Nobody is going to judge you for dumb mistakes you are making with your website design. In this very article, some of the most common (and honest) reasons for these mistakes are touched upon. Nevertheless, no matter how justifiable your mistakes are, there is simply no excuse for badly designed websites in this day and age when competition is so fierce. Here are ten mistakes you need to avoid.
1. Ads Everywhere
Sometimes it is the web designer’s fault for there being ads everywhere and sometimes it is the fault of the webmaster. The “ads everywhere” problem often happens because a lot of time, effort and money is invested into a website, and after three months of solid promotion, the affiliate program says 350 impressions, 0 clicks.
In frustration, ads are added everywhere, and that beautiful and useful website becomes intolerable. Try to remember that if you want a click or two per week, you need traffic in the tens of thousands.
2. Disjointed Layouts
One of the biggest problems with CMS (content management systems) is that even the best templates and themes are prone to disjointed layouts. It isn’t even the fault of the template/theme designer because something as simple as an over-sized image or poor font choice can cause the problem.
If you are using a CMS, then you need to test and re-test many different layouts with a fairly robust research team. Otherwise, you need to hire a top-quality website designer to build you a good and well-laid out website. Getting the layout right is no simple task even for a professional.
3. Thinking That “More” is “More”
Nobody is saying that “less is more” should be your mantra. There are plenty of websites that are able to stuff epic amounts into a single page and it still works great, but the level of design and skill required to achieve this is intense. It is certainly not something you are going to find on a pre-written CMS theme or template.
4. Low Quality Images
Again, this is another design mistake that is almost forgivable because there are so many tools, online articles, and plugins that claim your images need to be tiny and need to be compressed, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it. According to Google Insights, your decorative images should be JPEGs, but there is no reason to assume your 1500 x 1500px images need to be shrunk to 200 x 200px just because it is faster to load.
5. Overly Complex, Hidden, Misplaced or Mixed Up Coding
This criticism is pointed directly at template and theme builders who mess around with their coding. They do it to make it more difficult for people to manually alter the CSS and HTML of the website design. In most cases, they do it to make it difficult for users to remove a free theme/template’s branding.
6. Images That are Too Large for No Good Reason
If you are uploading a map, or an infographic, or something where fine detail is needed, then the 3000 x 3000px image is great. However, if you are uploading decorative borders at those sizes, then that is bad website design. Even though the website/browser will resize the image to the correct size, it still has to load that massive 3000px file when a 400px file would have done the job.
7. Hidden Navigation
This website design sin has many forms. Some put the navigation behind drop-down menus that only spawn once they are hovered over with the cursor and others hide their breadcrumbs and categories without offering any suitable alternatives. If you are doing this to force people into a sales funnel, then think again because you are probably increasing your bounce rates faster than your conversion rates.
8. Ads in The Wrong Place
Remember point one about how webmasters and designers add more ads because of frustration? The same reason applies when ads are put in the wrong place. Ads in ugly places are very damaging, especially if they are hidden in popups. The worst place is right in the middle of the text so the ad looks like a picture in the text or looks like part of the article itself.
It is ugly and annoying, but webmasters and designers do it because sometimes people click on them by accident as people scroll using their thumbs on their phones. Nevertheless, ads in the wrong place, especially amongst the text, are annoying and very frustrating for people who are genuinely interested in reading your content word for word (i.e. not skim reading).
9. Badly Designed Websites with The Wrong Font
If you do your research, you will see there is a very strong link between the type of font you use and the font size. It is almost like each font has its ideal size. What muddies the water is what looks good on a desktop screen and what looks good on a mobile device. As you may expect, too big is better than too small, but you need to find a balance or your website will be difficult to read. Check out a few web design tips for more information.
10. Popups of Any Variety
There are reports after surveys after studies that all claim popups increase click-through-rates, conversions, sign-ups, and all the rest. However, what you are not being told is that those studies, surveys, reports, etc. are paid for by people trying to sell you pop-up software. Pop-ups are not a good website promotion or offer promotion tool, because even though they catch some people, they annoy infinitely more.
Think back through your entire life. Have you ever signed up for an email list because a pop-up told you to? Have you ever gone back and bought something from a website because the pop-up said, “Wait, leaving so soon…”
Stop Believing What Some Call “Common Knowledge”
Most of the mistakes identified in this article are born from people following what is known as common knowledge.
For example, it is common knowledge that websites with popups gain more email followers and so forth, but the same people giving you those conversion statistics are also ignoring the thousands of people who are annoyed by your popups and who will avoid your website because of them.
Do your own research into badly designed websites, surf the web to see what annoys you about other websites, and then avoid the same mistakes on yours.
Are you hungry for more? Have a read of some of the other posts on Abrition.com if you are still hungry for more information and news.