11 Don'ts for Blog Design

Posted by damnedviper | | 1 comments »

I have jotted down eleven mistakes which people do when designing their website/blog.

1. Overloaded Graphics:
One should never want his visitor to wait ages to view his web-page. A web page should load in a reasonable amount of time. If you use too many graphics, or graphics that are not scaled and saved in an efficient format, your pages will take too long to load. Impatient users will bail out and go to another site. Clean and fast should be your goal when making web pages. You can usually make a very nice layout using HTML and CSS without the whole page being a sliced up graphic.

2. Color Selection
I have seen some site with absolutely shocking color combination. So just because it looks cool to you doesn’t mean everyone will find it easy to read. Test your color choices out on a mix of people before you get too far into your design. You don’t want to turn people away just because they have trouble reading the text on your site. There are colors for backgrounds and text that perform better than others for some types of sites, its your job to research which one matches the best.

3. Usage of Animations
None likes unnecessary distractions. You want your visitors to concentrate on whatever your site is about. You don’t want your pages look like the arcade at an amusement park with animated gifs everywhere. A little animation goes a long way.

4. Implementation of Flash
Flash is big these days and very useful for a lot of tasks, however, one thing you want to avoid is to put a big flash welcome page as the default page of your web site. Most people find it annoying. Their time is valuable and to make them sit through it, or have to click a skip button is just irritating.

5. Cross Browser Compatible Issues
Always check out your site by viewing it in the main browsers (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, and Opera) and on a PC and Mac if possible. You’d be surprised how each web browser has its quirks. Sometimes a page will look really bad or completely wrong in one browser and you’ll have to spend time correcting the problem. But, you won’t know unless you test it… don’t rely on your visitors to tell you.

6. Dead Links
Broken links make people frustrated. This one should be obvious, check you site’s navigation and all the links occasionally. There are tools available to do this for you if you have a really large site.

7. Disjointed Layout and Poor Navigation
Make sure your site is easy to use. Have someone that’s not familiar with your site try to locate something. Ask them to place an order, or find the page for sending in support questions, etc. Watch them. Listen to what they have to say and adjust your site to make it work better.

8. Missing or Incomplete Contact Information.
Make sure the contact information on your site is kept current and complete.

9. “Pretty Text” vs. Real Text
The font styles are somewhat limited for web pages. Some people want their site to look really good with fonts like you can use in Microsoft Word or other word processor packages. So how do you do that? You make it in Adobe PhotoShop or another graphic package and save out your text, words, paragraphs, etc as images. This works really well as far as good looking text goes, however, because images are larger than text, the pages load slower. The bigger drawback is that you have the words, which tell what your site is about, locked up in images. It’s not accessible to search engines that crawl web sites and catalog them. What does that mean? It means that if you’re relying on getting traffic to your site from search engines you want real text on your site that the search engines can read, not images of text that only humans can read. If your site is not dependant on search engine traffic, then this may not matter other than the slower load time for the image laden pages.

10. Using Something Just To Be Using It
Don’t use flash, or background sounds, or videos that automatically load and start playing, or JavaScript that opens 900 windows. Only use these things when they are necessary and serve a valid purpose, don’t use them just because you may know how and want to show off.

11. Updating you Site Contents
As you or your organization changes you should modify your site to reflect those changes. As you add new products or announce new products, etc. you should add them to your site. Your web site can be a tremendous asset in your marketing toolkit, but not if it’s stale and outdated.

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1 comments

  1. Angel // February 4, 2008 at 5:23 AM  

    Good basic tips that most of us sometimes forget. Thubs up:)

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