No one judges you for caring about the latest celebrity scandal. But if you’re like me, you judge popular magazines for creating unpleasant online experiences. Who wants to deal with all those extra bells and whistles on the page when there is gossip to read?

Below are some of the ways that magazines could improve. Business owners take heed: You should do the same.

Make it quick.

Experts say a site should load in four seconds or less. If it doesn’t, you’ll lose visitors fast.

I waited 17 seconds for this Esquire article to load. Maybe it was the six banner ads and the video that automatically loaded on the page that created the delay.

four second load time on site

Speaking of videos…

Get rid of auto play.

Your website visitors may visit your site while at work, while in the room with a sleeping baby, or while at the library. There’s no quicker way to get someone to hit the back button than by surprising them with a loud soundtrack and voice over.

Reduce links and confusion.

Magazines have to publish advertisements and sponsor information to keep the business afloat. However, the number of links on a page should be kept to a minimum. That means little or no redundancy.

With all that’s happening on this Delish article about southern food, I ended up on Oprah’s website twice by mistake!

too many links on a magazine article

Minimize pop-ups.

After the third pop-up on this Southern Living article, I lost my patience. One ad is annoying, but two ads and one newsletter sign-up form is detrimental. Kill the pop-up!

no more popups in magazines

Shrink the links.

Make social media sharing easy and neat. That includes shrinking the link for Twitter. Why should I have to do more work to share YOUR article? Check out how long that link is!

shrink links for better sharing

Monitor comments.

There’s no reason for spammy or threatening comments to be published. If the spam filter doesn’t catch it,  be vigilant about deleting damaging comments. Not only does Google crack down on bad links, but you might look bad to your readers.

Use a white background.

No one should have a black background on their website. Not even Glamour.

avoid black web page background


What do you dislike about online magazines? Share in the comments.

Sara Lancaster

About Sara Lancaster

Sara is The Condiment Marketing Co.’s founder and creative director. She oversees client relationships, strategic marketing plans, as well as a bit of copywriting and social media management.