Is Your Website Working Against You

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4 Common mistakes in restaurant websites

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Is Your Website Working Against You

  1. 1. Is Your Website Working Against You? 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid By Brian Casel One search on Twitter for “restaurant Solution: There are much better or swapping in new photos. And you’re websites” reveals widespread frustration. alternatives to using Flash for web design. usually paying them by the hour for this! Go with a web design solution that avoids “Why are restaurant websites so universally using Flash and you’ll instantly be in better Solution: With a content management frustrating?” tweets @sueapfe. “I hate shape than many other restaurant websites. system in place, you as the website owner it when restaurant websites don’t have can make your own updates anytime you You’ll be easier to find on a mobile device, their open times easy to find. Even worse want. With a user-friendly system like and on the search engines your customers when they can’t be found at all,” chimes in WordPress, changing menu items and are already using. @docsconz. swapping in new photos is just a matter of 2. PDF Menus a few clicks. Then @brettbobley sums it up with, “Restaurant websites are their own crazy- For one reason or another, many restaurant 4. No Mobile Website assed genre of the internet.” websites only offer their food menu as a downloadable PDF file. The last thing a These days, people browse the web using It’s no wonder people react so negatively smartphones and tablets, especially when to poorly-designed restaurant websites. visitor wants to do is download a file to their computer, especially when all they they’re out and about and looking for a The Pew Research Center released a study place to dine! Most restaurant websites fail showing that the Internet is the number want to do is have a quick glance at your menu! And again, for those mobile visitors, to give these users a website that is easy to one source people turn to for information PDFs are even more problematic, as they read and navigate on a small touchscreen about local restaurants. Yet many restaurant are sometimes difficult or impossible to device. Or worse, their websites don’t websites fail to satisfy the needs of their download on phones and tablets. load at all (perhaps because they’re using visitors, which could potentially cost them customers. Flash). Solution: Your food menus should play Here are four of the most common a central role in your restaurant website. Solution: A well-designed website should downfalls of restaurant websites — plus So give them the attention they deserve! be mobile optimized so that it scales and how to fix them. Showcase food items on your homepage adapts to any screen size and any device it’s and interior pages, without requiring the viewed on. That mobile site should retain 1. Flash-Based Websites user to download anything. the branding and feel of the larger site, but still present information in an easy to read Many restaurant websites use Flash, which 3. Out-of-Date or Inaccurate Information format on mobile devices. has several important problems to be aware of. First, Flash is not mobile-friendly. One of the most common reasons a iPhones and iPads don’t even support restaurant website would have inaccurate it, which means your website is virtually or outdated information lying around Brian Casel is the founder of Restaurant invisible to anyone using those devices. on the website is because the restaurant Engine, a turnkey website design solution Second, Flash is not search engine-friendly. manager doesn’t have an easy way to update tailored to the needs of restaurants. Learn more This makes it tremendously more difficult the website him or herself. Too often, I see and try it for free at RestaurantEngine.com. for your website to show up in Google and people paying a web developer to make other search engines. routine updates like changing the menu18 www.TheIndependentRestaurateur.com September-October 2012

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