Top 5 Website Design Mistakes

There are many simple mistakes made when designing a website for your business.  Below is a list of the top 5 Jarrett Gucci has come up with.

  1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

    Face it, we all make spelling mistakes sometimes when we type. Normally we leave that burden to Microsoft Word Spell Checker.But, the web editor you use may not be as feature rich as Microsoft Word. It may catch spelling errors but not grammatical ones.           See an example of the problem.

  2. Designing Above The Fold

    The most value part of any web page is that part which is shown in your browser before the need to scroll. This is generally known as “above the fold.”

    Arguably, you have just 10 seconds to grab your visitors’ attention. That doesn’t seem long, but as the brain can absorb thousands and thousands bits of information per second…10 seconds is long enough to get your message across!

    The “above the fold” part of a web page (especially of the home page) is the most valuable real estate you have on your web site.

    The first fold of your web site needs to communicate the biggest benefit you have to offer your visitors. This is often referred to as your Unique Selling Point or “USP”. However, 7 out of 10 web sites are poorly designed above the fold. Here are the 4 top pitfalls that drive visitors away.

    1. Flashing banners
    2. Too many links
    3. No clear USP (Unique Selling Point)
    4. Time consuming flash animation

  3. Screen Size Width (Design resolution)

    Design your site for the minimum – 800 x 600. Designing higher than that produces a horizontal scroll bar for users using 800 x 600 display resolution. Users don’t like scrolling horizontally when on a website.

    Although the vast majority (as of 1st Jan 2006) of users use 1024 x 768, there is still a significant number using 800 x 600, probably with old computers or resized windows.

    There are also some people who prefer to open websites at 800 x 600 in their high resolution display, browsing two sites side-by-side at a time.

    Recommendation:

    Follow a liquid design (also known as fluid design) of layout. The basic principle of achieving this is by using percentage values for table widths. This allows the text to fill in the entire available space in the browser – like Bootstrike.Com does. Some designers prefer to use DIVs rather than tables, but ultimately, the end presentation should be user friendly.

    If you need to have a fixed width design, consider having different versions for an 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768 users.

  4. Does the site work in multiple browsers?

    Screen Size Width (Design resolution)
    Even just testing in your new website in one version of Internet Explorer alone is a recipe for disaster. The different versions of Internet Explorer can, with certain code, all render the website page slightly differently and all slightly differently to Firefox. Yes, half of users (in my stats) use a flavour of Internet Explorer, but about a third of visitors to my sites are using Firefox. So you really do need to check that the site works well across a wide variety of browsers. Fail to do this and large segments of the page can vanish or drop away from where they should be.  Use this website to analye your website in different browsers.  BrowserShots

  5. Optimizing Images

    Optimize your site images so that they load as fast as possible on the user’s monitor. There are tons of software which do this for you, free ones included. Free popular ones include IrfanView and Picasa. A more advanced one is GIMP.

    For example, JPG photo files can be reduced in file size with only minor sacrifices in quality. GIF files also have a Loss and Number of Colors property that can reduce file sizes.

    Recommendation:

    Unless the photo is for users to save and print, don’t place the original unaltered 4 (or more) megapixel photo on a page. Resize it to a comfortable size (eg: 800 x 600) which in turn reduces the disk space and download time.

    Provide a direct link to the full megapixel resolution image if you believe the user may want to print the image.

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About author

Jarrett Gucci
Jarrett Gucci 289 posts

Jarrett Gucci is the owner of Dynasty Web Solutions. A full service Internet presence provider specializing in WordPress development for business owners. Jarrett Gucci along with his team of professionals have designed over 400 WordPress websites. Jarrett Gucci believes strongly in creating websites that are unique, functional and generate referrals.

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