How NOT to Design Your Portfolio Site

by . October 12th, 2007

Instead of showing you guys great examples of portfolio sites I would like to show you an example of a portfolio design that breaks many important rules.

Bad Portfolio Site Example

The page linked above is not a main page of the website, but rather an article page used to drive traffic to the website, which is fine, but only if done right.

Unfortunately their first big mistake is putting Google ads all over the page. This obviously is going to make you lose potential clients because a percentage of them will click these Google ads and leave your site. The money you would get from these Google ads is no where near the money you would get if the person who clicked it actually decided try out your design services.

I also believe the overall design of this page could be a lot better. I think the logo could be stronger, the text “articles & news” has an ugly stroke around it and the giant orange RSS feed button seems rather arbitrary.

This RSS feed button also led me to another discovery. The use of black hat SEO techniques. This site uses a common and illegal technique called hidden text. If you look closely you will see some text sticking over the RSS button. If you drag your cursor across the screen it will reveal hidden keywords used to gain rank in an illegal manner.

If you are serious about your design business you should avoid using black hat SEO techniques. Google will get you eventually, or a competitor will report you and then all of your hard work will suddenly be gone.

I hope showing you this website was helpful and I will try to pin point common pitfalls on other sites in the future.


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