Customers Might Hate Your Website, Here’s Why





Your business website is not perfect. No matter how much you love it and think it represents your brand, there are people out there who hate it. It could be difficult to navigate. It could have annoying features. Or it could be something really trivial that just rubs users the wrong way. But whatever the reason, your goal should be to have your website bother as few people as possible.

While you certainly can’t please everyone, there are a few pretty common things that can annoy or anger online customers. Avoiding these pitfalls can go a long way toward getting more customers to actually like and appreciate your website. They could be simple issues that you have just overlooked.

Tom Wentworth, chief marketing officer at Acquia, recently outlined some of these common issues in a post on Mashable. One of the issues he mentions is slow load times. If a website takes more than a few seconds to load, many customers get annoyed and some even leave the site altogether. In the post Wentworth explained:

“You’ve heard it a hundred times before: we’re living in a society of instant gratification. So when users click on a link, they want it to load — fast. In fact, 40 percent of visitors will leave your website if it takes longer than three seconds to load, which can have a huge impact on your bottom line sales goals.”

So while you might be more concerned with adding all of the bells and whistles to attract new customers to your site, you could actually be driving them away. Of course you don’t want to keep your site completely plain. Customers definitely tend to appreciate cool visual and multimedia elements. But you do need to keep load time in mind when you add things to your site, or you could be losing major business.

Wentworth also mentioned six other common pitfalls in the post. Those include: having too much text, having websites that don’t work on phones and tablets, including annoying pop-ups, autoplay videos, a bad shopping experience, or having no way to contact customer service.


Disgruntled Web User Photo via Shutterstock

11 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

11 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I agree. Some business owners can be so attached to their websites that they want to put everything in it not knowing that it slows down the site. They don’t know that this can push people to click back and look for another webpage.

    • Annie Pilon

      Yes – having a lot of content is great. But I’ve definitely left sites because they loaded too slowly. So you have to find the right balance.

  2. Yes, annoying pop-ups. That’s what I hate. Pop-ups following me though out the page trying to get me to sign up for something.

    • Annie Pilon

      Completely agree – I especially hate when they move around so when you go to click out of them you accidentally click the ad or a link on the page.

  3. I agree with all that Tom has stated however, having too much text is not always off putting. It’s how you lay that content out that will put people off. There are ‘cautious information browsers’ out there that actually feel more reassured with more information, whereas the ‘busy browsers’ need info in summary form as they don’t have time to read it.

    In all of us we scan web pages and pick out the bits that are relevant to us. Getting the balance right and laying the text out so that it’s easy to find is key.

    • Annie Pilon

      Yeah, I think having a lot of text in different parts of the page is fine most of the time – but having huge blocks of text can seem a little overwhelming. If I’m just looking for one piece of info, I’m not going to scan through a term paper to find it. But if it’s broken up into sections with different titles and other types of content, that definitely makes it easier.

  4. Great points. Another thing I like to add.

    Is the website built for Multi-Screens? Is it responsive & mobile friendly? Those are important questions you need to ask. Your audiences are now on multi-screens. They are now visiting your website from desktop, tablets & smartphones.

    If it’s NOT smartphone friendly, they will hang up or bounce-off due to frustration. On the contrary, if it is mobile responsive & friendly, they will continue to get engaged with your products & services.

    • Annie Pilon

      Yes, having a site that’s mobile friendly is one of the things he mentioned in the post. That’s definitely becoming more important by the day.

  5. Yikes! I hate popups too. They can be really annoying but also very effective. I would not put them on my site, though.

    • Annie Pilon

      They definitely get the information front and center, but I feel like so many people are annoyed by them that they would be unlikely to click them for that reason.

  6. A few items worth adding –
    1. “Gateway” ad pages that must be physically clicked-through (or where one must wait 30 seconds for an automatic redirect).
    2. An abundance of dynamic content (generally advertising) that causes page elements to move/shift after initial pageload. I hate (HATE) when pages start jumping around on my phone, as what usually happens is I press a link, but a large ad or other piece of dynamic content has been loading in the background so I end up somewhere else entirely when the page layout reloads.
    3. Using a completely different version of a website for mobile. Media Queries and wide support for client-side scripting has made this unnecessary in most cases, and legacy-minded “mobile version” websites are generally missing features users actually need.

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