If you want to make a successful website, then it’s rather important that you ensure your traffic likes visiting your site and that you aren’t unnecessarily aggravating them. If people find your site annoying to visit, then of course they aren’t going to want to go there too often and as such you aren’t going to make much money from it.
Now there’s an awful lot of literature online about what you should do on your website, but unfortunately not so much information on what you shouldn’t do. It seems that articles on web design would rather ‘accentuate the positive’ and as such a lot of sites continue with bad habits that could drive away their traffic even when they get a lot right.
Here then we will look at the most annoying, most frustrating and most generally irritating things that many websites are guilty of and at how you can avoid falling foul of them yourself…
Dead Links, Dead Images and Dead Sites
One of the most frustrating experiences for anyone online is heading to a website or finding an article that you want to read, only to then discover that it’s ‘down’ and won’t work. This is even more frustrating when you then refresh it a few times and find it’s still ‘down’ and can leave you cursing the name of the website you’re meant to be visiting. This doesn’t only come across as highly unprofessional, but it can also destroy your trust in a site – you certainly wouldn’t want make any transactions on there!
So what can you do as a webmaster? Well step one is to search for those dead links and images – and there are many online tools that can help you to do that. Should you find any, then simply replace them with the correct links and make sure to repair them. Meanwhile to ensure that the site itself stays live; look into more creative hosting solutions which may include a dedicated server or cloud hosting. Either of these will help to ensure your site doesn’t go down and that it can handle more traffic.
Sites with musical backgrounds are clearly well-intentioned, but unfortunately they are also completely off the mark. What these sites forget is that most people who browse the web will do so while also listening to music of their own – which means that sites that play music do nothing but interrupt and make an awful noise. Worse is when you’re browsing the web in a library or somewhere else quiet, and suddenly the website starts blaring out aggressive tunes. So the answer is simple: don’t add music to a perfectly good website…
Also annoying are large images that take ages to load. On a regular PC this is frustrating because it slows you down, but on a mobile phone it’s even worse because it may end up costing you money or using up your data allowance. Keep your site as light as possible unless you have a particularly good reason not to.
Thick Blocks of Text
Even more annoying are sites compromised of thick unnecessary blocks of text which aren’t at all broken up by headings or different fonts. These are incredibly annoying because they mean the visitor has to spend ages reading all the text thoroughly, rather than being able to simply skin for what they need. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that people won’t want to scan your text at all – we live in a high paced world and people want to get on with what they’re doing!
Annoying Comments and Opinions
Some websites are simply annoying in terms of what they write, which is a difficult balancing act for the owner to get right. On the one hand, a little bit of controversy on a website can actually be a good and useful thing: if your site is controversial then that will mean it’s memorable and in turn it will mean people are likely to talk about it and spread links.
And at the same time, you of course should write using your own ‘voice’ and be true to your opinions. So what constitutes an annoying comment that your site would be better without?
Well there are many, but examples include ‘facts’ that haven’t been properly researched, opinions that are completely unapologetic and not explained, or anything that’s potentially offensive. In other words bad writing is annoying – so make sure to check your content over and to try and keep it professional.
Nancy Baker, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for NetDepot, leading providers of hosting solutions to enterprises. She is passionate about technology and enjoys writing about the latest developments. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.