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Customers! Bah, who needs ’em?

If this is your motto and you want to create a website that will actively repel anyone who might want to give you money, have I got tips for you!

The premise is simple: if you don’t want people to buy from you, piss them off! How? By showing no regard for people’s time and attention, and by making it clear you don’t have an idea/don’t give a damn about what it is they want to do on your site. In fact, you get bonus points for making it hard for them to do what they came to do!

But if you actually want people to have a good experience on your site, and ideally spend money with you, then read on for what not to do.

1. Newsletter popups as soon as the page loads

Yes, newsletters are a great way to share information with others, but only a tiny fraction of the people who visit your site do so with the primary goal of signing up for your newsletter.

So don’t have a newsletter popup interfere with what they came to the page to do.

Don’t be this guy.

Would you step in a shop and expect the owner to ask you to buy something before your foot’s even in the door? Of course not!

Let me at least read the article first, or check out the product or read about you, and then if I found it useful of course I’ll subscribe!

2. Pretending to respect people’s privacy

Cookie popups are annoying as hell anyway, but some are even worse than others: those that pretend to care about data privacy whilst simultaneously sharing all your personal data with some dickheads in Silicon Valley.

“We care about your privacy… BTW click here to see a huge list of all the ways we are tracking you if you fancy reading our 4,000-word cookie policy.”

Remember folks, the M.E.N website ‘values yours privacy’ but it would also share all your personal information with hundreds of other companies given half a chance.

Here’s an idea: if you genuinely care, stop pinching all my data in the first place and then you wouldn’t even need a cookie notification!

Learn how your website can better respect your customers privacy: 7 ways your website might be abusing your customers personal data

3. The ol’ slow loading advert switcheroo

We’re all busy and time’s a wastin’. Those Tiks won’t Tok themselves ya know. So nobody has got time for a slow-loading website (which is probably loading slow thanks to all those tracking scripts and ads that keep loading in).

Even worse are the pages that take so long to load they jiggle about whilst you try to use them. Possibly the pinnacle of website annoyances, there is nothing worse than going to click a button just at the split second an advert loads in and you end up on a site for some crap that will live on in your algorithms forever more.

A fast loading website on the other hand will keep your customers happy, perform better for SEO and be better for the environment! Learn more: Why website page speed is important

4. When stuff flies in everywhere as you scroll

Come to think of it, animated gifs are kind of annoying too :-/

Websites with loads of animation were either built:

  • Using a £20 template, meaning it can’t be switched off, or
  • By a developer who just learned how to do JavaScript scroll events and now think they are God’s gift to the internet.

Sure, when used subtly animation can be used to draw attention to key areas of a page, however it’s very easy to overdo it. When stuff is zipping about all over the gaff it ultimately just distracts from the actual content that people want to read.

5. Another newsletter popup when you try to leave the site

You’re just taking the mick now.

Would a shopkeeper chase someone down the street after they’ve left the store empty-handed? “Hey! You didn’t buy anything so I want to send you lots of emails instead!”

Please, just stop.

Dishonourable mentions

  • No you can’t have access my location.
  • No I don’t want to receive push notifications.
  • No I don’t want to add a shortcut to your website to my f**king phone screen.

Who remembers when the worst of our worries was whether a website would play music! All people want is to get the info off your website and then leave without a fuss so they can go back to faffing about on Instagram. Is that so much to ask?!

I’m off for a long lie-down in a dark room.

If you’d like some help making your website less rage inducing, come and pick my brain in a website consultancy power hour.

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