Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to Create a Bad Website and Frustrate Your Visitors

If you want to have a terrible website that looks bad, works horribly and breaks fundamental marketing rules, read on.
One way to look at any website is to break it up into three equally important segments; design, technical and marketing. In other words, every site on the Web contains these three components.
They all have a design or look and feel (design), they all have to be on a server and coded properly to be live on the Internet (technical) and they all have ways in which they attract visitors and make sales (marketing).

In this month's newsletter, we will examine the design portion of your site.
The following is a list, defining exactly what NOT to do.

Top 10 Web Design Mistakes:

1. Not using Web conventions, instead use crazy and wacky formats that no one's ever seen and no one can understand.

2. Writing trite, predictable, boring or copied content only and not updating your site.

3. Creating totally different and unique navigation for every page so that your visitors need to waste time re-learning your navigation every time they go to a new page. Also creating totally different look & feels for every page so that your visitors don't know if they're on the same site or clicked away.

4. Using confusing, obfuscated and mysterious labels for all your links and buttons so that no one ever has any idea where they're going if they click. The more confusing, the better.

5. Making it impossible to search the site. Offering no search box, no site map and basically no possible way to find anything on your website.

6. Including content that only talks about you. Not mentioning anything about your visitors or how you can help them, just talk about you and your history and all your achievements. Including a big picture of you and your office building right on the home page.

7. Including only poorly-written copy with lots of grammar mistakes, and ubiquitous, curious and horrendous spelling and punctuation mistakes throughout your site.

8. Not including any text. Making every page on your site one big picture. So for instance, on your home page have one giant picture of you and your office building and have no text so search engines can't see your site at all.

9. Using buttons for your navigation only, or use complicated JavaScript drop down menus that complicate your site's navigation. Either way, if you do this and include no text links, the search engines won't be able to spider (navigate and record) your website.

10. Making your site as difficult to read as possible. Use teeny, tiny fonts that are hard to read against some funky-colored background. For instance, use blue fonts on a black background.

Follow this list perfectly and you'll be well on your way to having a bad and useless website and frustrating and angering everyone who visits.