Although web design is easier than ever before thanks to the wide choice of popular content management systems which allow you to design a website with little or no knowledge of coding, it is still hard to design a good website. While quality content should be your number one priority, the actual design of your website is a close second. A good design and one which suits the niche of your site is one which will catch the attention of your readers, but many newbies fail to make this a reality due to becoming victim to some of the common pitfalls of web design. Here are four things that every web designer should avoid.
Excessive Use of Advertising
Making money online is largely about advertising. Unless your site is an online store selling its own products or a website for a traditional business, it is never going to make money without any third-party advertising. However, many people are tempted to completely smother their sites with advertising. This irritates visitors immensely and makes your page look extremely messy. It can even slow your website down.
Even worse is excessive use of inappropriate advertising. Ads placed on your website should be strategically placed but not overdone. They should also be relevant to your niche. If you are using pay-per-click advertising methods such as Google AdSense, relevant advertisements should automatically be delivered. If you are marketing affiliate products, it is your responsibility to choose suitable ones to place on your site.
Your visitors will quickly lose their patience and look elsewhere if they fall victim to poor navigational features. Creating an easily navigable website is actually a lot more complicated than it used to be. Today, many people access the Internet from their mobile phones, tablet computers and a variety of other devices. With touch screens becoming ever more popular, larger buttons are becoming more important as are scalable websites which look great and are easy to navigate on any device upon which they’re displayed. This is known as responsive web design.
To ensure that your visitors can easily navigate your site and find what they want, have clearly defined links, buttons and navigation bars. Having a search feature, a contents page and a site map certainly won’t do your site any harm either.
Not Making Your Content Scannable
People generally read websites in a very different manner to how they read books and other printed publications. The attention span of the average Web surfer is notoriously short. In most cases, someone visiting your website will want to find out a snippet of information quickly. They often won’t want to read an entire article from the first word to the last. Most viewers only spend a matter of seconds on a page unless something catches their attention.
Making content scannable means making it suitable for an online audience. Since most readers will want to skim through an article, ensure that it is divided into small, concise paragraphs. Things like subheadings and bulleted lists are also highly recommended when it comes to creating scannable, web-friendly content. Avoid giant walls of text wherever possible!
Using too Much Multimedia
Long gone are the days when most people only had extremely slow dial-up Internet connections. Although even the slowest broadband Internet connection is usually still dozens of times faster, this does not mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on the amount of bandwidth your site uses. A website which is graphically intensive will use a lot more bandwidth and will take longer to load. On slower broadband connections, this can quickly become noticeable, particularly if you do not optimize image content using suitable compression ratios.
Flash content is also overused by some newbies. Although Flash can be used to create great animations, having a website entirely designed in it is generally not a good idea. Many visitors will instantly leave if they are confronted with a loading bar as soon as they start viewing your site.
Another thing to avoid is automatic background music and other audio. Some people might not mind it, but others find it exceedingly irritating.
Avoid these common web design mistakes to ensure your website visitors spend as much time on your website as possible.
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