Web Design Mistakes

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Designing In Macromedia Flash

One of the top mistakes is designing in Flash. Flash pages are all flash and no substance (according to the search engine robots, anyway). Homepages designed in Macromedia Flash are the latest design craze. Many qualify as great design. Yet, Flash is image based with little or no text associated with it and the major search engines are text animals. The major search engines devour the text on websites to determine what kind of website it is, the focus of the site, the ranking it should be given in relation to other similar sites, etc. Since Flash pages contain little or no text for the search engine robot to chew on it generally ranks so low that no one can find it. There may be exceptions of course like highly ranked sites that have just converted to Flash. But over time, these websites too will sink like the Titanic down the Search Engine drain. Don't make similar mistakes regarding your site.

Using Frames

Another of the many mistakes a designer can make is using frames. Though most Search Engine robots now can read inside of frames, using frames is still one of many mistakes in regards to high page ranking. Frames are actually separate pages or URLs thrown together to look like they're on the same page. Some people like frames because they aid in navigation of the website. The problem in doing web design with frames though is that they confuse the Search Engine robots. The robots see the frames as separate pages, not like we do as one complete piece. So the robots split the text information page by page and thus diluting the ranking of all of the pages using frames. Good web design is not based in mistakes.

Using Pop-Ups

One of the top mistakes is irritating visitors. Pop-ups or pop-unders are bad web design for this reason. Though putting pop-up advertisements on a website has become a popular way to gain affiliate traffic and revenue, many search engines like Google do not like pop-ups and thus downgrade a website that has pop-ups. Many other search engines have followed Google's lead. If the point is to annoy visitors, then go ahead and trap the visitor by pop-ups and java code and redirects that'll not let them use the Back button on the browser. But if you're actually selling something other than someone else's advertising and you want people to experience the website, then using pop-ups is just bad web design. Pop-ups are one of the top mistakes anyone can make on their websites.

Scrolling Text and Marquees

Another of the top mistakes is distracting visitors from your primary message. Scrolling text and marquees may be eye-catching bits of java code, but this is bad web design for two reasons. First, these items distract the guest from viewing the focus of the website. The main point of the website should not be put in scrolling text a marquee as many visitors may just ignore them and the ones who do pay attention may be distracted and leave the web before getting to the main point of the website or sales pitch that you're trying to make. Second, scrolling text and marquees are usually small bits of java code, that the search engine robots read that dilute the keyword phrases you're trying promote with the site in order to achieve higher rankings. Scrolling text and marquees are mistakes based design.

Orphan Pages

Make no mistake, orphan pages are grave mistakes! Orphan pages are web design mistakes that many people make thinking it'll gain them something rather than lose them something. Mostly though, it loses you something when you have an orphan. An orphan page is a stand-alone that is not connected to any other page on the website. Some people create orphan Links pages having the theory that the search engine won't find it so they'll contain more incoming links to their site than outgoing links and achieve a higher ranking this way. This is a bad idea first because it is deceitful concerning those you're trading links with. People expect that search engines and other people will be able to find their links on the website. Most likely word will get around also and if you're in business then having a good reputation is priceless. Second, search engines have become smart enough to "guess" that you possess an orphaned Links page and will knock you down in the rankings for this. If the web is your business then you know that honesty is always the best policy so it is best to behave that way. Good web design starts with good ethics. Some mistakes can be forgiven, but ethical mistakes will kill your business fast!

Long Loading Times

If you make several mistakes on your website, don't make this one! Let's face it; this is a fast food, drive-thru kind of society. People are in a hurry. If the web design is so overloaded with graphics that the website doesn't load quickly, then visitors may get bored and move to another site. Most people in our culture possess the attention span of a gnat when it comes to the web. Surfing the web is so popular because people can do just that, surf. If one site doesn't load you just move on and on and on. If the homepage is 100K in size, then it is 3 or 4 times too big. Good web design is simple and doesn't try to pack the kitchen sink into the homepage. Visitors need easy navigation, not a garage sale on the front page. You can make several mistakes on your web pages but if you make this one people won't even wait to see what you have to offer.

Outdated Information

Nothing kills a visitor's interest quicker than outdated information. When you go to a website and you see the note that says, "This website last updated on August 10, 1998" then you know it is time to quickly move on to another site that is current and relevant. While some sites don't come right out and say they contain old information, after a little reading the visitor knows this is old material and moves on to another website. If you're no longer maintaining the site, then why not take it down? If you want to keep you website up, then do some house cleaning and maintenance work on it a couple of times a year just to keep it current. In order to keep the website high in the search engine rankings you'll see that this is an ongoing project of tweaks and enhancements since the competition will not let you rest. Don't give in to mistakes of lethargy.

Using Too Many Different Fonts

Ransom note web design signals a beginner is around. Just because you possess 2500 Adobe PostScript Type 1 fonts on your PC doesn't mean you have to use them all. Beginning designers have the tendency to want to try many different fonts when creating web pages and they generally like the results. To other people, however, the page simply looks like a ransom note. Remember to keep it simple and you'll do well. Font mistakes are common, but remember most visitors don't want their sites looking like ransom notes, either!

Too Many Scripts

If you have all sort of cgi, php, asp and java scripts going on a web page, the search engines will not know what to do with all of this information and worse yet, it'll dilute the keyword phrase/s you are going for in the quest for high page rank. While some scripts can be useful, like having a visitor sign up for a newsletter, having too many scripts is disastrous, for the quick loading of a page, the functionality of the page and dilution within the search engines. With many scripts, it is also difficult to hide all of the scripts within the design. A few scripts can add functionality to the pages but too many kill the design and kill the rankings. Technology mistakes (or having too many bells and whistles mistakes) is very common so beware of the trap!

Free Web Hosting

The website URL is just as important as the metatags, page title, etc. in the quest for high search engine rankings. If you host the site from a free web host such as AOL, Geocities, Angelfire, etc. you've diluted the uniqueness of the URL. For $100 or less you can possess a site hosted for a year with its own unique URL. Since you've gone to the trouble of picking a keyword phrase and designing a killer site around it, why mess up your directory rankings by not having a unique URL? So you didn't think the URL was part of the design did you? Anything that will limit the number of guests coming to your site is bad design, period. Remember, as a designer, you're interested in the entire package AND the individual pieces that make up that package. Good design is good total design, beginnning to end. Pay the extra buck and avoid any mistakes associated with cheapness.

Optimization Mistakes

In web design it is also important to optimize it correctly for the major directories. If a site is not optimized correctly then the ranking will suffer. One mistake designers make is having some text the same as the background color in order to disquised keywords from the visitors but not the robots. The problem is though, most robots see this and will mark the site down for it. Another optimization mistake is exceeding the correct percentage of keywords per page. It is important to contain the right percentage of keyword phrases per page without going over. Either going under or going over will have consequences in page ranking. One last mistake that designers make is using the "shotgun" approach to metatags. When using metatags it is important to be focused on one or two keyword phrases, not ten or twenty. The entire site should be built around one or two keyword phrases so why dilute the effectiveness by throwing in extraneous keyword phrases into the metatags?



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