Are You Turning Off Visitors? 3 Website Mistakes to Stop Today

3 Toxic Website Practices to Avoid!

You spend your precious time focused on gaining exposure, building an audience, and writing great content that will benefit your readers. Why waste all of your energy and everything you have gained by linking to a toxic website?

What’s a toxic website? All of your off-site, exposure-building strategies – from article writing to social media – help you build trust with your readers in order to gain credible traction and traffic back to your blog or website. However, if your website has poor-quality traits that lead visitors to click away because of a poor user experience, your website is a poisonous burden to your efforts.

There’s always a remedy! Improve the quality of your blog or website to encourage visitors to stay on your webpage (and convert visitors into clients) by avoiding these top 3 website mistakes.

1. Pop Ups and Exit Pop Ups

If you feel the need to utilize a pop up of any kind, stop right there. There’s a reason Web browsers have add-ons that block pop ups – pop ups are universally irritating. Avoid appearing desperate and annoying by considering what you’re attempting to achieve with the pop up and if there is another design element you can incorporate in the webpage as a whole.

2. Infinite Scroll

Scrolling inhibits a visitor’s ability to immediately see everything that’s relevant to them on a webpage and it’s considered tedious. Websites like Facebook and Pinterest can successfully use infinite scroll because they don’t have to curate content – their users do. Organize your website content by creating categories, limit scrolling to 1-2 screens, and make the navigation easy.

3. Automatic Audio or Video

Visitors love video and audio, but on their own terms. There’s nothing more jarring then audio unexpectedly leaping into a user’s environment. Let your visitor decide when they want to watch or listen by giving them the opportunity to start and stop the audio. If there’s no purpose to adding audio besides aesthetics (e.g., background music), avoid it.

Bonus Mistake: Filler Content

Content will help you get your website on page one, right? No. Any old content can HURT your rank and your credibility. Only great content will help you increase your credibility and rank. Great content is content that is creative, informative, relevant, helpful, clever, quality, etc. It’s not spammy, stuffed with keywords, repetitive, or riddled with incorrect grammar. Consider your content as an extension of yourself. No matter where it is, your content reflects you and what you offer the reader. Spend time with your content: Ensure it’s relevant, benefit-oriented, and proofread. It’s so important.

Why limit everything you have to gain? Avoid these mistakes and get on the right track to a quality blog or website. Want more quality practices? Click here to discover whether your website is a high-quality site with these 5 litmus tests for Expert Authors.

What poor website practices would you like to add to this list? Alternately, what are some fantastic features that you look for in a website? We’d love to hear from you!


Lance Winslow writes:

Yes, these always upset users, great points.

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM


Errol writes:

The worst is when you want to contact a company whose website you are on but you just can’t seem to find that information anywhere! Or they put contact under some menu header that is completely irrelevant!

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 9:43 AM


CH James writes:

I’ve never understood why people build sites with mile-long pages, where finding the content you want becomes a treasure hunt. Categorized navigation makes things so much simpler for web visitors. Especially since that kind of organized layout is now considered the standard, people won’t tolerate having to work for what they want when every other site makes it a breeze.

It would be like a retail store putting every item in stock on a single, five-mile-long aisle and expecting customers to find what they need.

“Excuse me, could you tell me where I can find snow shovels?”

“Absolutely! Three-quarters of a mile down Aisle 1, next to the soup.”

I’m certainly not shopping there!

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 10:25 AM


Paddy Landau writes:

Thank you for mentioning automatic audio. It is incredibly jarring, especially when you are in a quiet area. It is worse than pop-ups.

When I hit a website that starts audio without my permission, I immediately close the page and do not return.

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM


Andy writes:

Totally agree. It is really annoying when you open a webpage in a quiet environment and is starting with a loud audio/video unexpectedly.
I have no objection on a video presentation to be present on the webpage as long you can control when to start/stop, in other words to don’t start automatically when the page loads.


Murray Glick writes:

While I agree with all or any toxic website practices you listed, by far the most time sick of them is the automatic audio/video element. Nothing gets me to click off of a website faster than some insipid voice talking to me so that the person in the next work cubicle can hear what’s going on in my cubicle, or the wife knows that I am on the computer in the middle of the night when it wakes her up. Oh, what fun the latter case is for me!

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM


Roy writes:

You got NO proof of that bad written content can hurt your position. You got NONE, if so i would love to see it.

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM



Creating great content is what will help position you as an authority in your niche and is the best way to get people to follow your writing, thanks for the helpful tips.

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM


Joaseph Dabon writes:

Great tips. For me the worst offender are videos. They take infinitely long to download (as if we have all the time in the world) and they don’t permit good retention.

For the life of me, I really cannot think of any good reason why videos have caught on as a sales/marketing tool.

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 7:32 PM



Well written Vanessa.
I’ve read so many articles on Not to disappoint your readers and related to this topic.
But no one talked about the ‘Infinite Scroll’ part. I haven’t think of it before reading this post.

Thanks a lot.

Comment provided February 8, 2013 at 7:40 PM


Randall Magwood writes:

The automatic audio and video is a definite turn off for me. I understand that there are different kinds of prospects, but I am one who just like plain text – and I like it when website owners get straight to the point.

Comment provided February 9, 2013 at 12:25 AM


Tim Thexton writes:

Great article – yes they are all the bugs that I hate, and the no contacts (or difficult to find) fault is just crazy. Its a business that doesn’t want to be contacted! What sort of business is that, then. I came across 2 yesterday alone.

And enormous picture files that take forever to download. I just close it and go to another site.

To me the principle is simple – do unto others as you would be done by – design your website with nothing in it that would annoy you if you came across it on someone else’s.

Comment provided February 9, 2013 at 2:16 AM



I appreciate the tips. Everything I have read always refers to content being king. It a bit of a task when you operate a business website in which content doesn’t really change that much.

Comment provided February 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM


Joshua writes:

I agree with you, quality content will help a website to get on page one. Visitors will love it because they will find information that is useful to them.

Another website mistake to avoid in a website is using graphics that are flashy.

Comment provided February 9, 2013 at 11:50 PM


Rudee writes:

I definitely agree that pop videos that make you jump out of your seat is just wrong. Having videos does improve your ranking of your website, so there is no need to flash it in your face. Either way it will maximize so your website so keep them closed

Comment provided February 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM


Sujit Paul writes:

Good Stuff. Yes, automatic popups are really irritating. As as visitor, I never prefer to see any popup or auto screen.

Facebook, twitter and most of the other social media site uses auto scroll, even it may be helpful in site search facility if there are lot of results available. But I think its not good for reading content kind of things.

Few internet marketers prefer to use video autoplay facility, so when visitors visit the site then automatically video started to play. Sometimes visitors may concentrate about the video. Do you think is this not good?

Anyway, thanks for remind the issues.

Thank You

Sujit Paul

Comment provided February 10, 2013 at 11:16 PM


Ashok Sinha writes:

Dear, Vanessa

good one, you are absolutely correct… Content reflects one’s personality

Comment provided February 11, 2013 at 3:25 AM


Grant Martin writes:

Every point raised is incredibly simple and extremely valuable yet speaking from experience it has taken such a long time for us to keep it simple, clean and rich in content.
Recently Google announced that their algorithms can now detect “how good” you site is as. This has been disseminated as being very “human” in its assessment meaning if you looked at a site and you felt it was weak in design, poorly laid out, spammy, cheap, or untrustworthy so will the bots. This was always going to be the case eventually when Google became surgical with their set-up.
Now more than ever is time to concentrate on website design and function rather than link building which will be phased out for a more “live” response and reading by their bots

Comment provided February 11, 2013 at 6:40 AM


Gracious Store writes:

I can’t stand websites that have pop ups. They are not just irritating, but really annoying, especially if you are “literally forced to click before you can continue what you can to the site for”

Comment provided February 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM


Rio Setoq writes:

Favorites I do in my blog (in ‘bahasa’), plain and simple wording, 1-2 eye catching images, and a motivational sentence.

Comment provided February 12, 2013 at 7:24 AM


Alain writes:

The infinite scroll does not bother me so much but the pop-up, I hate them. People spend so much time making their web site perfect the work for hour creating this enchanting content and then they slap you in the face with a pop-up.

Automatic music. It is like a bouncer asking you to leave. What are the chances that you would feel like listening to that particular song at that particular moment? Close to zero.

Thanks a million for your article.

Comment provided February 12, 2013 at 8:48 AM


shimaa writes:

As visitor i hate popups. what is that windows preventing me se the page and i have to close first. i even close without reading. andalso the music

Comment provided February 17, 2013 at 1:59 AM



Nice tip to make Automatic Audio or Video in our website.
I will use this tip for my website.. great for this article.

Comment provided February 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM



Great article. Something I need work on is grammar . My articles never get published. Does anyone have a good site for writing effectively?

Comment provided March 3, 2013 at 6:16 AM


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