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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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

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

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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Rangers Canada: International Brotherhood of Rangers

Apparently no one informed the Rangers that Geocities died and that we no longer have to use the twinkle star background. Here, we find an exceptionally awful example of a website. If we had to guess, we would say that it is a site for retired members of the Canadian Rangers: Vancouver Chapter.

True to the Geocities model, there is no structure, form, design or menu, just a long list of links that all turn out to be photos or photo albums disguised as YouTube videos. They do seem to have an obsession for drunk dolls and a loose Barbie.

After some research we discovered that the Rangers are a division of the Canadian Army, yet this site seems to be focused on on airplanes and air shows. Maybe you have to be Canadian to understand the content here but everyone can agree that they do not know how to build a useable website.

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Spartacus Educational

While we learned a long time ago that "We don't need no education", when surfing the web we do need sites that give us at least a hint as to what the site is about. Just as we came to a consensus that the site is loosely about war and the history of war, we discover links for football, Watergate and Martin Luther King. It should be common sense to design and provide content around a theme, you get bonus points for telling users what the theme is.

The author claims that he established the site to be a place for active learning, yet there is no interaction or discussion at all. The only thing that a user will find is seemingly unrelated subjects and articles that are more like an inferior version of Wikipedia.

Educational success largely depends on the curriculum of the classes that the student is taking. In this particular case, we have no idea what the class is even about. Mr. Bruner, next time publish a syllabus so we can at least make some sort of sense out of your endless ramblings.

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