Melbourne web design companies are changing strategies to adapt to ever-changing online requirements. New devices and technologies are resulting in the ability to do more with websites, allowing both businesses and people to overcome traditional issues with conversions and traffic. Today, it is even possible to embed an entire movie or game into your webpage. Unfortunately, all of this ability to do so much has led to some very shoddy bad practices across the web. Refer to this list of 10 features you should leave out of your website to ensure that you’re providing a great user experience.
- Flash Elements
Flash got a bad rep almost from the moment it could be embedded within websites. This is mostly because some people still don’t have the device or technology to view it, although this is becoming more rare as time goes on. There are a few situations in which Flash can be beneficial; online game websites and other video websites can use Flash quite effectively. Stay away from full flash websites with no basic HTML backup. Also avoid Flash menus; HTML5 can be used to animate many parts of a web page today without the risks associated with Flash.
- Audio Sounds
To be clear, the option to play audio sounds on certain websites can be helpful, but this is exceptionally rare. If you aren’t selling or writing on topics relevant to audio sounds, don’t place them on your website. Absolutely, unequivocally never embed audio sounds on your website in such a way that it plays automatically or is impossible to turn off. Nothing is worse than landing on a website in the middle of the night without realising your speakers are turned way up, only to discover loud music that has now woken up your entire house. Embedded sounds are also a bad practice because they can eat up unnecessary bandwidth. If you must include audio sounds, use a player that can be hidden or turned off, and make it so that visitors must “opt-in” or play the sounds manually.
- Long Menus
Long menus can seem like a great idea. After all, it provides easy access for visitors to reach each and every page of your website, and it can allow you to stuff plenty of easy access on to each and every page. Unfortunately, “stuffing” is also part of the problem here. Extensively long dropdown menus, nested menus, and menus that require too much drilling down for content can be overwhelming, and may appear cramped to visitors. They are also prone to errors on certain devices. For mobile users, they can also make your website difficult to navigate. As a general rule, you should avoid menus with more than 15 items or two nested levels.
- Overuse of Ads
While on-page ads are certainly a far better choice than pop-up ads, you should make sure that you use them within reason. Overuse of ads appears blatantly obvious. It will annoy visitors and packs a serious blow to your credibility. Creating websites with the sole purpose of making money on ads is also very risky; this is actually disallowed by Google, and if obvious, can result in being sandboxed from the search engine altogether. Even if your goal is to make money, make providing your audience with solid content a major goal, too. Limit ads to one, or at most, two per page.
- Multiple scrolling banners
Scrolling banners are another web element that seems like a good idea at first, but they, too, can become overused. Having multiple scrolling banners on your homepage can overwhelm your visitors. Instead, stick with a single scrolling banner if you use one at all. This will help you to get your message across without risking gaudiness or overly-aggressive marketing.
- Lengthy Contact Forms
Placing lengthy contact forms between you and your visitors is a good way to discourage conversions. If visitors need to fill out a form for five minutes before asking a question, you are more likely to lose them in the process. Plenty of other websites exist that offer similar products or services, and they may only require an email and telephone number. Take only the necessary information from your visitors, rather than asking for everything at once. The goal is to create a relationship through which you can contact them directly. You will heighten your chances of convincing them to purchase or convert if they have already initiated contact with you. Avoid the all-or-nothing approach that extensive contact forms can cause.
- Pop-Up Ads
Once considered a very effective way to attract new conversions, nearly all malware and spyware prevention companies now mark these as intrusive and even malicious. Don’t attach your business name and reputation to pop-up ads. All they serve to do is annoy and aggravate your visitors, encouraging them not to come back. The same is true for popovers; these are similar to pop-ups, except they layer over the webpage and must be dealt with before the visitor continues. Popovers are almost never effective, but they are annoying.
- Minimize external linking
There are some instances in which external linking is warranted; if you need to link to a reputable resource, government site, or study to back up your claims, you should use external linking. However, it should always be used conservatively. Remember that each and every external link means that your visitor is taken away from your website, thus, they spend less time on it. Avoid linking to outside sites except for when absolutely necessary.
- Negative SEO Standards
Eight years ago, SEO was easy. You’d simply stuff in as many keywords as you could, and Google would do the rest. Unfortunately, this lead to inordinate amounts of spam. Google began to make keywords less and less important. Eventually, they began sandboxing, or removing, spammers from the search engine altogether. It is vital that you follow only positive, white-hat SEO standards or you, too, risk this sandboxing. Although it is possible to recover from the Google sandbox, it is extensively expensive and difficult. It’s far better to start right in the first place. Don’t use keyword stuffing, and don’t use manipulative tactics to reroute visitors to places that they wouldn’t otherwise go. And never, ever pay for links or clicks outside of Google Adsense.
- Unidentified Downloads
While downloads can help you to disseminate information or software, some developers still feel that they can simply be placed without prior identification. This is extremely bad practice for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s impossible to know if the end user will be able to view or use the file. Those with older computers may even find their computer locks up and stops working when they try to open incompatible files. This is also true for PDFs on web pages; many PDFs are larger than actual web pages, resulting in high bandwidth needs and slow loading. Some browsers don’t support viewing PDF files at all. If you must provide a download, inform the customer of the download, what its purpose is, and what software they may need to make use of it.