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The Internet is a prevalent force in our society today. We  perform so many of our daily tasks online -- shopping, communicating, finding information, etc. As the Internet becomes more and more prevalent, having a quality online presence becomes more and more of a necessity. Gone are the days when great web design was a luxury. It is essential  that your site's design -- both on a desktop and mobile -- accurately represents your brand and allows your audience to easily connect with you.The look of your website is what makes viewers decide whether to stay or leave. It is often the first impression they'll ever get of your business, so it needs to be great! Unfortunately, there are several common misconceptions about web design that we hear over and over. We've listed them below in hopes of finally setting the record straight.

 It's not that difficult. Anyone can do it, right? Wrong! Your neighbor's friend's grandson may be great with computers, but is that really who you want to trust with the look of your brand? The quality of your site's design can directly result in more or less business in the door, so think twice before hiring just anyone to design your website.

There should be no empty space on the site. It's not necessary to cram every available space on the site with content and images. In fact, it's probably one of the worst things you could do. Visual breaks are important on a website. They allow your viewers to easily find what they're looking for without wading through loads of content.

It should last me for at least 10 years. Web design is constantly changing, as is the entire marketing industry. What works today may not work tomorrow. Unlike other things in life, your web design isn't meant to last forever. It needs to be consistently updated so your site stays fresh and relevant.

I'll just pull some images off of Google to use on the site. No, no, no. This is a terrible misconception that has caused people to find themselves in a copyright lawsuit. Images on Google are not a free-for-all. You can get in serious trouble for using images on your website that do not belong to you.

We need to write a lot of content for SEO purposes. Wrong. While it is important to have certain keywords on the site for SEO purposes, stuffing the copy with keywords will not benefit you and just annoy your readers.

Let's make a cool Flash intro and/or have music play automatically. NewsFlash: (see what we did there?) Flash is not cool. It doesn't always work on certain browsers and is not mobile-friendly. And, finally, having music or audio play automatically when your site loads may seem like a good idea, but trust us when we say: It's not. No one likes having to hunt down the talking tab on their screen.

These are just a few things to keep in mind the next time you're looking to revamp your website.

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