What NOT to have on your Web site
When it comes to your company's Web site, there's no
shortage of advice on what you absolutely have to have
little is often said about those elements that should never
see the light of day. And that's too bad, because poor
planning and neglect of your Web site can lead to lost
business, security concerns, slow traffic and other
However, Web site missteps are preventable. Here are
nine items to avoid.
- Your photo on the home page. It's true. Many Web experts say
that, although your picture may seem an element of welcome, it can
detract from why the visitor should be there in the first place. 'It's
like meeting someone new and – instead of asking them how they are –
saying 'I'm doing great!' Your Web site should be all about the viewer,
not about you. You need to first get them interested.
- Visual (and audio) overkill. This can take any number of
forms. On the one hand, it can show up as a dizziness–inducing Flash
home page or pictures of everything from clients to your pet ferret.
The former often comes off as little more than a pointless exercise of
technical muscle, the latter a confusing – and potentially
unprofessional – distraction from the business at hand. Beyond that,
overly flashy intros with loud, pulsating music can take forever to
load and cause users to flee.
- Too many confusing menu options. Your Web site structure
should be simple so that users are not bewildered by too many
possibilities. Don't have a menu of 20 options to choose from. People
can hold between five and nine pieces of information in their memory at
once. Don't exceed this limit or they're going to get overwhelmed and
leave your site.
- Information that could lead to privacy or security breaches.
This depends, to some degree, on the nature of your Web
site and business, and perhaps also on your personal comfort level. But
it is imperative that you review your Web site content for any material
that may lead to security or privacy snafus, as hackers and spammers
are constantly scanning for Web sites underlying technologies used on a
- Information that could tip off competitors. People
responsible for programming company information on Web sites should
"think like thieves." That way, they are less likely to program
information that competitors might steal or use in their own
Certain bits of information might seem innocuous on their own, but when
pieced together could reveal more than you want about your business
practices, strategic partners, corporate clients, and your internal
- Undue jargon and techno-speak. Keep your copy and content
straightforward – if need be, have a non-expert review it for clarity.
Jargon or "blather' is commonplace on the Internet. But it interferes
with the prospect's positive perception of your honesty, integrity and
- Content that makes your business sound too good to be true.
Sure, you're trying to sell something via your Web site.
But marketing content - including product pitches and customer
testimonials - that boasts and brags more than it informs and interests
people is certain to turn off many a visitor. Don't make your Web
site an ad. Make it an interactive conversation with your audience.
- Unsupervised chat boards. If you want a chat area, plan on
using a moderator who approves every submission beforehand. This avoids
spam, off-color comments, potential security breaches, and other
- Bad links and outdated material. Nothing can mislead or
alienate your visitor's more than basic business information and other
content that's obviously outdated or long since irrelevant. Same with
links that send users to error pages. Review your Web site regularly
for content and links that have changed or gone the way of mood rings
and pet rocks.
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about developing a Web site, or call:
(281) 829.0223 or email@example.com