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Common Website Design Mistakes Everyone Should Know

Anyone who has ever been online has seen examples of great websites on the internet and is also aware of examples of bad websites. Just what makes a bad site bad, and one that is good, truly outstanding? It can be hard to put into words if you're a beginner but you'll know when you see them. You only have about 20 seconds to make that important first impression count on the internet.

If you want your visitors to come back then you've got to do a lot of work to make them want to come back. Many individuals or small business owners often opt to design and build their own websites. Without proper experience or website design background many mistakes are made. If you are a beginner then there are several things you should keep in mind to avoid before designing your website. There are several common web site design mistakes which should be avoided when creating your new web site, and here they are.

1. Slow Loading Pages Problem: Have you ever gone to a website and waited and waited for it to load? Solution: Optimize your images at a lower resolution to achieve faster loading pages. Keep your page sizes well under 60 KB.

2. Page Layout Problem: Websites that have the navigation in different places throughout the site. It looks cluttered and unprofessional. Solution: Be consistent and be organized in your websites layout.

Make sure all your web pages look the same and the websites navigation is in the same location on each page. 3. Wild and Crazy Color Schemes Problem: Have you ever visited a truly ugly website - one that has such bright, neon colors that you can't even read the content because it gave you a headache? What's the point? Solution: Think "easy to read." Avoid dark backgrounds with light colored fonts. White background with black text is best for the general public. 4.

Spelling and Grammar Errors Problem: Spelling and grammar errors just jump off the page. Solution: Always spell check. 5. Text on the Page Problem: Most internet users don't read web pages - they scan them. Solution: Make sure your page is easy to read. Break text into manageable pieces, use sub-headings, short paragraphs, highlighted keywords and bullet points.

6. Font Styles and Sizes Problem: Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are more difficult to read on a computer monitor. Also, text that is too small or way too big are hard to read. Solution: Use non-serif fonts such as Arial, Verdana or MS Sans Serif for web pages that will be read online.

Your page will look much better, more professional, and will be much easier for your visitor to read. 7. Not Enough "White Space" Problem: It can be overwhelming to have too many words on a page. Solution: It is a very good idea to make your page easier to read by breaking all the text into smaller, more manageable pieces. Also, use sub-headings and bullet points.

8. Cheesy Music that the User Cannot Control Problem: Background music on a site that does not fit. Next, not being able to shut it off. Solution: If you think you need to use music on your website for some reason, then make sure you offer your visitors the option to turn it off, or on, quickly and easily. 9.

Poor Layout and Design Problem: Have you ever been to a website that is simply just "too much"? It's like they are trying to fill every available pixel of space on the entire page. Solution: Don't overdo it when designing your pages. Just because you can add something doesn't mean you have to. Leave plenty of white space between your text and images.

10. Overly Long Pages Problem: Ever been to a website with a page that just scrolls down forever? Solution: Most people will never scan down to the bottom of really long pages. It's always a good idea to have several shorter pages verses. a few really long pages.

11. Non-Standard Links Problem: You go to a website and aren't sure which words are really links because the link colors have been changed. Solution: Don't confuse your users. Keep the link colors as they are. 12. Under Construction signs Problem: Have you ever been to a website and found a page with no content of any type but a big "Under Construction" sign instead? Solution: Don't use "Under Construction" signs on your website.

13. Didn't Test Your Web Site Problem: Ever been to a website that just looks like a mess? Maybe you saw text overlapping images, weird alignment, etc. Solution: Always check to see what your site looks like in multiple browsers and change accordingly before uploading your site to the web.

14. Unclear Navigation Problem: Broken links, error pages or too many moving objects are not signs of good website design on any website for your visitors. If navigation is too difficult to follow, visitors won't return.

Solution: Make sure that your navigation is easy to read, find and to follow. Also, make sure that it is in the same spot on all of your websites pages. 15. Sloppy Web Site Copy Problem: Have you ever visited a website with missing words, bad grammar, or it just didn't make sense? Solution: Always remember, "Content is King" on the internet, so make sure there is plenty of good, focused information for your visitors. 16. Never Updating Your Site Problem: Ever go to a website that hasn't been changed at all over the last few times that you've visited it? Solution: You should always update the content on your site frequently.

17. Too Many Clicks Problem: Have you ever visited a website, found something you were interested in checking out further and then had to click, click, click before you found that item. Or did you give up first? Solution: Don't test the patience of your visitors. It is important to make sure that everything on your website can be found within 3 clicks (or less).

18. No Privacy Policy Problem: No Privacy Policy page listed on the website. Solution: Post a Privacy Policy on your website. Make sure that your customers know that you will not share their addresses with anyone. 19.

No Company Contact Information Problem: A company with no address or contact information is not one you necessarily want to give your money to. Solution: Email addresses or phone numbers are most often seen as contact information on websites, however, having a physical mailing address on your web site adds another key credibility factor. 20. Using Free Web Hosting Problem: Ever visit a web page from one of those free website hosts with a name (URL) so long you'll never remember it. Solution: If you want to be taken seriously as far as your internet business is concerned, avoid using free web hosting.

This all adds to the issue of credibility. 21. Using Free E-mail Addresses Problem: Ever try to send an email to a website, only to find out that the email addresses they use are not the same as their domain name. Solution: Using a free email address, such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail, is never appropriate for your website.

On your website, always use an email addresses associated with your own business domain name. 22. Advertisements Problem: You've come to a website where the pages are cluttered with a lot of different advertisements. Solution: A lot of people are using advertisements to earn extra money.

That's fine, just don't overdo it. 23. Bad Images Problem: I'm sure you have seen a web page with missing graphics or funky shaped images more than once? Solution: Always optimize your images and use the height and width attributes of the image tag.

Additionally, save the files in the right image formats: GIF for artwork and JPG for Photographs. 24. This Website Best Viewed on . Problem: This is often seen on many beginner websites. Solution: Simply don't use this on your website.

25. No Prices Problem: Websites that don't have product prices listed clearly. Solution: If you're selling a product on your website, ALWAYS include a price with the item description. And here's a list of things that you should just avoid, or should not forget, simply because it's the right thing to do, website design-wise. And here they are: Frames, Hit counters, Orphan pages, Anything "Cutesy", Pop ups, Fancy Fonts, Don't overuse Flash, Avoid Javascript links, Blinking text , Animated GIFs, Missing Meta Tags, Horizontal (sideways) Scrolling, Don't underline or color normal text, Don't forget functional links on your footer, Don't forget about your Marketing Strategies, Don't forget to include anchor text on your links, Never subscribe a visitor for anything without his consent, Don't leave the home page title as "Welcome to Mysite.com", Avoid using all the "Bells And Whistles" simply because you can, Not Taking Advantage of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your website Whether you have created your own website or are working with someone else on creating your website, I hope all these ideas above will help you build a better website that steadily attracts visitors.

If you've never built a website on your own, I hope the tips above help you design the best site that you can and help you to avoid all these issues in the future. Knowledge is critical.

Debbie Ray, owner of http://www.the-website-doctor.com , http://www.pedigreedpups.com , http://www.pedigreeddogs.com and http://www.total-german-shepherd.com , is a lifelong dog lover. Want to learn how to build a website? Interested in more Purebred dog information? German Shepherd Dog info? Want to promote your dog related website? Visit my sites for more information.

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