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Things to avoid for your website

October 30, 2009

Jean

When starting a website, there are a few mistakes that are important to avoid. No need to become a technical expert: with tools like UGAL it is easy to publish your website and to create content for it. With the evolution of technologies, it is important to follow a few best practices.

Here is a short list of things that could be tempting but that we recommend you avoid.

Site under construction

A website is not a paper brochure: it is a work in progress and its content can (and should) change frequently. The "under construction" sign with the worker next too it make your website look like it's 1996 again.

Underline text that is not a link

It is simply annoying. Your visitors expect that everything underlined is a link. Not being able to click on it make your website look like it is broken.

The opposite stands true as well: link should be underlined, or at the very least in a different color than the rest of the copy. You can't expect your visitors to mouse over every word to see if a link is hidden behind them or not.

Make your web pages automatically play music

Please don't... it is not the expectation and your visitors might not be in an environment appropriate for music (at work, at the library etc...). Instead, use a standard user interface control for playing music that does not start automatically.

Create URLs that are too long

Make sure to produce URLs that are short, do not contain non alphanumeric characters, and and do not contain session information (like a user ID) that make them unsafe to share. By using short and simple URLs, your visitors can easily type them in emails, share them and maybe even spell them. Make sure to include keywords in your URLs, it helps with search engines.

Create a website

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