What can we learn about good web design from bad websites? What not to do! Check out these cringe-worthy examples so you know what to avoid.
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Right now the number of users actively online is at 4.1 billion. That number is set to explode by double-digit percentage growth in the next half-decade.
Therein lies the importance of having an awesome website. It lets customers feel confident about doing business with you. It lets colleagues respect your professionalism. It makes friends think that you’re doing well in life.
While we have a lot of blog posts filled with tips on how you can make stellar looking blogs and websites, in this article we will take a slightly different approach to educating you.
Here, we will look at 8 examples of astonishingly bad websites, discuss where they went wrong and learn from their mistakes!
Do you like The Hunger Games series? We certainly do.
Given the popularity of Suzanne Collins’ franchise, you would think that she would invest in having a more professional online presence by hiring a professional development firm like SmashStack. Maybe she thinks she has nothing to prove anymore?
We can only speculate.
What we know for sure though is that this website’s overuse of white space, odd center-floated photograph at the top of the page and a right-justified menu all conspire together among many other things to make this bad website one to forget.
Yale is one of the most prestigious schools in the country boasting ultra-low acceptance rates and prestigious alumni. If any of those prestigious alumni are web developers, they might want to donate their services to the school’s art wing.
Immediately when you go to the page you see a bright yellow tiled background which jars users rather than welcoming them in. Then, to contrast the bright background, we get grey boxes with erratically formatted text that make you feel like you’re on a scam site rather than on the Yale page you were searching for.
Rest assured this is a real Yale website.
We get it. Conspiracy websites aren’t supposed to be good. They’re supposed to be as nutty as their creators.
Why is that though!?
You’d think that if a conspiracy theorist were trying to get somebody to buy into what they’re saying, they’d want to present it a little more credibly.
Maybe conventional taste in design is a conspiracy this website is trying to bust…
Whether or not that’s true, all our small minds can do is jump to the conclusion that from its bad background to its website description that you need a magnifying glass to read at the top of the page, Waking People up With Truth is definitely among the top bad websites.
We’ll admit, this website is not all that bad. It has a nice full-screen video in its banner position, a clear menu at the top of the page… it definitely checks some boxes.
The reason why we’ve flagged it among our bad websites is because of its simple yet important miss on color.
The use of blue at the top of the page invokes feelings not of style but of something more generic or unrelated like a beach.
This website would benefit big time by recoloring its menu section with something darker. That darker palette would make the site feel more sophisticated and on-brand with a hair styling organization.
Electrifying times is a website that’s supposed to be all about the latest and greatest in electric cars. Unfortunately, it looks like a website from the early 2000’s advertising a local carnival.
Not only is the site non-responsive, it also uses animations to draw people’s attention to new articles and ultimately does ZERO to inspire confidence in consumers that this is a credible source when it comes to electric vehicles.
Have you ever wanted to find a website dedicated to telling you about Irish shipwrecks? We didn’t think so.
As it turns out, the more niche your topic of interest is, the worst the websites you find providing the information you need get.
While this site almost qualifies as a passable minimalist motif, it loses the chance of being acceptable thanks to its textured background and the fact that you have to click on a picture of a ship to enter the actual site.
Only bad websites make you solve puzzles to access their contents.
Here’s a bad website for the history books. Never have we seen a site overwhelm users with TMI more than this site does.
Explaining where this site went wrong seems pointless. Just navigate to it and prepare to go cross-eyed.
This is one of the only bad websites that have given us nightmares. We’re thinking that the site’s intent is to be unwelcoming, confusing, and then (if you dare enter the purple door) unbearable.
Still, whether its intent was to be bad or not, there’s no denying that the site’s alienating use of animation does more to scare users away than it does to welcome anybody in.
Wrapping Up 8 Cringe-Worthy Bad Websites
Having a good website is a must in today’s digital-focused age. Still, bad websites do serve an important role online…
They educate you on what not to do with your site.
In order to get started creating an excellent blog or website, we recommend going through our list of sites above and taking note of what it is they did wrong. While we took a light tone in our approach to critiquing these sites, be sure to really pay attention to the feelings the site’s we’ve mentioned leave you with.
Did they leave you feeling like the webmaster was unprofessional? Did they leave you feeling overwhelmed?
It’s those feelings that you should look to avoid with the design aesthetics you lean on during the creation of your site!
For more of the best and most entertaining blogging tips on the web, check out more of our content on BloggingTips.com!
Beware Who You Trust for Advice
Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.
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I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.
Peep 2 answers.
I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.
This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.
Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.
Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:
- radiate happiness?
- radiate compassion?
- exude success?
- inspire you to succeed?
- uplift bloggers?
If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.
But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.
If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.
Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.
Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.
One Such Example
Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.
Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?
The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?
Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.
Follow heart-centered bloggers.
Live your dreams.
Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?
Some people love attention.
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I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.
I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.
If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:
- small talk
- general BS
people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.
100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.
How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries
Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.
I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.
If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.
You Are Walking into a Word Office
Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.
What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?
I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.
I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.
I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.
People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.
Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
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