If you’re a web-savvy small business owner and you may want to build you own website, you should design it to give your visitors the greatest ease of use, the best impression and most important of all a welcoming user experience. It doesn’t matter if you had the biggest product or the greatest service — if your website is poorly designed you won’t be able to sell because visitors will be driven off your site by the lousy layout. There are some website design elements that you should avoid to produce the best result.

When I’m talking about a “good design,” I’m not only talking about a good graphical design. A professional web design will be able to point out that there are many components which contribute to a good website design — accessibility design, interface or layout design, user experience design and of course the most straightforward, which is graphic design.

Hence, I have highlighted some features of the worst web designs I’ve come across. Hopefully, you will be able to compare that against your site as a checklist, and if anything on your site fits the criteria, you should know it’s high time to take serious action!

1) Background music

Unless you are running a site which promotes a musician, a singer or anything related to music, I will advise you to stay away from putting looping background music onto your site. It might sound pleasant to you at first, but imagine if you ran a big site with hundreds of pages and everytime a visitor browses to another page on your site, the background music starts playing again. If I were your visitor, I’d just turn off my speakers or leave your site. Moreover, they just add to the visitor’s burden when viewing your site — users on slow internet connections will have to wait longer just to see your site as it is meant to be seen.

2) Extra large/small text size

As I said, there is more to web design than simple graphics — user accessibility is one big part of it too! You should create the text on your site to be legible and reasonably sized to enable your visitors to read it without straining their eyes. No matter how good the content of your website or your sales copy is if it’s illegible you won’t be selling anything!

3) Popup ads

99% of popup ads are not worth my attention, so I just close them on instinct every time each one manages to pass through my popup blocker (yes, I do have one like many users out there!) and, well, pops up on my screen. Imagine if you had a critical message to convey and you put it in a popup window that gets killed most of the time it appears on a visitor’s screen. Your website loses its function immediately!

In concluding this blog post, let me remind you that as a business owner your job is to make sure your website does what it’s meant to do effectively. Don’t let some minor mistakes stop your site and your business from functioning optimally!

If you’re serious about getting your website professionally done, you’re better off hiring a graphic design freelancer to help you complete your website for your small business.