10 archaic website features to avoid

Visual gimmicks, unwanted music and video, navigation horrors—all these will chase away visitors. Here’s what to ditch so you can serve your audience properly.

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The Web has seen quite a lot of change since the first site was launched in 1991 (that site belonged to CERN, and you can see the original here). Designs, navigation, content, programming language, responsive capabilities—everything has evolved dramatically.

Yet we all occasionally see sites that make us feel as though we’ve slipped back in time (for some real fun, go to an actual Web Wayback Machine and type in the URL of a site of some major brand, like Pepsi then select a year and month/day to see what that site looked like on that date). They still feature some of the goofy gimmicks that were hallmarks of a burgeoning industry but are now remnants of a time we should be proud to have moved past. These gimmicks, at this point, are annoying and will probably turn away some of your best prospects.

Here are the top 10 features NOT to include on your site (or to remove if you’ve still got ’em):

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