Top 10 Website Don’ts

Just as there are good things to do to make a great website, there are some important things to make sure you DON’T do as well.  One could make a rather large list of things to avoid, a sampling of some of the most common errors are below, again, in no particular order:

  1. Avoid flash intro pages! Not only do they drive people crazy with a delay at getting to your information, but the main landing page is where search engines get most of your keywords, pick up your navigation, etc, etc.  Easy navigation is key!
  2. Don’t use too many graphics, movies, sounds, etc that make the page too large in file size – if it takes more than 10 seconds to load you’re going to lose your audience.
  3. Don’t use frames.  Search engines cannot navigate outside of the frames and will not be able to access all your content.  Frames are also old technology; better alternatives are available through css or at least tables.
  4. Don’t use graphics that flash and distract – because they’re annoying!  They can distract from the content that you are trying to provide and make people not want to visit your site.
  5. Don’t try to trick search engines!  Avoid things like hidden words (same color text and background), sketchy link-exchange sites, etc.  You can get black-listed and taken completely off of search engines!
  6. Don’t use page counters – they can tell your visitors information that they do not need to know and they make you look like an amateur.  If you want the information yourself ask your host server for stats or use a tracking system such as Google analytics.
  7. Don’t make people download plug-in’s or programs to view your page.  If people have to work to get at the content in your page they will seek it from an easier source.
  8. Don’t use background music!  It can be annoying if people are somewhere where they don’t want sound to play and can delay the page from loading.
  9. Don’t use too many colours, particularly bright colours.  Just like a flashing graphic can distract, an obnoxiously bright colour or clashing colours can distract as well and make paying attention to your content difficult.
  10. Don’t use too many fonts, font sizes and font styles.  Using one font for your header or headings and another for text is fine, but different text on every element of the page just looks busy and sloppy.  Fewer fonts can make for a more uniform look.  Being consistent with font sizes works much the same way.  Font styles, such as bold or strong text, italics, etc, can detract from the message you are trying to get across if overused.  Drawing attention to a word or short phrase is one thing, but stylizing a whole paragraph can make it difficult to read.

 Some good examples of people that have ignored items such as those above can be found at www.webpagesthatsuck.com.

This entry was posted by Anna Kouwenberg on Monday, October 4th, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under Web Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.