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.
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Chestnut Ridge Supply Gun Parts
Believe it or not, at one time this was probably considered a good e-commerce site. For the most part this site is a victim of time and it looks like this site has not seen a makeover in almost a decade. A lot of blogosphere experts will tell you that a site should be redesigned every year. The truth is, a website should be a living organism that should grow and change constantly. If your original design was flexible and sound then you can use a design for several years or until you get tired of it.
You should not have to welcome people to your site. A good design and layout will do that for you. Instead, describe your business. People will read about that, and so will the search engines.
Scrolling marquees are old relics that never seem to die. If you are hell-bent on using them, please make them readable! The seizure-inducing cadence in which these characters march across the screen is enough to make you want to buy a gun..
Warren County Kustoms
First off - what is a Warren County Kustom? Using a 'K' instead of a 'C'? As in, Warren Kounty has a spiffy Khamber of Kommerce? Glad we don't live there. Seriously - this site is listed here for obvious reasons. There are, however, some lessons to be learned from this shining gem of a boogersite.
Notice the pages are named page 1, page 2, page 3. Hurray, we can count! Titles are meant to give your viewers some clue about what the page is about, as well as helping you out with the search engines. The same can be said for the not-so-cleverly designed menu buttons. This is a great example of "mystery meat navigation".
On a general note, the home page has no focus and is littered with animated gifs. No one cares how many people have visited your site, what the weather is like in Franklin, Ohio and scrolling marquees instantly tell us these people have not seen a website in at least 10 years.
One of the first questions that we ask new web clients is the purpose of their website. E-commerce, corporate information, tourism, educational...you get the idea. Then you design around your purpose. If you have no purpose, then you create the Chicken, Alaska website. After you tire of the chickens chasing the cursor (which was never a good idea, not even when everyone still liked Bill Gates), you are left with a poorly executed attempt to be cute and no real idea of what the site is about.
The whimsical navigation may look good on a sign or poster but on a website it should be a tool to move from page to page. Evidently the fine folks of Chicken did not intend for you to go beyond the index page since they never got around to adding content to most of the interior pages.
We really wanted an official "I got laid in Chicken, Alaska shirt" but you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page just to add it to my cart. Once on the cart page we are faced with choosing between secure and unsecured checkout, just in case you do not believe in hackers.
South Sea Rattan and Wicker Furniture
Ok class, quiz time! The purpose of a store - you know, those buildings that you used to go to when you wanted to buy things? Before the internet? Ok, I'm losing you. The purpose of a STORE is to do what?.
The answer is to sell products, yet we run into sites like this all the time, where you have to hunt for something to buy. South Sea Rattan does not let you make any purchases online but you would think that they would want to at least SHOW you what they want you to buy right up front.
It sounds simple but a lot of websites fail to think of their users. Put yourself in their shoes! How easy is it for your customers to get the information, or this case, products that they need? Web users do not want to think, so we have to hit them over the head with what we want them to do on our websites. Just remember if you don't connect with your visitors, your competitors will.
Hochberg and Company, Inc.
Websites have about 3-4 seconds to grab the attention of visitors before they bounce to your competitor's site, so while this site may not seem "bad" on the surface, it is about as boring as we have seen. To be fair, they write chemical studies (egads) but even screenshots of their studies or a scientist or two would liven up this dead page.
The most recent information that we could find is from 2003, under heading verbiage indicating that these were the 'most recent studies'. Not a lot going on in lately, eh? Are you folks still in business? This is another death sentence for websites, especially one that by nature has a smaller audience. Often, companies forget that websites are living documents and they should be constantly changing and being updated.
The navigation is worth mentioning here as well since you might miss it if you have any trouble seeing variances of blue. When choosing color schemes, it is important to ensure that there is enough contrast in colors that will be overlapping each other.