Here is a list of things not to do when having your website built.  This can be helpful information for existing website owners as well as people who do not have a website and are interested in getting one.

Avoid using Flash intros – You know what I’m talking about.  The 15-30 second intro before you actually go into a website.  You may think it’s cool, but you’re visitors won’t.  Even if your visitors do like the intro, they’re only going to watch it once before they click on the Skip Intro link.  Your visitors are on your site to get information as quickly as possible.  How many times have you watched another website’s Flash intro?  I rest my case.

Avoid using background music – You may love the background music on your site, but don’t be so sure that your visitors will have your same tastes.  Also, you want to be courteous to the cubicle workers.  If you really want to have background music on your website (which I wouldn’t recommend), I suggest not having it play automatically.  If you are going to have background music on your site, you should also provide your visitor with a way to turn the background music off.

Avoid using page counters – We don’t recommend this although we do have websites in portfolio which do have counters on them.  Some of our clients were so adamant about putting a counter on their site that we did so just to keep the peace.  Do you really want to let everybody know how many people are visiting your site?  Install an analytics package on your site, so you can get detailed statistics on your site.  That’s better than any counter.

Avoid using pop-up windows – More than likely your visitors won’t see them anyway due to the fact that most browsers have built in pop-up blockers, and those pop-up windows are just downright annoying.

Avoid using any flashing text or images – People who have seizures may not react to well when they see all of that flashing.  Be courteous to your visitors.

Avoid going against conventional navigation – When you look at television sets, where is the power button?  It’s at the bottom of the television.  Well, for websites, people are used to seeing the navigation menu either at the top of the screen or on the far left.  Sometimes you may see the navigation menu on the far right.  Don’t confuse your visitors by trying to set a trend.

Next week, we’ll talk about some rules which should be followed when having your site designed.

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