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.
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!
What Should You Write about for Your Blogging eBook?
I have written and self-published over 100 eBooks.
About 40% focus on blogging tips.
As I promote my eBook for writing and publishing eBooks, I want to answer a common question. What should you write about? Why cover that topic?
Many of you run blogging tips blogs so you would write blogging tips themed eBooks. Since I wrote a high volume of similarly themed eBooks I have an idea of what vibes with folks. On a deeper level, we all know what works. Does a blog post sell? Does a blog post seem popular compared to other blog posts? If yes, write a 6000 word eBook on the same topic. Literally flesh out the title and topic into 6000 words. Save your time and energy. People told you what to write about via blogging. Be smart. Be wise. Cover the same exact topic via eBook. But write new, evergreen, unique content to ensure authenticity.
I know this beats a dead horse, but you cannot go wrong dissecting blogging profits and traffic themed eBooks because most bloggers struggle to generate profits and traffic. We know this. Now the common mental block: bloggers fear somebody covered the topic already. Welcome to life. Over centuries, billions of humans did long ago what you do today, in some way, shape or form. I did something today in writing this specific post you may do 6 months down the road. Count on it. Well into 2020, you may write a blog post discussing what eBook topics resonate with your blogging tips audience. But hey! I already covered the topic. So did 1,001 other bloggers. But people seek abundance and will read your blog post.
Write about how to increase blog traffic. Write about how to increase blog profits. Build your tribe. Generously befriend bloggers by helping them and asking for nothing. Blogging buddies buy your profits or traffic eBook over the thousands of similar eBooks on Amazon because buddies trust you and your advice over anybody online. Do you see why tribe-building matters? Loyal people choose you over all else, dissolving the fear of competition in your mind. Fear dies, and you write another eBook.
Listen to Your Readers
Readers asked how I wrote and published a successful eBook a few times before I pondered writing an eBook on the topic. Someone even nudged me to do it by asking if I wrote and published such an eBook. I recorded the idea, wrote the eBook and now you see it above. But blogging themed eBook ideas are as easy to spot. What do readers complain about? What do readers struggle with? How do readers tackle problems? Can you improve the process by writing an eBook. Scores of bloggers spam blogs daily with 3 word comments. I wrote an eBook to help bloggers see 3 paragraph, genuine comments work better than 3 words for grabbing people’s attention.
Tune into reader needs. Scan comments. Read emails. Folks genuinely bring eBook ideas to you, to your blogging door step, if you willingly open your eyes, open your ears, be quiet and listen to their needs. Traffic and profits posts rock but ideas for blog commenting, networking on social media with bloggers and how to choose blog post titles also rock for eBook topics.
Do no sweat word length fears. Anybody can write a 6,000 word eBook if you practice your writing daily for 3-6 months. 6K fits perfectly into the Amazon short reads category.
Get writing, bloggers.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
Are you a new blogger ready to hop on the Adsense train?
Pump your breaks a few times. Slow down and think this through.
Advertising revenue can prove to be a lucrative income stream for bloggers over the long term. Build a large, loyal following. Be generous. Be patient. Success will be yours, as will Adsense ad clicks and increased blogging revenue. New bloggers have a different Adsense experience though. I see excited newbies ready to cash their first Adsense check on receiving approval. 6 months later, after making $.02 per month, the enthusiasm dies and the blogger removes Adsense from their blog. Why? Bloggers learn a harsh lesson about advertising revenue: you need a huge, loyal following to generate significant income through advertising channels.
Most new bloggers get 5, 10 or 50 people to visit their blog daily. Imagine if 20 people visit your blog daily. How many of those 20 people click on your Adsense ad, or any ad? 99.99% of the time, none. Tomorrow sees 14 blog visitors. None click your ads. After 1 month, 240 people visit your blog. 2 people click your ad. This sounds about right. At the end of the month, you made $0.04 USD. Of course this is common because you are a new blogger with little traffic. Low traffic blogs generate low profit ad revenue.
Do you know who makes hundreds to thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue monthly? Bloggers who blog effectively and generously for 2-3-5 or more years generate this type of sweet income. Advertising revenue takes SERIOUS work! Maybe 1% of bloggers – or less – put in the work that drives the thousands of people daily to blogs which nets a steady, solid Adsense income. But most new bloggers mistakenly believe their 30 visitor a day blog will yield $100 to $500 per month or more. Never gonna happen guys. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Advertising Revenue: Yes or No?
I share profitable income streams in my eBook:
Buy it to explore different ways and means of profiting, to beef up your multiple streams of income.
Newbie bloggers should never open ad revenue streams because they do not have a large, loyal, targeted readership needed to generate substantial ad revenue. Write and self-publish an eBook. Toss that widget on your sidebar, replacing the ad widget. Brand yourself. Make more money.
Experienced bloggers with large, loyal tribes should consider ad revenue if the ads:
- feel like a match for the blog and brand
- are highly targeted for your readership
- add value for your readers
Think targeting. Sites like the Huffington Post can post any ad and completely disregard relevance because millions upon millions of humans visiting the blog monthly have millions and millions of interests. When advertisers pay a million dollars for a short Super Bowl ad they understand not every one of the 1 billion people watching the Super Bowl is highly interested in their ad, but many folks out of the billion plus people will be interested, and net advertiser revenue, through the commercial.
For you, even if your tribe is large and loyal, you likely do not attract millions of blog visitors monthly. Target advertisements to ensure most if not all of your readers seem highly interested in the ad. Even if a small percentage clicks through you will generates steadily increasing ad revenue by this approach because you intelligently match your ad with your reader.
As a new blogger go with non-ad income streams. Experienced veterans can lay out ads but make sure your ads align with your readers.
The Ultimate Checklist To Grow Your Blog in 2019
Perhaps you’re here because you’ve had a blog for a long time now, but you feel like it’s just not growing as you hoped it would. The good news, however, is that you aren’t alone. Even blogs that you think are “famous” may have also gone through this same challenge. Fortunately, there are many tricks you can apply to help your blog reach its fullest potential. These are doable, and with a little help from experts, you’re sure to achieve the growth you’ve been dreaming of.
Here’s a checklist you can follow:
- Venture Into Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective strategies in digital marketing, which you can also apply on your blogs. Affiliate marketing refers to the act of partnering with companies and businesses that are looking for bloggers who are willing to try out and promote their products and services. In the beginning, you might not be able to reach more prominent brands and companies, but if you keep going, affiliate marketing can also be very effective in helping your blog grow in terms of audience reach. The more you network with affiliates, the more traffic comes to your site.To provide you more insights on digital and affiliate marketing, read through this digital marketing checklist.
- Link With Other Bloggers
In the blogging industry, success isn’t so much about competing with each other. In fact, there’s a lot you can achieve by simply linking with other bloggers as well. This means that, from time to time, you create posts that allow you to connect with others in the industry, or you create collaboration posts with other bloggers. That way, you’re both doing each other a favor by expanding each other’s blogs to the current networks that you both have, much like exchanging gifts.
Here are other ways for you to also link or engage with other bloggers:
- Comment on the posts of other bloggers
- Mention other bloggers in your posts
- Engage in the social media pages of other bloggers
- Create Detailed Content
Especially if you’re writing about solutions to common problems of your viewers, be very detailed about it. Readers want to have answers as soon as they visit your website. Without clear, actionable content, you’re not only going to lose one reader, but you’re going to lose others as well.
Some of the best strategies you can employ to ensure detailed content are the following:
- If you’re talking about technical or serious matters, include statistics and case studies
- Stay away from broad statements that are going to leave your readers guessing
- Whenever you can, include actionable and real data. (e.g. Climate change is expected to hit a _____ mark by 2020. To combat this, one of the things you can do is…)
While the optimum length of every blog post should still be around 500 to 2,000 words, this doesn’t mean that you cannot put in detail. Never write and post anything haphazardly. Be sure to do your fair share in researching beforehand.
- Enable Social Media Sharing
If you’re a blogger, you’d know it’s inevitable to also have social media accounts. If you can, go for the three major social media pages, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The more active you are on social media, the more effective you become as well. Keep in mind the following techniques in terms of social media posting:
- Keep a fixed schedule of when you usually post new content. This will make it easier for your visitors to expect new posts. Through this, you can also build anticipation among your readers.
- As you schedule your content posting, also factor in the usual available time of your target market. For instance, if your blog is about parenting, you might want to post at night, when all mommy duties have been done for the day, and they can check their social media.
- Refrain from posting every hour. Keep your posts within a healthy interval so that your followers won’t become bored or even annoyed. At least every other day is enough to keep your followers excited.
What you can do is post an update on each social media account when you also have a new blog. Link your blog post to your social media post so you can draw traffic to your website. With social media, it’s also easier for your followers to share and spread the word about your content. By simply clicking the share button, they’re able to post this on their social media sites as well.
When you strive to make your blog perform better, it shouldn’t end only with the growth per se. You also have a more significant task to fulfill, which is to apply the necessary strategies that are going to motivate your readers to keep coming back. These above-mentioned tips can help you achieve these two goals. Now you can be on your way towards running your blog to its fullest potential.
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