Branding,Business

Things that Make Your Website Look Crapy

Building a website on your own for your small business or freelance opportunity seems like a great idea for cash-strapped entrepreneurs but have you ever come across a website that was so bad that it was good? Well, today we will be taking a look at things that make your website look absolutely crappy and things that you should absolutely avoid at all costs when making your website.

Your website is your digital address and it has evolved from just a placeholder to a full fledged tool for business growth. From selling products to marketing it has become one of the very core components of any business. Your website is like your storefront, it should be so visually appealing that it should make people want to enter and take a peak around but if it looks like a hot mess people will bail right out increasing your bounce rate.

There are a number of ways in which you can get your business online with the help of a website, you can commision a custom designed website to a design firm which will end up costing you an arm and a leg or you can get a freelancer to design it from you from aggregators like Fiverr and UpWork and well, all know how that goes. You can try to design it yourself using services like Wix but there’s no assurance how that will come out and it is still not cheap enough to just try. Whatever you choose, keep these essential things in mind while designing your website and you will come out the other end with a good looking website.

Mistakes to Avoid when making your website.

1. Using All Black Color Scheme

We have all grown up reading books and they are generally printed on a white paper with black ink for the typeface and this has led us to hardwire ourselves to prefer black on white instead of the other way around. When computers first came around, they were monochrome. This meant having a black background with green text on it, imagine seeing that every day, eew. Thankfully though soon enough color monitors came around and our despairs ended but with the onset of color monitors came the era of utterly weird style sensibility with irritatingly flashy text over dark backgrounds. Thankfully though, we are in a safe place today with every good web designer following a standard guideline which prioritizes readability over flashy epilepsy inducing content.

The reason black on white works so well is that you can clearly make out the text without anything else to distract you from the main content. A good number of websites have taken the standard guideline to heart and use black on white but some websites still exist with a light typeface color and a dark background which make them look like nothing but an eyesore.

If you are still hell bent on having a dark background then make sure that you leave enough whitespace, have a well balanced contrast level while using a pleasing font in a size larger than you normally would, this will ensure proper and easy readability.

2. Using Outdated Templates

If you plan on using a template for your website you may want to reconsider your options. There’s nothing wrong with using premade templated but often times these templates are old and outdated which means it’ll make your website very slow and stagnant and not responsive and dynamic as you would like it to be.

You can either get HTML templates or you can use a CMS like WordPress. WordPress as a CMS is free to use and offers so many additional functionalities that you would get tired of experimenting but the options wouldn’t run out. While WordPress has a few themes you can customize, it is easier to just download a pre-built template and then customize the template according to the requirement.

Templates are very cheap nowadays and can be found for as low as US $50 (and even sometimes for free, if you know where to look for them) with prices this low there is absolutely no reason to use an outdated theme, so if you have a website using an old and outdated theme go and replace it with something modern and better. Look for some templates on ThemeForest and if you know where to look you may end up getting a few free ones too.

3. Using a Poorly designed Logo.

A logo is extremely important for any business but they are quite an expensive proposition but thanks to the power of technology there is no excuse anymore to have a poorly designed logo. Using an online Logo Generator is extremely easy and Many Artificial Intelligence (A.I) powered have been developed like Tailor Brands and Joy Logo which will give you a semi-professional looking logo for as low as US $50 which is a great price for a good looking logo.   

You may be thinking though, why is a logo important for me? Well, A logo creates a very good first impression, A logo has the potential to become iconic and memorable, a good logo helps you communicate your company values and beliefs and it creates brand recognition and encourages brand loyalty.

If you would still like to get an actual human to design your logo then you can head on over to aggregators like UpWork or Fiverr and commision a digital artist a custom logo but it may turn out worse than what the A.I generated logo will look, so tread cautiously.

4. Deadly Sins to avoid with Fonts

Fonts are important, extremely important. You should always pick a font that is easy to read and doesn’t strain the eye too much and it should be large enough to be easily readable even on smaller displays such as mobile phones. Here are a few sins you absolutely must avoid when choosing fonts

  1. Do not Use of Tacky Fonts

    Do not and I mean absolutely do not use fonts that are tacky and trendy, they look horrendous and irritate the eye as well as the brain. It also pushes your customers away, so do not at all use tacky fonts.

  2. Do not use fonts that are hard to read or messy

    Fonts that are hard to read put off your reader and hence increases the bounce rate on your website, ensure the font you use is clean, minimal and easy to read.

  3. Do not skimp on line spacing

    If you space your lines at 100% (1.0 line space) it’ll be very hard to read, if you try and space it at 185% (1.85) it will feel too spaced out, use 150% space (1.5) which is generally ideal.

  4. Don’t use too many fonts

    Using multiple fonts only increases the reading tension on the eye and fonts should be kept to a minimal number, ideally 1 and in certain cases 2 at most.

  5. Don’t make it too colorful

    We don’t want our content to look like a children’s coloring book, do we? Stick to a couple of colors to ensure the content looks clean,

  6. Don’t use Non uniform font sizes

    Seriously, never ever mix multiple font sizes unless absolutely necessary. You can’t just have a line in 12 pt and the next one in 14 pt, it just makes your work looks shabby and unprofessional. Try to choose one of these standard font sizes 8, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 95 whenever possible.

  7. Don’t keep the content cluttered

    Keep enough white space to ensure optimum readability or your content may turn into a nightmare for people. Always remember, whitespace is your friend, not your enemy.

5. Using too many colors especially bright ones

Unless you deal in paints your website shouldn’t have an excessive amount of colors. The website isn’t a garden which would look beautiful with multiple colors, you may have come across multiple such sites which have multiple flashy colorful accents all over but in the end, all these sites end up looking like you have just entered into a circus.

Any sensible designer will tell you that one bright color or two bold colors are more than enough to balance out the overall aesthetic of the website when it comes to website design always keep it subtle and sober. Your users shouldn’t immediately feel the need to put on a pair of sunglasses just to check your website.

Choosing bold or bright colors isn’t a bad idea as long as you know what you are doing and you can balance it out with other subtle lighter colors. It is often easier said than done though.

6. Having too many Advertisements

Advertisements are necessary for a lot of you bloggers out there who are looking to get a website their own. The ads we show on the website is literally our bread and butter and that is what brings food to the table but having too many advertisements is just a big annoyance.

When you have too many ads especially of the pop-up variety it becomes a hindrance for your user who in turn exists the website never to return. Ads are not only annoying but they also slow down the page load times which will hamper many of your SEO efforts as well. Try to keep ads to a minimum, having too many flashy ads or autoplay video ads will result in a headache for the reader and nothing else.

Link shortener ads as are another form of irritating ads which you shouldn’t even touch with a 10 feet pole, so steer clear of them as well.

7. Having Broken links and No Search Engine Optimization

You will have broken links, eventually, there is no escaping it but you can minimize the number of broken links by following a few basic rules to ensure your readers don’t land on pages they aren’t supposed to.

  • Don’t move around things once you place them somewhere
  • Check the 404 error log regularly
  • Redirecting broken links   
  • Using a link checker to check for dead links regularly.

Broken links get very irritating for the readers and may lead to the reader to leave and not return back to the website. Broken links also have an impact on the SEO of the overall website and many search engines penalize websites that have many broken links.

Search engine optimization is also very important as it helps your website to rank higher in the search results which in turn will help you move more product and beat your competition.

8. Bad Copy and No Updates

If you have a great looking website with very vague and irrelevant content it will hamper your chances of reader loyalty. You must ensure that the content you use is error free, grammatically accurate and relevant to your website.

Not updating your content frequently is another issue which plagues well designed websites. You should ensure that you keep your content updated as this also helps with search engine optimization.

9. CTA errors and No Way to Contact

Having Call to Action (CTA) button works wonders for any website but having excessive and unnecessary CTAs will not only confuse the customer but also increse the possibility of having broken links and we already know that is nothing but a problem.

While CTAs can increse the number of people contacting you, having no apparent way to contact you via your homepage or through a dedicated contact page is another cardinal sin some websites commit. You by now know better and hence should not make the same mistakes others are making.  

10. Having one too many pop-ups

Popups are annoying, plain and simple, they are irritating to the readers and nothing but a nuisance overall, but we can’t deny the fact that they are quite important for a business.

Having a balanced number of popups is extremely important which not only helps you retain the readers but also helps you in improving their user experience.

So this was our list of things that make your website look crappy, we hope you learn from the mistakes others have made and don’t make the same mistakes they have. Do let us know if your website had any of these issues below in the comments.

I write things and help grow businesses. I enjoy writing about Marketing, Branding, Technology and Business Growth. I help businesses come up with unique and innovative ways to drive traffic to their websites and help them grow organically.