“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This is true for most things in life and web design is no exception. When it come to creating an amazing website for your business, some of the best ideas (in theory) can be total failures in execution.
From using hard-to-read fonts to blasting music on your homepage, here at Wix we’ve seen it all. These common errors may have seemed liked ingenious ideas at first, but in actuality they’ll send your visitors running to close their browsers. Peruse our list of frequently-witnessed web design fails and learn what you can (and should!) do to avoid them.
As you start building your site and browsing through all of the font options, it’s hard to resist the temptation to use five or six different fonts or even upload your own. Given all the great choices in the Wix Editor, we understand it’s hard to resist using an assortment of fonts, but your readers will thank you if you stick to just two or three. We recommend choosing one bold or fancy font for your headlines and a second, easy to read typeface for the bulk of your content. Just be sure not to use fonts that are too small and steer clear of anything that’s too fancy to decipher.
Best Practice: Use two or three fonts on your site that are easy to read and align with your branding; we recommend using Sans Serif Fonts.
You’ve heard about SEO and how it contributes to getting found on search engines. In fact, you even chose keywords for your business and used them over and over again throughout your website. A great idea — but be advised: using your keywords too many times is known as keyword stuffing and Google can sniff out this practice from miles away. In fact, if they catch you doing something fishy, they may lower your rank in search results.
Best Practice: Use your keywords naturally and write for humans. If your content works well for your readers, Google will like it too.
Every website should contain clear call to actions that prompt your visitors to perform the act that you want. You may want your visitors to join your mailing list, contact you, or buy something from your online store – but you can’t ask them to do it all. It’s a psychological thing: the more choices we get, the less action we take. You’re likely to lose visitors if you ask them to click in too many places on your website or have a complicated process to complete your call to action. Make sure that it’s as easy as possible for your visitors to do what you want them to!
Best Practice: Stick to one, clear request that your users can complete in a minimum number of clicks.
You want to grab your visitor’s attention and wow them from the minute they land on your site. Great idea! However, blaring heavy metal music on your homepage isn’t always the way to go (we hate to break it to you, but not everyone loves Metallica). Even if you’re a musician, having a soundtrack on autoplay will, more often than not, just be a nuisance. Think about people who might be visiting your site while at work, near someone sleeping or in a public place. The abrupt sound of music could send a visitor away in an instant.
Best Practice: Invite your visitors to click on “play” to hear a song – and make the pause button highly visible.
It’s important to show your true colors on your website and using your own photos is a great way to do that. Authenticity is key: that’s why you should use your own shots over stock images. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you do want to look professional. Photos that are blurry, out of focus or look like snapshots taken with your grandma’s phone will give visitors the impression that you’re not a serious business. The good news is, even an amateur can take great photos so you don’t have to hire a photographer.
Best Practice: Use authentic images that look professional! Invest time (or money) in getting great images of your products, your storefront and your team members.
Long scrolling websites are great — and they’re very popular in modern web design. So, feeling inspired, you tried making your website not just long, but wide as well. While that seemed like a great idea, it’s one that will throw your visitors for a loop. Most of us are used to scrolling down on websites; we don’t usually look left and right. Stick to a vertically aligned site that your visitors can easily thumb through.
Best Practice: Use scrolling on your site, but never horizontally!
As with fonts, lightboxes, are best used in moderation. These interactive messages are great for encouraging your visitors to Like you on Facebook, subscribe to your newsletter or take advantage of your summer sale. But don’t go crazy! Your idea of having a lightbox on every page can actually distract people from your site and come across as a heavy-handed marketing ploy. In your attempt to attract more business, you can end up turning clients away.
Best Practice: Create a Lightbox that helps you achieve the main goal of your website.
With traffic booming on your website (go you!), you want to make sure all of the important information regarding your biz can be found right away. Your story, what you sell and the rave reviews you’ve gotten are all details you want to share, but there’s no need to put everything on your homepage. Stick to the core points you want to make on your homepage, like a new collection for example, and then link to inner pages within your website for your visitor to find more.
Best Practice: Keep your homepage simple. Include one or two nice images, a clear call to action and well-written text that describes exactly what you do. Save details about your business and services for your inner pages.
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