It can be hard to know what you should look for in website design for your small business. Do you really know what aspects of website design are good and which you should avoid? Most of us know that some websites have frustrating, distracting, or unattractive design elements. You’ve probably encountered at least one website which was so ugly or hard to use that you immediately clicked off.
You don’t want that to be your website. If you own a small business, you need people to stay on your site and keep coming back. Your website design shouldn’t make people click away.
Small Business Website Design Elements You Should Avoid
Most people hate these common website design elements. Any good web designer knows to avoid these features, but they still pop up on many websites. If you want your small business website to succeed, avoid these negative design elements:
1. Music auto-play
When music automatically begins playing on a website, it can be startling and very unpleasant. The website visitor might be in a quiet office, already listening to music or a video, or simply hate the music that plays. Music is distracting and doesn’t add to your website design. Automatically playing music will often make visitors click away from your website immediately.
Website visitors hate pop-ups. A lot of websites continue to use pop-ups and many have started using them again after a long break. Unfortunately, no one likes pop-ups and repeat visitors will get turned off when they encounter the same annoying element every time they visit your website.
3. Busy Background Images
Loud images can work well as website backgrounds. If the image loads quickly and doesn’t distract from your content, you don’t need to worry. However, a slow-loading or distracting background image is a huge no-no, so try to keep it simple.
4. Links opening in new windows
Sometimes you want a link to open in a new window. If that’s the case, you can easily right-click and select that option. However, when your links automatically open this way, visitors end up with endless windows open and can’t easily find the original page. Make links open in the same tab so that visitors can easily navigate back to their original page using the back button.
5. Hidden links
It’s always confusing when your cursor is hovering over a webpage and suddenly a new window opens. Links should be visible and you should want to click them. Make sure that your links are obvious and your visitors can tell what’s a link and what’s just text.
Animations can look good with certain website designs, particularly if they’re relevant to the website. Are you an animator or a graphic designer? If you are, an animation might help sell your skills. But if your product isn’t art-based, avoid animation elements.
7. Odd fonts
Yes, you can use a creative font to express your personality. But remember that a lot of fonts may be hard to read or look ugly to certain visitors. You could risk loss of interest if the wrong font is selected. Sticking to clean, web-safe fonts is a good idea if you want your website to look professional.
8. Moving text
Generally, you should avoid scrolling, flashing, or blinking text. It might work if the moving text is subtle, but usually it’s just distracting. It’s true that it will catch people’s attention, but is that worth it if the text annoys them and makes them leave your website?
9. Pages that are too long or wide
It might seem ridiculous, but many websites still use excessively long and wide pages. Most people use screens that are 15 to 17 inches in size. If your website loads huge pages, visitors will have to scroll across and down the page to see all of your content. It might seem lazy, but many visitors will click away in these circumstances.
The Exceptions To These Website Design Rules
You should generally avoid these unattractive and annoying design elements. However, there are exceptions to the rule. We’ve mentioned some of these exceptions above but every website is different and there are various reasons why these elements might work for you. If you really think one of these website design elements suits your site, you could be right!
When you’re not sure about your small business website design plans, reach out to your website designer or online marketing specialist. You can also get a second opinion from family, friends, other business owners you know, or regular customers. User feedback is always helpful for website design.
Here at A La Carte Web Services, we provide you with expert website design services for your small business. Contact us to find out more.