Common Web Page Mistakes

Whether it is called "Common Web Page Mistakes," OR "Annoying Website Design," OR "The Do's and Don'ts of Web Design," each of them gives many of the same suggestions for what not to do or avoid in designing your website. S. R. Emerson has an entire site devoted to Web Page Mistakes and Solutions. Cricket Walker offers her own story at Common Web Page Mistakes.

Take the time to read these over and learn from them so that you too can have a professional looking site. Some the the things to avoid that seem to make all the lists, include:

  • Splash screen - I click on a link to your site and expect to see your home page. Instead, what I see is a flash movie or a graphic image with an invitation to click Enter. Don't waste your visitor's time. Give them the content without having to go through that additional click.
  • Don't use background music on your web pages! Unexpected music blaring from your computer can be very annoying and cause problems. Imagine being in the library or working late at night when the rest of your family is sleeping!!
  • Under construction pages - If your page is not ready, then don't put it up. Make sure you are not linking to a page that is not yet online so your viewer does not get "page not found."
  • Counters - Page counters, visitor counters, or hit counters add NO VALUE to your site. If you want that type of information, use the statistics reports available on paid hosting or something like Google Analytics.
  • Animations - Anything that bounces, flashes, scrolls or flies around the screen like butterflies, marquees, or animated images are distractions. Avoid them!
  • Background patterns - If you are going to use a background image that will have content text on top make sure you choose something that is very light and subtle so that your content is not difficult or impossible to read. Or use  a light solid color.
  • Inconsistent Design - Is the navigation of your site the same site wide? Does every page of your site have a different look? Keep your design consistent from page to page which will make it easier for your visitor.
  • Create Standards Compliant Code - Take the time to validate your pages. Pages written using valid code will load faster than those full of errors. They are also more likely to not "break" or cause your visitor's computer to crash.
  • Specialty plugins - Don't use features that force your viewer to download special plugins
  • Think twice before using framesets - Search engines have trouble reading frames and your viewer will have trouble trying to bookmark the page.
  • Slow Page Loading - Some of your site visitors may still be using a slow dialup connection. Make sure your pages download  quickly or your visitor may move on to another site that does. Take the time to properly size and optimize your images. Be aware of the "weight" of your page.
  • Broken links - Take the time to check your links and make sure they still work. Nothing is more frustrating that to find a page that interests you and click the link only to find out it is broken.
  • Out-dated content - Make sure the content you are providing is up to date. If you have a sale listed, and it is over with, remove mention of it. Once events are outdated, remove them.
  • Browser-specific design - Take the time to develop your site so that it renders in multiple browsers (not just YOUR default browser) and at the most common screen resolutions. Not everyone uses Internet Explorer and not everyone has the latest and greatest in monitors or views websites full screen.
  • Unnecessary Content - Does the content on your page pertain to what your site is about? Does your visitor really care what the current weather is in your area? Do all the cutsey images have anything to do with your content.
  • Misspellings and Grammatical Errors - Double check your pages to make sure your words are spelled correctly AND that you are using proper grammar.
  • Make the titles on your web page make sense - The title on your page should reflect what our page is about NOT Untitled 1 or New Page 1.

Additional Resources