Poor web design practice — broken tags, lack of proofreading and so forth — can powerfully impact your viewership, whether you’re doing business or merely maintaining a personal blog.
Here are some common mistakes.
- Anonymity – Even in cases where the author wishes to keep their identity concealed, some means of contacting the site’s owner should be provided if only for maintenance purposes.
- Bad Netiquette – Avoid bad grammar and misuse of capitals.
- Bloated Link Lists – A string of several links should be organized into sections.
- Broken HTML – Nothing says poor quality web site like 1-inch columns several feet long, or a string of garbled HTML hanging out in the middle of a paragraph.
- Broken Links – Don’t leave out-of-date or mistyped links on your site.
- Browser Compatibility – If your site doesn’t function with a user’s preferred browser, that user will not stay or visit again.
- Excessive Plug-in Requirements – Many web users resent multimedia requirements. Also, avoid any music or videos that auto-play on page load. Deafening or annoying users is definitely a minus!
- Long Paragraphs – Organize your thoughts or ideas into bite-sized portions.
- Missing Alt Tags – Images should have an ALT tag with alternative describes text for users who do not wish to load images or have special accessibility needs.
- Missing or Inaccurate TITLE tags – Each HTML page should have a unique title that also makes it stand out in a list of links or bookmarks.
- Non-descriptive or Misleading Anchor Text – Anchor text should describe the content of the page being linked.
- Non-HTML Email Addresses – Email addresses should be noted using the mailto option in the A tag.
- Overuse & Abuse of Advertising – If your site makes use of advertising it should flow within the site and be unobtrusive.
- Overuse of Social Media – Your site navigation should not be a laundry list of social networking site links.
- “Mystery Meat” Navigation – Using flashy navigation only works if each item still has a clear purpose.
- Unlabeled Media Links – If you’re linking to PDFs, videos or other media, indicate this in the link text.
Here are some more resources on designing good sites: