17 Ways To Lose Money With Your Web Site


Photo credit: Moaan

Stroke Executive Ego: Do not try to work out what your users want, it’s secondary, and too difficult to determine. Instead, make the boss happy first – after all, he signs the checks. He likes pumpkins? A pumpkin theme it is!

Do Not Create a Web Site Plan: It’s unnecessary; a waste of time and money for something no one refers to anyway. Honestly, Web sites aren’t meant to have a point – and – since when could Web sites make money anyway?

Disregard Landing Pages: “Landing page” is just another buzz term. Clearly, the most important thing is to drive people to your site, it doesn’t matter where they land; you just want them to land somewhere. If they can’t find what they want when they get there, it is not your problem – after all, you went to all that trouble creating the site for them in the first place.

Consistency Is Overrated: Be creative. Use different fonts and colors on every page – and while you’re at it – why not create a different logo for each page too; make it more interesting!

Do Not Worry About Your Copy: Writing well should be a minor concern – dno’t yuo nkow thta het odrre fo orwds si uinmprtoatn? If your visitors want to know about you and what you do, they will make the effort.

Do Not Include Testimonials: You don’t want someone else’s logo on your site – give me a break – a link to someone else? Ridiculous! So what if Forbes said your company is the best thing next to sliced bread? It’s old news.

Use Many Graphics: The more the merrier, in fact, the larger the better. If it takes longer for the page to load, that’s just bad luck – the pictures are worth it.

Use Industry Jargon: It shows you know what’s going on in your field; that you care about staying up-to-date with the terminology. Your visitors will respect that and learn.

Include Abstract Language In Your Tagline/Motto: If your visitor needs to spend some time considering what you do, and who you are, there is a greater chance that they’ll remember you for a longer period of time – it’s directly proportional.

Turn It Into A Game: Change the navigation scheme on each page to spice things up. Visitors like to have fun; it breaks up the dreariness of Web surfing.

Don’t Waste Money On Professional Images: Take or make your own. So, they’re not as great as the professionals; you never claimed to be professional in that area – do it. Better yet, if you come across a great image online – grab it quick. The odds that the person who owns it will turn up at your site are practically zero.

Link Thumbnail Images: One way to be super useful – if you sell products – is to open up a new window for your visitor. It’s expected. However, rather than create a different or larger image (and confuse everyone), use the same thumbnail image – voila!

Demand Registration: It is imperative you have visitor information on hand. Of course they have to fill out the same information when they buy your product – they know this – it’s not a problem. Make them register, login, and provide details when purchasing your product/service – it’s a verification process – completely acceptable.

Use Forms To Get Visitor Information: Put every question you can think of in your forms. No, 150 questions are not unreasonable. In fact, a useful one that is often overlooked is “Are you left or right handed?”

Spend Your Entire Budget On SEO: It’s about getting thousands of visitor’s right? It doesn’t really matter what they see when they get to your site – they’re there!

Count Hits: Seriously, it’s the most important thing. Knowing you had 500 visitors is more important than knowing why they came, and why they left. And hey, you can’t please everyone anyway.

Once you’ve created your site – LEAVE IT ALONE: Do not do anything else. There is really no need to waste your precious time monitoring to see what visitors are doing. You’ve done your bit, created the perfect online space for them, they should be grateful.

This post is inspired by a great giggle I got from visiting ScriptingSite and reading “How to Design a Terrible Website” and the new book: Web Design for ROI: Turning browsers into buyers & Prospects into Leads.

Read the book if you want to increase ROI (free chapter on forms available online), check out How to Design a Terrible Website for a smile.


29 Responses to “17 Ways To Lose Money With Your Web Site”

  1. The last one is the deepest mistake, other mistakes can be cured by constant site monitoring :)

  2. Lid says:

    Tis True :)

    Yury – Love your logo’s BTW

  3. I thought this was my first time here, but I see that my user data is stored. I’m liking this blog more and more!

    Anyways, regarding this quote: “In fact, a useful one that is often overlooked is “Are you left or right handed?” I think most adult sites have that in their forms, and as usual the rest of the web will follow.

  4. Lid says:

    @ Gab – Snap – I like yours too! Thank you.

    Picture it – a Web without adult content…hmmm…how would we know what to do? :)

  5. First time here ….

    Great list.

    I will few of mine regarding to the online store web sites.

    1. Never try visit your own site as a visitor – I have seen many e-commerce site owner that have never made purchase on their own site. So they did not know that their payment process is broken. They were wondering why their customer left right at the point of paying the order.
    2. Don’t have a contact form or live support on their web site. Many people left without even thinking, if they don’t see the support hot line or live support.
    3. Telling your visitor that you are not the number one source. – If you don’t like your own web site and don’t think you are the best in your niche. Why waste to put it up?

    Hope this help!


  6. Lid says:

    Thanks Terence

    I like them.

    Number 1 is especially true – why bother with user tests? Since when is it about the user anyway ;)

  7. Hey Lid-

    Awesome post! Almost spewed coffee on my monitor. :-) I may ask you for permission to reuse some of your content in a presentation. It’s so much more impactful/memorable to present design and usability guidelines this way. And clearly way funnier and less preachy.

    I hope you’re enjoying the book.

    Happy Holidays!

  8. Lid says:


    What is mine is yours my friend; feel free to take whatever you need.

    As for the book – enjoying? I’m LOVING it!

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