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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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Infonetics, Inc.

Example of a bad website: Infonetics, Inc.

Background textures can be a wonderful tool for the web designer. They can also make your website look like a lounge singer's tuxedo if used poorly. When we looked at the Infonetics site the first thing that we noticed was the background. It's like watching an old guy at the beach when his pants fall down. The most important element on a webpage should be the first thing that a visitor's eye is drawn to. In most cases that should be the logo. The Infonetics logo looks cheap, old and ugly plus it is small and blends in with Vegas-style background.

Most of the secondary pages are poorly formatted and are rife with broken images. The secondary pages on your site are just as important as the main landing page. In some cases a user will go straight to one of your content pages and never see your index page, so it is important that all of the pages on your site make a good impression.

Elvis has left the building!



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Direct From TV

Example of a bad website: Direct From TV

Most of us have bought into the smarmy pitches of a late night infomercial ending up with a Snuggie, ShamWow or another useless piece of Chinese plastic that finds its way to a landfill within the month. This website is an emporium of TV crap just for our buying pleasure, unfortunately the design is crap as well.

The front page elements flash, blink and even fly around the screen but there are so many links and ads that visitors are likely to fall into a state of hypnosis before they find what they are looking for.

The overall design of the site looks like a puzzle theme that makes no sense given the "As Seen on Tv" context. Not only is the menu too long and difficult to read, a lot of the words are cut off.

Normally we would say something witty here like: "don't quit your day job" or "they look better on tv than they do on the web" but honestly we are all too smart to buy any of this stuff anyway, right?



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Security News Portal

Example of a bad website: Security News Portal

There are times when a monochromatic color scheme works well on a website, this is not one of them. Not only is red a harsh, jarring color, SNP chose to fill the screen with the same shade of red more evoking thoughts of an autopsy than of computer security. The logo is almost unreadable and is not helped by the strong red glow that allows it to blend into the bloody header.

The menu contains a wonderful naming scheme of page 1, page 2, page 3 etc...that is very helpful when looking for specific subject matter. The links on this site open a new window every time, which is a good strategy when you are linking to external sites. Opening new windows for pages on your own site is not only annoying, it can potentially lock visitors' browsers, especially if they are using a stellar browser like Internet Explorer.

Just because your target audience consists of geeks and nerds (err we mean IT professionals) doesn't mean that your website should be ugly and irritating.



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Newts Playing Cards

Example of a bad website: Newts Playing Cards

Opening a retail store can be an expensive endeavor so it is logical that someone would want to rent a small space and then grow into a larger one. A retail website (e-commerce), on the other hand, is not limited by space, so many designers are bent on cramming as many products as possible onto the first page of the website. If your products are not displayed in an attractive and professional manner, how can you expect visitors to consider buying them?

The overall design of the site is not as clean and professional as it should be but trust us, we have seen worse. It is the little things that will make a bad impression - such as having the menus push outside of the page, it just looks sloppy.

The product detail pages are cluttered like the rest of the pages and it makes it difficult to focus on the specific product that was chosen. The goal of this site is to sell playing cards and accessories but we found adding items to the cart an impossible task.



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Wallace Computers

Example of a bad website: Wallace Computers

Everything about this website makes us want to take a black marker to the screen to spare our eyes from any more torture. The interface is old and tired. They are still designing for 800 x 600 which makes the site look like a postage stamp on any modern screen. The most egregious offense is the Flash navigation that forces the user to chase the menu items around the screen.

Once a visitor does manage to select a menu item, they are presented with a small area of worthless text that does very little to promote Wallace Computers. Most of the sections are either blank or contain cryptic words with no point of reference. The background music is distracting and never a good idea unless you are selling music.

Any designer that is considering a web interface entirely in Flash should consider this simple question: Can the element that you want to do in Flash be done using JavaScript and html without losing functionality? Most of the time that answer will be yes and you can save yourself from creating embarrassing pages.



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