Checking Out the Competition

Lately, I found myself wondering what else was out there, re: web design and WordPress for beginners? So, I picked up some books at my local library.

I got WordPress All-in-One for Dummies, another was something about how to create a website in 15 minutes (you’ve got to be freaking kidding me!), and then there was this book:

50 Biggest Website Mistakes: Secrets to Getting More Traffic, Converting More Customers & Making More Sales

I will say, upfront, that I found this book to be the most helpful and entertaining of the bunch. That’s partly why I’m reviewing it first. I was actually rather inspired by it and wanted to pass that along.

It’s a bit outdated, having been published in 2011. A handful of the suggestions are no longer relevant. However, many of them still are. And if it’s at my library, maybe you’ll find it at yours, too? I bet there are some nice used copies available on Amazon, as well. One thing to note is that this book is about web design, in general, and not just WordPress. 

What I Liked About It

I enjoyed sitting in my comfy chair and flipping through this, in an evening. It has some fun graphics, it’s a little cheeky, and it was easy enough to scan and bookmark for further reading. It’s well-organized with small chapters. Bite-sized chunks. You could probably let it fall open to any page and find something of value. Or you could scan the table of contents and see if something jumps out at you. But, like I said, even flipping through it in an evening was manageable and enjoyable.

Web Design Blind Spots

Okay, when I say enjoyable, I’m coming from the standpoint of a designer with many years of experience behind me, so I enjoyed having confirmation that many of the website no-no’s on my list are also on his list.

From the viewpoint of a complete beginner, I could see how it might be a little less enjoyable and a bit more ouchy. No one likes to realize that they’ve been making mistakes that have perhaps marked their websites as amateurish or cost them customers and revenue.

However, unless you take the time to educate yourself and shore up your blind spots, chances are that you are going to make some mistakes. It happens. But, if you’re a DIY’er, the more professional and polished you can make your website, the better. Books like this can help with that. 

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Why Am I Sharing About This Book?

In my time as a web designer, I have seen many amateurish websites created by those who were doing their best, but just didn’t know any better.

Yes, of course it’s important to focus on the positives and on the what TO do, but it’s also valuable to know what NOT to do. And if nobody ever talks about that, then things get overlooked and that’s how really amateurish websites get created. 

While this book is a bit outdated, 50 Biggest Website Mistakes does offer some helpful tips about what not to do on a website, or at least things to watch out for. I think it’s still mostly relevant and worth a read, even in 2022. 

Love and Blessings!

Claire Amber, Fired Up Diva

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