The 12 Most Common Mistakes
Made by Beginners
are always useful exceptions for the following rules, these no-nos
are usually what divide websites that people don't take seriously
from the good quality sites that are visited time and again.
1st NO: Don't
use wild backgrounds! They can frazzle the viewers' eyes, or they
make the words hard to read.
sites have plain-color backgrounds, usually white for the main
body of the screen.
put a scrolling message on the status bar.
Oftentimes, one of the first things that amateur webmasters do
the bottom of the browser window display a message that scrolls
across it. Please don't. Leave that space alone for use as it
was intended: to report when a page is finished being downloaded
and to show the URL of a link.
say CLICK HERE!
Design your site well enough so that visitors know what to click
without being told. This leads us to the next no:
or use bright blue fonts.
This confuses people; they think these words might be links.
of a high quality magazine. What colors do they use? Answer: Black
text on white paper, and colored headlines that are very tastefully
done and easy on the eyes.
use "under construction" signs or make excuses for unfinished
might think this will entice viewers to return later to see what
you eventually add to the page. But rarely do they care enough
to come back. They want what they want the first time they try,
and if you don't give what you promise right at that moment, you
lose them. They won't remember to come back even if they wanted
to. Have you ever bookmarked an "under construction"
page in order to return later? Either leave the unfinished page
off the site till it's totally done, or make it look finished
even before it is finished.
more than 2 animated graphics on a page. Too
force your visitors to listen to sound. That
means no automatic starting of music when the page loads. Sometimes
this crashes people's computers, although not as often today as
in the past. Sometimes people are trying to enjoy their favorite
radio station. Sometimes they just want quiet. Offer music, but
give people control over whether they hear it or not:
The HTML code
for this is:
<embed src="yourfile.mid" width="140"
height="55" autostart="false" loop="1"
use large fonts OR ALL CAPS except for headlines.
the high quality magazines again. Stay normal. Normal is classy.
Abnormal does not help us emphasize or call attention to the points
we are trying to make. Abnormal does call attention to
make it hard for your visitor to contact you/your client, or to
find their way back to the home page. Ask
an Internet Ignoramus you know to look over your site, without
any coaching from you. Can he figure out easily enough how to
navigate through the site and come back to start?
use a lot of graphics on a single page. Neither
display very large graphics. They greatly slow the downloading
of the page. If you must display numerous pictures, divide them
into several pages, like a slide show where people click on "next"
to see the next one.
forget to proof-read your page. Run
it through spell-check, but also proof it manually. Are all columns
lined up evenly? Downsize the screen size of your browser; does
everything still line up evenly? If you coppied the text from
elsewhere, there might bee line breaks in the middle of paragraphs,
even though they don't show up on your monitor. Little things
like this are important. Viewers wonder: If you misspell
words, how dependable is the information on your site? (Did you
catch the two typos in this paragraph?)
this tutorial as a printable Word Document.
are 4000 new websites going online every day! That means
that many, many sites are competing for the time and attention
of your potential visitors. Set yourself apart. Get rid of every
remnant of beginner-itis that is still on your website(s). It's
the only way to earn the respect of your visitors so that they
will trust and use and return to the information you offer.
have only 10 seconds to convince a visitor to stay at your site,
maybe less! If those 10 seconds are spent getting frustrated with
long downloads, or with music they didn't want to hear, or with
gimmicks and colors that offend their eyes, you've lost your visitor,
probably for good. However, if in those first 10 seconds
they find a link to what they're looking for, or they get a good
feeling that they will enjoy this site, or they are attracted
to a benefit you're offering them, you've got them hooked.
sure way to rise out of the ranks of amateurism into the ranks
of good quality is to divide your page into one to three narrow
columns. Guide the viewer's eyes down the page rather than across.
This gives people the opportunity to scan quickly, and speed is
a key reason why people go searching for information on the Internet.
clutter the page. Give the viewer one eye-catcher to focus on
first that represents your ministry or business. It should stand
out, contrasting with the rest of what's on the page. For example,
a photograph on a plain background with lots of space around it
will draw the eye to it immediately. A busy page, messy-looking,
disorganized, and uneven is one that shouts YUK! AMATEUR HERE!
you publish other people's articles and opinions on the web, first
get their permission (or else you're violating copyright laws).
Then state under the title or at the end of the text who authored
it and what their credentials are, so that the material is taken
seriously. If you write your own articles or offer your own opinions,
include quotes from reputable sources to back up your claims.
Quote recognized experts. Do good research and let the research