Top 10 Website Design DON'TS for Businesses and Bloggers
Since I work as a freelance web designer, I spend a lot of time analyzing websites and unfortunately I also see a lot of websites that are just plain bad.
Lots of new business owners try to DIY their website which is fine, but I notice a lot of common mistakes among DIYers, so I thought I would list my top 10 website DON'TS. Avoid these, and you'll be one step closer to attracting your dream clients and customers.
You can check out my tips by watching the video below or if you're more of a reader, I listed them out as well.
1. Pop-ups / Banner ads / Animation
If you've ever gone to a website that attacks you with these types of obnoxious graphics, you know that they are a great way to make someone leave your site in a hurry! If the point of your website is to drive sales / clients, that's not the effect that you want to have on your readers.
2. Bad Photos
I've said it before and I'll say it again: photography is SO important. Whether it's for your online shop, blog, or website, your photos must look nice (as in, not grainy, blurry, dark, etc.). If you can't afford a professional photographer and know nothing about photography yourself, check out this post or the video below where I cover some other options.
3. No cohesion between your brand and your website
I recommend having a strong understanding of your brand before jumping into designing your website. They should both reflect the same look and be targeting the same type of person. If you don't know where to start, check out this video below:
4. Not using a transparent logo
The file that you use for your website logo should ideally have a transparent background, or at the very least, have a background that perfectly matches the color of your website background. Otherwise, your logo will have an awkward looking box around it and that just doesn't look good. Use a transparent-background .PNG file and save yourself the headache.
5. Not mobile friendly
People are browsing websites on their phones more and more (in the last month, 40% of my readers were on mobile devices) so it's increasingly important that your website is responsive and mobile friendly. You want your site to look great on all devices. Don't force your potential clients / customers / readers to deal with the frustration of moving things around on their iPhone screen to try to read about your business (they will leave and not come back!). Luckily if you use Squarespace, which is my favorite website platform, all of their sites are mobile ready without you having to do anything at all.
6. Too many colors / no color palette
This goes back to knowing your brand before you get started. You should have a set of colors that you use for your website and other branding materials, and don't stray from that for your graphics, text, and logo. Of course, I'm not referring to photos with this rule, which can have as many colors as you like.
7. Bad fonts
My definition of a bad font is one that is hard to read and/or outdated (like Comic Sans - NO!).
8. Too much clutter
Try to keep your site as clean and simple as possible, and keep the amount of "stuff" on your page to a minimum to keep people from being overwhelmed.
9. Too many / no clear CTAs
CTA means Call To Action, meaning buttons, graphics, or links taking your reader to specific pages. Some people have no CTAs which is bad, but maybe worse is having too many CTAs. The reader doesn't know what to click on so they end up not clicking on anything. Plan out and prioritize your content before you get started so that you know the most important things that you want your readers to do.
10. Too many pages
If you have a lot of content, try to combine the pages as much as possible. It's really overwhelming to go to a site that has lots of pages and each one has a drop-down menu.
Are you working on setting up your own website for your business or blog right now? Feeling totally overwhelmed? Check out my new online class, Design Your Own Portfolio Website! You can pre-order for the next week and a half and save 25%.