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!
Are You Afraid to Color Outside of the Blogging Lines?
I am coloring with my 2 year old niece now.
Blog post idea; after 2 photo snaps and a quick analogy realization I figured coloring with a 2 year old conveys a blogging success lesson to you.
My niece does not fear coloring outside of the lines. She is smart as a whip but has yet to master the concept of coloring inside of the lines. Few 2 year olds get this idea.
Scribbling like mad, her work consists of zags, hard lines, zigs, and you better believe she colors almost exclusively outside of the lines. She is as happy as a lark to break the rules, to just be coloring. Coloring is fun to her. Who cares if she stays in the lines?
I instantly thought of my blogging career.
I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging by coloring outside of the blogging lines, choosing to do what feels fun to me versus doing what bloggers said I should do.. No email list at Blogging From Paradise. Not much search traffic either because I don’t do the SEO thing. I publish up to 4 blog posts daily. No doubt; I follow certain rules and do color inside of the lines sometimes but largely succeeded because I blog outside of the box, following my fun, pursuing my passion.
You may look at me and wonder how in the heck I do it? You follow all common blogging rules diligently. Yet you may struggle. What gives?
Blogging is an energy game. If you do what feels fun to you, you will succeed wildly. Even if you break rules in the process.
Even though I promote 1 blogging eBook above all else I still wrote 126 eBooks. Big time rule breaker guys. Most bloggers only write 1 eBook and promote the stuffing out of it before moving on to the next eBook. Nothing wrong with that but this is usually a scarcity mindset in action. I preferred to think abundantly and wrote my rear end off. Coloring outside of the lines. Blogging outside of the box.
Follow Some Blogging Rules But Break a Bunch
Nobody becomes wildly successful or lives a dream life through blogging by following all the rules. Rule breakers stand out from the crowd.
Breaking some blogging rules is just like coloring outside of the lines. Some bloggers believe your blog looks a bit sloppy, or disorderly, or that you are doing things wrong, if you color outside of the blogging lines. But these bloggers are usually totally obsessed with doing things perfectly, struggling like heck because nobody is perfect and when you try to be perfect you will fail. Perfection is the fear of failure and the fear of criticism, combined. Don’t let bloggers who color inside of the lines fool you.
How to Succeed by Coloring Outside of the Blogging Lines
Follow your intuition guys.
Listen to the small, still voice.
Trust your gut.
Do what feels most fun to you; not what bloggers say you should do.
I do not build an email list. This is coloring outside of the blogging lines.
Yet I live a life few bloggers live, spending months in Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica among other tropical paradises.
No SEO on Blogging From Paradise because I do not want to depend on search traffic. Yet I have circled the globe for the past 7 years as a full time digital nomad.
Break some rules guys.
Do freeing, fun and highly uncomfortable things. Even if doing so pulls you away from the blogging herd.
Color outside of the blogging lines guys.
Live your wildest dreams.
How Do I Teach Bloggers if I Am a New Blogger?
I see that question popping around in your head.
The same question danced around in my head 10 years ago. How could I teach people how to blog if I did not know how to blog? Plus I had no connections. No skills either. Big time problem.
Here is how to solve your problem:
- learn how to blog from top pros
- write 500 words daily offline
- publish 1-2 posts weekly, turning around and teaching what you learned
- continue to learn both about blogging and your blogging niche
Learn then teach.
Or absorb then teach.
Jan Verhoeff published this post yesterday:
She led off the post explaining how she watched one of my Facebook Live Broadcasts recently and delved deeper into the topic I discussed, said topic being blogging overlap.
Jan is a seasoned veteran blogger but she and I both use this concept of learning or absorbing then immediately teaching the concept to our readers. Knowledge ain’t getting stale in our brain boxes.
Newbie bloggers; I get it. You may feel intimidated to learn, then to teach. But being a blogging student is hands down your most important role as a new blogger because learning and studying gives you confidence to turn around and teach your new found knowledge quickly.
Check out my guest post on Janice Wald’s Mostly Blogging:
Janice regularly shares this post and noted it still drives blog traffic.
New and seasoned blogging veterans alike know deep down we are all perpetual students. Plus we know that in order to teach we must first learn, being open and willing students.
Newbie bloggers; you better become a voracious reader of blogging tips and tips aligned with your niche. Learn to gain confidence and clarity. Then you better practice writing like crazy. Pen 500 words daily offline to become a confident writer.
Being armed with knowledge and improving writing skills sets the foundation to learn, then to teach.
10 years ago when I was a new blogger I read a post on Ray Higdon Dot Com.
This iconic network marketer introduced me to the simple concept of how you can teach folks how to succeed in your niche, even as a newbie. Learn. Teach.
Allow little time to elapse between learning and teaching. Teaching does not require 10,000 word blog posts or 45 minute long videos or eBooks or courses.
Practical Examples of Teaching
Peep these examples of how you can learn a concept and teach as a new blogger:
- record and upload a 1 minute long video on YouTube
- write and publish a 600 word post on your blog
- record and upload a 5 minute long podcast
The idea is to learn a concept and to be comfortable teaching the concept without being an expert. Fraud energies may arise guys. Fears attempt to shame you into remaining quiet. Don’t trust these fears. Don’t believe these lies.
If you want to become a blogger you better get comfortable with being a teacher because blogging is teaching. If you want to become a teacher you better be a hungry student, learning the in’s and out’s of blogging and your niche and practicing your writing to more easily convey your blogging message.
Hit the ground running as a new blogger.
Nobody begins blogging as an experienced blogger.
Nobody begins blogging with blogging skills.
We need to learn and practice persistently as a new blogger to become a successful blogger.
Just don’t hesitate to turn around and teach what you have learned immediately, to drive traffic to your blog.
Do I Look Lucky to You?
Many people believe me to be lucky.
Folks think I am so lucky to travel the world.
Like a magic fairy alighted on my shoulder, tapped me with a magic wand, and sent me to that location in Bali you see in the featured image.
As if I lucked out to circle around the globe for the past 7 years.
Not quite guys.
Luck does not exist.
Smart, generous work helped me retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Peep this link:
Does that sound lucky? Was I lucky to write and publish 583 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone? Am I lucky to have written and published thousands of blog posts during the past decade I spent online?
Have I been lucky to work hundreds of thousands of hours during my life, in order to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging?
Did luck make me a full time digital nomad? Have I been lucky to write and self-publish 126 eBooks?
Luck does not exist.
Smart, energized, years of work, this brings blogging success.
Convenience Store Luck
Back in New Jersey for a bit.
After spending a few moments at the local convenience store I saw no less than 5 people buy lottery tickets.
Folks spend money on a wing and a prayer, hoping, praying, begging to make money through a game of chance.
Forget building a sustainable online business. Forget rendering service to become successful with your blog. Don’t even bother investing money in solid vehicles.
Leave your life to chance. See if you get lucky.
Terrible mindset to have guys.
Luck does not exist. No magical fairy blesses some folks and curses other folks. Nobody suffers from bad luck. Chance does not exist.
Smart, intelligent service, persistently applied, exists. Learning and practicing the skill of blogging for 2-4 years of your life exists. Spending 10 years writing and publishing thousands of posts exists. Commenting on 50,000 blogs exists. Being generous exists. Helping folks for months before making a dime exists.
Luck does not exist.
Luck Is a Jailer
If you believe successful bloggers are lucky, that limiting belief jails you. Since you believe you are not lucky you naturally will always struggle and fail. Not a good belief to cling to guys.
Many bloggers think I am:
- a natural
but I am not. I just spent years of my life learning, practicing and mastering the skill of blogging. I wrote almost 600 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone. Does that sound like luck, or chance, or like a blessing? Smart, persistent work guys. I committed fully to blogging so blogging committed fully to me. Simple equation but goodness does this journey feel uncomfortable at times.
Early Friday evening, here I am writing this guest post as my 2 year old niece hangs all over me, bopping me on the head. Hardly a crazy challenge but still a bit of a challenge. Try thinking through a post and writing it while a hyper 2 year old does all in her power to grab your attention.
I am not writing this post because Lady Luck sent me the idea. I am writing this post because I have written 2 million plus words during the past decade of my life, so words flow easily for me.
- Creating, connecting and polishing my blogging skills by patiently writing and broadcasting live videos daily helped me craft a neat life for me and for my readers.
- Generously commenting on other blogs and promoting other bloggers helped me become a pro blogger.
- Persisting through thick and thin created my blogging success.
The next time you explain someone’s success as a simple matter of luck, think again.
Luck does not exist.
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