How not to haunt the Web: 9 scary mistakes to avoid

Posted on October 30, 2020

Halloween is coming. Are you worried that your website may be scaring visitors away? We’ve put together a list of what not to do when you’re creating or updating your website:

  • Unresponsive design. A well-constructed website lets users change font sizes on a page without compromising its functionality or legibility. Responsive design done right has the magical property of making your site easier for everyone to read.
  • Too many colors and fonts. Clashing colors and loud fonts may make your visitors want to scream in frustration. If their first reaction is “Ouch!” they probably won’t stay on the page, let alone answer your calls to action. Depending on the color palette, lack of accessibility may also be an issue—and potentially a costly one if someone decides to file a lawsuit. Choose colors and fonts that are easy to read, natural to combine, and compliant with your organization’s brand standards.
  • An “under construction” notice. Don’t let your website look like the walking dead. Visitors won’t stick around if the first thing they see is an “under construction” sign that’s been there for months—or perhaps mere days. Look at it from your customers’ point of view: If you don’t have content on your site, how do they know what your business offers? How can they be sure it isn’t dead? The same is true of a 404 message—if visitors see one, they might think you’ve gone out of business. And that’s scary.
  • Broken links. Don’t let dead URLs haunt your site. You may have written a compelling CTA, but if its link is broken, you’ll almost certainly have lost a customer. Before you publish your website, click every link to be sure it’s functional.
  • Stale language. Say goodbye to the ghosts of outdated slang and other language that doesn’t reflect your brand. Also, keep your blog content updated if possible, especially if you’re in an industry with rapidly changing trends.
  • Spelling or grammatical errors. Nothing will spook customers like typos or poorly worded content. Take the time to proofread your website copy before it goes live. Even links themselves can contain misspellings; check the address and display fields and correct any errors before uploading changes.
  • Garbled URLs. When it comes to naming links, you’re not casting complicated spells. If you want visitors to remember the name of your site, keep it simple. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that customers can pronounce it. For instance, “Badie Designs Dot Com” is far easier to remember than a Google search URL like https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=Badie+Designs. This is important because visitors might not be able to visit the site right away.
  • Confusing navigation. Use common sense and let in the light when you’re strategizing website navigation. Always provide a link to your home page from subpages, preferably from the logo image in your header. If you use a meta navigation menu, be certain that visitors with slow mouse speeds can click on the links. Don’t create redundant items in your navigation. Double-check to see that the title in the navigation bar matches the title of the page to which it links.
  • DIY page creation. Your website introduces you to thousands of potential customers. Don’t let an amateur—even a well-meaning one like a friend or family member—create the layout or color palette for a page unless he or she has professional design experience. If something doesn’t look right, visitors may draw unfavorable conclusions about your professionalism or lack thereof. And those memories may haunt them.

The take-away? Don’t let your website give you—or your customers—nightmares. You might think we’re being ghoulish with our recommendations, but all we want to do is help you make sure that your website is not a trick, but a treat!

Badie Designs specializes in print and digital design and marketing solutions. We can review your website and provide a clear, actionable evaluation. Contact us today for a consultation.