With so many design tools available today, creating a website is something that almost anyone can do. However, not everyone knows how to produce an excellent website, and some end up making mistakes that could drive visitors away. This article points out five of the most common mistakes that you should avoid when designing your own website:

Mistake #1 — Hard to read text
There are virtually hundreds, if not thousands, of font styles and sizes available out there. Some even have special effects and animations. While you may be tempted to go for a fancy style or a blinking effect, think about “readability” for a moment. Imagine yourself in the shoes (or through the eyes) of your reader. Your aim is to go for something that is simple, just the right size, and easy on the eyes. What’s the use of having a pretty but unreadable website?

Mistake #2 — Too many colors
Just like font styles, there are many colors available out there, especially since these can help make a webpage more attractive. While there is nothing wrong with this, putting too many colors can make your webpage too “loud,” or worse, “mismatched.” In order to avoid this, you just need to select two or three colors that best represent your brand or image. Instead of adding colors, you can also use gradients to give more depth to your website.

Mistake #3 — No search bar
The number one reason why people go online is to search for information, and this is what search engines are for. In the same way, people go to your website because they are looking for specific information in a particular page. If your website does not have a search bar, they might not even bother going beyond your homepage, and look elsewhere for the data they need. Hence, putting a search bar or tab on your homepage is definitely a must.

Mistake #4 — Opening pages in new windows
Some people might like the idea of opening each page in a new window, especially if they do not want to lose sight of previous pages. However, not everyone is fond of this, as it will only make browsing the website slower and more confusing. Besides, most Internet browsers already have options for opening pages in new tabs or windows, if that is what the readers prefer. And so, opening pages in new windows is one mistake that you should avoid.

Mistake #5 — Unclear or no privacy policies
Imagine yourself once again through the eyes of your readers. The last thing that you would want is unsolicited email, or worse, your personal information being shared elsewhere. To avoid the hassle of having to go through legal issues with your readers, make sure that you provide them with a clear privacy policy if they decide to enter their email or other personal information. If they choose to subscribe to your newsletter, for example, they should also have the option to unsubscribe. The key is to respect their privacy at all times.

These are the five most common mistakes that you could make: hard to read text, too many colors, no search bar, too many windows, and unclear or no privacy policies. If you want to have not just a good, but an excellent website, make sure that you steer clear of these mistakes!