The internet can be a very strange place. For every website that serves to educate, enlighten and brighten our day, there are just as many sites that aim to cause harm to unsuspecting website visitors. With so many suspicious sites out there, savvy website viewers have become more aware of warning signs that indicate that a website is nothing but a scam. This means that even the most well-meaning website can be labelled as a potential danger zone for skeptical site visitors.
Thankfully, there are plenty of steps that you can take to mark your website as a friend, and not fraud. Steer clear of these web design disasters and you’ll get the green light for safe surfing.
1. Dangerous Domain Names
Like the name your parents gave you, your website domain is the first introduction that people have of your online business. And like your first name, once a moniker’s been bestowed on your website, it’s pretty hard to get rid of it, so choose your domain name wisely.
Scammer Alert! Often times, scam websites will use domain names that are similar to big brands in an attempt to mislead customers. For example, you may be a die-hard Beyonce fan, but unless you’re legitimately selling her merch, you’ll want to avoid naming your site something like beyoncediscounts.com. Earn the trust of your website visitors by choosing a name that best represents you and your brand most naturally.
2. Pop-Up Disasters
Pop-ups are a great way to collect important information from your audience. They’re the perfect tool to announce a sale or collect email addresses for when the time comes to send a newsletter.
Scammer Alert! Beware of what information you giveaway or ask for in a pop-up window. As a rule, never give or ask for financial information in a pop-up for any website.
3. Easy Contact Information
If a business is confident with its selling practices, it shouldn’t be afraid to provide great customer assistance when a client wants to reach out.
Scammer Alert! A tell tale sign of shady business practice is a lack of contact information. Be wary of websites that don’t have an email or phone number that you can reach out to for help. Make sure your legitimate website isn’t mistakenly classified as a fraud by creating a contact page that your customers can trust.
4. Weird Grammar and Spelling
Wud U by someting from a websight that L00ks L1ke Thi$? Businesses that want to represent themselves seriously online will take every effort possible to look and sound professional. Even if you’re not a content king or queen, any business can take the time to go over the spelling and grammar on their website.
Scammer Alert! When a website’s spelling looks sloppy, who knows what else they’re slacking on.
5. Grainy Images
Like proper spelling and grammar, websites that want to show off a professional presence need to make sure their products or services look stunning online. This is particularly important for eCommerce or small business sites.
Scammer Alert! If you’re looking to make a purchase online, steer clear of buying something that looks shoddy in images. Looking to show off your products successfully online?
6. Design Disasters
Images are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to having a professional web presence. You may think that the flaming text image looks cool, but if you’re looking to make a profit online, people might not take you seriously when your font and images look straight out of the 90’s.
Scammer Alert! Weird typography, tons of animation and too many cute icons reek of amateur and unprofessional business practice.
7. Doing too much
Are you a great actor, singer and all-star baker? You may be awesome at a lot of different things, but not all of your talents need to be shown off on the same website.
Scammer Alert! Doing too much, or branding yourself as an expert in several unrelated fields may lead to losing credibility altogether. Consider creating a new website for every skill that you’d like to show off.
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