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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Cross Stitch Pattern
This boogersite was not exactly 'submitted' to us, at least not in the usual way. It came to us via email, with the incredible suggestion that boogersite.com was relevant to one of the emailer's business partner's websites, and that we should consider cross-linking. Oh, we'll link to you, friend, but not in the way you were hoping.
What do we always preach? Have a clear brand image, easy-to-use navigation, and make it easy for site visitors to understand what you do right away. Fail, fail, and fail. Quick - where is the navigation? Hint: look up. There it is, up in the ivy-covered rafters. Another problem - the paid Google ads on this site are pitching the same thing you're trying to give away here.
Whatever you do, don't miss the article on "Cross Stitch and Men - Crossing the Gender Barrier"
The Spy Store
At first glance, this website simply seems boring and cluttered. But hey - they might sell some cool stuff, so we'll take a look around. How about a hidden camera? Okay, found it in the small print left-side nav. Now, what kind? Let's try the first option. Dang - there are 52 pages of hidden cameras, all in hard-to-read bright blue and white text on a black background with very low quality photos.
How do you buy one? By clicking on a faraway link back up at the top or bottom of the very long page. No 'click to buy' here...you must write down the stock number, description and price so you can fill in an order form manually. Too much work!
Conclusion: Once someone finds your website, make it easy for them to buy your products! Also, The Spy Store has done a good job of hiding any design appeal it may have had.
FrontPage & Frames - ah...those were the good ol' days, right? Maybe...but the Internet has moved on and so should this website. Somewhat unbelieveably, this company offers web design!
The person who submitted this boogersite wrote: "I would never give this person any of my business" and we have to agree. The distracting (and ultimately useless) animated banner is not showing off any design skill, and the Shop ESI is 'coming soon'. The non-working Clients nav choice is a not-so-subtle hint at the quality of work as well. Although...the Clients link at the bottom does work and oh dear - ends up being a wealth of more boogersites.
Also - beware of "guaranteed" site traffic numbers. There is simply no way to honestly forecast how many people will visit a website in a specific period of time. This website's Company Profile states "there is no reason to look anywhere else". We can find a LOT of reasons to look elsewhere.
Close your eyes for a moment, and try to guess what sort of website a search engine would come up with when the search terms of Iowa, pencil, noodler, nib grinding, and pilot were entered. If you said "a website about all facets of pen collecting and repair", you'd be correct! But, be honest - you would not have guessed that.
This website was submitted quite some time ago, but much worse websites have come in since. Honestly, it seems nitpicky to mock this website because it IS updated often and does feature a lot of interesting information. There are a few unavoidable issues with it, however, mostly due to the overwhelming amount of information on the site, which would benefit from categorization and archiving. For example:
It takes 47 page-downs to get to the bottom of the About Us page.
There are 96 pages of "News" - all (incredibly) from this year.
And the winner - over 100 page-downs on the Advertisements page.
All in all, it's a fascinating site in need of a new look.
Master Steel and Pipe Inc
You know what's odd about this website? It's not obvious, and we'll let you think about it while you read what else is interesting; and not in a good way. Let's start with the lack of excitement. How about a photo, or even a drawing of some kind? Without reading the landing page, you'd never know what this company does, or wants you, as a potential customer, to do. There's a 'search' page that includes, for some reason, the ability to search the Internet using a variety of links to search engines (including altavista and excite - how quaint!) - it's as though they assume you don't have your own access to Google.
A 'navagation' choice of Travel Links brings up a really interesting list of airlines (most still in business) and United States Airport Codes...but why? If Master S & P is such a tourist destination, you'd expect a ticket sales page as well.
Are you ready to learn what's odd? Where is this company? You can call them on an 800 number, and you can email them...but their location must be a secret. Kind of like LeBron James' new Florida residence.