What to Avoid When Designing Web Sites

I enjoy using Entrecard on a daily basis. It allows me to find new blogs that I would have never have visited without going through Entrecard. At the same time I also find blogs that I would never visit again, not because of the content, but because of how they are designed.

In this post I will list several points that I consider to be a bad for Web sites and blogs, and items that should be avoided if you want to keep your visitors coming back for more.

What You Should Avoid When Managing a Web Site

I have written many posts regarding designing a good Web site, at least in my opinion. These are outlined in Blog Designing Tips for New Bloggers and Web Site Design Tips.

Now let’s look at some bad points that you should avoid when designing Web sites.

  1. Creating a complex design.

    Avoid adding too many links, objects, and ads to the sidebars and focus more on providing an easy to find and read navigational links. Your visitors won’t stay around hunting for a specific link. Keep the navigation simple.

  2. Popup Ads.

    These windows that open when you visit a site are really annoying, and in reality serve no real purpose as most users would just close them anyway. Making money with ads is okay by me, just as long as they are incorporated in the Web pages and don’t display in a new window.

  3. Background Music.

    I have visited many Web sites that include some music that loads and then plays in the background. If you would like music on your site, provide the play option to the user and don’t play it automatically.

  4. Flash animation – no real content.

    I usually visit sites looking for specific information. When a site’s navigation and content are all contained in flash animation, I usually close the window. Although flash can look great, I prefer the standard text to Flash on a Web site. Besides, search engines can’t index content properly if it is built in Flash animation.

  5. Copied content – no original ideas.

    Don’t copy the hard work of others and post it on your site. You will probably be punished by the search engines for having duplicate content, and won’t get many visitors in the end. You could write a brief summary of the Web page and then link back to the original site.

  6. Many Large Images.

    Many times I have visited a personal Web site and had to wait for several minutes for some images to download. If you would like to use photos on your site, make them smaller in an image editor first, and then upload them. Don’t let the browser do the resizing since they will still be large, and just look smaller.

Summary

This post has provided several items that you should avoid on your Web site if you want your visitors to keep returning for more. The items listed above are the most common annoyances on Web sites today, and they are the reasons I refuse to re-visit a Web site.

Now the question to you is: what would you add to the list to make it more complete?

13 Responses to “What to Avoid When Designing Web Sites”

  1. Link exchange is nothing else except it is just placing the other person’s blog link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar for you.

  2. Ethan Jones says:

    You are right here Paul, I agree that number one thing to avoid in managing website. I appreciate all your post here, love it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. darkduck says:

    I agree with all the points mentioned in the post

    @Carol: what is about my blog? It has black background for the left and right columns. But main middle column is gray with black text on it. I find it very useful, since is brings attention to the main topic of the blog, not to all the blips and blops.

  4. Ozzie says:

    Thanks for the tips… I really pop-ups. They’re useless, and also not a good investment at all.

  5. Paul says:

    @Mommie: When I was compiling the list I had to think about what I have seen wrong with sites. I forgot about those “skip ad” pages. That is definitely something I see more and more of nowadays.

    @Ada: Not many people know about resizing their images. I have received e-mails with the full resolution image, and not just one but several. Just as with life, we learn as we go.

  6. Ada says:

    Great article, music has to be a pet peeve of mine. My blog is pretty graphic intensive, and my husband advised (like you stated above) to resize my images before uploading them, most home users do not have super fast computer systems and most likely will end up loosing readers who may have otherwise been interested in your content.

  7. mommie says:

    I agree with all the points you listed. Recently there is a trend in ads on blogs that are the entire page when you open their site, you have to click “skip ad” to get out of those. Big pet peeve of mine!

    Mommie
    http://www.mommieshome.net

  8. Paul says:

    @Carol: It seems more are using black background. I prefer white backgrounds with dark text – just like a book.

  9. Paul says:

    @Kim: I know what you mean. I like clean easy to read sites as opposed to those that try to get too “fancy” with their design.

  10. Kim says:

    Great post. I seriously hate the pop ups and another thing I don’t like while visiting a site is if they have several sidebars with posts in it. I can never find the recent ones.

  11. Carol says:

    One of the things I really have a problem with, and this is all as a matter of readability, but if a blog has a black background I find them very hard to read, and truthfully, it almost hides any links or ads that they might want me to click on. Not all bloggers are 20-somethings, us old fogies of 50+ like to read with lots of contrast. Great post, by the way.

  12. Paul says:

    Detecting it is the key. I setup Google Alerts that will tell me when a link to my Web site appears in it’s index.

    I can then follow the link and read the text. Since I include links in my posts to other posts in my blog, I am able to see if someone copies my pages.

    I managed to find one site that copied my posts word for word.

    You can then inform Google of the issue.

  13. Michael Aulia says:

    Problem with #5: Copied content – no original ideas,
    You would get punished as well when someone else somewhere posts a duplicate/copy-paste of your own article 🙁

    If only there’s a way to stop it or at least detect it

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