Common Web Dev Mistakes Even Experts Make

We all believe in the adage “nobody is perfect,” and it’s true even for web developers. Even the most experienced ones still commit mistakes that make you scratch your head. Here are some of the most common ones:

Lack of Search Box

Many websites, even ones designed by seasoned web developers still don’t have a search box. All websites need a search box. Even if you have the most user-friendly layout and navigational tools, it is still easier for visitors to just search for the content he wants using a search box. In fact, visitors tend to stay longer by randomly typing search strings at the search box than manually navigating the menus and site links.

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Additionally, adding a search box to your website isn’t even that difficult even if you have no coding skills. Google provides a search box that you can add to your own layout simply by copy and pasting a snippet of HTML code.

Poor Readability

This one is usually committed by web developers who get so engrossed with the visual design side of things that they forget about legibility. Sometimes it comes from poor choice of fonts, sometimes it’s mismatched colors, and sometimes it’s because they simply restricted the font size to a single size, which could turn out small depending on the size of the user’s screen.

The best way to avoid this is to simply look at your website from the perspective of the visitor. Check if it hurts your eyes, or if the text is hard to read if your screen resolution is set to the average size used by your regular visitors (some website analytics track this sort of thing.) Lastly, try to set aside the visual artist mindset and remember that visitors will only notice your layout once or maybe a few times, and will only care about the written content in future visits.

Disorganized Layout and Bad Navigation

A poorly organized layout will do nothing but hide a large part of your website to your visitors. Designing a layout should include a lot of thought on how you guide your users to the various parts of your website. It should be logical and it should make things easier. Sometimes you see large websites from accomplished developers still have important sections – such as the customer support or the contact us page – buried underneath multiple levels of pages even though they should be easily accessible from the front page.

Inconsistent Design

It’s not just about making various pages on your website look good, you have to ensure that they look consistent with each other. Don’t fall into the trap of excessive creativity. Don’t follow some designers, who seem to have developed a habit of creating a different design for every web page within a website. This can be confusing to a user and can be annoying. Additionally, it makes it hard for your website to build an image in the user’s mind with regard to visuals. Branding is all about being consistent, so don’t try to bombard the visitors with various inconsistently designed visuals.

Finally, User Forms That Are Too Complicated

We get it, every single piece of information you can get from visitors will help you in customizing the experience to fit everybody’s preference. However, don’t try to farm for information during their first visit. Forms that have too many fields to fill out can be tedious and will most likely drive away visitors. Keep it to the bare minimum, and just ask them to fill out the remaining fields in their profile at their own leisure.


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