In this blog post, I’m going to talk through the top 5 web design mistakes I see coaches make and explain how you can avoid these mistakes on your site.
You know those stunning websites of coaches you admire that just seem to draw you in? We all want one of those, right?
A beautiful website isn’t just helpful for marketing because it looks pretty. On-brand web design is more likely to turn curious visitors into eager consults, and those consults into happy clients.
I’ve evaluated dozens and dozens of websites with my Custom Website Audits, and I’ve noticed some pretty common design mistakes that many coaches make on their websites.
The good news is that most of these mistakes are easy to fix.
What are common web design mistakes, and how can you avoid them?
Web design, in simple terms, is the art of planning and creating a website. It’s about how your site looks, feels, and works on both desktop and mobile. A well-designed website can draw visitors in and guide them smoothly to the actions you want them to take.
Now, before we dive in, it’s important to remember that on-point messaging is as important, if not more important, than great design. Think of your site’s design as the supportive framework that amplifies your copy. Good design lends credibility to great copy, but without compelling content, design alone can’t carry the day.
But in this post, we’re talking design, not copy.
I’ll walk you through five common design mistakes that many coaches make and show you how to sidestep them.
This way, your site will not only look professional but also effectively communicate your message and resonate with your ideal clients.
Design Tip 1: Use consistent padding between elements
Padding in web design is like personal space – it’s essential.
It’s the room between text, images, and other elements on your site. When done right, it makes your website feel balanced and easy to navigate.
Here’s a visual example from Krista St-Germain’s site, illustrating what I mean by consistent padding:
Notice the spacing? It’s not too tight or too loose, creating a comfortable reading experience.
This is what good padding looks like. It’s about finding that sweet spot where everything on your page has enough room to stand out but still feels connected.
Keep the spacing uniform across your site. It makes a world of difference in how professional your site appears.
And here’s a tip: once you get the spacing right, replicate it. This saves time and maintains consistency, making your site look polished and well-designed.
Design Tip 2: Consistent button styling and sizing
When it comes to website buttons, consistency is helpful to increase the likelihood that the button will get clicked.
Buttons are like signposts guiding your visitors to take action, so they need to stand out but also fit seamlessly into your site’s design.
Keep your button styling, sizing, and colors uniform throughout your website.
Monica Wiz’s website is a great example of this.
Notice how the site buttons are distinct while staying harmonious with the overall design? That’s what you’re aiming for. Consistent button styling not only catches the eye but also gives your site a cohesive look.
It especially helps if you use a primary color for all your buttons but a slightly different style, like an outline, for secondary buttons. This subtle difference helps prioritize your calls-to-action without causing confusion.
And once you design your first button, just copy and paste it wherever needed. This keeps the button design uniform and saves you time.
Remember, well-designed buttons keep website visitors interested and more likely to convert into subscribers or consults on your site.
Design Tip 3: Use consistent font sizing
Fonts on your website are like the outfit for your words—fonts need to fit well and look good.
Consistency in font sizing helps achieve this because then your site doesn’t just look organized, but also feels intuitive and easy to read.
A great example of this is the Unlock the Brain website. The headlines are uniform in size, creating a sense of hierarchy and focus.
The body text follows suit, maintaining a consistent size that’s easy on the eyes. This consistency helps visitors glide through your content without getting bogged down by varying font sizes and styling.
As a rule of thumb, keep all your headlines the same font and size, with the first main headline being a little bit larger.
For body text, pick one size and stick to it across all pages. If you’re adding sub-headings or accent fonts, use them sparingly. They should complement your content, not overpower it.
Remember, in web design, fonts are more than just aesthetics—they guide the reader’s journey through your site. Consistent font sizing will make that journey smooth and enjoyable, making it more likely they’ll keep reading.
Design Tip 4: Keep text blocks short and left aligned for easy reading
Ever visited those websites where the copy runs on and on across the entire page, causing you to skip over it because there’s so much text? That’s a classic no-go in web design.
It’s like trying to read a novel with no breaks for paragraphs – overwhelming! You want your site to communicate clearly, not challenge your visitor’s eyesight.
In the example below, we see what not to do with your website text.
There’s a headline, followed by a block of center-aligned text that’s too wide, making it a chore to read. The call-to-action button is lost in the mix, struggling for attention.
Now, let’s fix that. Align the text to the left, narrow down the width to a cozy 60-80 characters per line, and voilà – you’ve got text that’s SO MUCH easier to read. The button now pops, inviting interaction.
This revised approach creates a seamless experience for your visitors, keeping them engaged and interested.
Remember, the goal of your website’s text is to communicate clearly and concisely with your visitors.
By keeping your text blocks neatly aligned and at a readable length, you’ll help your message be easily digestible, inviting readers to stay engaged with your copy.
Design Tip 5: Don’t forget mobile!
You might have a website that looks fantastic on a desktop, but have you checked it on your phone?
In today’s world, your website is as likely to be viewed on a phone as on a desktop. So, making sure it looks good on mobile isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must.
Mobile optimization is about ensuring your site is as effective and user-friendly on a small screen as it is on a larger one.
Sometimes things that work well on a big screen can turn into a jumbled mess on mobile. Navigation menus disappear, text becomes too small, and those carefully designed call-to-action buttons might get buried.
The good news is, most website platforms offer mobile-view editing. Use it!
And on a regular basis, test how your site looks on different devices. This helps to make sure your text is readable, images resize properly, and navigation is smooth and intuitive.
Know when to break the web design rules
Here’s a little secret…
Once you’ve mastered the basics of design, you’ll find moments where bending the rules actually works in your favor.
Consistency in fonts, colors, and layouts is really, really helpful, sure. But sometimes, to make something pop on your site, you might want to step outside these guidelines.
For instance, on my Tech Roadmap opt-in page, I play around with larger headlines and minimize the padding more than I usually would.
Why? Because doing this on landing pages often increases conversion rates.
These subtle changes draw attention and can make a significant difference in how many visitors take action on the page.
Think of design rules as a roadmap.
They guide you to a great destination, but occasionally, a little detour can lead to some exciting places. It’s about striking the right balance between consistency and creativity.
If you don’t want to go it alone…
While these website design tips are helpful, implementing them takes time, a sprinkle of skill, and a whole lot of focus – energy you could invest directly into coaching.
That’s where I come in. Think of me as your web design safety net. Whether you’re polishing up your existing space or dreaming up a brand new one, I’ll handle the design heavy lifting.
This way, you can pour your heart into what you do best – coaching and transforming lives – while I make sure your online presence is turning heads and sparking action.
I wanted my website to help my audience feel successful right away simply by reading the website. And Jennie’s team totally delivered. It is GORGEOUS, it feels like ME, and it works! People are accessing my work, learning about who I am, and joining my waitlist for my next mastermind.Laura Scout, Certified Life Coach