10 annoying website features people actually hate


10 minutes reading

Nothing will ruin your business like an annoying website feature. You don’t have to own an award-winning website to make a good impression, but add just one wrong feature, and it all goes to hell. It’s that simple. People hate things that annoy them. Many people think that these features can actually bring in more conversions. And there is a point to that. If you draw customers’ attention to a deal, they are more prone to click on it. However, you should do these things in style, carefully, and unobtrusively. It’s a delicate art form that can bring you a lot of benefits if done right or ruin your business if you fail to make them good.

But what are the most universally annoying website features that you should avoid like the plague? Well, we built a list to make sure you skip them while designing your own website.

1. Flashing Anything

Flashing lights and colors is a surefire way to make even the toughest users immediately close your tab. Are you trying to drive them to an epileptic shock?

Many websites will put a bar or banner constantly flashing in bright colors, highlighting some kind of discount or а deal. The point is clear—flashing lights draw attention, and that’s a fact. However, drawing one’s attention is different from persuading them to take action.

A flashing light will annoy even the most level-headed user to the point that they will instantly close your tab. Now, if you want to get their attention to a specific promotion, there are much better alternatives. Use visual hierarchy to draw their attention unobtrusively. In a nutshell, through colors and fonts, you can make sure users are accurately directed to what they are supposed to do.

For example, take a look at our website. At the top, you will see our promotion. However, it’s not flashing, not blinking, and not making you feel dizzy when you open hostarmada.com. Instead, we used the same colors as with our CTA in the header. This subconsciously drives the users to determine the information as important. So it draws their attention without annoying them.

HOstarmada homepage screenshot

If you want to learn more about visual hierarchy and how you can use it to drive conversions, check out our dedicated article. There, you will learn all you need to know about the colors, fonts, and user behavior.

2. Multiple Pop-ups

Imagine you’re reading an interesting article, and from out of nowhere, pop-ups start flying around. What will be your reaction? Are you going to comply with the request in the pop-up window? Or will you get annoyed and hastily close the pop-up, if not the entire website? Most people will choose the second option without much hesitation.

In general, pop-ups interfere with the user’s experience. They are designed to make an abrupt appearance, which should push the audience to take a specific action. Most commonly, these pop-ups are related to email subscriptions. They can offer coupons or other benefits in exchange for the customer’s email address.

Now, one can’t deny that these pop-up ads do their job. While people are annoyed, pop-ups often achieve their goal. That’s why many websites insist on using them. And you should use them as well, but in moderation. One pop-up is all you get. So, make it count. Make sure that the pop-up is part of the journey rather than an interruption. For example, you can make it appear at the end of blog posts, where you can offer additional information through email. Or, if someone clicks on a particular product, a pop-up offering them 20% off may incline them to purchase. This way, these pop-ups are a natural customer journey continuity and won’t be as annoying.

However, even so, if you start adding new and new pop-ups, this will only frustrate your audience. Naturally, they will lose interest in battling with the constantly attacking new pop-ups and prefer to take their business elsewhere.

3. Long Texts Outside The Blog

Users are not too keen on reading, especially as the new generations become much more economically active. They prefer a fast and easy method of receiving information. A short video or an infographic are often pretty well received.

However, many websites still insist on writing tons of copy on their landing or home pages. Now, there are pages where it’s quite appropriate to write novels. The About Page is one place where you tell a story. Your story. So, naturally, everyone is expecting a bit of extra text.

The same goes for blogs, where you give extensive information about industry-related topics as we do right now.

Too much text to read on a website.

However, your home page is more show than tell. So, skip the lengthy explanation and keep it clean, short, and to the point. Whenever possible, switch the text with infographics or pictures. Focus on numbers rather than words.

Only a few niches can afford to include lengthy text on their websites. That’s because people prefer to have a quick look rather than go in deep from the first touch.

So, instead of writing a novel, make sure to build your design based on a well-thought-out customer journey. This way, you can hook your audience with images, numbers, and infographics and give them additional information with short videos or images. Finally, you can open all your cards on a well-constructed product page, where you will present everything regarding your product or service. While this page will certainly boast a much longer text, dividing it into small sections (as if answering burning questions) will make it easily readable and digestible. Reading your page yourself is an excellent way to ensure you’ve not overdone it. If you get bored during the spell check, imagine how your audience will feel.

4. Autoplaying Multimedia

We’ve mentioned several times that we should add short videos. Actually, we’ve posted an extensive explanation of why explainer videos are a great choice for your website. However, you shouldn’t allow them to play automatically. There is nothing more frustrating than getting plastered with a video or any sort of audio when you’ve opened 10 tabs looking for a solution to your problem. Most people will simply close the tab that’s making the racket.

Now, there’s a reason why many websites go for autoplay. It’s one less action to take. It instantly draws attention to your website. Still, the attention you get is not good.

Many would argue that X (Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook autoplay videos, but that’s way different. First and foremost, their videos are always muted unless the user intentionally unmutes them. Secondly, users typically actively browse these websites. They don’t start blasting music while the user is at a different tab. Finally, these videos have entertainment value. They often don’t trigger any emotions in the viewer, as they just scroll past them. That’s not the point of having an explainer or any other multimedia on your website. The main point is to engage. To engage willingly and consciously in this exchange of information.

But running a video in the background without any audio is a bit pointless. These videos don’t aim to entertain but to explain, so people should catch them at the very beginning.

So, instead of wasting resources on a feature that’s pointless at best and annoying as hell at worst, just give your audience the courtesy of being able to start the videos at their own convenience.

5. Intrusive Contact Forms

Next, we have a feature that will drive away even those ready to start a conversation with you. Website owners often disregard the contact form as something mundane. For many new website owners, it’s just one of those things that gives you credibility. But if done wrong, these contact forms can deter any user from contacting you. This will effectively lose a ton of leads and potential conversions.

Writing from a contact form is disturbing enough. Sure, it’s convenient, but many feel overwhelmed by the idea. Naturally, leaving your email at the side will allow those who feel intimidated by contact forms to reach you more securely and comfortably.

Worst contact form screenshot

On the other hand, a contact form that asks for more than your name and email address is definitely a turn-off. Why would you need a mobile phone, address, or age? For a person who has a simple question, these questions would be way too intrusive. So, avoid building such forms. There is a time and a place where you can get this information. Your contact form is not one of them.

6. Automated Carousels

Carousels were quite popular for a pretty long time, several years ago. They showcased several products or services simultaneously and were designed to highlight your best products quickly, easily, and efficiently. Well, it was fast and easy, but it definitely wasn’t efficient. People grew tired of the concept as fast as it became popular. After all, no one is really enjoying getting something you’re reading slit under your nose.

Moreover, various CTAs confused audiences about what they were supposed to do.

The worst part was those carousels that switched way too fast. The visual stimulus is completely lost. You can’t hook a person when you cut off your message mid-sentence. Thus, today, most people don’t even try to read carousels, especially if they are automated.

Now, if you want to add a slider to your website, that’s absolutely fine. However, make sure to give the control back to the users. Let them move to the next slide when they are ready. Otherwise, it’s like a customer is interested in a product, but you’re taking it away and putting another product in their hands. That’s not efficient marketing. That’s not efficient communication at all.

7. Misleading CTA’s

There is rarely something more annoying than a misleading CTA. The CTA should culminate the customer journey. The one button that should relieve the tension you meticulously built during your presentation. So, you can imagine the disappointment when the user realizes that the CTA is not actually leading them where they thought they were going.

There are several versions of this flawed feature that are equally annoying.

The most common mistake here is when the copy is way too creative. “Smash that Button” doesn’t really give you any information on what the button will do. Even if you’ve explained it in the text before the button, the user will usually notice the button before the explanation. Thus, “Smash that button” is not something that will hook them to learn why. On the other hand, if you place “book a demo,” the user will know precisely what they will get when they push the button.

However, if you place “book a demo” yet the link does not lead to a place where you can directly schedule a demonstration, this will instantly annoy the potential customers. Many will bounce right away. Why would you say “book a demo” if they are not booking one?

These small mistakes can cost you greatly and significantly annoy the regular customer.

8. Header That Tells You Nothing

Another feature that will take users out of their skin is the header, which gives you only a headache and no information. Actually, Blinkee.com is the perfect example.

Blinkee screenshot

With their “Safer Than Sparklers” that is barely readable, you can never guess what they are offering. In the background, there is a low-quality image. The CTA invites you to “start the experience,” but you have no idea what you are starting. Then, there is a series of numbers that one can only guess are a phone number, and the only clear thing is the email address.

Now, most people looking for a solution to their query will land on this page without knowing precisely what they are looking for. So, your job is to make sure they understand they are in the right place. If you can’t disclose your product and service immediately, at least address the problem that lets them to you. After all, this is the start of their journey. Hook them and make them believe there is a point in learning more about your products or services.

A header that does not provide information is of no value to the customer. They will simply ignore it and leave your website.

9. The Copy is Search Engine Oriented Only

Of course, your copy must be optimized for the search engines. There are no second opinions on that. However, you must understand that the search engines won’t buy your products, and they won’t book your services. People will. So, while writing an SEO-friendly copy is a good idea, ensure it’s not aimlessly filled with keywords. It should speak to your audience, not Google.

Don’t worry about Google. It will still understand what you are doing. More importantly, if your website is people-optimized before search-engine-optimized, the latter will increase your score. On the other hand, if your entire website copy is a series of keywords, users will simply leave disappointed.

10. Pointless Links

Internal link building seems to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many websites. For some reason, it is quite complicated to make. It’s not that the owners can’t attach a link—that’s easy. It’s about what they are linking to.

An internal link is very helpful both to the reader and the website. On the one hand, the reader receives additional relevant information, and on the other hand, the website receives a better SEO ranking due to pinpointing the most relevant pages.

You can’t build a proper customer journey if you start linking indiscriminately. You don’t want to bring your customers back. If you do, they will lose interest in what you have to offer.

For example, a customer who has entered through an article about fine-tuning a sound system will most likely already know how a sound system works. So, linking an article about what sound systems are will only harm you.


Furthermore, linking a random product, like an energy drink, in such an article is equally pointless, as it will only confuse the search engine crawlers and will not bring any value to the user.

Finally, you should always try to push the reader down the funnel with your links. So, if they are interested in fine-tuning a sound system, offer them a tuning algorithm at the end of the article. This way, even if they use your advice to manually fine-tune their sound system, at least they will be aware that you have a product that will make their work 100 times easier.

Bonus: Slow speed

The most annoying thing you can encounter on a website, however, is the slow speed. Those who remember the 90s would recall how frustrating it was to wait ages for a single picture to get loaded. Today, no one has this patience. The average loading time is getting faster and faster. Today, users expect your website to be up and running in less than 3 seconds. Any second delay leads to a massive exodus from your website, translating into significant losses of customers, trust, and revenue.

So, while the 10 annoying features on your website are easily avoidable with a few clicks, increasing your website speed has more to do with your hosting provider and his capabilities.

That’s why HostArmada is one of the most trusted partners in the web hosting industry. We offer lightning-fast website loading times, state-of-the-art security, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. We offer you the foundation so you can create a stunning website design. Preferably, without the 10 most annoying features we listed today. So, check out our plans and choose the one that suits your needs perfectly. The rest is all in the details.