Feb 6, 2012
What Not to Use
A friend of ours who used to be an English teacher tells us that the absolute worst way to teach kids how to spell is to show them the wrong way to spell commonly misspelled words. And yet our New Jersey web design and development team can’t resist the urge to warn our readers away from some of the most damaging – and easy-to-avoid – pitfalls we have seen a lot of small NJ and NYC businesses fall into when developing their first websites.
Today, we’re going to talk about five website development elements that deserve to be obsolete or even forbidden in effective website design projects. In our next installment, our website designers in NJ will focus on equivalently inadvisable visual design elements that can do a similar job of undermining your best intentions for your website.
- Don’t open with a splash page! We don’t know anybody who likes to cool their heels, waiting for an elaborate but meaningless splash page to load and then display. No matter how gorgeous your creation, displaying it just hinders your visitors’ access to where they want to be, viewing the informational content of your website. It bores them and drives them away. Search engines don’t know what to do with these pages, either. Furthermore, most splash pages are developed in Flash, and even Adobe has announced its intentions to stop supporting that.
- Don’t use frames! Here’s another website design technology that has lost a lot of ground, for good reason. Frames are also a problem for the search engines, and some browsers don’t even support frames. Trying to print content displayed in frames can be an annoying experience, too.
- Don’t link a page to itself! A link from one part of a single page to another part of that same page just confuses the person who clicks on it. You click on the link, the browser refreshes, and you see the same thing you did before you clicked. It’s natural to assume the link isn’t working, and that does nothing for the website’s credibility.
- Don’t keyword-stuff! This is our NJ web developers’ new favorite don’t, because it alienates not only your visitors, but also the very search engines you are trying to impress with all those instances of your target keywords. Yes, having keywords on your pages does help the search engines to identify and index your site for those keywords. But Google has become very smart, and it recognizes when you try to trick it by cramming in too many keywords that don’t fit the natural flow of the text. And visitors don’t want to read stilted copy, especially when they can see what you’re doing is luring them to your site by means of SEO-focused artifice rather than providing useful content.