Examples of Bad Websites
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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It's time for another keyword guessing game! If we gave you the keywords "Bear Paw Fur Dressing, skull work, and asian taxidermy school", what kind of website would you think they were from? A restaurant? A Norman Bates fan page? Nope - the website being 'keyworded' is (or was) for a taxidermy school in Montana, USA.
Taxidermy is considered by many to be an art, as is website design. However, no art was involved in the creation of this website that we can see. We're not even sure this place is still open, judging from the invitation to 'click here for 2009 registration form'.
Maybe it's just us...but the photo of the 'academy' here looks more like a crematorium from a horror movie. The kind of building where you try to warn the characters to stay away from by yelling at the TV? Just sayin'...
Anyway - to our designers' minds - if your website is really about a taxidermy school, examples of the handiwork to be learned should be prominently featured. Unless...it's not deer heads and trophy fish being stuffed here.
Official Jim Varney Tribute Website
Ernest P. Worrell was a great character played by Jim Varney. He was a practical yet zany man, so perhaps it is fitting that this tribute website can be viewed as "zany" as well. However, we're not certain whether the designer is in on the joke or not. It's entirely possible that this website was created by dumping every available corny and outdated gimmick into a cauldron, and boiling it over a fire for months. The distilled result was deployed in 2000, and here you have the Jim Varney Tribute and Fan Site.
Although the onsite counter claims well over 200K visitors, it is tracking every visit to the landing page, while in the same session. While looking through the site, we logged several 'visits' ourselves. There's not much in the way of navigation, but the links down the left side lead to some real time-wasters, requests for donations, and some pretty crazy stuff. Consistency in the theme went out the window immediately, and the subpages are boogersites in their own right.
R.I.P. Jim, it's too bad this website cannot.
Who gets a lot of spam? Raise your hands. Okay, now who likes to eat Spam? Not so many, sadly.
Here's why we're asking...when an email lands in your Junk folder, with the alluring subject of "Who's Who in Meat", you've just got to see what that's all about. As it turns out, the email came from a company with their very own boogersite. SPC Marketing was really barking up the wrong tree when they sent spam to our sponsor, and also when they created this rudimentary website to welcome people who actually reacted to their bait.
Somewhat surprisingly, this company claims to be a publisher of "Internet Web Sites". Actually, it's a good thing they cleared that up, because a web(space)site would typically be where a spider would make its food-trap, often located up near the ceiling in a corner. By specifying "Internet" web sites, it's clear that they want you to know they publish these creations online - which is unfortunate.
There's a broken link to the firm that 'produced' these pages, and doing business through a P.O. Box doesn't inspire a feeling of confidence. However, keeping FrontPage alive is an increasingly lonely business. Good luck!
McMillan & Company
Wouldn't you think that a website selling organization services would itself be organized? Having to 'page down' 9 times to get to the bottom of the home page is also not (to our untrained minds) a very good example of organization either. Oh wait - the headline claims that January is National Get Organized month. THAT explains it, because January is over and everything on this site has fallen into disarray...even the fonts.
When deciding how your website should portray your company, it is imperative that you sit down with a good designer and talk about the impression you want to convey. If you sell a product, it should be prominently and attractively displayed. When selling a service, your website should do all it can to make an impression of quality and value. There ARE ways to do this. If you need help with these basic best practices, give our sponsor a call or an email, and they'll be glad to help.
This very website asks the question "How does clutter and chaos make you feel?" We all agree it makes us want to move on to another website.
Jay Bee Machine
Are you ready for a ride in the not-so-way-back machine? Buckle up, we're going back to 1998. It sounds like yesterday, but in fact it was fourteen years ago. Why are we going there, you ask? Because that's when Netscape Navigator/Communicator was HOT. And that's what was used to create this website.
The world has moved on, but unfortunately this website is stuck in the past. It's also Under Construction, as it was when submitted to us quite some time ago. You see, we don't use submissions that are Under Construction until we've given the sites a fair chance to be updated. This site has had quite enough time, and has now tripped the b.s. meter.
People - if your website is truly 'under construction', there's no need to tell us about it while you work on it. Just launch the new one when it's ready. Leaving an animated gif of a construction worker using a jackhammer doesn't make anyone believe you are actually wearing a hardhat while programming.
A statement of quality certification for 'military specification' from 1998 is a nice historical document, but not relevant proof of any current standards.