These twenty mistakes are the difference between a very poor website and a very good website. You may know some of these mistakes already, but if you have avoided or corrected all of them you are almost certain to keep visitors coming in and coming back.
This list is especially important for new designers, amateurs or the experienced but sloppy who need a list to work from for a website spot check.
1) Bad Layout and Design – Yes, there are some ugly, unbalanced or overloaded webpages out there. Make your page a pleasant viewing experience. If you are not sure about the looks of you design, then let some people see a screenshot of your webpage.
2) Non-Standard Links – Why confuse your visitors with links that are different colors or fonts that vary from page to page. Don’t frustrate your visitors, it shouldn’t be a guessing game.
3) Iffy Navigation – Take it easy on the moving objects, trailing images and other stuff you see on kids websites. It’s just not that entertaining and it can get in the way and distract your visitors. Keep it stable easy to find and read.
4) Slow Pages – Who wants to watch your dumb load meter rack up the percents of loaded kilobytes or megabytes? Keep your pages lean and fast, under 50k if possible. Do not bore your visitors.
5) Wild and Crazy Color Schemes – Some pages look idiotic with overly bright colors, maybe even revolting. Your texts must be easy to read, not a sensational nightmare.
6) Spelling and Grammar – Errors in spelling and grammar make your page look amateurish or childish – always spell check.
7) Page Text – Keep your pages easy to read. Break texts into paragraphs or blocks. People scan pages more than they read them, make it easy on them.
8) Font Style and Size – Choose easy to read fonts and use the right size – not micro reading or headlines on every line.
9) Dumb, Out of Control Music – select background music that fits the subject matter and make sure it can be turned off easily.
10) Under Construction – Avoid having a visitor coming to you closed or not yet opened website. What’s the point? Give them a single page of content with a notice as to when the whole site will be available.
11) Untested Web Site – Always look at your website in multiple browsers and make changes accordingly before uploading your site to the web.
12) Sloppy Texts – Make sure all the right words are in all the right places – “Content is King” for readers and search engines.
13) Old Content – Updating your website is important, visitors need to see something new once in a while.
14) Too Many Clicks – Why should a visitor have to jump through page after page to find anything on your website. Make sure everything is only 3 clicks or less from the homepage.
15) No Contact Information – Keep your contact information easy to find and easy to read.
16) Free Hosting Service – When you see a webpage that has a name so long that it has at least one period in the middle of it you know it’s a free hosting situation. Everyone knows the limitations of free hosts and the limitations that they place on a webpage. Don’t use a free web host if you want to be taken seriously.
17) Advertising – Do not overload you page with ads, especially the big grotesque banners. Well placed, well designed ads are okay if you don’t overload the page.
18) Bad Images – Don’t make a visitor suffer missing graphics file or badly shaped or cropped images. Optimize your images and use the best heights and widths, and keep your files in the best formats – jpeg for Photographs and gif for artwork.
19) Website Best Viewed – Don’t say this on your website, it looks like a beginner’s website.
20) No Prices – If you sell something don’t waste your time hoping you will get email inquiries on your prices – just include a price with the item description.
That should do it. Follow these directions to correct the most common mistakes in website design to make sure your webpage is in good shape.