Top 7 Web Site Design Mistakes

The web site for your business is often the first interaction a visitor will have with your business. Here is a list of mistakes that many site owners make when building their web sites.

1. Long or hard to spell domain name

If you want your customers to find you quickly, choose a domain name that is short and easy to spell. Some site owners may try to include their main keywords in the domain name with the hope that this will help them rank well in the search engines.

It makes better sense to optimize your web site with keywords placed in the content and meta tags than in the domain name. Think of what will benefit your customers more than what will benefit the search engines.

2. Amateur design

First impressions make a big difference in deciding who to do business with. If your web site does not have a professional appearance you may lose your customers to your competitors. Be sure to use the latest design techniques ie CSS and HTML. Using old techniques such as tables and deprecated html tags may slow the loading and indexing of your web site by the
search engines. Thousands of new web sites are coming online everyday. Don’t let your competitors get ahead of you.

3. Unclear navigation structure

Make sure you can access any part of your web site within 3 clicks. If your page is buried deeper than this it will be hard for both visitors and search engines to find the information.

The links should be clickable. Try not to use javascript or image maps. Some users have javascript turned off so they won’t be able to navigate your web site. Image maps don’t make it obvious there is a link to click on. Try to use CSS navigation menus because they are fast, contain simple code and are search engine friendly.

Link text should provide a clear description of the link destination. For text links, use colored, or underlined text (don’t underline non-link text).

4. Avoid using a lot of flash

Most web site visitors want to quickly access information on your site without being distracted by objects flashing across the screen or blinking at them. Flash is a programming language that should only be used to enhance a web site whereas a static page cannot. I still see flash introductions that take forever to download and test my patience. Usually I click elsewhere.

5. Unclear content

Most visitors don’t want to spend a lot of time reading from a screen because it’s harder on the eyes than reading printed text. Writing large blocks of content creates a cluttered appearance and is hard to read. Web content should contain short paragraphs of a few sentences that are to the point so visitors can quickly view what you have to offer. Try to answer visitors questions and don’t use complicated language. This improves search engine visibility because you are using your visitors words not your own.

6. Unreadable text

Many web sites use very small font, or use a type font that is hard to read on a monitor screen. Use font such as verdana or arial for your main content and times roman or arial for the headings. The main content size should be 12 pixels or above.

Don’t use dark text on a dark background or light text on a light background. Use contrasting colors such as black text on a white background or white text on a black background.

6. Browser incompatibility

Many years ago most computer users only used Internet Explorer but now people use other browsers ie Firefox. Make sure your beautiful design can be viewed by all the main browsers. You don’t want to lose visitors because your web site doesn’t display correctly in their browser.

7. Screen resolution

Most new monitors these days have a screen resolution of 1078×768 pixels or above. However many computer users still have old monitors and computers with the resolution set to 800×600 pixels. Also people with poor eyesight will deliberately set their screen resolution to 800×600 so the text is enlarged.

Many web designers only design for high resolution monitors. This means you will lose the visitors whose screen monitors are set to a lower resolution.


Whenever you want to add new features to your web site ie flash, video etc, ask yourself if this will enhance your web site’s appearance and give you a better return on investment (ROI). For most web sites it would be far more beneficial to improve or add more content than to add these new features.

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