10 Fatal Errors
Errors? This article could probably be called the 100 most lethal errors in web design – there are many mistakes that web designers make. But let’s reduce the focus to the 10 most disastrous. Avoid these blunders, and your site will be much better than much of the competition:
Disable the Back button: Creators of evil sites have long ago discovered how to disable the “back” button of the browser so that when a user presses it, one of several undesirable things happens: There is an immediate redirection to an unwanted situation; the browser remains static because the button “Back” has been deactivated, or a new window appears and takes over the screen. Our advice: Never do it. The only thing that has been achieved is that visitors get upset and do not return to the site.
Open new windows: Once upon a time, a time when the use of multiple new windows to show content when the user clicked through a site was cool – something new in web design. Now it only bothers viewers because it compromises system resources, reduces the browser response and usually complicates the visitor’s experience. Sure, it’s easy to use this tool. But do not do it. With browsing in common tabs in browsers such as Firefox or Chrome, users who wish to open links in new tabs can do so if they wish. This is one of the errors.
Do not put a phone number and address in easy-to-find places. If you sell, you need to offer visitors many ways to contact you. The smart route is to put a link that says “contact us” to take them to a page with all the necessary information, number, mail, address. That link should be on every page of your website. So nobody calls, the mere presence of this information adds legitimacy and transparency to your page, which leaves visitors comfortable.
Broken links: Bad links do not do anything when you click them or they take you to a 404 error page, the terror of any web navigator. Test your site, weekly, to make sure that the links take you to the promised place. Include a link that says “contact the Webmaster” at the bottom of your page so that users let you know if they find a broken link or other error on your site.
Slow servers: Slow loading times are unforgivable on professional pages and an invitation for visitors to leave. What is slow? A recent study by Akamai Technologies showed that online shoppers, on average, will wait only 4 seconds of load in a site before leaving. If your page is significantly slower than this, put it on a diet. The images can be very large, or special extensions, as an intro in Flash can be slowing things down.
Outdated information: Again, there is no excuse, but it is surprising to see how many sites contain old content. Make sure to keep your page fresh and updated to have better results. You cannot afford the loss of credibility derived from having old content. Also, make sure your content is accurate, and if you find a single error, fix it immediately. This is one of the errors.
Poor navigation: The internet promises speed. If the visitors cannot find out how to advance quickly or reach a part quickly, they will simply go to the next page, that of your competition! It is frustrating having to return two or three pages to get to another area of the site. It’s a waste of time. There should be a navigation bar on every page that guides visitors to the areas of the site they wish to see. Position it at the top of the page or the left side so that it is always visible regardless of the resolution of the screen. Add an easy-to-find sitemap in your navigation / footer to give visitors a view of each page on your site.
Too many fonts and colors: The pages should represent a unified and consistent look, but novice web designers, excited to have discovered a page with thousands of fonts and have a giant palette of colors, often turn the pages into gibberish. Use two or three typographies per page, maximum. The idea is to show users your solidity and stability, not to convince you that you are madly artistic. Also remember that the fonts and colors look good on all possible devices, from pc’s to tablets or smartphones.
Orphan pages. Memorize this: every page on your website needs a visible link to the homepage. Why? Sometimes users will send a URL to their friends, who can access and want more information. But if the page you are on is a dead end, forget it. Put a “start” button on all the pages, make sure that the logo of your site (usually on the upper left side) links you to your home page, that will solve this problem.
Do not link your profiles on social networks: Most businesses have their own Facebook pages; others use Pinterest with boards full of photos, while some transmit their activities on Twitter. The point is that social networks are here to stay and businesses benefit from having a presence in them. Forgetting to put links to your social platforms is a big no. People must be able to go from one to another without difficulty. If you do it correctly, you can give more traffic to your site.
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