The Most Common Website Design Mistakes You Should Avoid | Top Web Design Mistakes

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In this guide, I'm going to talk about the most common website design mistakes you should avoid on your own websites and these are top web design mistakes website owners make.

The Most Common Website Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

It's important to be sure you're looking at all potential aspects of design, and not focusing too much time and attention on any one factor. A great design takes many factors into account equally in order to ensure the website is both user-friendly and search engine friendly.

Let's jump right into it.

Poorly chosen colors

A huge mistake people make when designing is choosing colors that don't work together or look terrible together. This could end up frustrating visitors to the point that they leave your site.

At the very least, this could hurt conversions.

web design poor colors

Excessive use of colors will also give your website an unprofessional look. I suggest you do not use more than two or three primary colors.

Not only should you choose colors that are aesthetically pleasing, but you should be careful to use colors that work psychologically with your website's theme. Believe it or not, colors can actually have specific effects on the human brain.

For example, McDonald's has always used the color red in their restaurants because the color can make people feel hungrier. This causes them to order more food than they really should, because they think they are hungrier than they actually are.

Improper use of fonts

Using the right fonts is essential on your website. They can make or break a design, and unfortunately, most people just go overboard with free fonts, or they use the wrong ones.

Don't use more than 2 or 3 fonts. They look unprofessional.

Furthermore, the more fonts you have, the slower your website runs because browsers have to download the fonts every time.

Every font you use should have a specific purpose. Choose a few that best represent your brand. Easy-to-read fonts like Helvetica, Arial, or Verdana are good examples. 

A good font choice can make or break your site, so it might be a good idea to get a professional to design your site and get a consistent look from the start instead of making tons of time consuming changes at a later time.

On the other hand, you can get a little more creative when it comes to your logo and headlines. You should also make sure the text is big enough and reader-friendly across device types.

Overuse of animations and flash

The use of animation and flash on websites was common 15 or 20 years ago. It was a way to jazz up websites and draw attention.

Unfortunately, these tactics got overused and now they're not effective at all.

web design mistakes animation

Now, their use is a glaring signal that the person who made the website had absolutely no idea what they were doing. Flash and animated images have their place. For example, those websites that post funny images might use animated GIFs to get a laugh where a static image just might not work.

Or flash might be used on a free web-based gaming website. Other than that, you're just annoying your visitors and making your site run more slowly.

So stop using it.

Failing to make the site mobile friendly

Let's face it.

Mobile is the wave of the future. Up to 90% of a given website's traffic may be mobile these days, and that number is still rising. The personal computer is actually losing ground rapidly.

Most people use computers for things like writing documents and for working, but when it comes to browsing, more and more people are using tablets and smart phones because they can be used anywhere.

web design mobile friendly

Mobile-friendliness is one of the factors Google uses to determine rankings.

If your site is not mobile-friendly, your rankings will suffer and mobile users won't stay on your site.
It isn't enough to just make your website mobile responsive. You need to give mobile users a unique experience.

Easy navigation is key. You have to think about the fact that mobile users engage with your content only for a shorter period. That's why you need to create a simplified version of your desktop website and avoid too much information.

Failure to implement SEO

Every single website on the planet needs search engine traffic.

Otherwise, why even be online in the first place?

Of course, there are some exceptions like private sites, funnels, and thank you pages.

Unfortunately, a lot of web designers focus too much on the way a site looks and they forget to make sure the site is capable of getting traffic!


It doesn't matter how good your website looks if nobody is able to find it.

Yes, your site should be attractive. And yes, your site should be user-friendly.

But you can't forget to ensure that search engines can properly find and index your content. To be really successful online, having a solid knowledge of the core concepts of SEO is a vital step.

Using audio or auto-play videos

Nothing is more irritating about a website than using auto-play audios or videos that you weren't expecting.

Unless you have a very good reason to do so, never automatically play audio or video on your website.

According to the statistics, if a user is hit with audio or video that plays automatically, it drastically increases the chances that they will immediately leave. The only time you should maybe set something to play automatically is when it is the primary focus of your page.

For example, a video sales page or squeeze page might require auto-play. Otherwise, make it so that users have to activate audio or video manually.

Bad navigation

Navigation is one of the most critical elements of any web design.

If a user cannot find what they are looking for quickly, they are likely to leave just as quickly.

There are several locations for navigation options on any website. Header and footer are the best places to include links to your pages.

You also want to be sure your site has search functionality if you have a large amount of content. Otherwise, it becomes nearly impossible for people to find the exact content they are looking for.

By using a back-to-top button, you can improve your website's user experience, especially if you have a long page.

Improper optimization

According to statistics, there is a significant chance that visitors leave a website if it takes more than 4 or 5 seconds to load. So it's essential to choose the right hosting and optimize your pages. Don't include more elements on your pages than necessary.

web design optimization

Too many plugins, widgets, ads and other external services can drastically degrade website performance. Note that large images take more time to download, so you need to optimize them by resizing and compressing.

In most cases, slow loading time is due to unnecessarily high-resolution images and it's a waste of resources.

The larger the dimensions of your image, the larger the file size. It's highly recommended to resize them to the required dimensions. If you include photos in a blog post, for example, they don't need to be massive in size unless they show important details like infographics, for example.

Additionally, If your site is slow, you're going to rank lower than a site that is speedier. 

No contact information

Lack of contact information is a red flag for a lot of people, and it's a red flag to Google. Sure, legitimate websites may not have contact information, but spammers almost never put contact information on their websites.

If you have a contact page, people will trust you more and you might get important messages from potential customers.

Google also loves to see contact information on your website, because it makes the site look more legitimate.

Making it difficult to read and scan

It's a well-known fact that you only have a few seconds to grab your prospect's attention before they click away.

Most people generally scan the information and look for words and ideas.

People tend to read the headlines first. If it's interesting enough, they might read further, or they scan it. If it isn't easy to scan, they'll click away.

easy to read and scan

Additionally, you need to take into account that people may read your content on different devices: on a desktop, on the phone or on a tablet. Therefore, it needs to be able to guide your reader's eyes through the content on any device.

So what makes something easy to scan?

Bullet points, subheadings, short paragraphs, short sentences, call to action buttons, bold text for important phrases.

You want to keep your sentences simple and break up your paragraphs, too. Having a clean design and plenty of space in margins makes it much easier for readers to concentrate on your content and sales message.

By using bullet points to illustrate the features and benefits or more, you can deliver a lot of information to your audience in an easily digestible format.

A call to action is a statement that tells your reader what they should do next. It might be something like buying your product, signing up for a free trial, calling you on the phone, signing up for an email list, downloading free stuff and many more. It's an essential element of your page because if you don't tell your audience what to do next, they are less likely to take action.

For example, when using a call to action on a sales page, you usually ask for the sale. When using it on an opt-in page, you typically ask for their email address.

Every opt-in and sales page should have a call to action. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's unnecessary because it's too obvious. If you use it the right way by making it appealing, you might increase your conversions to a great extent.

Fail the 5-second rule

Does your website meet the 5-second rule?

You only have a few seconds to grab your visitor's attention. If your website visitors can't figure out during the first 5 seconds what your site is about, then there is a strong possibility they click away and leave.

I know this sounds like a very low time frame to create a great impression but that's just the way it works. You can ask some of your friends to tell you in 5 seconds what your website is about. If they can't tell it to you, then your site failed. So you need to make some changes.

Do you know which part is usually responsible for this failure?

As you may already know, it's your headline.

The Most Common Website Design Mistakes: Conclusion

Remember, it's not all about SEO, or it's not all about looking pretty. There are many factors that work together to make the perfect website. And if you neglect one aspect, your site isn't going to get the results you're hoping for.

Now, you know everything on how to avoid these common website design mistakes.

Based on this guide, you might want to create a checklist with web design best practices that you should keep in mind every time you build a new site or hire a web design agency.

This way, you can be sure you've followed every step each time.

Additionally, get to know the common questions to ask when hiring a web designer.

Nowadays building a website with drag&drop website builders is quite easy but creating a website that generates sales is much more difficult.

Good luck!

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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