Websites are tools of communication. In many cases, a website provides the first communication from a business that a customer receives. As the foundation of the customer's all-important first impression, a website can make or break a business' image.
Have you ever known a horse to step in a gopher hole, or had the misfortune to ride a horse when it did? Immediately, all forward movement ends as the horse stumbles and falls: the ride is over. The results are enduring and potentially life-threatening: strained muscles, pulled tendons, torn ligaments, and even broken bones.
The conditioned response is also long-lived: you'll never go back to ride in the same place.
Online "gopher holes" share all of these negative effects, but the risk is to the health of an equine business as opposed to an equine. Websites riddled with "gopher holes" bring displeasure to the visitor on many levels, end the visitor's "ride" on that site, and discourage the visitor's return.
Successful horse businesses portray themselves as professional, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and helpful. When this objective is reflected in an equine business' website, the result will be an invaluable image-building—and business-building!—tool: a great website. Ignore this objective and the resulting website can destroy the business' image.
As gopher holes undermine the surface of a field, the online version undermine the purpose of a website: to build positive image, to encourage traffic, to motivate sales, and increase business profits. Website gopher holes will injure or kill an online business.
Following is a non-exhaustive list that touches on the biggest website design mistakes, or
Page 1: Gopher Holes in Your Equine Website
Page 3: Gopher Holes: the Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly