There are many DIY tools and services that allow you to build your own website today. This doesn’t mean everyone should though. Regardless of your choice in this matter, you want to present a professional presence for your business online. With this in mind, there are some website design things you should never do.
Never Use a Splash or Entrance Page in Your Website Design
Janyer Dominguez, vice president of web development at iPartnerMedia says these things really don’t have any value in today’s online world. All they do is increase your bounce rate since users automatically leave when they can’t find what they’re searching for. Instead, you’ll want to create a standard home page. This helps with SEO, and when you use a pop-up window, you’ll catch your user’s attention.
Use a Consistent Style for Your Web Design
According to Pamela Webber, CMO at 99designs your website projects professionalism by using consistent fonts, font sizes, and color palette. Failure to do so turns customers off. This is why you should always create a brand style guide before you start on your website design. Make sure you consistently follow the guide throughout the website design process.
Make Sure Navigation Isn’t Confusing
Make it easy for your visitors to navigate your site and quickly find what they’re after — within one or two clicks. Use a horizontal menu at the top of each page. It should only include seven items all with short, descriptive labels. If you use a drop-down menu, it should only be one level deep. You’ll also want a search box at the top of every page — either in the upper left or right-hand corner.
Make Your Logo Clickable to the Home Page
Laura Casanova, creative director at ONTRAPORT reports that a recent study by KoMarketing shows that 36% of a web site’s visitors click on a company’s logo. When the logo isn’t clickable or doesn’t take them to the home page, they think the site is broken and leave. This is as simple as placing the tag in between your opening and closing tags.
Don’t use too Many big Images, Animations, or Videos
Images, animations, and videos are weighty. Having too many of them significantly slows your website down. Adobe conducted a study showing that 39% of people stop engaging with websites when this happens. This means you could lose about half of your visitors so make sure you use an online image optimizer. Optimizilla is a free program that reduces pixel count, allowing for a shorter load time, without compromising quality. Also, consider offering a lightweight option for those who have a slow connection.
Never use Graphics as Text
You want all of your web site’s text to be crawlable by search engine bots. When you have images as text, search engines can’t crawl your site. This reflects negatively on your SEO, and it also slows your site down. For these reasons, you should never use graphics as text.
Never use Fake or Obvious Stock Images
Stock photography can sometimes enhance parts of your web site’s design. However, when you use them to represent your people or products, it comes across as cheesy and inauthentic. Russell Frazier, a digital marketing specialist at Visigility, says you should either take out your camera and take a photo or hire someone to do it for you. Customers appreciate this authenticity and will show it by trusting you and buying your products or services.
Failure to Embrace White Space
Sarah Matista, the marketing manager at Vistaprint Digital, says you should use white space to deliver more of an impact. Too much on a page is distracting and people retain very little of this information. This isn’t what you want to happen with your website. As such, use more white space at your discretion.
Never add Automated Music or Sound
Ed Brancheau, CEO of Goozleology says that while it’s fine to use video to catch your visitors’ attention, you don’t want an automated video because that’s “jarring and problematic.” Studies show that automatic audio dramatically reduces on-page time.
Don’t Overuse Interstitials
An interstitial is a web page that’s displayed either before or after the content page. People find them really annoying, and Google has started penalizing websites for them when they’re too intrusive. This doesn’t include legal disclaimers, but it does include websites that try to get your email address before they let you read their content. Of course, these also increase your web site’s bounce rate. With this in mind, Ankitaa Gohain Dalmia, the founder and digital marketing strategist at AnksImage suggest you fix this by taking a good, hard look at your content strategy. There are many other ways you can use to earn subscribers to your website. Make sure to find out more if you want to find other ways to do this.
Make Sure to Check for Cross-Browser Compatibility
A professional web designer always remembers to use various browsers to look at their design. Typically they’ll use a cross-browser tool for conducting compatibility. This is important because you never know what browser a user will be using when they arrive at your website. You don’t want your website to look odd or appear broken.
Make Sure Your Web Site is Mobile Friendly
According to Mark Tuchscherer, mobile users started surpassing desktop users as of 2015. For this reason, Google is now giving higher priority to those websites that are mobile friendly. Unfortunately, there are still some website designers and developers today in 2017 who only offer a desktop version of a website for their clients at a time when everyone needs a mobile responsive website. You can no longer get away with passing off your desktop site to your mobile users. This is a major no-no now. It doesn’t only make you look bad to the visitors who arrive at your site while using their mobile devices, but it is also something search engines frown upon as well. So, simply put, it’s something you just don’t do today.