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6 Fatal Design Flaws “Newbie” Web Designers Make: These Mistakes Will Kill Your First Website Baby
Even if you’re not an accomplished webmaster you can still have a professional looking website. You may be like I was five years ago—you’re teaching yourself web design and you’re starting to catch on to that HTML stuff. You’re so excited about your new bag of tricks—but slow down partner, sometimes less is more. In fact the only time more is more is when it concerns chocolate cheesecake or something like that. (I can never get enough chocolate!)
You’ve worked hard to get the traffic—now don’t drive them away.
1. Fatal Flaw One—Bouncing, Wiggling Animated Clip Art
This one is really annoying to website visitors, and a sure sign you don’t know what you’re doing, especially if you have them all over the place. Just because they’re free, doesn’t mean you should use them.
SOLUTION—You’re probably not a graphics designer if you resort to using clip art, so don’t worry about your weakness, just choose a nice color scheme instead in your tables. (More on that later.) Colors don’t take extra time to download either.
2. Fatal Flaw Two—Embedded Music Clips
Good grief. Don’t do this. I don’t care how catchy your elevator tune is. No one wants to hear it. Sometimes speakers are turned up and a sudden blare of music will scare the heck out of your visitors. They’ll probably leave!
SOLUTION—If you have a site that sells music, then people will expect to hear it sometime somewhere at your site. Make your music links clickable—a choice that visitors can make to listen!
3. Fatal Flaw Three—Unstructured Text
I can’t stand it when I land on a site that I have to read from each side of my screen to the other left and right as well as up and down. Even if you want to write one long sales letter—which obviously works fine for hundreds of rich webmasters, you still need to format it into a legible width.
SOLUTION—Put your text in one single data cell of a simple table. Center your table. Voila.
4. Fatal Flaw Four—Out of Control Scroll
Similar to number three, is the out of control scroll. This is when you have to scroll text left to right as well as up and down. This happens when newbies design their websites larger than 800 pixels wide.
SOLUTION—Most people view resolution at 800x600. Set your table widths around 750 and everyone will be able to look at your site without using a bottom scrollbar.
5. Fatal Flaw Five—Gargantuan Images
This is when newbies take photos directly off their scanner or digital camera without resizing and without compressing. And nothings worse than landing on a page that has an image taking over the whole screen, taking forever to download.
SOLUTION—Using a photo program like Paint Shop, Photo Shop or other, resize images to fit in the table you intend to put it in. (Usually under 500 pixels wide.) Compress to 72 dots per inch. (DPI) Photos scanned or taken for print are large and usually at 300 dpi—no one wants to wait on those!
6. Fatal Flaw Six—Nonsense Affiliate Links
This is the same as “sites with no value.” There’s nothing that looks more like a newbie did it than a page full of banners, buttons, and text links taking visitors away from the Newbie’s site.
SOLUTION—At least publish free articles on the topic of your affiliate program. For example, let’s say you’ve signed up for a “make money selling traffic” idea. There are thousands of free articles that you can publish on getting more website traffic. Put your affiliate link at the bottom, top, or middle of the page the article is published on. Not only will having content make your site more interesting, it will also make your site more valuable to search engines.
These are just 6 little mistakes. But if you can at least change these, you are well on your way to having a more saleable site!
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