You can probably read more than 250 articles about what you should have in your blog/site in order to make it “sticky.” Your goal with any Internet presence is to make that presence as meaningful as possible. You want people to stay. You want them to read those wonderful posts you wrote, that took you all afternoon to create. You want them to swallow the bait…. Don’t you?
Well, then… why would you go through all that trouble and creative drive only to have them run away from the site, before they get a chance to “get to know it?” I am sure you have been to many sites that have made you run away, almost before the whole, huge (takes forever to load!) site appeared on your monitor. Below is an assimilation of my Top 5 Pet Peeves when it comes to Internet presence. Make “surfing the ‘net” a positive, profitable, and enjoyable experience for your viewer.
1. My main “I wish it wasn’t there” complaint is their music. When I work at my computer, I usually listen to music. It is music I choose because it moves me to creativity, or it keeps me awake, even though I know I should put my hands behind my back and go home. It really urks me to locate a site I think might be of some benefit, only to be assaulted by music I really don’t like. This peeve is actually #1 on many lists, not just mine. Remember to respect your viewers. Just because you built the site doesn’t mean you get to break eardrums. If you must have music on your site, give the viewer (in plain site) the option to play it or not.
2. How many times have you come across a site it took you a while to locate, only to have the material woefully out of date? I see some hands raised out there. It reminds me of seeing the picture of a performer on a flyer, only to realize that the image on the flyer was taken 20 years ago. If you choose to have Internet presence—for whatever reason—be sure to keep it up to date with current pictures and relevant information.
3. Since I am an editor, and I try my very best to not have typos and other writing miscues in my posts, or on my sites. I am simply amazed at how many times I can be reading text that is badly written, with so many words either misspelled or used incorrectly. Just the other day I was reading material from a site that is promoted as one of the best at advising you on how to make your site “the best it can be.” Badly written material was their pet peeve. In the article I read, there were so many confusing statements, misspellings, and incorrect word usages, it was difficult for me to finish the article. It may have had a lot of salient information, but the message was almost lost in the sloth.
4. It is extremely frustrating to be just “getting into” a site, only to be repeatedly interrupted by arrogant, assertive, frequent popups. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? Much of the time, these popups are sign-up requests. I used to have a saying with my sons when they kept asking for something. I simply said, “The more times you ask for it, the less I am interested in letting you have it.” I feel the same way about those “popup” sites. The more they ask me to sign up for the site, the less inclined I am to oblige. I really want to see what a particular site has to offer me, before I sign on the dotted line.
5. With so many high-quality, effective website template companies out there, these days, it is very difficult for me to believe there are still people designing ineffective, awkward sites on their own, who have few technical skills, and even less design abilities. I can understand that in this economy, money is extremely tight, and how one might think that all they have to do is buy some software, and off they go. But, how are you going to draw buyers in for whatever it is you are selling, when navigation on your site is challenging, or one has to go back to the home page each time he or she wants to navigate to a different page? If your economic future is going to depend on what you are building today, in regard to Internet presence, it is, most assuredly, in your best interest to begin that future with a template site, and then move up to a site of your own design, when you have nurtured the ability to actually create one that works well, is user-friendly, and very functional.
There you have it. I have finally gotten it off my chest. Now it’s your turn. What are your Pet Peeves, when it comes to Internet presence? Share your anger. Spew that venom. Let the world (or two dozen of your closest photo friends) know how you feel.