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Examples of Bad Websites

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There are countless examples of embarrassing website designs and development out there. These are the latest examples we have discovered. For each site below we provide a brief analysis to assist you in avoiding the same pitfalls.

After looking at the websites and critiques below, please visit our free advice area.

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Auctioneers & Liquidators

Example of a bad website: Auctioneers & Liquidators

WOW! where to start...? If you have to tell your viewers the last time you updated your content, then you must be doing something wrong (and probably not updating often). The color selection for this site is, ummm, SCARY. There is no consistency or common theme and the colors clash with each other, making it hard to read. Webrings (webrings were popular in the mid to late 90s) and page counters are no longer being used - page stats can be compiled and tracked more efficiently by other means. Now for the navigation - is there any? Wait, we found the navigation -- starting two screens down. The site navigation should be easily found as should the contact information for your business. Another thing we want to mention here is that if you are building a business site then keep it as a business site. A quick look at this site makes us wonder if they are auctioning off babies and dogs.

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Cherokee Rose Border Collies

Example of a bad website: Cherokee Rose Border Collies

Happy Summer! - wait, what is this the purpose of this website? Sand Castles? Relaxing in your hammock? Maybe if we could read the navigation it would help. We have said this time and time again - websites are supposed to be advertisements, why tie up the biggest portion of your advertisment area telling your audience to have a nice summer? After reviewing the contents of this website we find out that (we think) they are selling Border Collie puppies. We shouldn't have to dig in order to find this information out. It should be front and center. Let's talk about navigation - first, it should be readable. Second, it should be well organized in a logical manner. This site fails at both of these things. Additionally, your logo should always link back to the home page (failed again!).

We rarely see so much space go to waste. 21 pages of "news" and the most interesting thing on the whole page are some dancing Presidents 70% of the way down the very long page. But wait – those 20 extra pages are on every page of this site – why?  We dare you to view "Border Collie Pups In Their New Homes" - just put on some eye protection first. This site, to be fair, was made long ago (we think), evidenced by the dog & cat dealer license on display that expired in 1998.

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Martin Sprocket and Gear

Example of a bad website: Martin Sprocket and Gear

Asking the user to decide which version of your website they want to view is completely wrong. HTML provides the ability to determine what the user has the ability to view and allows the developer a way to serve the proper content without asking them. On this site, the non-Flash version initially works, until you try the Home button.  Then you’re on the Flash version of the website - BAD!  The bottom nav choices don’t work in all versions, and on some pages they disappear completely. Having your navigation as part of the graphic for your website is also not a good idea. For this site, first of all, it's very hard to read. Secondly, without the proper alt text, this very important information will never be picked up by the SEO bots.

It seems that the developer wants you to know what browser they want you to use and they think you aren't very smart, telling you that they are going to use popup windows on some links. (just an fyi...if you click a link to open a window, the popup blocker generally won't block it) Just load the pages in the browser!  A website should never, never, never allow the user to end up in a dead end. There should always be a way to go back to the home page – and this website fails at that. Selecting certain menu items will take you to a section of the site with no way back.

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Propeller Island

Example of a bad website: Propeller Island

My my, what’s this?  A dance club for four ladies and one guy with no pants?  Nope – it’s a site for a ‘habitable work of art in the heart of Berlin' that is actually pretty awesome, judging by the rooms.  Granted, this website’s native language is not English.  However, if you are going to offer a website in additional languages, make sure that all of the text is translated (this includes the title hovers for the links). Another wrong turn is the use of color, which is one of those great things you can use (or abuse) when building a website. Here, use of multiple colors do not compliment each other nor provide adequate contrast to help the reader of your site.  There are also links on the main page of the website that go nowhere!  

If the user had their browser running at a resolution of 800x600 they would never see the links on the right side of the screen. Now, on to the Rooms section of the site...where the various and very cool themed rooms are on display.  In small photos.  Sure, the word BIG is there to theoretically offer a larger picture – but it’s not much larger.  Use the space available!   And, make it easy for the users by making your links descriptive. If I want to look at the forest room, what number was that?  (some of the numbers are missing, by the way) Finally, the most important information (phone numbers, address, pricing) is hidden in very small text at the bottom of the page.) Overall, cool idea - the hotel that is.

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Hillstock Services

Example of a bad website: Hillstock Services

The logo of a grinning, rolling, toilet-on-wheels worries us.  Has it broken free of its wax ring, to go after the person that 'sprinkled when they tinkled' and didn't clean it up?  Yikes!

Just as worrisome: this website was done entirely in Flash for no reason. These are static pages that don’t require Flash. This will limit your audience. Why would you tell people to go to your website ON YOUR WEBSITE? If this site is meant to sell or rent the “Luxury Toilets” from Hillstock Services, then their phone number ought to be plastered all over the place.  You have 3-5 seconds to let people know what the purpose of your website is. At least their service is tailored to your "indervidual" requirements.  Spell check, people!

Worth noting - if the photos on the landing page are of the interior of what are essentially portable toilets, they look awesome.

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