What not to do on your website Posted at 12.04.2010 8:24 by Martin Grüner
What not to do on your website

„Site under construction, we apologies“.

No one thinks an apology like this is sincere. If the subpage is not ready yet, no matter the reason, it should not be published. Visitor clicking the link is interested in the information it claims to provide. “Under construction, be back soon” is not what he is expecting. You can be sure he won’t be back.


If you add a new page to your site it will soon be indexed by search engines. Google doesn’t know nor care, if it’s content is what it should be or “Under construction” message. It will index it anyhow. Once the page is indexed, Google is not very eager to change the site content, it might take months. Even after you add the original content, the title or description of your site in search results will still be “Under construction, be back soon”. Most visitors never click results like that. ”Under construction” text might result in losing business


What to do if your webpage is not ready at all, but you already have the domain? In that case, simple “coming coon” index with your logo might be appropriate. It’s much better than having no identity online, that’s for sure. However you should definitely add, at least an approximate date of your real websites release. “Visit us again on June 20” is much better than asking client to visit the site again in some abstract time in the future.


Welcome screens

One of the most annoying things you stumble upon over and over again are welcome screens. Welcome screen is a Flash animation or image that opens up once you go to the website that has no other purpose than saying hello. Besides wasting your visitors’ valuable time, such abnormations are not looked well upon by search engines. If you think that your welcome consists of important information, just add it to the normal front page.


Using images instead of text or absence of text

Pictures play very important role on websites. They illustrate the text and make is more attractive. However that’s it. Text on the websites is like engine in the car. If you remove it, all you have is an empty shell. It might be beautiful, but it’s still just piece of metal/carbon fiber. It won’t get you from A to B. That’s exactly what website feels like when you either replace text with images or cut back on text. Users visit your website for the information, not for the illustrations. Same applies to search engines.


Why to use text instead of pictures?

  • Pictures are big in size. Loading them takes long time on slower connections and actually costs your client money on some mobile devices.
  • Search engines prefer text . Even though there are image search engines, most of your potential customers use regular text based search
  • You can’t copy text from pictures. Clients might often need to copy specifications from your product catalogue. They can’t do it if all you have are images.

Information in PDF files

All necessary information should be available to your visitors without having to download any additional documents. Many platforms, especially mobile, might not support PDF file format and opening PDF files can take ages on slower computer.

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