Website Design: What to Avoid

Here are nine crucial mistakes to avoid when designing or updating your website.

1 – Not starting with the end in mind.

What is primary the purpose of your site? To sell, to build a brand – to be an “authority site” where visitors constantly return for new information? Each purpose dictates different design principles.

2 – Not using a CMS (Client Management System) for easy updates.

No matter how much thought and care you put into your new website, you – or others – will want to make changes later on. Make it easy on all involved by using a state of the art CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal for general sites – or Magento or Prestashop if you have an ecommerce site.

Google loves new information – and the more frequent and informative your updates, both your visitors and Google will like it. So, remove some of the roadblocks to doing regular updates by using a CMS.

3. Not considering your website one component of a larger marketing strategy.

Having a great, compelling website is a great goal, of course, but there are other vehicles you should consider. Among these are social media (FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest and possibly LinkedIn.) Not to mention offline things like print, etc.

If you are getting traffic from other sources – ads, links to other sites, organic search results? Give thought to where and what the experience of the user is from each source of traffic – and strive to make the user experience consistent – and at the same time – let visitors know they are at the right place.

4. Not including multi-media.

YouTube is the third most visited site on the internet, and people stay there a longer time than most sites. This speaks to the drawing power of video. Use video on your site to entertain and communicate to your visitors. Good animation gets extra points from viewers.

5. Not making a great first impression.

Attention spans on the internet are notoriously short. You have about 5 seconds to catch your viewers’ attention – before they click on the back button. The first thing that gets the viewers’ attention should communicate the value they will receive by staying longer. If you want to test and have others – or your own user group – provide feedback after a 5 second view – check out

6. Less is more.

A big new trend in website design is clean minimalist. These sites load faster – again – both Google and the visitor like this. This concept applies to using color as well. The trend is to softer colors and more white space.

7. Not keeping good on-page SEO practices in mind.

There are things you can do – like titles, tags, site maps, good internal linking practices, rank higher in the search engine results.

8. Not testing across all browsers.

Make sure that your users will have a great experience on all common browsers. If your site comes up garbled when a major browser is used – you just lost a big percentage of potential customers/readers.

9. Not triple checking all spelling and grammar.

Always, always have fresh eyes check for spelling, grammar and other common errors that will spoil the user experience, and your reputation.

Bottom line – Have your website design service factor these into your new site and you are already ahead of 80% of the websites out there.

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