Here are some things you can do to discourage me from visiting your web site.
- Intro page that says “click here to enter my site.” Let’s assume I went to your web site to enter it in the first place. Thanks for wasting my time.
- Flash player intro that takes more than a second or two to load. I could take the chance that this thing won’t take nine minutes to load, or I could close it right now.
- Mysterious images to click on with no words. I am never in the mood to guess about what I am clicking, even if you think it makes you seem deep or dark.
- Music that automatically plays without my requesting it. I’m either enjoying my own music, or have a legitimate reason for having it turned off, like conversation. If you have music on your web site, it’s as if you think we all need to hear music that you like. Window closed, bookmarked not.
- Sparkletags, ads that claim I’ve won something, animations that invite me to shoot something and win, or animated slide shows of your terrible photos. Do I really want to spend 90 seconds watching all this crap load? The internet is big enough without you gobbling up my broadband with your terrible taste.
- Any page that resizes my windows or changes any of my settings. People, please. This is my computer.
- Text that is a color or style that conflicts with the background. Usually this is bright red text against a royal blue background, but also includes repeating photos in the background. Trust me when I say that you have nothing worth saying that requires me to squint or get a headache.
- Your terrible blogging. What you are really asking your readers to do is something you would not: read about the banal minutia of other people’s lives. If you want readers, your blog must be entertaining.
I’m not saying that all websites are train wrecks, but come on, you know who you are. Maybe it’s time to remove that dancing icon you found on AOL in 1997, and move on. Maybe it’s time to rethink the blaze green headlines and blaze orange text. Maybe we don’t want to hear “Rock You Like a Hurricane” as often as you do. Think about it.