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6 Most Common Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

Are you someone that is designing your own website or is new to web design and wants to know the most common web design mistakes?

A professional website is truly a necessity for any business that wants to be taken seriously.

Many business owners venture into the world of designing their own websites to keep budgets low or to build the exact site that they have pictured in their minds.

However, DIY-ing your own website can have its pitfalls as designing a website that converts is a complex matter and poor web design can lead to losing potential leads.

A profitable website needs to not only look aesthetically pleasing but must also:

  • tell your story,
  • be user-friendly, and
  • transform your leads into customers.

Make sure to avoid the following costly errors if you want a successful website design.


1. Forgetting a Clear Call to Action

Hello Fresh Website with Clear CTAs

Hello Fresh use clear and helpful calls to action (Unlock Offer, View our Boxes, Subscribe)

Your Website has a purpose, you want visitors to take some kind of action. This desired action could be to have customers purchase physical products, sign up to your mailing list, book a table, or contact you for a quote.

What is a call to action?

A call to action (a.k.a CTA) is a link/button with an action verb that directs the customer to do something. The purpose of a cta is to guide the site visitor to take the next step on their customer journey.

How to make a good call to action

  • Use obvious and succinct action verbs for your call to action to tell the website visitor what they can do.
  • Don’t get fancy with your words, keep it as simple as possible.
  • Make the button stand out with contrasting colours, borders and/or shadows.
  • Place the call to action in an easily visible place.

Examples of good Calls to action are:

  • Shop Now
  • Read More
  • Explore
  • Sign-up


2. Having an Unresponsive Layout

Woman holding phone with unresponsive web layout

This is an example of an unresponsive website

Did you know that 58.99% of web users are browsing the internet on their smartphones?

Accordingly, it is vital to adapt your site to be optimised for devices other than desktops.

People browsing online are looking for the information that they want, as quickly as possible, in a format that is clear and enjoyable.

Therefore, if someone visits your site and the design has not been optimised for mobile, that visitor will most likely leave and pop over to your competitor.

Ensure that you design your website with mobile in mind. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the platform that you are using.

3. Your Contact Information is Difficult to Find

Yoni Yoga Website with clear contact page in navigation

Yoni Yoga displays their contact page clearly in their navigation

If your business is a service provider, then a contact form is the best way for leads to reach out to you with enquiries.

Additionally, if you sell products, your leads may have questions to which the answer is the only thing standing between them and a sale.

So, contact information, and ideally a contact form, should be easily located on your site. Not only does contact information give the site visitor a way of contacting you, but it also builds a level of trust as they know there is a human behind the website.

If you do not have contact information on your site, or if the information is difficult to find, it is likely that you will lose potential customers due to unanswered questions and a lack of connection.

Top Tips:

Add a “Contact” page to your site, include it in your main navigation and have as many contact methods as possible.

4. A Cluttered Layout

World's worst website screenshot

Here is an example of what not to do with your website design


A Website is like your shop front and your story rolled into one.

Thus, you want your website to display what you have to offer, as well as who you are, and why the visitor should buy from you.

In order to do this successfully your website needs to convey all of the relevant information in a logical and orderly way.

Make sure to use sufficient white space and don’t bombard the page with countless images otherwise you may end up with a website that is more terrifying than tantalising!

Check out this “world’s worst website” for an example of what not to do!

5. Using Common and/or Irrelevant Stock Images

Businessman in wheat field with briefcase and balloons

Here is a bad stock photo of a Businessman in a wheat field with a briefcase and balloons.

There are countless images out there in the online world, however time and time again identical images pop up on numerous websites, often in an unrelated context.

Common and corny stock images are a surefire way to make your website look unprofessional and slapped together.

Think your team page will look better with a stock photo of random people smiling in an office? Think again!

Wherever possible, use your own images. A brand shoot is a great way to create photos that you could use throughout the site to have consistent branding and to present a professional image.

However, branding shoots can be out of budget for small businesses. If you do not wish to invest in a brand shoot, there are many places where you can source carefully curated stock images.

I have listed some of my favourites below:




Adobe Stock


Make sure that every time you use an image, it is entirely relevant to the context.

6. Unclear Navigation

Franco Manca website with clear and simple navigation

The Franco Manca website has clear and simple navigation

We live in an age where information is everywhere and is delivered to us at lightning speed. Our attention spans are short and if we don’t get what we want quickly, we tend to move on.

Hence, if visitors to your website cannot see what they want/where they want to go on your main navigation, they will probably not look any further.

Your navigation needs to be obvious (avoid hamburger menus on desktop), streamlined and easy to use.

When designing your navigation, think about what your visitor wants to know and what the most important pages on your site are.

Navigation menu top tips:

  • Name your links unambiguously, you can have a little fun with the titles, but don’t go too obscure.
  • Don’t have too many tabs.
  • About and Contact Pages are important.
  • Create drop-down menus if necessary to save space.

    Avoid having a badly designed website.

    Attract, convert and retain potential customers by making sure to follow these best practices to avoid the mistakes above:

    1. Use clear call to actions that guide your visitors on a journey.
    2. Design with mobile users in mind.
    3. Make your contact information easy to find.
    4. Only include what is necessary and place items intentionally.
    5. Ideally, use your own images, if you can’t, choose high-quality and relevant stock images.
    6. Have obvious and simple navigation.

    Want Some Help?

    With all of the other tasks you need to complete whilst running a business, why not consider hiring a professional web designer that will avoid all of the above mistakes and ensure that your website is optimised?

    Enable FigDrop to remove all the guesswork, blood, sweat, and tears by creating a unique online presence for you that delivers. Find out more about FigDrop’s web design services or contact me to start your journey to online success.

    Have you made any of these web design mistakes?

    We all make mistakes, it’s the most important part of learning! I’ve made many!

    Let me know in the comments below.

    If you found this post helpful, please share!


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    Lulu, designed of FigDrop smiling with mac

    Hey there Honey Bee! I’m Lucinda, Founder and Designer at FIGDROP. 

    FIGDROP crafts unique websites and branding that provide businesses with the fuel they need to succeed.

    On this blog, you will find posts covering the topics of: web design, running a small business, motivation, branding and inspiration. 


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