Common Mistakes With Web Design – Avoid Like The Plague!

Common Mistakes With Web Design

Before you ended up on this page I’m sure you’ve come across a few articles highlighting the most common mistakes with web design. You’re not alone – I’ve read them to!

The problem with these articles is that they only cover 3 – 4 glaringly obvious mistakes and offer the reader very little VALUABLE info on what they should be avoiding.

So in this article we will be looking at a handful of common mistakes with web design that you REALLY SHOULD be looking to avoid…

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1) You Only Get a Second to Sell Your Site

When a user arrives at your website they must know what your site is about and what it aims to provide in seconds – this is all the time you will get to sell your site and save this visitor from bouncing!

If they are unable to determine what your site is about in that short space of time they will press the ‘back’ button on their browser and hit up the next Google result.

2) Easy to Scan

When I arrive at my destination online I want to be able to scan the whole page to determine whether I’m in the right place or not.

If I’m provided with a blank slate of huge paragraphs I’m going to be unable to scan the page and see what I am looking for. Use bullet points, leave plenty of white space and use images whenever necessary.

Make the content feel spacious and easy to glide over – people will stay longer!

3) In Your Face Adverts

Oh I hate this crap! There’s nothing more amateur and sales-like than ending up on a page that refuses to scroll due to the amount of non-relevant adverts on each side of the page.

Funnily enough, some of the worst culprits are usually newspaper websites – why they would need the extra cash I’ll never know!

Not to many adverts

Use adverts on your site by all means but use them sparingly. Don’t have Google Adsense all over your page – it screams of desperation!

I don’t use any Adsense type activity on this site – I choose to use adverts for services I am a member of and nothing else.

Try and make sure you are only using adverts for things you are experienced with. Don’t use advertising for fishing gear on your android apps website – it kills the user experience!

4) Font Size

This seems to be a VERY common mistake but I don’t really know why – it’s an obvious one to avoid really!

Not everyone on this planet has perfect eyesight – fact of life. Using a small font on your text is going to give these unlucky people a headache as they try and magnify the screen through their browser parameters.

If was me – I’d leave the site and find another one with decent font size pronto!

5) The Registration Nightmare

How many times have you found the info you were looking for only to be confronted with a message asking you to pimp out your email address before you can go any further?

If this happens to me – the website has just lost a visitor…

Avoid the registration process

Only use registration when you are offering something of value through an eBook or similar.

This is fine as people WANT the info inside the eBook and it is FREE with the registration.

Don’t get people to register for ANYTHING unless it is necessary – building a list shouldn’t be that easy guys!

6) The Face Behind The Scenes

This all boils down to the importance of including an About Me page. I would never launch a website without one of these pages – it’s the perfect way to let people know you are a regular Joe and you share the same interests as them.

People are far more likely to take to your site if they know a little bit about you – it makes the process seem a lot more human.

7) Is There Anybody There???

Why would you purchase an item off someone you KNEW you were never going to see again? It sounds a bit of a risk really doesn’t it?

contact me

Including a Contact Page where everyone can see it is a guarantee to visitors that they will be able to get hold of you if need be.

Some of the visitors to your site will have pretty good suggestions at times – wouldn’t you like to hear about these suggestions, especially if they could improve your site?

8) Link Visibility

I must confess that when I started out I got this wrong EVERY time! The sad thing is it was down to laziness on my behalf.

The normal link colors that website themes supply tend to be a little dull at the best of times – I have no idea why this is the way it is!

When I want to link to something important internally or externally I make sure the link text is colored red. This means that the link will stand out of my page like a sore thumb – this is what I am aiming for.

Sometimes using navy blues or grey link colors can lead to the links disappearing into the text body. When people scan over the text the links should cry out to the visitor.

The Most Common Mistakes With Web Design

It’s not rocket science but if you are a newcomer to this business you may well overlook these mistakes.

The problem is that once you have overlooked them you will keep on making these mistakes again and again.

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18 comments on “Common Mistakes With Web Design – Avoid Like The Plague!

  1. These are all great tips for web design. I think my biggest gripe is font size. I prefer a larger font as it is easier to read. And I love it when the author of a site uses paragraphs to break up the content. I think it is easier to read when it is in smaller chunks.

    1. Hi Wendy,
      Couldn’t agree more with you really – I hate it when I have to strain to see the text on a page! Imagine what it must be like for the much older generations!

  2. Great advices you are giving here about common mistakes with web designs. I agree with all you are saying, it is easy to agree as it is logical what you write.

    I wonder about the item 7, contact page, I do not have it on my site. But I do have contact email in About me and also comments box on every page and post. Do you think it is still not enough? I guess adding such a contact page is not difficult and I am going to see about it.

    As for pop-ups, subscribing business, this I also find terrible. When this appears in front of me I only look for X, to remove it. Completely annoying, cannot imagine that this really works to anybody. But some claim it works indeed.

    Thank you for such a great text.

    1. Hi Jovo,
      I wouldn’t worry about it too much as you seem to have enough points on offer where a visitor can contact you. Just make sure they are all nice and visible 🙂

  3. Super accurate, another mistake people make is using a crappy theme’, it’s the biggest turn off – period! Your Solon is nice btw, but some free theme are so rubbish.

    I do actually limit my ads as well, on one site I use affiliates (only what I use myself) and on another site I use Adsense and that’s it, two are slightly camouflaged within my content nearer to the footer and one in my right sidebar. That site for some reason doesn’t do well with affiliates but does very well with Adsense.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Glad you like the theme we are using here – it took a while to find one that actually suited what we were aiming for!
      I don’t use Adsense type options on this site as I feel it doesn’t fit – I don’t want to take people’s attention away from the content we have here 🙂

  4. Hey Chris

    Some very valuable information here. Thank you.

    I find it interesting that you only use adverts that you are involved in. I so often stumble across sites that have the most irrelevant ads all over the show. Your website is a breath of fresh air.

    You mentioned pop up registrations. Would you incorporate this in the widget area in stead, or is a relevant pop still considered fair play?

    I am also interested in the red link color you spoke about, I wanted to use red before, but was concerned about possible negative responses to it…
    do you think this makes any difference?

    1. Hi Marc,
      Pop ups are fair play but you have to ask yourself one question – do you like it when YOU end up on a website littered with them?
      In some cases they do work but I find them too intrusive for this type of site. In my experience the red links work well for me as they stand out properly from the surrounding text!

  5. I agree with you. I also don’t like websites who have bizarre font styles and sizes that make reading a pain. Also unorganized content layout, bad navigation, complicated registration forms, too many meaningless graphics, poor colour schemes, dead links, and pages that are slow to load are turn offs for me.

    1. I think the slow load is the turning point for 99% of people online Keye – nothing more irritating in my book!
      ( looks very amateur! )

  6. Great tips here. I have never actually designed a website fully but these tips you gave make me want to try! I like the part we’re to mentioned not to look over mistakes, because you will then continue to look over them. Thank you for the advice, I will definitely use this as a resource in the future.

  7. I totally agree with your point about in-your-face adverisements. I simple hate it when I’m scanning a new site looking for information, start reading, and suddenly an annoying pop-up ad, or an ad encroaching in from both sides block my ability to read. It is intrusive and I immediately click away. Advertising that blends in with the reader’s experience is far more likely to keep prospective buyers on your site.

    1. Glad you agree Mike – it’s a shame that 99% of other marketers out there don’t see it the same way…intrusive and annoying!

  8. Thanks so much for this post Chris. Font size is something I need change but have been to lazy to try and figure out how to correct. Fear of messing something up on my site is the major reason.

    Guess I need to decide whether I want my website to succeed or stay in my comfort zone.

    1. Hi Mark, from what I can gather there is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to change the font size ( no technical know-how needed! ). Maybe you should look into this?

  9. I like the idea of having an ‘About Me’ page because I always look at it when visiting other sites visit but have never thought of putting one on my site.

    Thanks Chris

  10. Hi there!

    You have given precious information here I will follow all of them to the dot.

    You highlighted some important aspects to be careful in our websites, such as the contact page. I haven’t got one yet, but now is clear how important it is.

    I also hate to go to a website and be confronted with a subscription message that you can’t get rid of. It is really annoying and it makes me go away. I have noticed you have the subscribe space on your right column and not as a squeeze page. Do you think a squeeze page can be negative for traffic? what do you recommend?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Stefan,

      No I personally hate those pop ups that infest your PC screen! I keep the subscribe button in the sidebar at all times – I certainly think the pop up options are negative for your bounce rate!

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