Top 5 annoying mistakes website visitors make

These are some common mistakes websites visitors make. These mistakes are quite annoying for the website owners and other visitors. Needless to say, we all make them, from time to time.

Visiting a site that is not for you

Most of the sites are open for general public, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check whether the site in question is the one that suits your needs and interests. Or the one where you’ll feel comfortable.

This mistake is the one that can be quite frustrating to you, so it’s not like you should pay attention just because of the owner’s sake. This is particularly true for Internet forums. Even if the subject is the one that interests you, take your time to see what kind of people post there. If you see it’s not a place for you, just leave.

Asking stupid questions

They say there aren’t stupid questions. But here’s what I mean: Be it in the form of blog comments, emails, twits, etc., asking something that’s a) obvious, b) irrelevant, c) has been answered numerous times before, can be quite annoying.

That doesn’t mean site owners should have a zero-tolerance policy towards (unwanted) questions. After all, everybody needs time to get used to a site’s design and the way “things are” out there, and yes, the owner should be there to help. Ignoring this is just bad and rude.

But visitors have brains and they should use them. If, for example, you find yourself at a website that says: “This is a fansite dedicated to X celebrity”, don’t assume the X celebrity runs the site. So asking whether X would like to have sex with you is… a bit pointless to say the least.

(Accidental) trolling

Some would say there’s no such a thing as trolling on accident. But we all know the type. People who simply don’t understand how to post comments or forum posts that are in any shape or form meaningful and on topic. There are also people who insult and annoy others with their randomness and lack of ability to write coherent messages.

Not reading site policy/rules

This is one of the most annoying things a visitor can do. If there is a site policy, if there’s commenting policy, if there are rules and guidelines, do read them and stick to them.

Deliberate trolling

This goes without saying. And then again, there are site owners who don’t mind, or who encourage trolling, flaming and drama. It’s just publicity, isn’t it? But it’s not something that should be encouraged.

See Also: Top 5 annoying blogging mistakes (that I often make)

10 thoughts on “Top 5 annoying mistakes website visitors make

  1. Sigg3

    That’s an interesting approach.

    I’ve always thought “the customer’s always right” applies to website visitors as well. There are a couple of trolls, f them, but usually people are not out to troll.

    Finally, there are no stupid questions. Only stupid people.

  2. Mira

    Well, I was raised in socialism! We weren’t raised to believe that the customer is always right! ;) :P

    Anyway, these mistakes annoy website owners, but are usually (with the exception of deliberate trolling) quite frustrating for the visitors themselves.

    They often end up lost, in a place that isn’t for them, and they simply don’t get why nobody answers their questions or why their comments get erased on regular basis.

    The point is: if there is FAQ, if there’s commenting policy, read them.

    I never had any problems with my visitors, and I don’t even have a commenting policy. So it’s not like I wrote this from the owners POV.

  3. Sigg3

    The Bible of Webdesign (Don’t Make Me Think) says: Du hast 30 seconds to aware of theme make your visitors.

    If people don’t understand what they’re looking at after 30 seconds, it’s time to fire the design team.

  4. Alee

    The number one mistake I think visitors make is not getting more involved.

    So many people say they didn’t want to comment, didn’t want to post, etc. because they are new, scared, or thought their opinion wasn’t valuable. I really wish more lurkers would add their say to make everything more interesting and dynamic.

  5. Iva

    Never thought about number 3 before. So true. Perhaps some people just think they’re allowed to do whatever they please on the Internet because, as they say, it’s not real life. Well, not true.

    And what Alee said also applies. Bigtime.

  6. Eurasian Sensation

    The first one annoys me, I’ve had a few examples of that on my blog. Some people seem to get upset because the blog or post is not what they want it to be, when they don’t realise that their upset is caused by their own expectations.

    And number 3 as well! A lot of people write the sort of comment where one can’t be sure whether they are attacking you, or just clumsy at expressing themselves.

  7. Kirsty

    I really agree with this post! The first point (visiting a site that is not for you) is particularly poignant in my opinion! So many times I’ll see people commenting on blogs saying bad things… and I can’t help but wonder… if you think the blog is so bad, why do you read it? Generally some visitors don’t seem to have heard of the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”.

  8. changingmoods

    Alee:

    “The number one mistake I think visitors make is not getting more involved.

    So many people say they didn’t want to comment, didn’t want to post, etc. because they are new, scared, or thought their opinion wasn’t valuable. I really wish more lurkers would add their say to make everything more interesting and dynamic.”

    I agree. Granted, there are some lurkers who’ve arrived there due to sketchy reasons (looking for porn, for instance), but there are some who are regular, normal readers who may have something to add to the conversation if they take the time to comment. That’s why I use moderation with mine. It helps to keep troublemakers at bay while I get to read (and publish) interesting comments.

    Another thing readers do is they’ll post one thing and never return. That sucks. If someone comments with something that I’d like to get more perspective from, I’d hope they’d come back to clarify their points of view.

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