Avoid These 10 Website Platform Mistakes for Brooklyn Biz

Owner online store on the website, selling products through the website, selling platforms, packing

Hello there!

Choosing the right website platform is crucial for any business. 

Still, it holds even greater significance for businesses in bustling urban hubs like Brooklyn. 

With the city’s diverse consumer landscape and intense competition, your website becomes your digital storefront, working around the clock to attract, engage, and convert visitors. 

However, selecting the appropriate platform isn’t just about aesthetics or functionality—it’s about ensuring your platform aligns perfectly with your business model, supports your growth, and enhances your brand image.

Unfortunately, in pursuing the perfect website platform, businesses often fall into traps, making mistakes that can be costly in the long run. 

Whether it’s ignoring budget constraints, neglecting SEO capabilities, or underestimating the importance of mobile responsiveness, these oversights can lead to decreased site performance and unsatisfactory user experiences. 

This blog post aims to guide you around these pitfalls, illuminating the common mistakes businesses make when choosing a website platform and offering practical strategies to avoid them. 

As you embark on your digital journey in Brooklyn’s vibrant market, let this be your roadmap to making informed, effective decisions.

Here we go!

Mistake 1: Not Clearly Defining Business Needs 

Green sign on hedge saying “which way” with arrows pointing in both directions

Understanding your business needs is the cornerstone of selecting the right website platform for your Brooklyn-based business. 

From what your product or service offerings entail to your goals for online visibility and customer engagement, these needs play a vital role in making your online presence effective and beneficial. 

For instance, you need to recognize the specific needs of your business to avoid ending up with a gorgeous website that, unfortunately, does not serve your business goals. 

Let’s take a look at two businesses in Brooklyn. 

The first is an independent artist who sells unique prints online. To meet their needs, an e-commerce platform like Shopify would be the best fit. 

The second business is a local cafe that wants to showcase its story, location, and menu online. 

In this case, a design-focused platform like Wix would be more suitable.

To evade the mistake of not clearly defining your business needs, start by outlining your business model and objectives for your website. 

Are you aiming for sales, sharing information, bookings, or a blend? Your website platform should cater to these requirements. 

For instance, if your business revolves around e-commerce, platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce would be ideal. 

In contrast, a service-oriented business might find Squarespace or WordPress more fitting due to their strong content presentation capabilities.

Considering your target audience’s behavior is crucial as well. 

Datareportal’s Digital 2023 report states that nearly 4.88 billion people use the internet, each with diverse behaviors and preferences. 

Understanding these varying consumer behaviors is essential in a diverse area like Brooklyn. 

A younger, tech-savvy audience might prefer an interactive, modern website. 

At the same time, an older demographic might appreciate a straightforward, easy-to-navigate layout.

Also, think about your growth plans

If you intend to scale your business, your website should be capable of scaling with you. 

This means the platform can handle increased traffic, offer options to add new sections or pages and integrate seamlessly with other tools you might need in the future.

Lastly, numerous online resources can assist in understanding and defining your business needs effectively. 

Websites like the U.S. Small Business Administration offer extensive advice and tools for businesses, including how to identify and plan for your business needs. 

By taking time to clearly understand these aspects, you can confidently choose the right platform for your Brooklyn business.

Mistake 2: Ignoring Budget Constraints 


Navigating through budget constraints is a common challenge for businesses, especially startups and small businesses. 

When choosing a website platform for your Brooklyn-based business, understanding the potential cost implications is vital to avoid financial stress.

Setting up and maintaining a website includes platform subscription costs, domain name registration, web hosting, design and development, maintenance, and updates.

For example, while platforms like WordPress offer free versions to leverage their full potential and avoid advertisements, you may opt for their premium plans, which range from $4 to $45 per month. 

Similarly, a more e-commerce-focused platform like Shopify offers various plans starting at $29 per month, going up to $299 per month. 

These costs don’t include potential add-ons like paid plugins, themes, or additional storage, which can also add to the total cost.

According to a 2023 report by Hosting Tribunal, the average cost for website maintenance ranges between $400 to $60,000 per year, depending on the complexity of the website. 

This indicates that maintaining a website goes far beyond the initial setup costs. 

Therefore, effective budgeting for both the short and long term-is crucial.

In terms of budgeting effectively for your website, start by determining your website’s essential functions and how they align with your business goals. 

Then, research and compare various platforms to see which offers the most value for your needs within your budget. 

Remember to consider future costs for maintenance, updates, and potential scalability. 

Let’s set aside a contingency budget for unforeseen expenses as well.

Plenty of resources are available online to help you understand the potential costs and how to budget for a website. 

Websites like WebsiteSetup provide detailed cost breakdowns and budgeting tips to help you plan effectively. 

By understanding the potential cost implications and budgeting smartly, you can avoid ignoring budget constraints and choose a website platform that offers the best value for your investment.

Mistake 3: Underestimating the Importance of Usability 

UI UX hand drawn wireframes

The role of user experience (UX) in website success cannot be understated. 

In the digital era, your website often serves as the first point of interaction between your business and potential customers. 

Visitors are likely to leave and only return if your website can navigate and is visually appealing. 

study by Adobe found that 38% of people will only engage with a website if the content/layout is attractive.

When choosing a website platform for your Brooklyn-based business, choosing one that makes it easy for you to prioritize UX is crucial. 

For instance, Wix offers a drag-and-drop website builder that quickly arranges elements for optimal user navigation. 

Likewise, Squarespace offers a range of professional templates designed with user experience in mind.

Always think from your audience’s perspective to ensure your website is user-friendly. 

Information should be easy to find, with a clear and intuitive navigation structure. 

Furthermore, consider load times – a delay of even a few seconds can lead to high bounce rates. 

Platforms like WordPress provide various plugins, like WP Rocket, that can help optimize your site speed.

Remember, it’s not only about how your website looks but how it performs. 

Every design element on your site should serve a purpose. 

Avoid unnecessary animations and autoplay media that might slow down your site or distract users. 

Also, ensure that your website is responsive, meaning it adjusts to fit the screen size on which it is viewed. 

This is particularly important as more users are browsing on mobile devices.

To learn more about the importance of UX and how to optimize it on your site, check out resources like the Nielsen Norman Group’s website

Known as a leading authority in the field of UX, they offer a wealth of articles, tips, and guidelines to help improve website usability. 

Keeping UX at the forefront of your website design and development process can sidestep the common pitfall of underestimating its importance.

Mistake 4: Overlooking SEO Capabilities 

SEO concept

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial factor in online visibility, shaping how search engines, like Google, index and rank your website. 

A well-optimized site can climb search engine rankings, increasing organic traffic, conversions, and business growth. 

In fact, according to a statistic by BrightEdge, organic search results generate more than 50% of all website traffic.

When choosing a website platform for your Brooklyn business, opting for one with solid SEO features is imperative. 

Platforms like WordPress are renowned for their SEO capabilities, offering a variety of plugins, such as Yoast SEO, that help you optimize your content and metadata, thus improving your site’s visibility on search engines.

Another platform, Squarespace, has built-in SEO tools that guide you through optimizing your site. 

Squarespace automatically generates sitemaps and robots.txt files, which help search engines understand the structure of your site and index it correctly. 

This platform also enables you to easily add meta descriptions and alt text, which are crucial for SEO.

Yet another great option is Wix

Wix offers a dedicated SEO Wiz tool that creates a personalized SEO plan for your website. 

The tool guides you through optimizing your site with actionable steps to improve your rankings.

While these tools can significantly aid your SEO efforts, remember that SEO is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and adaptation to changing search engine algorithms. 

For more profound knowledge, visit resources like Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO

This comprehensive guide covers everything from how search engines operate to keyword research and SEO-friendly design. 

By understanding the importance of SEO and choosing a platform with solid SEO features, you can consider this vital aspect of website operation.

Mistake 5: Neglecting Mobile Responsiveness 

UI UX creative designer team designing wireframe layout for responsive mobile smartphone application

Mobile browsing has become more crucial as the digital landscape evolves. 

In fact, according to a report by Statista, over half of global web traffic comes from mobile devices. 

For a Brooklyn-based business, ensuring that your chosen website platform supports mobile responsiveness is not a luxury but a necessity.

Choosing a platform that automatically renders your site to fit different screen sizes is crucial. 

For example, WordPress offers numerous responsive themes that adapt to different device screens, providing a seamless experience for your users irrespective of their device. 

Additionally, the platform allows for further mobile optimization with the help of various plugins.

Similarly, Squarespace builds mobile responsiveness into all of its templates. 

With a mobile-responsive Squarespace site, the display is automatically adjusted, navigation is also made more touch-friendly, and images are automatically resized and repositioned based on the device.

Likewise, Wix enables you to edit and customize the mobile version of your site independently of the desktop version, giving you granular control over the mobile experience. 

This way, you can ensure your website looks good and functions optimally on all devices.

While picking a platform with mobile-responsive solid capabilities is essential, testing your site across different devices and screen sizes is equally important. 

Use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your site is well-optimized for mobile browsing. 

By understanding the growing importance of mobile responsiveness and ensuring your platform supports it, you can avoid the error of neglecting this crucial aspect of modern web design.

Mistake 6: Not Factoring in Scalability 

Business people analyzing graphs

As your Brooklyn-based business expands, so too should your website. 

The ability to scale up to meet increased demand or expand to include new features is crucial to any successful online venture. 

As a study from Deloitte indicates, more than 85% of companies see scalable business solutions as crucial to their success. 

Not considering scalability in your website platform choice can be a detrimental mistake.

Scalable platforms, like WordPress, can accommodate growing traffic, add more complex functions, and integrate with a broader range of third-party tools as your business needs evolve. 

With its vast selection of plugins, you can start with a simple website and add functionalities such as e-commerce, booking systems, or membership areas when needed.

Similarly, Shopify is an excellent scalability choice, particularly for e-commerce businesses. 

As your sales grow, Shopify can scale up with you, offering more advanced plans and features such as additional storage, staff accounts, and more extensive reporting.

The cloud-based platform BigCommerce is another excellent example of a scalable solution. 

Designed to grow with businesses, BigCommerce provides features like unlimited product variants, storage, and bandwidth even on their basic plans.

However, scalability is more than just the website platform and your hosting service. 

Opt for a host that offers a range of plans to upgrade as your traffic grows. 

A resource like Website Builder Expert’s guide to scalable website builders could provide valuable insights when making this critical decision. 

By acknowledging the importance of scalability, you’ll be equipped to choose a platform that can expand your business and support long-term growth.

Mistake 7: Overcomplicating the Website Design 

Web design software

The adage “less is more” couldn’t be more applicable to website design. 

Overcomplicating your website design can result in a poor user experience, increasing bounce rates, and fewer conversions. 

In fact, a study by Google found that the likelihood of a visitor bouncing increases by 32% as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds. 

Simple, clean design loads faster and helps users find the information they need quickly and effortlessly.

Choosing a platform that encourages simplicity in design is, therefore, paramount. 

Squarespace, known for its sleek, professional-looking templates, is a good example. 

Their templates are designed with simplicity and elegance, making it easy for businesses to create an engaging online presence without clutter or confusion.

Wix is another platform that promotes simplicity. 

With its intuitive drag-and-drop editor and a large selection of customizable templates, Wix allows even beginners to design professional and visually appealing websites. 

The platform’s Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) can even create a site for you based on your answers to a few simple questions, taking simplicity to a new level.

However, it’s more than just the platform and your design approach. 

Keep your layout simple, use straightforward navigation, avoid unnecessary elements, and focus on usability. 

Tools like Canva can also create simple yet appealing graphics for your website.

A helpful resource in this regard would be the Nielsen Norman Group’s guide on simplicity vs. complexity in website design. 

To enhance the user experience, it is important to prioritize a website design that is simple and easy to navigate.

By choosing a platform that facilitates this, you can prevent unnecessary complexity and ensure a seamless browsing experience for your visitors.

Mistake 8: Ignoring E-commerce Integration if Needed 

E-commerce, online shopping, internet purchases concept. Yellow

The world of retail is undergoing a significant shift as online shopping continues to gain traction. 

In fact, e-commerce sales are projected to account for 22% of global retail sales by 2023, according to Statista

As a Brooklyn-based business, paying attention to the potential of e-commerce could mean missing out on a substantial portion of your potential market. 

Understanding this trend and its implications is critical to the success of your business in today’s digital-first world.

If your Brooklyn business intends to sell products or services online or even considers this possibility in the future, picking a website platform that seamlessly integrates e-commerce functionalities is essential. 

Platforms like Shopify are explicitly designed with e-commerce in mind, offering a wide range of features such as inventory management, secure payment options, and integration with various shipping services.

Other platforms like WooCommerce work as an e-commerce plugin for WordPress, allowing you to turn your website into a fully functional online store. 

Meanwhile, platforms like Wix and Squarespace also offer e-commerce capabilities. 

However, they may not be as extensive as Shopify or WooCommerce.

Consider your product range, expected sales volume, and requirements for shipping and payment options when choosing the right platform. 

Investing in a platform that supports your e-commerce needs will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

To help you understand better the different e-commerce platforms available, you can consult resources like ecommerceguide.com, which provides detailed guides and comparisons to help you make an informed decision. 

By paying attention to the rise of online shopping and the need for e-commerce integration, you can ensure your Brooklyn business is well-equipped to thrive in the digital market.

Mistake 9: Overlooking the Importance of Support and Community 

Wooden block with customer service and technical support symbols

Creating and managing a website is not a set-and-forget task but an ongoing process involving regular updates, troubleshooting, and improvement. 

While some businesses have an in-house team to handle these challenges, this may only be true for some tiny Brooklyn companies. 

This is where the importance of support and community becomes evident in choosing a website platform.

The availability of technical support is crucial, especially for those who lack the necessary technical skills. 

Platforms like WixSquarespace, and Shopify are known for their robust customer support, available 24/7 via various channels like chat, email, and phone. 

If something goes wrong, you can know that help is readily available.

Furthermore, a strong community of users and developers can significantly help manage your website. 

For instance, WordPress, one of the most widely used platforms, has a vast community that contributes to forums, creates plugins, and provides valuable advice on various issues. 

This supportive community can prove invaluable when you encounter issues or need tips for enhancing your website.

To avoid overlooking the importance of support and community when choosing a website platform, consider what kind of assistance and resources you might need throughout the lifespan of your site. 

Is there readily available help? Are there tutorials, guides, or forums where you can learn more and solve issues?

One helpful resource is WebsiteToolTester, which offers comprehensive reviews and comparisons of different platforms, including their customer support. 

Remember, having a reliable safety net in the form of solid support and community can mean the difference between a short-term headache and a long-term catastrophe.

Mistake 10: Not Checking the Platform’s Security Measures 

Internet Network Security Concept. Cyber security

In the digital age, online security has become a paramount concern for businesses of all sizes. 

Protecting your website and your customer’s information from cyber threats is crucial. 

According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is projected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. 

For a Brooklyn-based business, choosing a website platform with solid security measures is not just a luxury but a necessity.

Platforms like ShopifySquarespace, and Wix provide robust security measures, such as SSL encryption, secure payment gateways, and protection against DDoS attacks. 

SSL encryption is critical for any business that handles sensitive customer data, ensuring that data transmitted between your website and your users cannot be intercepted.

However, security partially depends on the platform and how you manage your website. 

Maintaining a secure website is part of regular updates, secure passwords, and monitoring for unusual activity. 

Moreover, it’s crucial to comply with laws and regulations regarding data privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, which can apply to your Brooklyn business if you have European customers.

To ensure you’re seeing security in your website platform selection, evaluate potential platforms’ security features. 

Do they offer SSL encryption, secure payment gateways, and protections against common cyber threats? Do they have a good reputation for security?

Remember, a secure website not only protects your business but also builds trust with your customers – an essential factor in the success of your online presence.

Case Studies: Examples of Successful Brooklyn Businesses Avoiding These Mistakes

A folder of documents with a Case Study written on its cover, torn.

Let’s take a look at how successful Brooklyn businesses navigated the potential pitfalls when choosing their website platforms.

Mistake 1: Not Clearly Defining Business Needs 

A great example of a business that clearly defined its needs is Ample Hills Creamery

This Brooklyn-based ice cream shop understood its need for both local and national reach. 

They chose Shopify, a platform capable of handling e-commerce, as they planned to ship their products nationwide.

Mistake 2: Ignoring Budget Constraints 

The Brooklyn Hot Dog Company provides an excellent example of effective budgeting.

As a small-scale, locally-based business, they opted for Squarespace – a platform that offers an affordable all-in-one package, including website hosting, domain, and design templates.

Mistake 3: Underestimating the Importance of Usability 

Sottocasa Pizzeria knew that user experience was key to their online success. 

Their site, built on WordPress, offers an easy-to-navigate interface, complete with an interactive menu and the ability to make reservations online.

Mistake 4: Overlooking SEO Capabilities 

The Brooklyn Brewery avoided this mistake by choosing a platform (WordPress) known for its strong SEO capabilities. 

With a blog full of keyword-rich content, they’ve improved their online visibility significantly.

Mistake 5: Neglecting Mobile Responsiveness 

Brooklyn Bowl, a popular music venue, prioritized mobile responsiveness with a website that adapts smoothly to various screen sizes. 

Their choice of platform, WordPress, offers many mobile-responsive themes.

Mistake 6: Not Factoring in Scalability 

Jacques Torres Chocolate picked a scalable platform (Shopify) that could grow along with their business. 

Starting from a single shop, they expanded to a nationwide e-commerce business, which Shopify could accommodate.

Mistake 7: Overcomplicating the Website Design 

Sahadi’s, a famous Brooklyn grocery store, chose Squarespace for its website, capitalizing on the platform’s design simplicity. 

Their clean, uncomplicated design makes it easy for visitors to browse products and place orders.

Mistake 8: Ignoring E-commerce Integration if Needed 

Purpose Foods avoided this mistake by choosing Shopify, a platform with robust e-commerce integration, enabling them to sell their granola products directly from their website.

Mistake 9: Overlooking the Importance of Support and Community 

Van Brunt Stillhouse, a Brooklyn-based distillery, chose Wix, known for its active community and comprehensive support. 

This choice proved invaluable in times of website troubleshooting.

Mistake 10: Not Checking the Platform’s Security Measures 

Finally, Catbird, a Brooklyn-based jewelry store, chose Shopify, which offers high levels of security, including SSL certificates and PCI compliance, vital for their online transactions.

Each of these businesses understood the importance of choosing the right platform based on their unique needs and objectives, showcasing the potential success that can be achieved when these common mistakes are avoided.

To go back to our Ultimate Guide: Creating a Brooklyn Business Website, click here.

Well that’s it for this one! If any questions, you can reach out to us here

Till next time!

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