Creating a website means you want people to visit your site often.
The last thing that you want to happen is to cause your visitors to shun from visiting your site because of annoying circumstances. As a website owner, you need to take caution in ensuring that your website is user friendly and appealing to your web visitors.
If you're a beginner, you should take note of these common website blunders that you should avoid which could make your website more less friendly and can possibly annoy your readers.
1. Your content is a history
Keeping your content current and updated should be a priority.
Web users use the internet in order to obtain information therefore you should be able to give what they want. It would be a big disappointment for your readers after finding out that your website content are outdated without the accurate information that they need.
Stated differently, when your website provides updated information, they will likely consider your site as an authority about a particular subject and they will keep coming back to get more information from your website.
If you are not capable of writing good and up-to-date content for your site, it is a good idea to outsource the job to someone who is skilled and competent in doing in-depth research on relevant topics to your site and to write the content for you.
2. Communicate what your website is about
It is crucial that your visitors will instantly know the niche of your website.
Your website domain should be one that could give the web users a hint about what to expect from your website content and services. You will likely attract more visitors who are looking for related information and services offered by your site who, just by reading through your website name and domain name, will instantly pick up the relevance of your site to what they are looking for.
It is certainly annoying to read a site’s domain name hinting baby products when the site content are about cars!
3. Disarrayed website - A busy page
It is certainly a big turn-off for a web user to visit a website with disorganized web page content and layout.
Cluttered pages on a site is a reflection of a disorganized site which is not appealing to your visitors. Being able to offer a good interface design is something you need to labor on in order to keep your website guests to stay on your site much longer.
It certainly is not a good idea to cram a single web page with so many things on it especially when your visitors are browsing on mobile. Try to observe more Whitespaces between graphics and texts including links and columns on your webpage.
4. Bizarre text fonts and sizes
As important elements of web design, the readability and legibility of your website should give your visitors some convenience and smooth flowing experience when trying to obtain the information they need.
Poor readability of your content will turn off your visitors and they will likely leave your site immediately because of frustration. Be selective of the color scheme to use on your fonts as well as the font style and size. Do not use small texts as this will impact the readability of your audience. Use a fixed font size as much as possible to keep fonts more well-organized.
It is certainly quite annoying to read small text size and bizarre font styles that will make your reader quite irritated enough to quit from your site.
5. Frustrating website content layout
As the saying goes, content is king. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you should add more useful content into your site.
But adding the content of a site also includes the requirement of writing good and high quality content that will be useful to your readers with an organized layout.
Proper layout is necessary since your users usually scan the site for the bits of information they need. Giving your site a good layout will help them scan through your content with ease to quickly find the information they need.
Take advantage of using HTML and CSS codes to create a better layout for your posts. Use margins and whitespace between images and texts for easier readability and scannability.
6. Where the heck is the search bar?!
This is the statement you should expect when a web user visits your website and cannot find the search bar.
Regardless whether you are maintaining an eCommerce website or a blog, your site should always have a search box which will help your visitors find something through your site. Integrating Google Custom Search is one of the simplest yet effective way of adding one on your site.
7. No testing – browsing incompatibility
You want to offer your visitors a smooth navigation experience when using your website to search for something. If your site doesn't give this experience to them, chances are they will leave your site to look for another that could offer them a more convenient search.
Make sure to check for dead links on your site otherwise you are wasting the precious time of your visitors by offering them something useless. Your site should be intuitive enough to prevent the confusion of your visitors.
But most of all, make sure that your site is compatible with the latest browsers in order to make it accessible to all web users. To give more convenient navigation experience to your readers, you should use a text description when you are using links on your site and an alternative text description if you use links in Java or Flash.
8. Be considerate of your visitors
You should always keep in mind your audience when creating or building your website. Their convenience when navigating and using your site should be one of your priorities. All web users are always looking for something on the internet and you should be able to give to them what your website wants to offer.
Sparking their interest should be the focus of your site to make them coming back for more. Otherwise, if your website does not give them a good search experience they will not find your site to be appealing. Always consider what your audience wants and needs and address this when building your site.
9. Automatic music playing in the background
If your website plays a music in the background automatically, it can push your audience away from using your site especially when they find it difficult to find the stop button to turn off the music.
A music playing in the background can be annoying to web users and worse it is more annoying not to be able to know how to turn it off.
As much as possible do not use a background music but if you really must have one on your site, make it available with a separate control and frame that will give your visitors the option to use the background music or not.
10. More ads, less content
One way of annoying your visitors is to offer them a website with no content above the fold. There are websites that load their pages with ads on top forcing their readers to scroll down further to find the content they want to read and view. Users want an immediate result when visiting a site and it can annoy them to find ads instead of the content they want. There is nothing wrong when placing ads on your website as long as it does not interfere with the smooth navigation of your visitors on your site.
11. Copy and paste protected websites
It is very annoying when the website owner locks his site for copy and pasting. Although it is understood that they are only merely protecting the content of their site from being nabbed by web users, there is not much difference at all since their content can still be copied in some other way by others like typing the content manually to make a copy. Google can penalize websites that copy paste other website content on theirs so if their content are original, there is no need for locking copy and pasting features from their site. It only annoys web users which is a good reason not to visit your website at all.
12. Pop ups distractions
Pop ups can certainly help generate profit on your site but this can be a turn off to your visitors. Avoid placing pop ups on your site even when it can give you a fraction of profit to earn because its long term impact on your site is losing annoyed visitors who can be a better potential for profit than the pop up ads on your site can generate.
13. Inconsistent page layout designs
Creating different web page designs for your site can really confuse your visitors. Just when they become comfortable in navigating through a page on your site, being confronted with a different layout over and again in each and every website page is certainly annoying.
You want to deliver convenient and efficient use of your site to your visitors so make sure to be consistent with the page layout design that you want to use to make them more at ease and comfortable with high familiarity when using your web pages.
14. Overdoing Flash animations
Flash animation can either be interesting or annoying to your audience. There is nothing wrong in using Flash on a web site. In fact, it is a powerful medium that could entertain and attract web users when it is used appropriately. Too much Flash animation on a site however can be annoying, disturbing and distracting to anyone who come to your site to look for results and not for distractions.
You should be able to use this feature moderately and offer your visitors the option to skip or control how the animation appears on their screen in order not to annoy them or make them impatient.
15. New browser windows surprise
Opening new browser windows can be annoying and quite disrespectful to web users. Most of the time, they will expect that the new page they want to visit will load in the same window that is currently in use and it can take them by surprise or otherwise can add more clutter to their currently cluttered task bar.
For a visually impaired web user or a newbie in using the internet, it can be disorienting to find what they are looking for.
16. How will I get answers?
It is important to display any contact information on your site to allow your web visitors to connect with you or make important inquiries.
This is very important if you are offering products and services on your site. Imagine losing potential sales and interested customers just because you failed to display your company contact number. It is annoying for visitors not to be able to take action when using your site to get answers to their queries.
17. Inflexible widths and stubborn interface
Web users are quite annoyed that they have to scroll their screen horizontally to view the full page of a website because it does not fit on the screen that they are using. Maintaining a frozen layout with a fixed width does not make a user-friendly interface and can turn off your visitors from further using your site. The current recommended website layout is 1024 x768 pixels to accommodate different screen sizes for better viewing of your web pages.
18. Filling up long registration forms
Web users are not always patient in filling up long registration forms.
You want to give them a straightforward process to complete their registration on your website in order to encourage them to finish filling up the information you need. Make sure to screen your fields of information that you really need and find important and remove the unnecessary ones.
A registration form should be short but concise and accurate. Filling up long forms can be discouraging to your visitors who will likely not finish the process of registration.
19. Pure text content – Dull and boring
If you maintain a site only loaded with text with no images then you should expect that your readers will find it not so appealing to visit. A web page with no images and full texts only can be dull and boring. It will not further attract your visitors to stay longer. Using relevant images on your site is one way to optimize the visitors on your site but make sure not to overload your web pages with images and not relevant ones.
20. Unsolicited subscription – A big no
It is a common mistake to automatically subscribe your visitor to something when they register on your site. It is plainly annoying and definitely a big turn off to send them unsolicited emails that will cause your visitors to stop using your website and to unsubscribe to your newsletters.