Your website is representing your business and as such should be friendly, professional and easy to navigate. It is your online business in the same sense that a storefront would be for an offline ‘brick and mortar’ business. Since your online business is ‘digital’ or ‘virtual’ it is literally all that people know of your business. Since people cannot see you physically they do tend to judge you by why they can see or by your cover.
There is a saying, ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’. This is particularly true in the fast-paced world of the Internet when ‘clickers’ and ‘surfers’ may only give you a split second to grab their attention and they are gone, if not. They may never find their way back to your website. You may have lost an important customer.
It is really horrific to see that some people will take professionally designed themes and formats and just completely ruin them in an effort to be ‘original’. The idea of being unique is certainly a good one, however if you don’t know what you are doing, it is pretty stupid to deface or disfigure your website just because you want so badly to be different. Try to be logical. Find out how to make it BETTER, not just DIFFERENT and then do it. Until then just leave it alone.
With many sites being created on the WordPress platform, people just go nuts with the plugins and gimmicks. Again they deface their sites and make them difficult to navigate just because they are having so much fun playing with plugins. You should really find out what exactly the plugin does and if it is something that is necessary then try it out.
Try one at a time. See if it causes any problems with your theme or format (they often do)– if yes, deactivate, if not keep it if it does something useful. If you are going to add a bunch of plugins then be sure you keep them up-to-date. Out-of-date plugins are a primary breach that hackers exploit when they want to deface your site.
You seriously don’t want too many ‘bells and whistles’ that make it difficult to navigate your website, or to make any sense out of anything. For example those irritating pop-ups usually remind one of bugs that fly in your face and you need to swat them away to see what you are doing. While you should have a lead capture mechanism – a page or a form for people to opt-in to a newsletter, for example, having a form that is super-imposed over your website is just a waste. A stupid idea.
Many people don’t realize they can get rid of the pest without signing up to view your site. So basically if you get a visitor that does not want to sign up for your newsletter because they have not had a chance to see what your website is about or what you have, then you lose them. But what great fun you had putting that pop-up on your site. What a waste of traffic. You are shooting yourself in the foot. You may feel real clever but what is so smart about driving your prospects away? Get rid of it and take the advice of professional web designers – less is more.