How exact do you have to be at your website? Obviously, it’s up to you. Are you offering goods and services that require precision? If so, your website should show precision — no one wants a slapdash neurosurgeon or accountant. Most consumers also value attention to detail in welding, music, and auto repair. But even if you’re sure that your business benefits from a very relaxed air, your website can benefit from a bit of exactitude.
Here are some things that are better when they’re precise:
- Punctuation and grammar. I once had a self-styled web diva tell me that errors make a company seem “more real.” I think they make a company seem unprofessional and careless — or possibly ignorant. If English isn’t your first language, or you have trouble with these issues, hire someone like me to edit your stuff.
- Typography. Choosing the right font is a design issue, but once you’ve got a font, the rest of your choices affect usability and readability. Using all caps, random colors, inconsistent margins, or poor spacing makes your site less readable and less inviting, even if your readers don’t think, “Wow, look how bad their leading is!” This is the kind of thing that bothers people on an unconscious level even if they don’t notice it consciously.
- Code. Bad code won’t bother your readers unless it results in little snippets of html on the visible page (and I’ve seen that, too). But it will bother the search engines and browsers. Your website with coding errors or outdated code won’t be served up correctly to everyone, it’ll load less quickly, and the search engines will choose other sites before yours whenever they can. If this isn’t an area where you’re expert, hire someone to check on your code and update or correct it if necessary.
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