Ugliest / Worst Over The Top Web Sites of 2009
An "Over the Top" web site is a lot like pornography — you know it when you see it. Over the Top sites generally deal with philosophy, religion, politics, end times, etc., but they're generally not mainstream.
An Over The Top web site suffers from delusions of adequacy. The man on the left is like one of these web sites. When people visit an Over The Top site, they see the equivalent of the man on the left. When people involved with the site look at their site, they see something totally different.
The year 2009 was an incredibly fertile year for these types of sites. By "fertile" I mean "fertilizer" as in "These sites were like fertilizer spread over a landscape of despair. They're crap."
One of my better comments about web design was:
Web design is an art. Great web design occurs when design and content are seamless and you don't notice its greatness. With great web design, it's easy to find the information you need. The content makes you want to return again and again and, most importantly, great design gives credibility to the company/organization.
Take every positive word in the quote above, replace it with its opposite and you have a description of this year's crop of Over The Top web sites.
1. (Tie) Bella De Soto's Web Site
The image above is really a reduced screen shot.
Submitter's comments: I have only been here a couple of times, but this has to be one of the worst ever. Enjoy.
The page scrolls HORIZONTALLY and VERTICALLY. Holy, mother of God. This is a nightmare.
I'm not providing a direct link because I don't want to blow out their bandwidth (the home page was 503Mb). If you want to type it in, it's at http://www.belladesoto.us — but the site is in a state of suspended animation.
Vincent Flanders' comments: I think we have the winner for the Worst Web Site of 2009. Heck. I think this site may be the worst web site of all time. Congratulations to the submitter of this site. You've just found the bottom of web design.
Bad web design is like pornography — just when you think you've seen it all and you think nothing could disgust you, along comes something worse. This site is the 2 Girls 1 Cup of bad web design. No, as far as I can tell there's no pornography, just a web site that makes the 2008 Worst Web Site— Havenworks (it's now dead but this is a version from Archive.org)—look like CSS Zen Garden.
The home page is HUGE. In fact, I don't know how large it is because it's still downloading and I'd like to go to bed. I'm guesstimating it's around 503MB. That's MB as in Megabytes. It's so big I can't get the great screen capture program, SnagIt, to capture a complete screen shot.
The page scrolls HORIZONTALLY and VERTICALLY. Holy, mother of God. This is a nightmare.
1. (Tie) Haiti News Network
Submitter's comments: It's Christmas in Haiti! A Haitian News Network site. O….M….G.
Vincent Flanders' comments: This site scares me more than a proctologist with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
At least it doesn't use sound files. Actually, I'm not sure because I was too scared to click any links. If the home page sucks this much, what hope is there for any of the subpages? This site doesn't just suck, it's the black hole of f**cking death.
If you're one of those folks who think that the glass is half-full, you'll be comforted by the thought that web design in Haiti has nowhere to go but up. I'm not sure which of the following two statements from the great movie reviewer Mr. Cranky applies to the Haiti News Network:
- "This is so godawful that it ruptures the very fabric of space and time with the sheer overpowering force of its mediocrity.”
- "Proof that Jesus died in vain.”
Wait. I know which one is the right phrase — It's the black hole of f**cking death.
Other comments #1: What's not to love about this site? It has annoying GIF animations, Mystery Meat Navigation, marquees, awful contrast, etc. Is this supposed to be a site about a serious News Network??
Other comments #2: This site is so bad, it simply cannot be "fixed," that is, without the aid of a flight of F-4's armed with napalm. Bella Desoto, look out; you have competition for the worst web site ever!
Other comments #3: Well at least the background doesn't make you want to stab your eyes out…but that's all I can say for it. Most of the things on the page don't actually link to another page on the site — 90% link to other sites. As far as why anyone would want to "Keep it alive"…the only reason I can think of is just so that it can stay around till the worst web sites of the year are decided here. This isn't an actual news site; it's just a whole bunch of unorganized and random links.
2. George Hutchins for U.S. Congress
Vincent Flanders' comments: Wow! I'm going to steal from one of my contributors when I say, This site is so bad, it simply cannot be "fixed” — that is, without the aid of a flight of F-4's armed with napalm.
I don't get it. Hasn't this guy looked at web sites of other Republicans running for Congress? (Granted, Heller's site isn't perfect — just 10,000% better than Hutchins' site.)
Hutchins' site's is a political version of other loon sites like Havenworks (it's now dead but this is a version from Archive.org), Yvette's (also dead but a working copy is at Archive.org), Bella De Soto, etc. I may be wrong, but I don't think he wants to come off as some loon. Then again, I'm not into politics, so what do I know?
It took a while before I discovered Hutchins is a Republican. I figured Hutchins had never seen the RNC web site and I was right. It's much better than his site, but all that red on the RNC home page scared the bejesus out of me.
The site was ranked #2 on the Worst Over The Top Websites of 2009.
Other comments #1: Microsoft FrontPage 5 was released circa 1998... No wonder the page has that charming 90s feel. Not so sure where the 60s politics are coming from. Or how Windsor Castle relates to any of it.
Other comments #2: I was looking to see if he won, but he is running in 2010. I guess he wanted to get a jump on the competition. This web site is the FUGLIEST I have seen in a long time.
3. Historian of the Future
Submitter's comments: Here is a web site that truly does suck. I came across it while searching for something totally unrelated and was mesmerized by it suckiness. It sucks so massively that it's hard to pull your eyes away from it because there is just so much jammed together with no organization. Enjoy.
Other comments #1: It is hilarious that the Future page is under construction. Was he able to predict the sucky level of this site before the Internet was even born?
Other comments #2: This guy obviously knows something about CSS. If you're going to go through the trouble of creating several position:absolutes, why not do it the more graceful way and use a similar design to other sites? For example, have a menu that is easy to identify by a human being and have each page a decent horizontal length.
4. Implosion Group
Submitter's comments: This site is so crazy, I'm not sure if it falls into the suck category
Vincent Flanders' comments: Sites like this always make Mistake #6 from Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015 — "Have you ever seen another web site? Really? Doesn't look like it."
I've just come up with a new theory as to why people design sites like this. They're afraid that if they create logical navigation, nobody will click on any of the links. They want to put all their beliefs on one page on the off chance someone will scroll down and find something of interest.
Other comments #1: Imploding under the weight of its own dense copy, it collapses into a black hole which, appropriate to this site, sucks.
I think one factor that may be responsible for the 'bring it all in a bucket and don't skimp on the pate' approach to web pages, is that a number of hosts did and continue to offer site packages where you are given from 1 to maybe 5 pages total, rather than the more common X number of MB of disk space.
Although, the site is in the Over-The-Top category, it may also be that they feel everything they have to say is so important that it all needs to go on the front page.
Other comments #2: Looking at this site makes me feel very good about my own site — so, thank you, Implosion Group!
Other comments #3: With other Over-The-Top sites that I've seen here, at least they are organized in some human understandable form. They have some blank space not filled with text. This site is just garbage. I don't know what this guy is trying to say; but whatever it is, it's a waste of time trying to find out.
5. The 5 Doves
Submitter's comments: Maybe there is a secret network of these sites that feed off each other's design efforts.
Vincent Flanders' comments: Oh, god. That's just what I don't need — a conspiracy theory about Over The Top web sites <grin>. On the other hand, it would explain so much.
I've seen sites where they use different colors on lines of text; I've seen sites where they use different colors on each word; however, I don't remember too many sites where there's a different color for each letter of text.
The web site's name, "The 5 Doves,” initially led me to believe I was going to see a 50's cover band or a Christian music group. I got the Christian part right. That's all that's right with this site.
Other comments #1: I repeat: "God doesn't know how to design a web page!"
Other comments #2: This is where you're wrong. God knows very well how to design a web site. It's some of His people who seem to have difficulties with spelling and grammar, choice of color palette, text placement and typeface choice, use of sound files, navigational design and placement and just about every other aspect of web design!
6. The Light of God Ministry
Submitter's comments: It's bad and it's bonkers, which are two of your favourites. I actually struggled to find a ‘How to tell if your web site sucks' rule it doesn't break. I guess there isn't a FlashSplash page. Oh, and no Mystery Meat Navigation (although it is almost unreadable), but other than that, it's a pretty full house.
My favourite quote from the site is from 'the real truth about god' page, 'God is coming – and he is mad;' probably mostly about this piss-poor web site.
Vincent Flanders' comments: God, how I love people who know how to turn a phrase — "It's bad and it's bonkers, which are two of your favourites.”
I like over-the-top web sites and I'm sure this site will join them. My favorite part of this sucker? The left and right columns of text are centered, while the center column text is flush left. For some reason, it just seems funny in an ironic way.
BTW, the site says the 7 years of tribulation starts December 14, 2012. I hate to break the news, but according to the History Channel's shows (about Nostradamus and the Mayans), the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. I guess if you have accrued vacation time, you might want to plan to use it up before then <grin>.
Other comments #1: I am a Christian and doctrine like this frustrates and embarrasses me because it diverts attention from things that really matter. As a Web developer, web sites like this frustrate and embarrass me because it is thoughtless and inept at almost every step. Bad doctrine and bad web design are both born out of ignorance. There really is no excuse for either, although both can be forgiven.
Other comments #2: Yahoo! page builder at its best (or worst). 'God' might punish you if you don't repent by 2012, but Vincent Flanders will punish you if you don't fix your web site!
7. Keep Earth Beautiful
Submitter's comments: This was advertised as a non-profit web site source for info on environmental conservation. It is so disappointing to find something with such good intentions done up so childishly and nonprofessionally.
The twirling planet, scrolling text, different colored/sized fonts and shaking bear butt?! It would take so little to make this a good web site. Please help us web site gods, wherever you are!!!
Other comments #1: This site made me cry. The graphics alone are horrendous...and the music! I actually scrolled all the way to the bottom where there is a control to turn the music off. On a page the length this one, it's not good enough. Images are also repeated,
Other comments #2: And the music wouldn't turn off for me. Pushed the pause and it didn't. I've seen bad sites before but this....!
Other comments #2: Ever hear of noise pollution? Another baby seal was clubbed to death to keep a rich coal mine owner, who supplies electricity to my processor which was over-heated by all the animation on the site, rich.
8. Surviving Niburu
It is a doomsday that is foretold in The Mayan Calendar, the Chinese oracle of the I Ching… even an internet-based prophetic software program: December 21st, 2012. Is there any truth to the prophecy that the world will end on that specific date? And why do so many oracles throughout history seem to point to that same dreaded doomsday?
I have a "Future Map of the United States 1998-2001 which, believe it or not, hasn't come true yet. I think people are still talking up the subject, but I'm willing to bet the dates have been changed to protect the erroneous. When I originally bought it I hung it up in my office and it was a wonderful conversation piece; otherwise, it was worthless.
Maybe the world will end in 2012. If it does, it will be because of all the sucky web sites about predicting the end of the world like today's sucker.
9. John Titor, Time Traveler
If you look at my examples of Over The Top sites, you'll notice that this site is much better looking than the sites on that page. That's right. It's one of the better looking Over The Top sites, which is like saying "For an ugly guy you're good looking."
There's a lot of consistency — blue headlines are centered, red links are flush left, text is generally white. OK, OK, I'm stretching a bit here. I looked at the source code and there's no CSS, just FONT tags. It would be difficult, but not impossible to fix this site. It isn't as easy as the site I “fixed” the other day by changing a few tags. There also seems to be a gaping hole at the top. Wonder what is supposed to be there.
10. Happeh Theory (NSFW)
Seriously ugly. I hate to admit it, but I am a bit afraid to venture beyond the home page…OMG…this MUST be a joke.
Whether the author of this site was playing a joke on the world, or was serious, one thing is very clear; he must not really care about getting the message out, as he spent so little effort in simply making the site attractive. Even if you are a cast-iron lunatic, people will take you much more seriously if you make your point in an attractive fashion.