5 common care home web design mistakes

We look at a lot of care home websites and there are a number of mistakes that keep coming up. Make sure your website isn't guilty of one of these:

1. Poorly designed mobile sites

Making sure your website works well on mobile devices is so important, even when visitors tend to be older. Google now ranks specifically for mobile friendly websites, so if your site is not optimised you could tumble down the rankings. For a user perspective, if your website doesn’t work well on a smartphone your visitors aren’t going to hang around long. It’s not enough to have a website the adapts to a mobile environment; your site should be designed from a mobile point-of-view first. We see very poorly designed ‘mobile-friendly’ websites for care homes very regularly.

Mobile friendly website design for a care home

2. Same old stock photography

When it comes to creating a warm and welcoming care home website, pictures of happy, smiley-faced residents go along way. The trouble is, using pictures of actual residents can be a nightmare and is often best avoided. Stock photography is the obvious place to look and can work really well, unless you end up using the same images as the other care homes in your area. We see the same elderly lady appear on websites for different providers all the time, and if your website visitors notice this it doesn’t give a good impression.

3. Finding the right level of friendliness

A care home should aim to come across as being a) Friendly and welcoming, and b) Trustworthy and professional. This can be quite difficult to get right; Overly friendly can quite easily make a care home look unprofessional, whilst a buttoned-down, overly corporate look can make a care home look cold and uninviting. There is a delicate balance and one that care homes often don’t get quite right.

4. Not accounting for older visitors

Visitors to care home websites tend to be older. Most providers understand this, but make mistakes when making their sites older-person friendly. Often you will see a tool to change the font-size for example, but this is a poor solution to the issue. Text should be clear and legible and of an appropriate size to start with, catering for users with poor eyesight without forcing them to find a tool to change this themselves. Navigation is also a big issue for older visitors, a confusing menu system especially on mobile will result in them leaving your website.

Older person using a smartphone

5. Neglecting to keep it updated

Websites, not just care home websites, need to be maintained. A regularly maintained website is not only vital for your Google ranking, but will make a big impression on your visitors. A news section, or page of upcoming events and activities shows people that your care home is busy and residents are enjoying a full, fun-packed schedule to keep them happy and entertained. The only caveat is that these facilities must be maintained. An events schedule with nothing listed looks very poor.

If you think your site might be in danger of one of these common mistakes, get in touch for a free audit — hello@studioford.co.uk

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