The Worst Web Design Mistakes


Quality and usability are critical to the success of your business website. Without these basics, conversion rates will be low because it’s difficult to keep visitors on your site. If your website has a high bounce rate, it’s clear that people didn’t find what they were seeking. You often can trace this issue to quality and usability issues.

1. The page takes ages to load

Slow websites put off visitors because they perceive it as a sign of poor quality. If your page does not load in three seconds, a large chunk of your visitors will leave. Web users are impatient, especially when they are on slow data connections. It’s usually faster to press the back button and go to another search result instead of waiting for your site to load. Lack of speed is typically the result of poor optimization, heavy multimedia content or large images. Other factors like overloaded servers and poor coding can also slow down your site.

2. Automatically playing audio or video

Your visitors are not walking into a party; they are looking for information. If you autoplay sounds and videos, you will annoy visitors even before they get a chance to look at your website. People find it irritating, and depending upon where the person is, it could be embarrassing as well. Loading multimedia content takes time and bandwidth, which also increases page load time. If you must autoplay videos, keep them small and start them muted.

3. Poor slider implementation

Use a slider only when it adds value to your site. If you include a slider, implement it correctly. Reloading the page every time the image changes slows down the page and confuses visitors. Size of the pictures should be small, and each slide should give a complete message. Don’t expect readers to click through all the slides or wait for them to load. You should provide the same information as written copy on the page.

4. Painful color combinations

You only need about five to six colors for a good design. Well-designed sites usually use two or three colors and their shade variations for 90% of the page. Use the other colors sparingly. Besides being uncomfortable to the eyes, too many colors may confuse the brain.

Text should be readable. Low-contrast text, for example, yellow text on a white background, is hard to read. Similarly, too much contrast like white on black is also uncomfortable. Avoid dark backgrounds because more people prefer light backgrounds and more websites use them. Switching between dark and light backgrounds causes eye discomfort.

5. Misleading page titles

You won’t like it if you click on a promising link and land on a long boring sales page. Nobody likes to be tricked. You will annoy your visitors if you use misleading titles to attract them to your site. Usually, this results in a high bounce rate and ranking degrade. Interesting titles work well only when the content is relevant and well-written. If visitors are constantly leaving your website as soon as they get there it sends a signal to Google that your website is of low quality.

6. Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing makes your text hard to read besides undermining your credibility. A keyword-stuffed text will also lower your rankings because it’s considered search-engine spam. Use keywords sparingly and naturally. For example, if you are offering plumbing services in Miami, it’s fine to mention it a couple of times. You don’t have to remind the reader in every paragraph. Google has gotten a lot smarter concerning context so as long as your website speaks about perhaps a specific plumbing issue it will understand your business is about plumbing services.

7. Not being mobile-friendly

Mobile optimization is now a basic usability requirement since mobile internet traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. If you do not optimize your site for smaller screens, you will lose a lot of visitors. The effort to zoom and scroll sideways to read a non-optimized site on mobile devices is too much for most users. Search engines recognize this and penalize sites without mobile optimization.

8. Navigation problems

Everyone has been through it. You are impressed by the contents of a website, but you have no idea what to do next. You look around in vain for a menu or a link. If you are like most people, you will give up.

The lack of good navigation and a clear call to action is an issue for many small business websites. Don’t expect your visitors to search for the sitemap or contact information in the footer. Having a strategy for your visitors is important. Make it easy for your visitors to buy your product, subscribe to your mailing list or contact you.

9. Too many interruptions

Pop-ups are excellent tools to persuade users to take action, but people too often misuse them. To make matters worse, some webmasters use concealed close buttons. At some sites, the problem is so acute that you spend a good 30 seconds fending off pop-ups. Allow users to read your content without interrupting them with pop-ups.

Use pop-ups sparingly and don’t display them immediately after the page loads. Slide-ins that appear at the bottom right corner are less intrusive than pop-ups. You can also trigger a pop-up when the person is trying to exit the site. Always make it easy for the user to dismiss pop-ups and avoid labels that seek to make the person look like a fool. These tactics rarely work and worse, they annoy visitors.

In short

When people visit websites, they are looking for something. To hold their interest and keep them on your site, you must ensure quality and usability. If you don’t get the basics right, you will defeat the very purpose of your business website. It will not generate leads, sales or inquiries by failing the fundamentals of an online user experience. And of course, choose a reliable web hosting service provider!