Web Designs Deadliest 4 Mistakes

Home Inspector with EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC.

Some web designs are truly so repulsive that they actually drive people away from the site and prevent them from returning. Both you and your web design company must avoid these situations at all costs. Otherwise you run the risk of allowing your reputation to be diminished or being labeled and avoided by clients and customers.

Web Design's Scariest Backgrounds

The background of your website is one aspect that you have control over and you can easily change or alter to suit your client's needs. You must be aware, however, that some backgrounds are simply not attractive at all. Some of these backgrounds that should be avoided at any cost are:

  • A completely black background with light or white text superimposed upon it. Even the best web designers in the world have difficulty achieving an appealing look with this type of background. It gives viewers the impression that you are imperious and condescending and does not do anything to encourage readers to stay on your site. Also, some browsers, when used to print a page, also print background color. This could cause complaints from customers who are not happy about the amount of ink they used in order to print a single page.
  • A completely black background with dark words. This is an even worse background choice than the previous one because the words simply cannot be seen without great difficulty. In order to read the text, visitors to your site will have to first highlight the text, a task that will quickly irritate them.
  • Complicated, tiled images. Fresh web designers often use this type of background because it is convenient and looks good to them. They should also bear in mind, however, that this type of background can dramatically increase the amount of load time for a website.

Web Design's Scariest Text

The main reason people visit your site is that they are interested in the content contained within your website. If they are unable to read your text, then there is nothing for them to stay for. Your web design company definitely does not want visitors to find nothing worth reading on your site, so avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Centering all your text. A page with all of its text completely centered is unattractive and difficult to read.
  • Overly emphasized text. Some designers bold every other line of text and italicize the rest. This is self-defeating because in attempting to make everything stand out, nothing stands out.
  • Flashing text. Although some people find text that constantly disappears and reappears appealing, it is almost impossible to read, defeating the purpose of even having text in the first place. Text is there to be read!

Web Design's Scariest Content

As a web designer, you should never ignore your content. At the end of the day, the content of your web page is what either draws visitors to your site, or drives them away. You should make sure you include interesting and attention-grabbing content and avoid the following mistakes.

  • Pages consisting solely of links. Pages where every word is a link on its own do not serve any purpose other than to convince visitors never to return to your site.
  • "Funny" content. Including humorous content is risky, at best. Some people may not understand your humor and will need to have it explained to them or, more likely, they will simply leave your site in search of something more interesting that they can actually understand.

Web Design's Scariest Multimedia

Many designers find themselves in love with multimedia and attempt to use it in every project that they undertake. The web design company you work for probably does appreciate your talent with multimedia and, when the situation calls for it, you can showcase your talents to your web design company and your clients. However, designing using multimedia tools is a very time consuming process. You should not let your desire to show off your skills with multimedia compromise the work that you eventually hand in to your clients. You should do your utmost to avoid the following traps:

  • Image overload. Images of all forms, including icons, should not be present in large numbers. As a general rule-of-thumb, anything more than two images is overkill.
  • Overly large images. The readership of your site will not suffer if your images are not of print quality. Large, high quality images take a long time to load and most readers would not care if you had used a low quality image.
  • Embedded audio. Audio streams that play constantly while the page is open are very annoying for visitors who simply want to examine the content of your site. Worse, these audio streams are usually impossible to turn off. If you absolutely must include some form of sound with your web page, you must give your visitors the controls required to turn off the sound if they wish.

A scary web design is most definitely not what your web design company hopes that you will produce. The web pages you design should be appealing to readers and help keep them on your site, and not drive them away.

Don Rider

EZ Rider Home Inspections

EZ Rider Home Inspections

Bossier Home Inspector

Bossier Home Inspections

Shreveport Bossier Inspections

Shreveport Bossier Inspectors

Shreveport Home Inspection

Comments (19)

Linda Mae Croom
Topock, AZ
(928) 768-3040

Great post. Food for thought for me on how I redesign my site.

Jul 16, 2008 09:53 AM
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Thank you Don. My business partner and I are always looking for ways to improve our site and increase traffic.  If you'd like to check it out, www.ArizonaPremiereLiving.com and give us your feedback we would greatly appreciat it.  You can e-mail me at jwmurphy@windermere.com


Jul 16, 2008 10:12 AM
Jimmy McCall
JimmyMcCall.com - Cunningham, TN
The Ex-Mortgage Consultant

Don,  I design my own sites so I appreciate the tips on website design.  Thank you.

Jul 16, 2008 01:08 PM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Don - Thank you for sharing such good information.

Jul 16, 2008 02:15 PM
John Thomas
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. - Newark, DE
First Time Home Buyer Expert

Great info, thanks for sharing

Jul 16, 2008 02:17 PM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector

Everyone, Thanks so much for replying. Jerry I will look at your site tomorrow when I have a little more time.

Jul 16, 2008 03:37 PM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector


You have a very good looking website. One of the things I would recommend is the have each page Margins staart at the same place. This way when you move from one page to another it appears as though only the body changes.

Jul 17, 2008 02:13 AM
Sally Taylor
Keller Williams - Boerne Hill Country - Boerne, TX

This is good information.  I agree with your opinions.

Jul 17, 2008 07:15 AM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector


Thanks a lot for the input. I only hope you can use some of it.


Jul 17, 2008 02:50 PM
Joanna Quan
Keller Williams Realty - Alamo, CA
Realtor, SRES, Notary

Hi Don 

Thanks for the advise.  I also place my content on my website.  One thing that I will need to investigate is the centeredness.  I have two columns but I believe the text is centered.

Another thing that a colleague, Laura Vestanen, pointed out to me was that my contact information was at the bottom of the page.  She suggested that I place it at the top so that viewers would see it right away and not have to search for it.

Jul 17, 2008 02:59 PM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Good tips Don

Jul 17, 2008 03:09 PM
Peter Hackett
HutHub Inc. - Oakland, CA
The National Real Estate Network, HutHub.com

Great common-sense suggestions....funny how the little details can completely change the big picture!  Thanks for reminding everyone about the importance of well-executed basic design elements.

Jul 17, 2008 09:26 PM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector

Joanna, Bob, and Peter,

Thanks again for the comments. I am glad I was able to give some useful information.

Jul 19, 2008 01:08 AM
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

Good comments - Let me say another problem with link text, I believe the search engines will penalize you if you have TOO many links...

Jul 19, 2008 05:42 AM
Marilyn Katz
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - Westport, CT
ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com

Audio streams that play constantly while the page is open are very annoying

Don- I've logged on to websites, where there was content I wanted to read, but the audio was so annoying that I looked for the info on other sites.

Jul 20, 2008 01:04 PM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector


You are so right. Thanks

Jul 21, 2008 05:09 AM
Vicki Pedersen
Pedersen Real Estate - Riverside, CA
Providing Exceptional Real Estate Service

Thanks for the tips on websites.  This is good information and I agree with you.

Jul 21, 2008 07:44 AM
Eva Armstrong
Environmental Visions - Tallahassee, FL
Environmental Visions

Don - thanks!!  Very timely information - I'm meeting with my web designer tomorrow to update my off AR website...(it needs a LOT of help).  Your tips will get me off to the right start!

Jul 21, 2008 07:58 AM
Don Rider
EZ Rider Home Inspections LLC. - Bossier City, LA
Shreveport Bossier Home Inspector

Vicki and Eva,

Glad I could help.

Jul 22, 2008 01:21 AM