Whether you are designing a website yourself or getting someone to design it for you, here are some things you should NOT be placing on your website.
1. Last updated on (day/month/year)
Please don’t tell your web visitors that you did not update your website. When you put this line “this site was last updated on day-month-year” no matter how current you are, you have just informed your visitors that your website is outdated. Many people do not update their websites on a monthly basis and if you go to any Government website (especially in Malaysia!), you would cringe in horror as their last updated year is probably in 1999.
2. Best viewed with IE 5.5 and above
You can usually find these lines at the bottom of the webpage. It could be a throwback to the early days of the Internet but it’s too passe now. And many people, even if they notice this little line “best viewed with…” would not know what to do. Do you think your web visitors would start installing the latest version of Internet Explorer or simply go off to another website? Which is quicker and less bothersome? If the designer cannot design his website to be viewed easily across different browsers, start getting worried.
3. Number of visitors to your website
Some websites have little counters at the bottom of their websites to track how many people have visited since the year the website was launched. If you need to track the number of visitors who come to your website, make it inconspicuous! By this, I mean you should be keeping the information to yourself (ask your webhost for access to your Cpanel and you can view the web stats to your heart’s desire) and not announce the numbers to the world. If you have too few, your website loses credibility in the eyes of the visitor!
4. Underlined text in blue
Do not have text in blue if the text is not clickable and does not go anywhere. The general web public is so used to the principle that underlined blue text means a clickable link (or hyperlink) that if it does not go anywhere, they’d feel rather cheated! If you want to play with colours, avoid doing so with blue, especially with text. Don’t mislead your visitors no matter how unintentional it is.
5. 101 Links
The fact that you can link to other websites does not mean you should link to each and every one of them. Link exchange used to be popular a few years ago where if you link to my website, I’ll link to yours. This reciprocal link exchange worked well initially but quantity does not always represent quality. Look at the quality of links first before you go all out to link to every website you come across. Dedicate a website entirely to links if you want to but beware that more links means you must do more frequent checks to see if these links work. Over time, links might rot and instead of doing your web visitors a favour, you might be frustrating them. So link with caution.
6. Guest Book
Another early Internet feature on websites. A guest book is for web visitors to leave their remarks and comments but with today’s super sophisticated spambots and what-not, it is best to avoid opening yourself up to unwanted attention. Otherwise you’d be spammed all day!