Cameron FrancisMay 03,2013

Common Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

Category: Web Design

Drawing plethora of visitors to your website is not the only objective you would be striving for! You have to ensure that the ‘stickiness’ element is also working and rated high in your web pages. For this a great website design that is required should be flawless and influential. There are some very obvious web design mistakes that must be avoided as ineffective websites results in high bounce rates. We would discuss some very prominent but pretty avoidable mistakes of web design that can downturn the website if not taken care of while designing the website:

Using Uncompressed Images and Videos

Without images and videos your website may look deserted and unprofessional. Using images in website is quite common and result oriented but it may pose some adverse effect to your website. There are several digital image formats available, but a few of them are recommended and optimized for using in the website. The TIFF format is not suitable for web use, whereas formats like JPEG, GIF, SVG, and PNG are meant to be used for websites. TIFF format is for printing as they are high in colour richness, metadata and resolution, which have not aptly viewed on the web, at the same time they are larger in size to be used in web. Whereas other image formats can be compressed and used in website development. You should scale down the image to get more space for text content or any browser device. This will also save time in the loading of your website.

Using Table Instead of a DIV Element

Rather than relying on the traditional method of using tables, you should opt for CSS+DIV. Using DIV will reduce mark-up code, expedite the page loading time, segregates texts from its visual presentation and the coding will be in compliance with W3C standards. In addition, it also makes your website SEO driven, attracting search engine spiders.

Using Inline CSS Frequently

Using CSS is considered to be the de-facto process to style and lay out the pages of any website. But inline CSS style is not ideal for maintaining your websites. Inline style cannot segregate text from design, they require a great deal of maintenance headaches, expand your web pages and at the same time these are not easily accessible.

Making a Design too Flashy

The basic objective of your design is not only to bring the visitor to your site but also driving them to the right place after they land on your homepage. A web site full of graphics takes a lot of time to load and it is not even SEO friendly. Google may ignore flashy website as it is not able to read flash properly. There can be some graphics but in tandem with the right balance of other information and documents, not a full fledge flashy website that cannot be ranked in search engines and the visitors may move on before it is loaded.

Implementing Navigation with JavaScript or Flash

If people are unable to navigate through the website, they will leave immediately. Designing a proper navigation on your website is of the essence. There are some basic aspects that should be taken care of before worrying about links, rollovers, flash or images.
The most vital aspect of navigation of the site is that it should have a presence in each page i.e. it should be easily accessible to your visitors. For this, avoiding special effects for instance Java, flash, or JavaScript is recommended. These are not easily accessible.

Always prefer to have HTML based navigation which can be easily accessible by users and search engines. With Flash or Javascript based navigation, users without flash support in browser won’t be able to view it properly and may leave your website. If your client doesn’t leave any choice, implement the alternative HTML based navigation for users without flash support in browser.

Placing Content in an Iframe

An iFrame is HTML doc placed within another HTML doc, which is often used by web designers to insert text from another source into a web page. It often simply your work but the content placed within iFrame is not legible by the search engines hence it may drag your site down in terms of SEO friendliness, which is a vital aspect for every website. So avoid placing content in an iFrame.

Ignoring Browser Compatibility

The website should be browser compatible! Many web designers do not check or create such a website that it should run on all browser types like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and many more.  As there are plenty of browsers and people are prone to use some specific browser to access internet. If your website can open in all browsers, you can get improved traffic. This will allow all visitors using any browser to access your website.

Not Utilizing Title and Header Tags

Adding title tags in the head section of each page is very important that often lacks in a website design. The title and header tag provides search engines and web browsers the title of your web page, which is necessary to make it SEO friendly. Now-a-days title and header tags have been replaced with flashy graphics, which looks great but cannot be read by search engines. If you want your website to get better ranking, do not forget implementing title tag.

Not Using the ALT Tag for Images

Image optimization is equally important for a website to rank high in search engines as no website is free from image and graphics. This can be done by using the ALT tag for images. This is considered as on-site SEO. ALT tags are alternate content, displayed in the absence of any image, and search engine reads this text to understand what the image is all about.  It is advisable to use one phrase for each image and every image should pooled with a right phrase as you may be penalized for using multiple phrases for one image.

Whenever your visitors won’t be able to view images on your website properly due to low internet speed or any other issue, ALT tag will give them information about the image.

Building a great website is an art that comes when the designer is experienced and qualified enough to implement best practices and avoid vital mistakes. Above mentioned are some of the widely witnessed mistakes that are often committed by several website designers.

At eTrafficWebDesign, we give proper attention to each and every small technical detail while building a website and provide SEO & user friendly Web Design Services to our clients across Australia.

Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.

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