10 Web Design Mistakes
As a webmaster, you want to keep your visitors content so theyll
come back again. Below you will find ten common mistakes made by
webmasters that may deter people from returning.
1) Poor Color Choice
There's one important thing to keep in mind when designing your
web site, and that is always keep it simple. More is not necessarily
better. Your web site should contain no more than three colors.
Also remember that your body text should be a contrasting color
from your background. There's nothing worse than trying to read
yellow text on a pink background. It may look cool to you, but cause
your visitors to go cross-eyed.
2) Confusing Navigation
If your visitors cannot find their way around your web site, they'll
leave...plain and simple. Your navigation should be logical and
consistent on every page. Studies have also shown that web surfers
prefer the standard left or right side navigation over other layouts.
3) Inconsistent Font Face and Size
Just like your navigation, you'll want your font style and size
to be consistent. If your home page text is in Arial font, size
10, make sure the rest of your pages adhere to the same font style
and size. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and you
may need to use a smaller font for disclaimers, terms and conditions,
etc. However, in most cases, you should use the same style on every
Remember, 90% of web surfers go to the search engines to find what
they're looking for and many engines look for keywords in your domain
name when deciding on how to rank your web site. If you want people
to find your site by typing in "juggling balls" then try
to choose a domain name with those keywords inside.
4) Long Paragraphs
This is a common mistake made by many webmasters.
To make your web pages easy to read, remember to break up your
paragraphs often and use subtitles. Most people will skim when trying
to find what they're looking for so when your paragraphs are small
and separated by logical headings, it will make it much easier on
your visitor's eyes.
5) Misplaced or Lack of Contact Info
Don't make people search for contact information...especially if
you're selling goods and services. Always have your contact information
visible on every page of your web site. Hidden contact information
looks fishy and makes people leery of doing business with you.
6) Long Page Loads
If your web site does not fully load within 10 seconds, your HTML
files are too large. Check your graphics. Are you using too many?
Do they need to be resized? Make sure your multi-color graphics
(photos) are saved in JPEG format and use GIF files for solid colors
and poster art. Also remember to use table height and width tags
in your HTML code because your text will load before the images.
Animated graphics also slow the page loading time tremendously.
7) No Meta Tag Info
Meta tags are HTML code invisible to the human eye but read by
many of the search engines. While these don't have as much of an
impact as they used to, many search engines still rely on this information
when displaying your site in the search results.
8) Use of Frames
Frames can become somewhat of a burden. Many search engines do
not list pages with frames, they don't allow visitors to bookmark
certain pages, and they can cause printing problems.
9) Scrolling Text
The marquee tag is a cool feature, but many overuse it. Although
the idea of scrolling text may seem appealing, remember that not
everyone will find this idea entertaining. If you do decide to use
it, make sure you clearly evaluate whether or not it is adding value
or enhancing your page. There are some instances where this feature
works, but there are many where it doesn't. Use it very sparingly.
If you have a sentence or two that you feel is very important to
your readers, don't make them wait eons for the message to scroll
across your screen -- just use plain text and save the scrolling
text for the less significant messages or perhaps sub-titles.
10) Wrong Resolution
The average web surfer surfs with their PC screen set to an 800
x 600 resolution. If you create your web pages to fit a 1024 x 768
resolution or higher, keep in mind many people will have to scroll
left and right to see your entire page. I don't know about you,
but I find that quite annoying.
If you want your web page to be displayed correctly in all resolutions,
create your web pages with tables and use percentages to define
your table widths instead of actual pixel values. For example, if
the table width is set to 100% instead of "800" then it
will take up 100% of the screen no matter what the PC resolution
is set to.
About the Author
Lisa Irby is the author of 2 Create a Web Site -- a site that encourages
you to plan accordingly and GET THE FACTS before diving into the
web site creation process.
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