10 Deadly Web Design Mistakes You Have to Avoid

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So I get approached on a regular basis by businesses, organizations and individuals to guide them on developing a Website or Page that connects. My normal process to assisting my client…is to firstly study their current website before providing feedback. In my 5 years of analyzing websites, I have come across 10 consistent and deadly mistakes that people make when designing their websites. These mistakes are not technical in nature, meaning that you do not need a high level of HTML knowledge to see and fix them…they are very very simple and by avoiding these mistakes you will be able to create a website that blows people away.

NOTE: If you want me to analyze your website for free, then input your website address in the comment box below.

you do not need a high level of HTML knowledge to see and fix them

Mistake #1 Not using WORDPRESS

The best designed small business interactive websites I know have one thing in common…WORDPRESS…not tumblr, blogger or any other thing..but WORDPRESS. It is so so simple to use and allows you modify and tweak your website without necessarily having a strong knowledge of HTML. (NOTE: I do not work for WORDPRESS…I just think they are the best)


There is nothing more frustrating than writing out a 100+ word response to a blog post and then getting hit with the words AWAITING APPROVAL! There is no faster way to kill your website than making people wait for their comments to be approved, same goes with RECAPTCHA and all the others that make your fans have to do a considerable amount of work before their comments are accepted. Keep it simple, utilize tools such as AKISMET and DISQUS to improve interaction on your site.

Mistake #3 Designing Your Site for only 1 browser

Several years ago…Internet Explorer was the only web browser that existed, today you have FireFox, Safari, Chrome and that sucky BlackBerry browser. Each browser behaves differently with webpages and as such must be tested to ensure full functionality on all browsers. Failure to do so might lead to a FUNKY LOOKING SITE

Mistake #4 Not being able track your website traffic

If your webdesigning company has not heard about GOOGLE ANALYTICS..fire them! The back end of your website has to be able to tell you who is visiting, when they are visiting, where they are visiting and how many times they are visiting. This information allows you determine your websites effectiveness. TRACK TRACK

Mistake #5 Paying a Programmer to design your website

You won’t pay a designer to program your site, so why do the reverse. Because your brother or uncle knows HTML does not mean he knows how to DESIGN a website GRAPHICALLY! Ensure that you find a quality designer to work with your programmer. A good and simple design will take your site places.

Mistake #6 Designing a Website that you cannot modify without calling someone

I don’t care how great your site is, if you have no ability to make minor changes without picking up the phone…then your web design is poor. Invest in a strong and easy to understand CONTROL PANEL for your site. This will save you lots and lots of money =)

Mistake #7 Automatically playing MUSIC once your page is opened

People should get arrested for this mistake…maybe you created your website at a ROCK CONCERT, but understand that people could be viewing your site at work or in a library. And there is nothing more annoying than UNEXPECTED LOUD MUSIC. Give them the option to decide before you PLAY MUSIC.

Mistake #8 Placing critical links at the bottom of your page

Helloooooo….people should be able to see your social media buttons without having to scroll to the bottom of your page! The most powerful region of your PAGE is what people can see without scrolling…maximize that!

Mistake #9 Utilizing Dark Colorful Backgrounds

The following websites “facebook.com & cnn.com” have white backgrounds and they are still alive…unfortunately the same cannot be said of myspace.com who turned their site into a glitzy collection of colorful backgrounds and died. facebook.com has resisted calls from millions of its fans to change their background color but they have resisted, they do this because white is easy on the eyes and looks professional. If your site has a dark background people will get tired of reading your texts.The BLACK might look cute but trust me…WHITE is the way to go.

Mistake #10 Designing A Website with Excessive Flash

Your FLASH website might look cute on your ultra high speed internet computer. But for that kid with the normal internet speed, your site is just another annoying site that never loads! Keep your website simple…avoid the FLASH

  Ofili is an award winning motivational speaker, author, life coach and entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on twitter , facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!”



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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16 comments on “10 Deadly Web Design Mistakes You Have to Avoid

  1. Thanks for this Ofili! I must say I’ve been guilty of one or two of these ‘deadly’ mistakes with my blog! It’s not a business website but I obviously want people to get the best out of it.  From what I can see I’m still making mistake no. 1, but I’ll see what I can do about that! Feel free to stop by my blog when you can!

  2. Guest on said:

    I just read your book ‘How stupidity saved my life’ and it really inspired me. i have been thinking of starting my own business for a while but was waiting for certain things to fall into place before i made the move, nothing much has happened since then, but i quit my job and I’m now networking for my new business, thank you. If it is not too much trouble, can ou check my website for 10 deadly design web mistakes i have to avoid. it is http://www.aribasignare.com

    • Ofili on said:

      I like your site. It loads fast, which is a great thing. What I can say is that it needs more pictures to take it to the next level. I am not talking about the pictures at the top…those are fine, but you need pictures of actual events that you have done. Also there are no social media buttons from what I can see. Lots of potential though…

  3. please ofili, im working as head of communication for the next 4 months, for a regional summit on the impact of the education sector on hiv/aids coming up in november. i seem not to be able to get my webdesigner to understand the exact things you have highlighted below. perhaps you could please visit http://www.hivedu.org for your observations? the summit is basically for the youth and it will break my herat if we cant mmake it friendly and interactive enough for them,their teachers and  other policy makers. regards, jide atta (ALS/SILVERBIRD BOOKJAM Host, Abuja)

  4. Abisola on said:

    Hi Ofili,

    Verry enlightening though there are some typo errors. Found em under mistake #2 and #9 (not look profession but looks professional).

    All in all, well done!!! 

  5. Ledbyvision07 on said:

    Thank you very much! I read your book ‘How Stupidity saved [your] life’ recently and was ‘wow’ed by such wisdom gleaned from simple experiences. I think the light blue text combined with the white background (especially on this page) rather strains the eyes. Your take?

    • Ofili on said:

      Great point! The light blue text on the white background will be an issue if it was the main text but since it is being used as just the headings then the situation is not as bad as headings are quite short (less than one sentence). 

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