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5 Web Design Mistakes Novices Make

Posted in Design By Lucy Harper

As a web designer or business owner, you’ve probably seen it all when it comes to novice web design creations. On the one hand, it’s understandable that small-business owners need to stay within budget while getting their online business up and running. What they don’t understand is that sometimes the shortcuts that save money in the short-run end up costing a lot more down the line. These five web design mistakes are ones you can present to potential customers when trying to help them understand why it’s worth their while to pay for your services. In the end, having a site that functions smoothly, is easy for the business owner to manage and offers a pleasant buying experience for the consumer is worth its weight in gold.

Common Mistakes Do-It-Yourselfers Make

  • Too Many Bells and Whistles. Overzealous internet-based business owners can get so excited about the prospect of having their websites up and running that they may have a hard time reigning in that excitement. Many sites that offer templates for building websites also offer an attractive array of add-ons. While many of these are useful, a novice can have a hard time picking and choosing, as well as limiting themselves to what’s needed. As a professional web designer you know what happens when too many widgets and add-ons are part of the website…the site moves slowly and is overwhelming to navigate.
  • Image Overkill. Well-chosen images are instrumental in attracting viewers and conveying what the website is all about. But image overkill can cause a website to load slowly, ultimately losing the interest of possible buyers. Unfortunately, the do-it-yourselfer doesn’t know this.
  • A Site that’s Impossible to Navigate. A website’s layout is as important as the products and content displayed on it. First-time visitors should be able to make their way around a business’s website without any problems. If they have to search for information, they’re likely to give up and go to the next website. Professional guidance can help a businessperson end up with a site that’s easy for the buyer to navigate and invites further perusal.
  • Online Purchases are Nightmarish. A shopping cart or online payment method is critical for internet-based businesses. With the variety of choices available today, there’s no reason why the process of making or accepting payments online should be difficult. Customers don’t want to work through page after page to get to the final purchase. Conversely, the business owner should be able to easily track sales. Do-it-yourself websites may or may not have the option of an easy-to-use payment method, making the input of an expert invaluable.
  • No Way for Customers to Contact Seller. Building a website is an overwhelming task, and it can be easy to overlook little details that are really important. A “Contact Us” page or contact information helps would-be buyers reach out with questions or comments. Little details such as this are par for the course for the expert, which helps ensure that the business website includes all that it should.

Selling the Benefits of Working with an Expert

As an expert in web design or development, you have a great deal to offer the businessperson who’s already overwhelmed by the day-to-day operations of trying to create business success. Yet, it’s important to demonstrate the value of hiring an expert to create a business website versus saving money by doing it themselves. Have a portfolio of examples available, and offer various packages to make your services accessible to business owners with varying levels of budget constraints. The common mistakes experienced by do-it-yourselfers are avoidable, and you can help people avoid making them by conveying the value of a professionally designed website.


Hey Lucy,

Very reasonable advice.

Mentioning some more mistakes that web designers usually make -

1) Complicated Registration Forms

2) Inconsistent Interface Design

3) Unorganized Content Layout

4) Background Music

Karen Walters
Karen Walters

Great stuff !! These are not the only mistakes that novices need to keep in mind while designing a website but there are plenty of others like Jumping to assumptions surrounding the user’s experience, Sub-pixel mock-ups, Little appreciation of the technologies etc. that they must be aware of, in order to ensure that they go about designing a website in the right manner.


You are so right on with this post! I USE to build websites for people, I learned a long time ago about the KISS method and the businesses I started online have been very successful, but trying to "help" newbies...they just don't want to listen, they want the bells and whistles and all of the pictures and garbage that distract a potential customer. So now I just concentrate on MY business and do what I know to do. I really hope other newbies learn from this post, it is all true!

Tusshar Rajput
Tusshar Rajput

Congratulations, Hands down the best blog for this topic, EVER. Great summation and use of positive and negative critiques. I agree with your assessment and recommendations.