4 Major mistakes you should never make when designing a website

We all make mistakes; it’s learning and improving upon those mistakes that make us better, both as professionals and as human beings.

But with any heavily technology-reliant career, our mistakes can cost us a lot of business. In a time where most organizations are almost subservient to technology, mistakes can cripple – if not completely destroy – a business.

One seemingly small website design oversight or mistake can bring a website crumbling to its knees, cutting a client off from their current and potential customers. And if you’re responsible for it, you could easily find yourself out of work.

So avoid these major mistakes when creating websites for your clients…and your own business, too.

Overusing stock images

We all use stock images.

They’re easy to find and cheap (if not free) to generate. And let’s face it, hiring a photographer to capture perfect photos is rarely within the budget.

However, overusing stock images can make your clients appear to be unoriginal and lazy (and could possibly reflect poorly on you, too). See below:


Don’t be afraid to get creative…that’s our bread and butter, right? Try developing unique images and infographics to bring originality to your clients’ websites. You never know, you might find a great niche.

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Not offering additional services

When it comes to your clients’ websites, do what you do best and farm out the rest.

  • If you’re great with SEO, team up with a designer.
  • If you’re a designer/developer, team up with a copywriter.

You get the idea.

Strike up a partnership with another freelancer or organization, one that can offer you and your clients a complete package – marketing, copywriting, search engine optimization AND web design.

You’ll also increase your networking potential and are almost guaranteed to help land additional clients.

Pro tip! It’s always a good idea to fill in your educational gaps, but not at the expense of your clients. Word of mouth can be your best friend and your worst enemy – don’t allow a learning experience to tarnish your reputation or bankrupt your small business.

Creating content solely for search engines

In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an excellent essay entitled Content is King, where he predicted:

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet…

This is no doubt true; however, a website without search engine optimization might never be seen, no matter how great the content is.

Therefore, it’s important to write in a way that both people and search engines enjoy.

However, some designers develop content solely for Google, which more often than not creates more problems than client leads.

Below is a website with obvious keyword stuffing. The text at the bottom of the page serves no purpose other than to attempt to game the system. Moreover, anyone visiting the website wouldn’t take this business seriously.


Being a jack-of-all CMS

Whether you’re just starting out and using a website builder or you’ve become a self-proclaimed expert dabbling in multiple content management systems (CMS), FOCUS.

Benefits include:

Better to become an expert (or at least very, very good) in one CMS – WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the biggies – than be average…and less efficient…in all of them.

Got a web pet-peeve?

What mistake(s) do you see that make your skin crawl with a desire to fix them? Or maybe you’ve lived and learnt? Share your stories in the comments!

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About Jess Cammerman

Jess is a Digital Marketing Consultant who has a passion for anything related to the online world!


  1. great post. Informative!

  2. Number 1 is funny, because I just saw a website yesterday that is using the stock photo from this very post… 😉

    • It happens. I think there’s a bit of a difference between blog posts and websites, though. I can’t imagine any blog lasting very long if they paid for an image every time a post published!

  3. Good to know what to avoid. I will keep these in mind on my next site.

  4. Having taken the last 5 years or so to truly understand and offer best practices on-page SEO to my clients (along with my design services), what drives me bonkers is seeing sites that still have “welcome” or “home” in their title tags!! It absolutely makes my skin crawl!!

    Yeah I know SEO has a bad wrap cuz – but boy when it’s done right, it;s powerful and my clients appreciate it.


  1. […] up the text with high quality images (and adding descriptive alt tags to those images), you can appease both users and search engines. Also, be sure to optimize those images for web viewing and keep those file sizes as small as […]

  2. […] design has one job: to bring the content to life. The design should make the writing accessible, legible, and exciting to […]

  3. […] 4 Major mistakes you should never make when designing a website […]


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