Skip to content

10 Common mistakes in websites

common website mistakes

Last Updated on September 29, 2020.

Ten common mistakes in websites are made by people make when writing content:-

1. Too much homepage content

Don’t try to say it all on the home page. Say a little about the most important things you offer on your site, and let your users click for more. Some pages, like your homepage or blog summary, should be easy for the user to get a quick overview, and should not contain too much detail.

2. Too much clutter on your web page

Avoid clutter, it’s confusing. The eye needs to be able to settle on the most important messages. Read about eye-tracking research which shows where people’s eyes gravitate when they are looking at a web page.

3. Writing the way you would for print

If you write in the same style as you would for print, it just does not work on the web.  Keep it simple, direct and easy to skim & scan. Start with your conclusion, not with an introduction. Read more about writing for the web.

4. Undervaluing your expert knowledge

Users want free stuff and they value good information. Web site owners often have valuable expert knowledge, but fail to include it on their web sites. Be generous with your expert knowledge.

5. Assumed knowledge

This is a very common problem. Content writers /web site owners often assume their users know as much as they do about the subject matter.  It isn’t necessarily so.   This can be very frustrating for non-experts. If you are writing for an expert audience explain your terms. Give your users links to simple background information, so that the most casual visitor can work out what you are talking about.  Test your website on users who have little or no knowledge of your subject matter.

6. No user testing

User testing is key to your success.  I can’t stress this point enough.  There is no substitute for testing your website or webpage content on real users.  It can give you invaluable feedback and can help you avoid really silly mistakes.  User tests can be informal, casual and inexpensive.  See some guidelines for a very simple Test Plan

7. Confusing navigation

Navigation (your menu structure) is not a good place to get creative.  Stick to tried, tested and familiar structures and terminology.  Users are reassured by what looks familiar, so use common sounding menu names such as “Products, About Us, Contact Us”.  This will help give users confidence in navigating your site, because they know what to expect.

8. It’s all about me, isn’t it?

The user is not really interested in you, your organisation or your products.   In relation to products, users are interested in what the benefits are to them.  In relation to information, users want content that is easy to skim & scan for points of interest to them.

9. Too many words

Dispense with every unnecessary word or message.  Don’t waste your user’s time and energy. If you have a long article, put the most important information at the top in the Inverted Pyramid Style of writing.

10. Failing to pitch to a wider audience

Once you have already invested in creating a web site, it is relatively easy to expand your content to suit a wider audience group.  For example, if you are offering expert knowledge, you can include information that is suitable for beginners as well as experts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *