The quality of your website largely influences the success of your online business. This is understandable, considering that your website is your digital storefront. You wouldn’t care to shop at a store that looked unkempt and unwelcoming, and the same is true for your online shoppers. If your website is not user-friendly, it won’t be successful bringing in sales.

In an economy where online sales are vital, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of solid web design. Here are seven web design sins that must be avoided if you want to succeed in the online world.

1. Not optimizing your site for mobile.

More than half of Americans use their smartphones to access the internet. Google knows this. Not only has Google rolled out new algorithms to accommodate this shift, but also websites that are not mobile friendly can be penalized. To avoid having your website suffer in the rankings, optimize it for mobile.

2. Forcing content into the design.

It may seem logical to choose the design of your website first, but this is the wrong order. People visit websites for information. Organize your content so that it makes sense for the user. Then choose a design that accommodates this structure.  

3. Fonts that are hard to read.

Fonts should always read effortlessly. To improve the readability of your website, choose fonts that are large and basic. Below are general guidelines for your website.

  • Header: 35px

  • Footer: 15px

  • Intro text: 26px

  • Headline (H1): 41px

  • Headline (H2): 36px

  • Body: 18px

4. Slowing down load times with graphics.

Page speed has a tremendous impact on the user experience. Pages that take too long to load often result in lost visitors. If a lot of customers leave your website, your bounce rate increases and this will negatively affect your rankings. Avoid adding too many graphics to your site. A clean, uncluttered site with a few optimized images are all users need to be happy.

5. Unclear navigation.

Keep your layout simple and sensible. Users should not have any trouble accessing information about your products and services. To help with this, design your website from a target customer’s perspective. Include clear call to actions and visible contact information.

6. Not featuring products and services.

It’s true that people come to your site for information, but selling products and services is still the top priority. Feature products on your homepage to impress customers. You don’t need a lot of content next to the images as this could overwhelm the user. Instead, include a few short sentences with “read more” that the user can click on.

7. Using low contrast fonts.

Low contrast means that there is little contrast between the font and the background. The font may be light on a light background or dark on a dark background. Doing this makes it hard for visitors to read your content. In web design, always choose high contrast fonts.

To avoid making any of these design sins, work with a web design firm when designing or updating your site. It’s one of the best investments you can make for your online business!