Build your website with your audience in mind. With this rule of thumb, you can create a site that’s user-friendly, has good content and consequently, will attract and retain visitors. So it’s time to retire the following practices that don’t help at all with these goals.
1. Auto-play videos. Whether it’s an ad or actual content on your site, videos that play automatically are intrusive and distracting. Let your audience decide what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. Don’t shove it in their faces.
2. Pop-ups. They have the same problem as auto-play videos: intrusive, distracting and really nothing more than an outdated online marketing trick. And most browsers block them anyway.
3. Background music. It’s tacky, jarring and has no useful value whatsoever. There are far better ways for your site to make an impact on visitors. Having a bothersome audio is not one of them.
4. Too many widgets. Widgets are nifty features that help with easier navigation and provide structure on your site. The key is to choose the right widgets that are actually useful to your website. Cramming too many widgets into the page makes it look cluttered and messy.
5. Jam-packed homepage. Resist the urge to display everything on your homepage. A muddled homepage is an eyesore and won’t help you promote your content or your brand. Focus instead on making the site easily navigable so your readers can readily find what they’re looking for.