The most annoying website flaws according to real people

illustration saying 10 annoying website flaws that hurt your buisness in 2019 according to real people

Do you know what the most annoying website flaws are according to real people? And that these can actually hurt your business?

Businesses be it small or big have the ultimate goal to make profit. No surprise here. They implement a lot of different tactics and features on their websites hoping to convert us, visitors into clients and customers.

But there are still many mistakes they do. Because while some of those tactics may sound reasonable out of context in a meeting room, in real life they impact our user experience. And way too often not in a good way.

But know this: if we are not amused, we won’t spend money.

An ad-hoc survey with interesting results

Recently in a FB group where I’m a member there was a chat about things that annoy you that much on a website that you exit out right away. It was a very popular, comment heavy post. And received 100+ answers. Everyone was eager to share their worst and most annoying experiences.

Based on the comments and the discussion I collected 10 things that they mentioned over and over. So they must be really annoying and off-putting for real-life internet using adults.

10 most annoying website flaws that can hurt your business

If you are running a small business, watch out for these and try to limit and minimize their negative effects. Give us a flawless and enjoyable user experience, and then we will spend more time on your web page. This will do good to your website’s SEO and search results rankings as well.

A clear win-win situation!

1. Pop-ups

It’s a love and hate relationship. But most of us still get annoyed by pop-ups. Especially when multiple pop-ups occur and its difficult to get to the actual content. Or if an opt-in pops up immediately when we land on a page.

Hey, give us a chance first to see who you are, what you offer and whether you are the right fit to solve our problems.

Do you know how many people need to see your pop-up form if you are a small and medium sized business to get 1 engaged subscriber? 1319. Now check in your statistics the average monthly visitor numbers and draw your conclusions.

If you’re intent on using pop-ups try being less pushy:

  • Set a timer and only display the pop-up after we have spent a reasonable amount of time on your web page. This way you gave us some chance to read your content and get an idea of what your business does.
  • Or if you have a long form scrolling page trigger the pop-up once we have reached and scrolled past the relevant section your pop-up offer is linked to.


And do not use pop-ups on all of your web pages. Just don’t.

2. Cluttered design

Every business wants to distinguish themselves from the competition. They do it by choosing certain colour themes and visual direction. So far so good. We would do the same.

But – you knew, didn’t you, that there will be a but – :

  • if a website is too colourful,
    if the colour contrast with the background is poor, or
    if it’s a dark background with dark text on it…


That can be off putting. And hard to read. And if we can’t read your website comfortably, why should we stay on the page?

Also when adding images to your web pages, use high-quality photos. Pixelated, low resolution pictures won’t win us over.

3. Slow loading web pages

If your web pages load slowly, it not only hurts your search results ranking (SERPs), but you’ll lose visitors. We won’t wait ages for the page to display its content, won’t buy and will never come back.

There can be many reasons why a website loads slowly. Make sure that you test your site’s speed and follow as many from the recommendations as possible.

4. Poorly organized information

When we can’t find immediately what we were looking for or we can’t determine if the site offers what we need without to start scrolling and searching. Then you didn’t do your job well.

For each of your web pages have a clear content and lay-out strategy that first of all

  • helps your visitors to meet their personal needs, and then it also
  • supports your own business goals.

5. Too many ads

While we do understand that ads are necessary for profitability, but if you use too many ads, especially multiple video ads that delay loading the rest of the website content and distract from or worse, cover the content, you’ve just lost us.

6. Improper spelling

It surprised me to see improper spelling and bad grammar mentioned among the annoying website flaws. I rarely come across websites with poor grammar. This might be a coincidence. Or due to the topics of my personal interests those website owners pay better attention. I don’t know. But in this informal survey spelling was highlighted as something many visitors find displeasing.

We all make mistakes. It’s not about that. But if there’s one in every sentence it becomes distracting. And makes us question the legitimacy and security of the website.

Make it a best practice to always spell check your website content before publishing it. There are free tools available that can help you. Use them!

7. Poor navigation

It sounds so obvious, and still many fail at it. If your website’s navigation is not intuitive and as simple as possible, we get frustrated. And you know what that means by now: Yes, we leave.

One of the areas where being unique, creative and witty may backfire is the placement, design and labeling of your website’s navigation menu. 

Make it easy for your website visitors and use the standard solutions. In return it could mean for you lower bounce rate, more pages per visit and higher conversions.

8. Auto-play video or music

The average website visitor hates web pages with autoplay music or video. Especially if the autoplay video is an ad. Leave it up to us if we actually want to watch it or not!

If your business heavily utilizes video material, don’t enable autoplay. And for better user experience add captions. Even better if you also give us the transcript of your video or podcast either below the embedded media or as a downloadable. 

Not everyone is a podcast fan. Or if they are, they might want to read the written copy later as well and use it as a reference.

9. Not mobile-friendly

This was a bit of a shock to me that it had to be mentioned and that it made into this top 10 most annoying website flaw list. When nowadays more than 50% of all website traffic worldwide is generated through mobile phones, how comes that there are still many websites out there without at least a responsive design?

I hope you realize, that if your website isn’t mobile friendly, we will easily find someone else who takes our needs into account.

10. Hard to read fonts

We clicked on your website as we were interested in what you offered. Don’t make it a mission impossible by displaying content:

  • in small font sizes,
    with poor spacing and scrunched lines or
    in a low contrast pastel text colour against a light background.


Just, please, don’t!

Final thoughts

While not all of these above listed website flaws may be a direct factor when search engines rank your website, but they all impact user experience. Which is very important for Google.

And be aware: even if your website is ranked higher initially in the search engine results pages (SERPs), if we click on it just to get this much annoyed so that we immediately exit out… Well, then that’s a clear signal to search engines that your website may not deserve a higher ranking.

It should be always in your best interest to make your website visitors happy!

infographic illustration listing 10 annoying website flaws that can hurt your business
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