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The Ten Deadly Sins of Site Web Site Design: Layout and Content Mistakes

written by: Niki Fears•edited by: Robin L.•updated: 4/2/2010

The second part of the Deadly Sins of Web Design series that looks at the common mistakes with web site layout and content that you need to avoid.

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    More Design Mistakes

    In the first part of this article, we looked at common mistakes with the look and feel of your web site that you will want to avoid when designing a site. In this section we are moving on to that last five of the ten deadly web design sins that list some of the mistakes in the layout and content of your web site that can put your site on a fast track to the .com graveyard.

    6. “Invisible” Pages

    Make sure that all of the sections of your website are easy to find. Having important information on a page that is missing from the navigation or that only has a link buried somewhere on your site makes it nearly invisible and is likely to turn away visitors or have them flooding your inbox with questions about the missing information.

    7. Poorly Chosen Name or URL

    Be careful to choose an appropriate name and title for your site to avoid conflict with competeing sites. For example if there is already a MySite.com that is offering the same type of thing that you are, then choosing My-Site.com can be a bad move since people are likely to forget the dash and you will simply be driving traffic to your competetors web site. This will also help you avoid trademark and copyright disputes. Also be sure the name/URL is relevant and not misleading. You do not want to have a site titled SolarPanels.com if your site sells toys.

    8. Outdated Content

    Content is the heart and soul of a website and it is what visitors are looking for when they click on your link. If your site is filled with a lot of out dated or irrelevant content it is going to become obsolete. But a site that is frequently updated and features great content is likely to not only keep our visitors but to get a lot of linkbacks and great word of mouth advertising.

    9. Dead Links

    If the links on your site are featuring resources or products and gives your visitors dead links, they are going to feel like visiting your site was a waste of time. Check your links to make sure the URL's are complete and actually work. And be sure to check your links frequently so that you can updated them as needed.

    10. Lack of Contact Information

    Having a way to contact an owner or administrator of a site with questions about the content, a product, or service on the site helps to build your visitor's confidence about the site and to feel like there is actually someone there behind the name and it is not just some bot generated site with no real back up behind it. When this is missing, visitors doubt the legitimacy of your site and are likely to do business with someone else who is willing to answer their questions.

    So when you are designing your next web site, keep this list in mind and be sure to avoid these site killing mistakes so that your project can be the success that you are aiming for.

The Ten Deadly Sins of Site Web Site Design

A two part series looking at common design mistakes that can ruin a web site.
  1. The Ten Deadly Sins of Web Site Design: Visual Mistakes to Avoid
  2. The Ten Deadly Sins of Site Web Site Design: Layout and Content Mistakes