So, you’re researching some information via google and you decide on the resource that best fits your needs. You click the link and it takes you to a site you know hasn’t been updated since Prince came out with 1999.
What do you do?
You click the back arrow and reassess the search results or keywords you used to land you in the land of jheri curls and unisex leotards. Because at first glance, you realize that website owner made a few design mistakes that dated their website.
And being in a highly visual world, first impressions are everything. In this new era of blogger domination, I’ve noticed a few things as I’ve trundled through sites checking out content and getting to know people in my niche.
[quote]Intentions are good, but if you don’t know the fundamentals of design, you will make more than a few mistakes.[/quote] And if blogging is your business, the visual and usability of your site are key to your audience sticking around to consume the content you provide. So, without further ado:
3 Big Web Design Mistakes
1. A Guestbook
I saw one of these on a website last week; I don’t know how it got there, I thought code was no longer written for guest books. Unless you also have a pager and a cell phone with an antenna, you should not have a guestbook.
I know, I know– the guestbook is the grandfather to the comments section and it is owed its proper respect but c’mon. Nowadays people comment on what you have to say in a comments section, a guestbook is not it. The only places I see guestbooks holding relevancy is at a funeral, a wedding or a high school reunion. None of which are held on a website.
2,354 Images in one post, stacked one on top of each other with endless scrolling. The scrolling puts me off of a blog post alone, never mind the images are of full height and width, straight out of the camera, with no change of resolution. If I can literally snatch the images off of your site, take them to Walmart and print them in an hour with no loss of image quality, you seriously need to use an image editor before putting your pictures online. To top it off, I haven’t even gotten to the text you may have at the bottom of the post or even to the comments area, I am scrolling downward forever. By the time I get to the bottom (even if it was only 6 images, I really don’t want to hear what you have to say anymore. And guess what, because of the high resolution of the images, most of them probably aren’t finished loading.
So let’s resolve the issue of images by doing the following:
Use 72 dpi Images
If you are using Photoshop, your images for web should be saved as 72 dpi and optimized. Even if the photo is large in height and width, 72 dpi makes it web ready and don’t forget to optimize the image (more on that in a later post).
Use an Image Gallery
Image galleries make the photos you want your reader to see look uniform and not scattered all across the post. Do a simple search for ‘image gallery’ in the back of your WordPress website under plugins and find one that works well for your blog.
Use your cell phone apps
There is an app on your cell that can create collages out of your images. So you do not have to collage them yourself with whatever free program you’re using or photoshop. Apps make quick work out of something we make so complicated. Just choose a set of frames that work well for your 2-however many images and put them in the frames. I use a great app on my iPhone (I’m a Mac lady so every time I reference some sort of software, if it’s made for an Apple product, that’s what I’m using) it’s called Pic Stitch.
3. Not having social share buttons
I have actually been on blogs with no social share buttons. I don’t know why…it’s weird. The whole point of having a blog is to share your work with the world. We all want to share the content we find funny or helpful or just plain useful. If you don’t have social share buttons on your website in an easily accessible place (the post the person wants to share) then you are losing. It takes a quick five seconds to install a suitable plugin for your social shares. If you get on that today and you have great posts, someone is bound to click the button and share you with a whole new audience.
Check out part 2 in this two part series for more web design mistakes.