Web design is an art and like all artists, webmasters sometimes goof when doing their web design. Some of these mistakes could be disastrous. The site could miss out of traffic or become inaccessible on some devices. These are some of the most common mistakes to watch out for in web design:
Missing links occur when you update content and fail to make new links. This leads your site visitors to error and 404 pages making for a frustrating experience and high bounce rates. The way to avoid this is by testing your links weekly and having a ‘Contact the Webmaster’ link as a footnote so that your visitors can notify promptly of any broken links.
Long non-scannable text
Having a long wall of text is boring to the reader. Your bounce rates will be high as site visitors look for this info on alternative sites. This can be avoided by using sub-headings and bullets. Use short paragraphs with 3-4 sentences and avoid a lot of marketing lingo.
Lack of a search box
Web surfers looking for specific content are frustrated by having to jump from page to page looking for hidden content. You can avoid this by using the simple and neat Google custom search box. Google provides the code for a custom search and it is a simple matter of pasting the code.
Disabled back button
Disabling the back button might seem a good way of pushing your visitors to other content but it is a costly blunder. If a visitor clicks the back button and a new page or a pop up open, it is an annoying experience that will lead the visitor to go on to other sites. Avoid this by allowing your visitors to choose what they want to read.
Your site visitors need to have a meaningful journey. They need to know where they have been and where they are heading to. Links that change colour helps the visitor know the content that they have already browsed and do not have to feel silly reading it all over again.
Poor content layout
Content is king. Web surfers are not looking to go through your content patiently. They scan and pick out the interesting point. This means you have to structure your content in a way that the reader can go directly to points of interest. Make use of whitespace for better layout and keep your content updated to offer something new.
When your visitors cannot figure out where to go next on your site, they will simply go to your competition. Poor navigation experience makes for frustrating user experience. Your site will rank poorly on Google as the search engine rates poor navigation negatively. Have a navigation bar on every page to guide your visitors.
Poor social networking
Your visitors will want to share interesting content. If they cannot do this, you are missing out on traffic. Ensure that you have social networks bars on every page. There so many widgets for this. All WordPress themes come with these widgets by default.
While music and flash images can make your site interesting, improper use can make the user feel distracted. Heavy multimedia also makes the site load slowly on low bandwidth. Avoid music in the background and heavy flash and opt for embedded multimedia.
Using frames to open new windows for links can look like a good way of structuring your content. It is a bad idea as it eats into loading times and memory. Have the reader go to a new page within the site. With tabbed browsers, your readers have the option of choosing to read their content on separate tabs. Let them.
Again, content is king. If your website looks ignorant of current facts, the reader will mark it useless, move on and probably never visit again. Always keep your content updated, fresh and accurate.