Website Design Mistakes You Should Avoid by Monika Beck of @SuccessHarbor

by Monika Beck | Featured Contributor


When it comes to web design, there are as many opportunities to fail as there are to excel.

Far too many companies sabotage themselves with poor web design. Soar above the competition.

Follow these ten tips to avoid the worst web design mistakes.

Leave the back button alone.

The back button can be the source of numerous nuisances. Sometimes, users are directed to unwanted locations. Other times, a pop-up window appears and takes over the entire screen. Worst of all, the browser does nothing because the back button is disabled. Any of these is a surefire way to alienate users. Keep users happy by leaving the back button alone.

Avoid new windows.

Opening new frames was once a popular way to display content. Now, this feature is an annoyance to users. It wastes system resources, slows down computer response time, and complicates the overall user experience. Don’t make this website design mistake—keep your content in one frame. Users can always choose to open new tabs or windows in their browsers.

Keep contact information visible.

Too many companies unintentionally hide their contact information. Your website should have contact information readily available to users. The best way to avoid this website design mistake is to create a standalone contact information page. This includes your email address, street address, and phone number.

Include a link back to this page on every other page of your site. Keeping your contact information highly visible not only helps users get in touch, it gives a sense of transparency to your company.

Also include your phone number in the header area and your physical address in the footer. That way, both of them are visible on every page.

Check and update your links.

Broken links are one of the biggest sources of frustration for site users. They do nothing when clicked, or they lead to the dreaded “404” error page. Do your best to prevent this by testing your site on a regular basis to make sure your links are working. Give your users a way to report broken links by including a “Contact the Webmaster” link on your site. Fix broken links as soon as you find out about them.

Maintain fast server speed.

The longer a site takes to load, the more likely a user is to leave. According to a study commissioned by Jupiter Research, Akamai Technologies found that online shoppers only wait about four seconds for a site to load before navigating away. If your site is taking a long time to load, try reducing image sizes or reducing the number of plugins.

Update your information.

This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s an all too common website design mistake. Make sure you regularly check your content for accuracy. Fresh, up-to-date content will ensure you continue seeing the best results from your site.

Use simple navigation.

Navigating your website should be fast and easy. If users have to retrace their steps to get to other parts of your site, they will quickly lose interest. The best way to keep this from happening is to include a navigation bar on every page of your site. Make sure it’s visible regardless of screen resolution.

The navigation bar should also include a site map with an at-a-glance view of every page on your site.

Have a consistent style.

Web designers have more fonts and color palettes available than ever before. The temptation to show them off can be very strong. Resist the urge to be artistic. Your site should have a consistent, professional look that shows you are serious and stable. Limit yourself to two or three fonts and colors per page. Make sure to check that your chosen style looks good wherever users view your site, whether on a desktop, tablet, or phone.

Avoid “orphan pages.”

Every area of your site should have an obvious link back to your home page. That way, any page that users share with friends will have an obvious way to get more information. Simply turning your site logo into a link to your home page should do the trick.

Include links to social network sites.

Cross-platform integration is vital to good marketing. The more accessible your social media is, the more traffic you’ll drive to your site. Give users plenty of opportunities to check out all that your social media presence has to offer.


Savvy web designer with a twist – Monika Beck with Webene – San Diego, CA.

Monika-Beck-AuthorMonika Beck is passionate about website design, web programming, ecommerce, and building businesses. She is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Success Harbor a website dedicated to help entrepreneurs succeed. Success Harbor interviews successful entrepreneurs and publishes topics relevant to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Monika started Success Harbor with her cofounder in order to ease the life of entrepreneurs through original research, tips and unique content. Monika is also cofounder of Webene, a website design and online marketing firm based in San Diego, CA. Webene specializes in mobile-friendly responsive websites built on the WordPress platform. Monika loves playing classical music on the piano.

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4 Replies to “Website Design Mistakes You Should Avoid by Monika Beck of @SuccessHarbor”

  1. Meaghan

    I agreed with Mallie (see comment above). I was thinking the same thing. My social media links open to new pages. It’s a personal preference – when I’m visiting someone’s site, I click on their social media links because I want to look at them in 10 minutes, when I’m finished surfing through their website.

    The rest of the tips are very helpful! Thank you.

    1. Monika Beck[ Post Author ]

      Thank you for stopping by, Meaghan. I appreciate your feedback.

  2. Mallie Hart

    Great list with some real smarts. The only item I slightly disagree with is the new window idea, and only when it applies to your social media links and outside content you’ve referenced in your blog post. I believe those should still open up in a new window so that you don’t lose the viewer, especially mid-read.

    We all the rabbit hole that is clicking deeper and deeper and forgetting where we started!

    1. Monika Beck[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mallie: Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your feedback.

Comments are closed.