How NOT to Develop a Website

While there is a certain amount of artistry involved in website development, there are also plenty of technical details that need to be seen to.

How NOT to Develop a Website

While there is a certain amount of artistry involved in website development, there are also plenty of technical details that need to be seen to.

Web users are a tricky bunch to keep happy, and the internet, at large, is a picky master.

There are so many innovative ways to build websites that stand out and do a good job, but there are an equal number of ways to do it all wrong.

A bad website can be bad for business. Instead of attracting users it can repel them, it can undermine trust in your brand, or it can do little more than confuse your visitors.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the worst ways to approach website development. But this is no ‘learn the rules so you know how to break them’ scenario. 

These are things that need to be outright avoided.

Break Your Visitors’ Limited Attention Span

How many times have you navigated to a website where every element in its layout is feverishly vying for your attention? Even the most attentive of us needs focus, and a clown-vomit styled website will take away every inch of it.

How appealing do the following design elements sound to you?

  • Popup ads and links sprouting like weeds everywhere your mouse moves.
  • Seizure-inducing banners that flash more aggressively than a sports-field streaker.
  • Lonely headings stranded where they don’t need to be, trying to look exciting.
  • A brightly coloured confetti-collection of nearly unreadable typography (bonus points if it clashes with the background).
  • Stylized fonts that may as well be in an illegible and ancient Sumerian script.
  • A song playing somewhere in the background like a fever dream of ‘Baby-Shark’ on repeat.

Users visit websites for information and entertainment. Blatant advertising that jumps up in front of you like an unsupervised child while you’re trying to ‘enjoy the show’, just gets in the way of a positive experience.

If you expect your website’s visitors to put up with it, they will simply go somewhere else.

Who Cares About Loading Times When it Looks So Good?

Every element and piece of data on your website takes up a certain amount of retail. That is to say that it consumes data and resources, causing the website’s pages to load more slowly.

You might think that this is an acceptable payoff for a functional and visually impressive site. You might want visitors to express how impressed they are with its colourful layout, hi-rez images, and mind-bending animation sequences.

‘Look at all those pixels’ they say in your lofty dreams after clicking on your site and are confronted with a logo so detailed that you can see into its soul.

That video in the banner looks great and all, and I love the way it chews through my mobile data, but the page now takes up to a minute to load. But it is all worth it for a website that keeps your visitors engaged, right?

Nope.

Here’s an industry insight. The average visitor gives your website a full 3 seconds of their fleeting patience while waiting for it to load. After that, they get bored and look for something better to do.

So trim the fat and optimise everything to keep loading times as low as possible.

Develop for Bots: Not People

Every agency on this planet knows all the little tricks and tactics you can use to bamboozle Google into prioritising your website on their search engine. 

We don’t use them, however, because blackhat tactics that prioritise how bots crawl your website over how users experience it, are frowned upon.

Spamming keywords in your content, generating fake authority by using links to content farms, cloaking keywords in invisible text, using unrelated keywords, or creating needless backlinks might work for initial indexing on Google; but the first time an interested user makes the mistake of landing on your page, it all falls apart faster than Amber Heard’s career.

There is only one way things can go here. As soon as the incoherent mess of keywords and lacklustre design hits users in the jaw, they leave, and it happens in a matter of seconds. 

The almighty Google sees all and will notice this, assigning a high bounce rate to your site. 

A bounce rate is an indication that users leave your site as soon as they arrive. Since Google wants users to settle in and have a pleasant experience on the web, they see this as a red flag and use it as a reason to tank rankings and hide your website from respectable eyes.

While website’s need to pay attention to elements that make it easier for Google’s bots to crawl it, developers need to remember that they are, first and foremost, developing websites with the needs of the user in mind. 

We can leave the tasks meant to impress robots for when they eventually become our overlords. For now, web-dev is for people.

Ignore Mobile Device Users

Here’s a fun fact: 90% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. Having the world-wide-web in our pockets is certainly something that most of humanity has adapted to with enthusiasm.

Our phones have become an extension of ourselves while PCs get used for work, gaming, or gathering dust. We are on the go constantly, and that’s generally when we are thinking about all those beautifully marketed things we want to consume.

Websites are not automatically built to render properly on mobile devices, they need to be made responsive during development. A responsive website will change its dimensions and formatting depending on which device it is being viewed.

If yours keeps the stock-standard responsiveness used for desktop, you’re missing out on giving the other 90% of your visitors a decent experience.

Do Website Development Right: Visit ATKASA for Details

There is a lot that goes into NOT developing a website that distracts, upsets or confuses your users. The list of best-practices reaches far and wide, and is sometimes even subject to the nuances of the business it represents, or the audience it is speaking to.

If you would like to get the best start to building an online presence with a website that gets everything right, be sure to visit the ATKASA website to find out more about our website development services.