My Website Pet Peeves

Website pet peeves

There are certain website features and design elements that I DESPISE. I think we can all agree that things like autoplay movies and music are horrible, but today I want to highlight three other pet peeves of mine that I haven’t already mentioned in my design posts.

Pop up opt-ins

Pop up opt-in box

I DESPISE popups like this. What I hate even more is when a website doesn’t properly utilize cookies so I get this popup on every single page view. I don’t want to be harassed every single time I view one of your posts. It will make me never want to visit your site again.

For me, the worst offenders are:

  • Popups that trigger before I’ve read your content. There’s no way I’m subscribing before I’ve read anything!
  • Popups that trigger on every single page I visit. If you INSIST on having a popup, at least have one that utilizes cookies and remembers when I’ve closed the window so it doesn’t pop back up later.

The sad thing about popups is that everyone hates them, but they still work. I know that adding a popup to my site would increase subscribers, but to me it’s not worth annoying my readers.

Excessive pagination

Have you ever seen a “top 10” or “top 50” list that you thought sounded interesting? But then you click on the link, get to the page, and they’ve purposely put every single item on a SEPARATE page so you have to keep clicking “next, next, next”. They do this to get more page views (and thus more ad revenue) on their site. IT’S SO ANNOYING!!

As soon as I see a paginated list like that, I click out of the window.

Sadly I don’t have a screenshot of this, but surely you know what I mean?

Excessive ads/notices that obscure my window

This is mainly a problem on mobile layouts. I hate it when a blog has all kinds of sticky header/footer bars that massively cut down on the mobile view. There might be a “Hello Bar” up top, then a “Subscribe” bar or sticky advert on the bottom… Put those together, and I have a MASSIVELY smaller viewing/scrolling area on my phone. Then when I start scrolling, I only have half the amount of space to actually read. Here’s an example:

A mockup of a mobile website view with the top and bottom cut off with adverts

And just imagine, I’ve actually seen websites WORSE than that before.

Check your sites on mobile devices

Is there a “Hello Bar”, advert, and/or sticky subscribe box massively cutting down the readable area?

What are your website pet peeves?

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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53 comments

  1. YES. This is so true. I especially hate it when the pop up comes up every 10 seconds if you don’t subscribe. I just get so annoyed and click out of the site as soon as I see the pop up.

    1. Yeah I hate it. The worst is when they don’t use cookies. So let’s say I do subscribe to a blog. But then every time I visit after that, it doesn’t remember that I’ve already subscribe so I KEEP getting popups even though I’ve already subscribed!

      1. That is definitely the worst. I’ll put up with a lot for content I love, but having to repeatedly click out of popups (subscribes or ads) is more than I have time or patience for.

        Alena Belleque recently posted: Hello, 2015
  2. Yep these are one of my biggest pet peeves too.
    Also websites that have integrated playlists in sidebar, so I have to scroll and find them between million other images and stop them. It’s just easier closing the that whole tab in browser!

    Oh and I hate when they have articles that are across multiple pages. Like three paragraphs of text and then you need to click next page then wait until whole page loads again to continue reading…

    1. Yeah the next page thing is SO ANNOYING. It’s all so they can force you to create more page views, and thus give them more ad revenue *grumble*

  3. I hate multiple sidebars. Either they’re so narrow that there’s one word per line, or it makes the main content area super narrow.

    I have a thousand other pet peeves, which is why I try to follow most blogs through email or RSS.

    Side note: what are your thoughts on email opt ins that slide in to the bottom corner? I’ve actually seen higher subscribe rates from those than a popup, and personally don’t get annoyed by them since they don’t cover up content (except maybe thd bottom of a sidebar) and are easy to ignore. But I want to make sure I’m not doing something that everyone else hates! Haha

    1. Yeah I hate multiple sidebars too. They’re so unnecessary. If you find yourself needing more than one, you’re putting too much stuff in your sidebar. Clutter is not cool!

      I don’t really like the slide in opt-ins either because I find them kind of distracting. They’re not as bad, but I’m still not really a fan.

      I think that’s just because for me, I don’t want subscription options thrown in my face. I’m just the kind of person who will look for a subscription option (below the post or in the sidebar) if I want to subscribe. I see pop ups and slide ins as the blogger kind of shoving it in my face, whereas I prefer to seek it out on my own. It’s less distracting.

      That being said, I don’t doubt that they have benefits and attract peoples’ attention. Not everyone is like me and will seek out a subscription option on their own. Some people do need to be prompted.

      1. True. I like sites that have them because if I decide 43.2 percent through reading a blog post that I want to subscribe, but they only have an opt-in forms at the top of the sidebar and the bottom of their post, I either need to stop reading and scroll to the form, or wait til I finish reading, and there’s a good chance I forget. As a reader, I like to always have a form on the page, and I don’t like Hello Bars that always stay on top. That leaves slide-ins for me. That’s usually where I’ll personally subscribe from.

  4. All the things you’ve listed drive me crazy as well!! I never really thought about the pagination thing. I just knew that it annoyed me, but now that I think about it, and you’re right, they totally just do it for more pageviews, that annoys me even more! And those little pop-up things when you’re scrolling on your phone!! So obnoxious! It will normally make me click off the post I’m attempting to read.

    Rebecca @ The Library Canary recently posted: Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
    1. Sometimes they’re literally IMPOSSIBLE to read on phones! I’ve visited a few sites where there were SO many adverts (two of which were “sticky”—one on the bottom and one on the top) that the page lagged sooooo much when I tried to scroll and I only had like one inch of viewable reading space >_<

  5. I completely understand. I personally don’t visit a lot of blogs or websites on my phone because it’s a bit slow, but Karolina takes care of how our blog logs on mobile, so it should be alright. I’m really not a fan of pop ups, especially, like you said, when they come up when you haven’t even read anything. Just.. go away.
    And of course the obvious automated music. No. I came here to read some content, not to listen to music.
    The lists where you have to click a bajillion times just to get through it are the worst. I am lazy, I want to scroll. I don’t want to click. So, yes, like you, I just click it away when I get lists like that.

    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted: Book vs Movie: The Fault In Our Stars
  6. Pop-ups trying to get me to follow are probably the worst, but let’s not forget the ads that have music or some kind of sound that you have to wait for to finish. I know some people like this one, but white text over a dark background, because it’s hard to read and kind of hurts the eyes.

    Kelsey recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday: Fairest
  7. I agree with everything and hate reallly hate when the blogs have music…baaaaaaaah XD
    Pop-ups of “follow on facebook” etc are annoying and everytime when we get to the site we are always hit with that.

    vera recently posted: 2015: Os meus desejos
    1. Ugh totally. If a blog has a popup like that, I’ll just stop visiting. I don’t want to be hit with something annoying EVERY TIME I visit.

  8. I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said. Every time I go on TVLine these days on my mobile i get ads popping up in the middle and it’s SO annoying. I also hate when I want to see a list of top stuff to have to go to different pages argh.

    See, things like that annoy me so bad that I won’t even visit the site again (in fact, I only still visit TVLine because I literally can’t not – it’s addictive) but anywhere else and I wouldn’t to back, because I don’t want to struggle so hard just to view a website.

  9. Oh my God, I know exactly what you mean by hating pop-ups! They annoy me so much, but at the same time, you’re right, they’ll get you more followers. And also that bit about the subscribe button and then the huge HUGE hello bar…it just gets to me and I end up never visiting the website again.

    1. The funny thing is, popups do work in increasing your subscribers. But I’ve seen so many people add them, see great results, and STILL remove the popups because they know people hate them.

      Personally, I hate popups. So even if I know they work, I still wouldn’t add them because I don’t want something on my website that I hate and I know my readers would hate.

  10. Oh my goodness, those pop-up opt-in forms make me so ANNOYED. It’s even worse when the close button is like some tiny thing that I have to hunt for just to view their content. -_-

    Probably my website pet peeves include auto-play music or videos, or ones with like a BAZILLION flash widgets that slow down my poor computer. 🙁

    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted: Read Play Blog: Anticipation in 2015
    1. There are some that don’t even have close buttons!! You can close them by clicking outside the window, but that’s not always obvious >_<

  11. These are so true Ashley! I really find them irritating and the especially the last one, you literally can’t see much of the content when you’re on a mobile so I just close it at a glance if I see them *sigh*
    My biggest pet peeve would be the those videos that just start when visiting news related sites. -___-
    and those ads which claim you won something in sidebars.

  12. I’ve noticed that the pop-up subscriber box is becoming more and more common. I can be in the middle of reading something and it will pop up. The first time I’ll close out of it but the second, I won’t even finish reading and just leave. And like you say, they should at least use cookies properly so that they know I’ve visited before. It’s even worse when I visit from my phone and the subscribe box is so big I can’t even find the ‘x’ button!

    Helen @ My Novel Opinion recently posted: Be Our Guest Fridays [15]: Savvy from Savvy Working Gal
  13. Agreed with all of these (especially the freakin’ schtupid pop-in).
    I also really dislike fancy/decorative fonts (used for the main content) and bright/extreme color contrasts.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t read a 700 words article displayed in pink Comic Sans MS over a black background. Nope, dark blue Impact over a bottle green background isn’t better.

    Angélique recently posted: Review: The Just City by Jo Walton
  14. I have a HUGE issue with sites that have ugly designs. I know it makes me sound really vain but if there’s some kind of ugly and obnoxious word document font as the page text, I cannot under any circumstances read the post. presentation/accessibility means a lot to me.

    great post!

    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted: Book Review: Push - Eve Silver
  15. I agree with all three of these! I try my darnest to keep my site as user friendly as possible (always try and think of a grandmother using it).
    I can’t stand when you go one a site with a rundown but it takes an age to find the next button (bad enough that we have to click onwards). I tend to give up on them and walk away.

  16. I completely agree re the pop-ups. I hate them, and I really hate when they keep popping back up. I would never put one on my blog because they are just so annoying.

    I’m also not crazy about those paginated lists, but I never put two and two together about why they exist (to get more page views.) Of course you’re right, and now that I know, if find it even more annoying.

    One of my pet peeves is sites that automatically run videos, either as ads or as part of the content. I expect a video to run if I’m on YouTube, but come on, Facebook and CNN! I don’t want to watch every video I go past. On CNN, I usually want to skim the article really quickly and go on to the next, so I open multiple tabs, only to end up with 4 or 5 videos babbling at me at once. Grrrr. Make the default “Stop”, so that people have to click to watch the video, rather than click to make it stop playing.

    Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard recently posted: Sunday Post – 1/18/15
    1. The worst is when you have like 20 tabs open and ONE of them has an autoplay video running, but you don’t know which one! UGH!

  17. I also hate pop ups, if I find their content interestign enough to follow their blog I can find out how to follow them. Those popups just make me less likely to follow them, I think one or two blogs that I already follow dot his, but it’s just annoying. Sometimes I am just reading an article and poof there’s a popup in my face and I lost track of were I was reading.

    I’ve come across the excessive pagination a few times, but never realized that was for the page views. I always thought it was weird they wouldn’t put it on one page, but now I udnerstand why they do that, not cool.

    I don’t read blogs on my mobile, but I still find those sticky headers or footers a bit annoying, if I want to follow them I probably look in their sidebar for a link or just put the url into bloglovin, a sticky header isn’t making me more likely to follow anyone.

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #109
  18. I agree! I absolutely loathe the massive paginations, they drive me insane, so I click out of them as soon as I see that set-up.
    I also dislike pages that play music automatically… I don’t really care what your favourite song is if it’s not a music blog… no, I don’t want to hear the sounds of the rainforest or a car advert. Grumble grumble!

  19. I don’t really mind the pop-ups that much, and it does remind me to subscribe which I would never normally do. I hate the multiple page thing though! ARGHHHH. I never seem to have the motivation to actually click through all the pages so I give up after the first couple. I always wondered why they insisted on doing that.

    I don’t THINK my subscribe bar thingy works on mobile so I’m hoping that it doesn’t block the screen because that is one of my annoyances too.

    Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc. recently posted: Massive Library Haul! (I have a problem.)
  20. Yes! Excessive pagination or images presented as a slide show instead of a list so I have click through each one. So annoying. And the ad content that covers up actual content. The worst part of pop ups is if they extend beyond the screen on a mobile device so then I can’t close them.

    Annie recently posted: Fairy Tale Legacy: Sleeping Beauty
  21. The pagination thing always gets on my nerves!! Especially when there’s an add between the pages of the post that you need to “skip”! It makes so much more sense to have a linear post where people can just scroll down and get the info that they need quickly!

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