Legal Education

5 Website Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make (and How to Avoid Them)

website mistakes
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As a fempreneur, you are stepping into all types of new territory. You’re kicking you-know-what and taking names.

We want you to step up, step out of your comfort zone, and step into bigger and better things. 

What we don’t want you to do is misstep, especially when it comes to architecting your digital universe.

The good news is, we are here to remind you where that line is.

Read on for the five website mistakes entrepreneurs make, and how you can avoid them.

Want to uplevel your strategy? You can’t know all of the things, but we have some mavens for that. Sign up now for The Legal Godfairy masterclass. 

Website Mistake 1: No Legal Language

Your website needs legal language in three key categories:

Cookie Policy

Believe it or not, when you browse the internet, you scatter permission around like confetti. Or more accurately, cookies. Cookies are little data points that collect information from machines that are logged into the internet. Historically, any website owner could collect these and use the data for retargeting ads, or even to sell.

Regulators are cracking down on this, which is a good thing but also means your website needs a cookie policy. You’ve probably noticed the little pop-up on websites you visit, urging you to “opt in” or “allow cookies.” Depending on where you’re located, and where you do business, your site may need this too.

Already stressing? Don’t. We have a Website Legal Survival Kit to help you navigate cookies, and the next two categories, with ease.

Privacy Policy

You may sense a theme here: data. Your website has all types of implicit and explicit exchanges of information, from the cookie opt in to form fills. It’s important that you have a clearly written privacy policy for your website, that any visitor can read anytime.

Terms and Conditions

Third, the good ole’ T & C. Terms and conditions is a document that dictates the contractual relationship (yes for real) between your site visitors and you as the site owner/service provider. 

You may hear this referred to Terms of Service, Terms of Use, End-User License Agreement, etc. Regardless of the type of content your site contains, and how users interact with it, you’ll need a solid Terms and Conditions agreement.

Website Mistake 2: Accessibility Issues

Inclusivity is essential for every successful company. It’s not only a virtue-orientation, it extends to how accessible your website is to people who have various impairments.

Most of us fabulous female business owners prioritize a design-forward website and we are here for that all day. However, you can’t ignore the fundamental standards of accessibility that dictate a few things.

For instance:

  • You can’t have video autoplay with audio, as this is disruptive and problematic for certain people.
  • You can’t have low contrast colors which would make it hard for visually impaired people to read.
  • You can’t have confusing or disorienting navigation, which could present a challenge to people with cognitive impairments.

Consider how people using screen readers or other assistive devices will use your website. 

You can read the full list of web accessibility standards on the Web Accessibility Initiative website.

Keep in mind while these things are important to avoid for the sake of inclusivity, you could also run into American with Disabilities Act compliance issues. Some cases have gone to court for this, and people have won against companies with non-compliant websites. 

website mistakes

Website Mistake 3: Style Over Substance

Let’s pause for a moment: no one here at The Legal Godfairy is ever going to tell you to not have fun online or strip your brand down to the bare bones. Your brand should be utterly delightful, effortlessly elegant, and reflect your personality. 

You do not have to sacrifice style on the altar of accessibility, or substance.

That said, a website mistake entrepreneurs make is going a little too far into the realms of the creative… so far, in fact, that people are straight up confused when they hit your site.

We would urge you to have third-parties (people who love you enough to tell you the truth) click around your site.

Ask them to check for the following:

  • Is it easy to tell who I am and what I offer?
  • Do you feel welcome and clearly directed through the site?
  • Do you understand how to get in touch with me?
  • Is anything confusing or difficult?

The goal of your website is to facilitate a customer journey. To ensure that happens, you may need someone else to look at your baby for a minute. Let them give you honest feedback, and make sure you haven’t just organized sections, but the whole house is beautifully staged and ready for company.

Website Mistake 4: Using Graphics Without the Right Permission

Nowadays, you can Google your way into any perfectly poised, carefully curated pic. You can even find photos that include your brand colors. Happy coincidence. However, just because you can find all of the photos and graphics and icons doesn’t mean you can use them anyway you want.

We hope it goes without saying that you can’t just copy and paste photos from the internet.

But there are further considerations.

The photos you buy or use with a licensed membership to Adobe, Flickr, Canva, etc. have specific permissions. Make sure you investigate what your license allows you to do. For instance, you may not be able to use photos to make money. Each platform has different restrictions for different membership types. It’s on you to know the guidelines.

Because there are so many Canva queens out there, we wrote a whole article for this one: Here is Your Guide to Using Canva Legally.

website mistakes

Website Mistake 5: Overdoing DIY

In the world of website building, the advent of drag-and-drops makes our little DIY hearts flutter. But it is a mistake to assume that because you’re tech-savvy and creative you have the chops to create a website from scratch. By yourself.

Regardless of the content management system (CMS) you’ve chosen — WordPress, Wix, Webflow, what have you — you’ll need a developer to make sure your domain is set up correctly and your site is built to scale. It can be a pretty hefty investment, which deters some entrepreneurs from hiring for this, but you’ll be over the moon glad you did. The pros know.

The Power of Your Website for Entrepreneurial Growth

Websites have reduced the overhead of starting a new business so much. They have made it possible for bright, talented, go-getters like yourself to achieve their dreams. They’re a gift.

But they’re a gift that comes with responsibility.

And part of your responsibility is to avoid these mistakes, and do things the right way.

Your website is how people will find you, and when they do, will they get the right offer at the right moment? If you’re looking to improve your business savvy and grow with like-minded women, we have just the community for you.

Join The Legal Legacy Lounge™ to make powerful connections, and let’s blossom into new seasons of business success… together.

*Disclaimer: This blog post has been prepared solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied on for, legal advice. Should you require advice regarding a specific matter, appropriate legal or other professional advice should be obtained.

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Hi, I'm Neesa.
Attorney-turned-entrepreneur.

I traded stuffy suits, corner offices, and corporate boardrooms to serve small business owners and other freedom-seeking entrepreneurs like you from a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea.

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