According to Internet Live Stats, there are 1,731,402,632 websites in the world and counting.
That’s a lot of websites.
But as with everything in the world, not all websites are created equally. In fact, some websites don’t work, are outdated, and some are just plain ugly.
You only have a split second to capture the attention of site visitors and encourage them to take action with your web design. Whether it be to read more blog posts, subscribe to your newsletter, or purchase from your online shop, your job is to entice people to convert. And you just can’t do that with a bad website.
Today we’re going to take a look at some of the worst websites out there and a few things we would change to make them better, so you know what to avoid when building your own website.
1. Penny Juice
Penny Juice is the first bad website on our roundup. And the sad thing is, the concept behind it is a noble one. In fact, the company sets out to help provide childcare centers with healthy and affordable fruit juice for kids.
That said, there are several things that make this an ugly website:
- Rainbow of colors that overwhelm the senses
- Unclear navigation; scrolling required to view additional webpages
- Cheesy stock images that don’t set the site apart from the competition
The fix: the first thing needed is a clear navigational structure. An extended navigation menu at the top of the page would help guide visitors through the content. In addition, a simplified color scheme would make the company seem more professional and the site more pleasing to view.
MGBD Parts & Services is another one of those bad websites you should never draw inspiration from. This online shop sells auto parts and promotes their physical repair shop.
Here’s what we feel makes it a plain old ugly website:
- Serif typography is tough to read online
- The images are low-quality and appear fuzzy or pixelated
- There’s not enough whitespace and the homepage is cluttered and busy
- Not all the links are visibly clickable (e.g., the email link, which is important)
- Extensive vertical navigation menu with large images and difficult to read menu text
The fix: we’d clean up the homepage and make it easier to digest. Additionally, we’d take away the car navigation bar (as cool as it may seem) and stick to clear and simple copy so people can easily navigate the site. Lastly, we’d make sure it was easier to get in touch by having a clearly clickable email hyperlink and possibly a dedicated Contact Us page.
As a website dedicated to executive housing and vacation rentals, you’d think the company would spend a little more time on designing a clean, modern, and easy to use website. However, Paradise With a View doesn’t do any of that, landing it a spot on our list of bad websites.
Check what we feel went wrong:
- The black background is jarring, despite the contrast the colorful images create
- Hot pink text that follows the mouse scrolls is unheard of and distracting
- Numbered rental names do not give off a relaxing and vacation-y vibe
The fix: if we were in the business of renting luxurious vacation homes, we’d name our rentals something other than VRBO 89039. Next, we’d change the color scheme altogether, implement lots of whitespace (getting rid of of the black background), and instantly take away the trail of text that follows the mouse as site visitors explore the site.
Gate N Fences sells a lot of gates and fences. And other things too, we think. The thing is, after taking one look at this bad website and the enormous amount of text there is on the homepage alone, we gave up trying to figure out what Gates N Fences was all about and left.
Here are other things that make this an ugly website:
- Too much information overloads site visitors and forces them to turn away
- Tiny font makes reading the text you want to read nearly impossible
- Multi-colored hyperlinks cause confusions and distort priorities
The fix: this homepage should have less text, a clear call to action button, and a handful of high-quality images showcasing the company’s best work. Though the text has a lot of great information and displays a high level of expertise, it’s way too much. Compelling copy that highlights the expertise of Gates N Fences can be achieved with a lot less text.
Wow. Dreams of the Great Earth Changes. What can we say besides the fact that we aren’t even sure what the main theme of this bad website is? Top it off with the terrible contrast of background color and text color (which hurts the eyes to look at), and you’ll immediately see why this website is nothing to be proud of.
Other things about this ugly website we think are terrible include:
- Long and not so pretty hyperlinks leading to additional website content take up too much room and look visually unappealing
- The strange message at the top “Please refresh your page to get the latest issue” indicates the website is outdated or not working right
- The use of shadows on already too-small fonts cause the eyes to have trouble focusing
The fix: besides wanting to make this bad website more accessible to those with disabilities, we’d love to add a clear navigation menu, a strong value proposition, and more consistency with the images.
6. 007 Museum
James Bond is a well-known character throughout the world. So, it makes sense that someone would open up a museum dedicated to the 007 agent. That said, as much as you may like the 007 Museum, you’ll find yourself being very disappointed in the ugly website that promotes it.
Here’s what we think went wrong on 007 Museum:
- It is one long, long, ever-lasting one page website
- There are no navigation menus for finding the content you like
- It lacks a web-friendly font style
- The layout lacks consistency with its alignment (some is centered, the rest is aligned left)
The fix: the concept behind this website is great. However, it needs a sticky navigation menu if it wants to maintain its one page existence. There should also be a ‘To the Top’ arrow for those that want to return to the top without excessive scrolling. The layout needs some work, images should be one size, and lastly, we would choose a better looking sans serif font that is easier on the eyes.
7. Space Jam
Space Jam was a movie that all little kids loved to watch. Not only was it part cartoon, it had the famous Michael Jordan it. That said, this ugly website that follows is not something anyone (adult or child) is going to like.
Though a simple website, find out what makes Space Jam a bad website:
- The space background, though fitting, makes reading text on any webpage hard to do (especially because the font color is not contrasting well)
- The homepage’s font size is too small to read, especially when up against the busy star background
- Images are low-quality
- The online shop is difficult to navigate and the images are too tiny to appreciate
The fix: with an online shop, even if the products are free, you have to make an effort to display high-quality images that people can see clearly. In addition, the font color should not blend in with the background color, which is a theme found throughout the site. Lastly, the blinking navigation menu items found on some webpages are a huge distraction that we would do away with to boost engagement on the current webpage.
Again, creating a black website is doable, but only with the right approach to web design. With the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, the black background, paired with red, white, and blue font colors is terrible. And that’s only the beginning.
Here are the other things that go awry with this ugly website:
- The font moves as you scroll, making it hard to read (and inaccessible for those with disabilities)
- CTA buttons are there, but blend in with the text making them hard to navigate
- The same calls to action are also randomly placed on the homepage with no consistency, making it harder for people to convert
The fix: as a visual studies website, we would create a stunning image gallery either on the homepage or as a dedicated webpage for people to check out. We wouldn’t maintain quite so much freedom on the scrolling effects, would include a clear value proposition explaining the purpose of the site and whether anything is for sale or not, and add a main navigation menu that follows users as they scroll.
In the end, your website represents your brand and quite possibly your business. If you expect to grow your following, boost conversions, and secure more sales, you’re going to need to focus on overall web design and functionality. After all, there are thousands of websites in your same industry all vying for the same target audience. So, take it from these ugly websites above and don’t do what they’re doing.
Not sure you can prevent making the mistakes of the above-mentioned bad websites? It’s okay! At Revealize we can take what you envision your website to look like and make sure it’s visually appealing, fully functional, and meeting the needs of all people surfing the internet. So, get in touch with us today and see how we can help you achieve your dreams and avoid landing on a roundup like this one of the worst websites on the web.