KillerSites Blog

Top 3 Web Design Mistakes

August 13, 2012

In web design, you have many competing options available to you where many times, there is no clear cut winner.

… But there are some things, that you simply should not do in most cases.

1. Flash based websites – don’t build them!

The Flash nerds who read this are not going to be happy. A lot of people hate change, especially when something new comes along that replaces what they are used to. For Flash, this thing is HTML5 and CSS3 … these two widely adopted technologies replaces Flash for animation, easy page layout and many other things.

So why is Flash to be avoided?

A pure Flash based website has always been a bad idea. Today though, it is a disaster because iPad, iPhone and generally speaking, most other mobile web browsers cannot and will not be able to properly view Flash or in the case of iPhones and iPads, even see it at all!

Why should you care that people on smartphones can’t see your Flash site? Because, as much as 50% of the Web’s traffic is from mobile devices.

Beyond that, Flash is terrible in terms of search engines (this means terrible SEO) and you also have the added overhead of having to buy the Flash program to edit the Flash files. Whereas with HTML5 and CSS3, all you have to do is open the pages up in a simple text editor to make changes.

2. Not using a CMS – static web sites suck!

A static web site is simply a typical HTML based site – no dynamic elements, no ‘engine’ behind the pages, no content management system (CMS) working in the background adding all kinds of functionality for FREE.

Web sites are always in need of updates, and many of these updates can be made stupid easy … if the website is built using a CMS like:

  • Joomla
  • WordPress
  • Drupal

… and there are many others.

If you are not using a CMS for most of your web design projects, you are robbing yourself and your clients of tremendous power and productivity gains, with little extra cost – the most popular CMS systems (listed above) are free and easy to install and configure.

3. Not respecting design and usability conventions.

It’s always good to be original in your web design work, but not at the expense of ignoring time honored web design standards like:

  • Top left logo being a clickable home button.
  • Having a navigation menu at the top of the page.
  • Making the pages scroll left to right (horizontal) rather than the proper vertical.

Etc …

Web designers trying to be too cute and original, end up with websites that no one can understand and use. Because of that, people become frustrated and leave the website never to come back again.

Stefan Mischook