditioned to look for certain things when landing on a web page.

How do I fix it? Stick with the basics – About, Contact Us, Blog, News.

 

  • Slow Page Loads – This is an A #1 Google no-no. Not only will your site be penalized if it loads too slow, but people today have ZERO patience. So if your site takes more than a second or so to load, users will jump off and go somewhere else.

How do I fix it? Optimize your site. Google PageSpeed Insights can score your website to give you an idea of how the search engine giant sees it. Compress images, minimize CSS and javascript files, use a cache plugin for your WordPress site – all of these will help speed up your site.


MEET HARRY SEMERJIAN

If you need something cleaned, call Harry. Seriously! Even if it’s not his mess, he’ll offer to fix it for you. As Stellar’s SEO expert, Harry's insight into a client's business is a valuable tool reaching more than just online audiences, but customers in the real world too! Harry has owned a handful of businesses since the ripe old age of 13 ranging from manufacturing to real estate to business services. A true Renaissance man, Harry can speak with someone for less than 30 minutes and have a complete business strategy worked out in his head leading them to definite success. A father of two teenage boys, Harry knows a thing or two about dealing with people on the brink of insanity. He fits in well at Stellar.


MEET BODHI

Named after Patrick Swayze’s character in Point Break, Bodhi joined the Stellar team in May 2017 and we don’t know how we got through the prior 6 years without an office dog! Adopted from Animal House Shelter, Bodhi is a Pitbull/American Bulldog mix that his human Lindsay cannot believe someone gave up. Bully breeds definitely get a bad rap because there is nothing sweeter than this 65-pound “lap dog” climbing into someone’s chair as we gather around the conference table. With as much charisma as his namesake, Bodhi greets visitors to the office with a toy in his mouth ready to play. He hasn’t quite developed any marketing skills just yet, but he can spot a duck or another dog out the window like nobody’s business.


MEET KRISTIN KILIAN

Anything that gets thrown Kristin’s way is handled with ease… at least as far as we know. Coming from the retail industry, Kristin is no stranger to a fast paced, ever-changing environment and has no problem adapting to the chaos that comes with managing Stellar’s high profile clients. With years of experience managing all aspects of communications for Fortune 500 companies, Kristin is able to schmooze clients, conquer any task, and ensure everything is running smoothly… even when it’s not! A Hallmark movie fan, Kristin loves spending time with her firefighter husband and rambunctious toddler.


MEET SYLVIA CARRANO

Lover of tacos, dogs, and all things Justin Timberlake, Sylvia brings an honest perspective to not only projects, but office chit-chat as well! When onboarding new clients, tons of experience making people happy in the service industry and her marketing degree from DePaul allows Sylvia to jump right in and hit the ground running. In her role as Account Manager, Sylvia truly gets to know a client – understanding all the ins and outs that make them stand out from their competitors. Sylvia’s skillset is continually expanding and ranges from social media to email marketing to web design and more. She loves to travel and has been around the world and has visited 45 of our nation's 50 great states!


MEET LYNNE HARKIN

Using a space heater at her desk year-round, Lynne is no stranger to turning it up. With a background in retail and corporate sales, Lynne brings practical knowledge to help Stellar clients determine their path to success. As our content writer extraordinaire, Lynne helps brands find their voice and reaches a whole new world of customers. You may hear her getting flustered from time to time, but it’s always short-lived. Her get ‘er done, take charge attitude works in her capacity at Stellar and as the busy mom of 3 busy boys.


MEET CHRISTINA WOJTOWICZ

As a lover of spicy treats, Christina is a no-nonsense, get the job done kind of a girl. Any task thrown her way is done quicker than you can say Siracha! As our resident Web Developer, troubleshooting issues is her specialty… just like at home as the mother of two young sons! Christina’s ad agency background and experience developing websites adds another layer of insight to our client’s marketing efforts. You’ll often see her hiking and biking with her family (with a stop off at their favorite Dairy Queen for a treat!).


MEET MOLLY FIVELSON

Known around the office as Molly Pee Pee Pants, our resident Graphic Designer has more than just a small bladder. Her experience designing logos, developing brands, and creating amazing materials for Stellar clients brings a fresh perspective and artistic flair.  Molly’s easy-going attitude makes her the perfect candidate to work with constant changes and multiple ongoing projects. When she’s not out saving lives along the side of the road, she lives as a baseball widow and chauffeurs her kids to all their activities.


MEET SIN VAN V

Known for her rainbow hair, Sin is never one to settle for just one style. She pushes the Stellar team to think outside the box and consider things they would have never done before. Her Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts & Illustration from the American Academy of Art is just the tip of what she’s learned. With real-world experience in business management, marketing and promotions, event planning, and vendor coordination, Sin’s experience gives Stellar an Edge over the competition (see what we did there?). Despite her edgy moniker, Sin is a kid at heart riding her scooter, dragging the Stellar team on crazy outings, and smothering her adult son and daughter with embarrassing hugs and kisses.


MEET LINDSAY COATS

Known as the Dream Crusher, Lindsay’s level head keeps the office running like a well-oiled machine. When everyone else is trying to get in human-sized balloons and doing mid-day yoga, Lindsay is crunching numbers in a spreadsheet – literally one of her favorite things to do. With a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Lindsay has the know-how to help Stellar clients make the right decisions to reach their goals. She loves problem-solving and making things work. She has a soft spot for kids and animals… she’s been known to grab babies from strangers and roll on the ground with any dog that will snuggle her.