Get Rid Of These Three Common Design And Content Mistakes Once And For All


By: Drew McManus

In: Catch All

It isn’t as though arts managers have loads of time to stay current on the latest trends and best practices for web design and user experience. Fortunately, that’s what you have ArtsHacker for and today’s post will cover three common mistakes and how to fix them.

Say click here again.

[dropcap]#1[/dropcap] If your Smartphone could offer commentary on the sites you visit, one of the more common phrases you would hear is “What the @#!* is a click?!” Perhaps unsurprisingly, everyone knows there is no click function on touchscreen mobile devices but that doesn’t stop arts orgs for using the phrase click here throughout their website.

Phil Paschke published an ArtsHacker Hero level post on 1/14/2016 that provides everything you need to wean off of the click here habit when inserting text links designed to drive visitor interaction. His three tips have everything a copywriter loves; they’re simple, clever, and wildly effective. The only thing missing is a trick on how to go about finding all of the offending phrases.

Fortunately, Google has your back with a dedicated site specific search feature that’s been around for years but remains firmly under the radar. All you need to do is to precede your query with the site: command. For example, type “click here” and Google will return results where that phrase appears within the respective domain name. Just be sure to place the quote marks around the click here phrase or you’ll get results for each individual word in addition to the full phrase.

Keep in mind, you’ll want to search for all similar phrases, such as click to, click for, etc., and know that Google search won’t find any text embedded into images unless the image metadata includes that copy (which is unlikely). For those instances, you’re going to have to buckle down and do an old fashioned eyeball scan from page to page to identify then replace those images.

site search
Precede your search with the site:[] to limit Google’s search results to that respective domain name.

social media share overkill

[dropcap]#2[/dropcap] Do you really need to provide site visitors with 14 social media outlets plus additional share buttons for email, print, and save? No, and all of those icons can easily overwhelm available screen space on mobile devices thereby overloading site visitors which, in turn, decreases conversion. And since social sharing should be one of your primary conversion goals alongside sales, consider cutting back to a half dozen or less options.

If your site is built on Wordpress, odds are you’re using Jetpack to manage your social sharing. If that’s the case, all you have to do in order to trim down available options is navigate to “Settings > Sharing” and you will see the controls where you can drag-and-drop social profiles to use. And change here will push through to every instance in use on the frontend.

share buttons


Autoplay Fail

[dropcap]#3[/dropcap] Don’t be “that site” people avoid in public or work settings because one or more pages contain an autoplay video or audio file. Not only will you make your prospective ticket buyers and fans become a social pariah to everyone within earshot but you’re taking money right out of your coffers by giving site visitors one of the most common reasons to avoid websites.

The good news here is most publishing platforms that automatically parse media content (meaning the render a YouTube video automatically if you paste the URL into the content) so you really have to work at setting up a media file to autoplay on page load. The trouble usually enters the equation if you have something like an older iFrame embed code that has the autoplay setting activated right in the code. In those cases, you’ll need to either replace the iFrame code or look for the autoplay settings and change it from “1” to “0”.

Autoplay Fail
In this example, the Vimeo manual embed code shows autoplay=1 because the “Autoplay this video” option was selected. You need to edit that value from 1 to 0 in order to disable autoplay. Alternatively, you can remove the entire ?autoplay=1 value.
Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
Author Archive

Leave a Comment