Building your own website is now easier than ever. No longer do you have to be a programming wizard with an extensive knowledge of HTML. Thanks to open source content management systems like WordPress, now anyone can build their own website to their very own design – all for free.

Unfortunately, not everyone has an eye for web design, resulting in a lot of mistakes that put visitors off. Here are a few of those most common blunders.

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Spamming keywords

There was a time when loading your website full of excessive keywords might boost your rankings on search engines such as Google and Yahoo. However, now these search engines have come up with complex algorithms to work against these spammy keyword-infested websites, often scoring them lower on search engines as a result.

Of course, not only do lots of keywords damage your rankings, they also put off visitors that can see straight through your ploy. Instead of spamming, you’re best off seeking professional help from an SEO company who may be able boost your rankings naturally.

Relying on basic design

Some amateur web designers may simply lose out on traffic by relying on simple templates. These look boring and make your site hard to distinguish from a million other sites.

Try to make your website stand out by experimenting with more elaborate themes. Youtube tutorials and online guides can help you if you need hints and tips. In some cases, it may be worth investing in other graphics tools or paying a professional to tweak your website (try reading up on Agile development services and other web design features).

Creating unreadable text

The text on your website had to be readable, otherwise no-one is going to be able to understand what your website has to offer. Make sure that the colour of your text shows up clearly against the background – some backgrounds may simply be too difficult to work with. Use a clear font that isn’t too frilly or wild. Lastly, make sure the text is large enough that people can read it. Make important information and headings jump out at people by upping the font and putting in bold.

Not adding a search function

If there’s a lot of content on your website, a search bar can help people find it more easily without having to scroll through multiple pages. There are many sites that can let you embed search bars – these do require a bit of coding but you can usually find how-to guides online. Even if there isn’t much content to search, simply having this feature can make it look more organised and navigable.

Using music and gifs

This isn’t the 90s anymore! If you’ve got music on your website or horrible clip art gifs, remove them. They‘re annoying and make your website seem cheap. Feel free to add Youtube videos though (so long as they’re related to your content).