In 2018, web design continues to play an important role in the branding of a business online. The stakes are so high that you have a minimal amount of time to capture someone’s attention before they leave a website. The average user spends 10-20 seconds on a site before deciding to go, so these days, you can’t afford to have any screw-ups in your business website design.

With all the advances in the animations and graphics web designers can include in their work, it’s easy to forget some of the most important basics.

Regardless of newer trends like floating navigation menus, variable fonts, CSS Grid, and page transitions becoming more popular, web designers should always remember that they are trying to solve problems for the business owner.

It’s understandable to get caught up in all these trends and somehow still produce less than desirable results for the client. Here are the top 10 biggest web design failures to avoid in 2018.

1. Oversized Images

The ideal website needs to load quickly in under 5 seconds to keep site visitors on for as long as possible. Too many large website images cause your website to slow down considerably. A common mistake web designers can make is forgetting to compress the images before uploading them to WordPress. It’s a best practice to keep each image under 200 KBs to prevent these problems.

2. Difficult to Find Relevant Content

The last thing you want your website to be is a confusing labyrinth where everything takes so long to find. Sometimes, simplicity is the best characteristic you can have in web design. That’s why there are some uglier websites out there which perform amazingly well in converting website visitors. There’s not as many frills or amazing effects on those sites, but it doesn’t take a long time for people to find what they need.

Don’t try to make your website complicated. Remember the audience the website is designed for and think about the user experience in all stages of the project.

3. Too Many Annoying Pop-Ups

Most people can’t stand pop-ups because they’re interrupted from taking decisive action on your site when these show up. Even now with the prevalence of AdBlock and lots of pop-up blocking software, you still need to design your website to work well with a variety of audiences.

If you must include pop-ups like to collect user information, keep them as simple as possible. Don’t request too much information, and make sure they only pop up at the right time like when someone makes a purchase. In a situation like that, it would be reasonable for a pop-up to appear asking the user to sign up for an e-mail list or telling them about special promotions and deals.

4. Many of the Pages Don’t Work on Mobile

It is one of the biggest failures not to use responsive design when creating a website for a client. Google places high priority on ranking mobile-responsive websites. With more people surfing the internet from their phones, there’s no reason not to create a site that will help attract them. It’s easy to tell when a website looks terrible on a mobile device. The menus might take up too much space and not close properly.

A video could be cut off to the side, and the user can’t play it on their phone. All sorts of problems can happen when web designers don’t take the time to make their sites responsive whether it be through adding queries to the CSS files or finding the appropriate settings from the content builders they use.

Over 52% of today’s internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so losing this large chunk of an audience means missed opportunities for the business to generate leads.

5. Too Much Distracting Website Animation

Website animations can add more charm, appeal, and identity to a website, but only when used properly. There are times where web designers can go too far by getting the timing wrong in the animations used. A website animation that’s too fast or slow will annoy the user either way and cause them to leave.

You can hold the user’s attention for a second, but after 10 seconds, they’ll grow bored or annoyed. Finding the sweet spot in animation load times and how many animations to use on a website will have an enormous impact.

6. Failure to Update and Maintain the Website

In WordPress, there are new versions of plugins coming out that web designers need to be on top of. Some of these updates contain security updates and new features that make the experience for the user a lot safer. Each month, the web designer should look at these updates and see which ones make the most sense to install. Then, take the necessary precautions to prevent technical problems from occurring after updating the plugins.

7. Lack of Quality Content

To take the most advantage of search engine optimization, a website needs to have quality content that’s useful and pertinent to website visitors. Without content, there’s not much of an incentive for a user to click on the website. They’ll become confused and not know what actions to take.

The point of having a site is to attract customers and make the most money possible, but without coming across as spammy. The website content eases people’s apprehensions and gives them reasons to care about the business.

8. Not Standing Out

Anyone can make a website in 2018. There are hundreds of people who take website templates from ThemeForest and change them slightly to sell to clients. Some business owners feel that they don’t need a web designer because it’s seemingly easy to purchase a theme on their own and change it. To make website designs stand out, pay close attention to what the business owner needs from website design.

Create a website design that’s going to solve their #1 problem and prove that the design will pay for itself much better than any pre-made themes. Look at what the competitors of the business are doing, but also take outside inspiration from world-class web designers on Behance and Dribbble. Study these designs and examine how they function, then apply the insights to your work.

9. No Consistency

When you’re designing a website, everything on the website has to be consistent. The devil is in the details and having the wrong typography on a sentence or a slightly different color in CSS cheapens the website.

Prevent these problems by keeping notes of what colors, settings, and typography you will use throughout the site. You can also jot down these notes on paper just in case. Avoid jumping in and building a website without a plan.

10. The Website Isn’t Using an HTTPs Certificate

There have been hundreds of cyber attacks in 2018 alone from lack of security on the websites. Keep the user’s information secure by using an HTTPs certificate on the site. This stops eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle hackers in their tracks.

Look at what happened to Equifax and the millions of customers that were affected by cyber attacks. Website security is no laughing matter and is paramount for any web designer to consider.


Avoid these web design failures when designing websites for businesses. Always remember to build the site according to what the client needs. Don’t get too caught up in trying to make your website have the coolest animations around or leaving security for granted. Even the most beautiful website design can fail to achieve business goals because of these mistakes.

Contact our web design team at 470-440-3434 or email [email protected] to request more information. Read our blog for more web design and SEO tips and articles. We hope you have found the information presented here useful for your needs!