9 common website mistakes (and how to fix them)

A good website design is vital to creating an enjoyable online experience for the viewer. 40-60% of viewers click on a website and immediately exit the website (a term we call ‘bounce’), this means you lose potential customers. A high proportion of users bounce simply because they don’t like the design of the website. Here are a number of common mistakes of website design and how you can counter these issues and improve your website’s ‘bounce rate’.

1. Annoying design

It might sound obvious but it is important not to annoy your visitors, if your website annoys the user it is unlikely they’ll return. Things that annoy users include, distracting background elements that clash with the text. A little bit of bright colouring can make a nice change and cause your website to stand out. However, it’s important not to go OTT, you don’t want to strain your users’ eyes.  Viewers also don’t enjoy the website talking, singing or playing music; during the design stage it might sound like a good idea to add background music, it really isn’t. Don’t do it.

2. Excessive Adverts

We understand adverts may be important to monetising your website but if adverts are too garish or in your face not only will viewers not click on the advert they will not click on your website again; remember that less is more… and if you’re already selling something on your website do you NEED to advertise as well?

3. Clutter

Websites that are overcomplicated or hard to navigate can cause a viewer to feel claustrophobic. Make use of white space. It may seem boring when you are designing the website but it is a breath of fresh air to the viewer. White space is not wasted space but essential to a good online experience.

4. Out of date content

If your website is still prominently displaying out of date content, for example articles from years ago, it gives the impression that you don’t care, giving a very bad impression. It is important to remember that another website is just a click away for users. To avoid this problem, continually create fresh content and archive old work so it’s not visible, particularly on the front page.

5. Hard to navigate 

Web audiences do not like searching for things for any length of time. Therefore you should have an easy to navigate website. For larger websites, there should be a functioning search tool (normally positioned top right) and key links should be both prominent and logically positioned. Dropdown menus can be a great way to offer more information for the viewer that is easily accessible without cluttering the page with too much information.  

6. Poor readability

A common mistake that many new websites make is trying to be too clever with their choice of font. It is nice to have an original font for your website to build brand identity but the most important factor when choosing a font is that it is clear and easily readable. It is much better to stick with the basic fonts than try and experiment with an obscure gothic font that is illegible. A good web design agency can advise on fonts that have presence, work across all platforms and are also legible at all sizes.

7. Big blocks of text

Nothing is more intimidating to a reader than a wall of text. If your work can’t be slimmed down then try including things to break up the text such as images, bullet points or callout boxes.  Alternatively try double-spacing your work and pressing return every couple of sentences.

8. Why is this page pink?

A common mistake on new websites is to have each section of the website completely different, to such an extent you question if you’re on the same website.  Don’t be afraid to make different pages stand out, but make this consistent with your overall brand identity, whether this be through the colour scheme or structure of the website. This is important to creating a strong brand identity that your customers can instantly recognise.

9. Doesn’t work properly on smartphones and iPads. 

In this day and age it is important that your website can be viewed on all different devices. Although website views via laptop or desktop computers may be your primary focus, there is no reason to alienate people from other devices, they are an important market. Your website should be easy to view and navigate on all platforms. It might be worth creating an app or a mobile version of your website, it’s easier than you think.

If you want any more help creating successful websites do not hesitate to call us on 0115 914 5839 or email us at hello@volute.co.uk