The 12 Worst Over-The-Top Websites of 2014
Here are 2014's websites that make you ask questions like, "WTF is going on here?" Many of these sites cause me to exclaim, "You've got to be kidding me!" Well, those aren't my exact words <grin>.
Over-the-top websites are a staple of WPTS. In fact, there's a page devoted to the topic called, appropriately enough, Over-The-Top-Websites.
Truthfully, ranking these websites is an act of futility. They're all equally horrible. I provide numbers only as a guideline.
Each entry will have an explanation of why it's such a winner, associated commentary (if any) and, of course, a link to the website.
1. Riverside Art Center
Submitter's comments: I was struck dumb the first time I visited their website. My personal opinion is that it's bloody awful as a site in general, but to have it as the site of the town's only art center?
Vincent Flanders' comments: As you can see, even on a wide-screen monitor the text gets cut off. Google's PageSpeed Insights isn't fond of how the home page is constructed. I'm not either. I looked at the source code and discovered the site was created using NetObjects Fusion – a web design tool I was really, really fond of back in 1996-97. Oh, well. Time moves on. This website hasn't.
Other comments: As soon as my eyes quit bleeding, I think I shall simply drink heavily. There is no sense in trying to figure out the "why" of this site. It has all the charm of a junkyard located on top of an old landfill, and right next to a sewage treatment plant.
2. Preterist Archive
Submitter's comments: Take a look. I could not find anything here.
Vincent Flanders' comments: It's just another over-the-top website. Reading some of the material made my head hurt.
Other comments: Ah, yes. I have been waiting for another of this genre to show up. For the umpteenth time, I am delighted that this site is so bad, or else someone might take it seriously.
3. Headhunter Hair Styling
Submitter's comments: At the following site, I wasn't sure if they wanted to take me boating or cut my hair. Can you tell? And the background tiling looks even worse than the tiles on my kitchen floor.
Vincent Flanders' comments: To truly appreciate the awfulness of the tiling, you have to go to the site (recommended) or look at a full-page screen capture (silly and a waste of 1.7Mb worth of bandwidth). I should note this screen capture was taken on a monitor that's 1200 pixels wide. If your window is less than ~1067px, the tiling isn't noticeable. Still.
There doesn't seem to be enough contrast between the menu text at the top and the background. There are several tools web designers can use to determine the proper contrast. The article Easy Color Contrast Testing lists several.
Submitter's comments: I see MSY has been previously nominated for the Daily Sucker and even received an honorary award in 2009. MSY have updated their site from early-90s out-of-date in 2009 to late-90s out-of-date now in 2014. They're catching up! At this rate they may hit contemporary within 15-20 years.
Vincent Flanders' comments: Nicely phrased. MSY would have made the regular Worst of 2009 list except they changed it enough by the end of the year so I thought the new version didn't qualify so I put it on the Honorary list.
This screenshot of the 2009 MSY website shows why it sucked back in the day. The “worst” design element is that the page won't fit on a 1200px monitor so you have to horizontally scroll. The home page doesn't do very well on Google's PageSpeed Insights (you also get to see a screenshot of what the page looks like on an Android device).
5. The Magic of Baltimore
Submitter's comments: Is this a bad website?
Vincent Flanders' comments: Yes.
I've loved magic since I was a little boy. In fact, I love it so much I refused to watch the TV show "Secrets of Magic Revealed" (or whatever it was called) so it's disappointing to see this website suck.
The 15Mb home page takes 26 seconds to load (per WebPageTest). The pictures at the top—where the navigation should be located—are not links, which you would expect them to be. The navigation starts at around 640px from the top of the page. Yeah, that's where all the web design books tell you to place the navigation. Oh, and the page is ~31,674 pixels long (on a 1200px wide monitor) and even with the monitor being 1200px wide, I still have to scroll horizontally. Not good.
The rest of the page contains the usual suspects of bad web design.
6. MGBD Parts & Services
Submitter's comments: This website belongs to a commercial operation selling mainly Rover P6 parts. There is a design theme of Vomit yellow and black (with added cyan, magenta and other colours reminiscent of Windows95).
Menu's are on car icons that you can't easily read. Scroll down and on the left is “Maria's Art – The General” which is a secret menu button to attempt to sell someone—presumably family members—(pejorative term deleted) art work. Each page through the menus has no conformity, just varying themes of vomit yellow until you reach the Shop! – At last some resemblance of better design, but hang on – the logo at the top of the shop for MGBD is nothing like the logo (or lack of it) on the main pages!
At the bottom of the menus they're also showing pictures of Rover P6s at cars shows they've been to, which does nothing for enhancing their brand. Clicking on the Classic Car Inspections menu link and they've even spelled the title wrong (“Inpsections”)
Surely they could improve their revenues with good website design and consistent branding … and just focusing on their business and not the ancillary distractions.
Vincent Flanders' comments: Hmm. I never found “Shop!” so I can't judge the validity of the comments; however, there are lots and lots of problems. The one that drives me crazy is the content doesn't fit on my 1200 px wide monitor. I have to scroll horizontally. There's no consistency. Believe me, I know what a lack of consistency looks like because this site is pretty effing inconsistent. This page (The Daily Sucker) looks different from the home page and a lot of other pages. I probably have three or more different looks but, then again, this is Web Pages That SUCK—not Web Pages That DON'T SUCK.
7. Gulla's Arrestling
Submitter's comments: My eyes are still burning from the site AND content … let's teach police increased brutality!
Vincent Flanders' comments: This website definitely constitutes bad web design brutality. Cop and cop-related websites have always been a staple here at WPTS. Heck, back in 2008 cop sites were featured in Worst Old School Web Sites of 2008: Cops and Chiropractors. If you were a cop, would you want to use this site's services? It doesn't look professional and cops like to be professional (at least I hope so).
The home page is 1.4Mb, which is problematic. The TITLE tag is “Home Page” and everybody but the site owner knows search engines put a lot of weight on the contents of the TITLE tag. The registration form for the 2014 Arrestling Officer Safety Conference is a PDF you have to fill out and mail in unless you pay by credit card. Oh, credit card payment is done over the phone. Yeah, they're up-to-date on ecommerce.
The home page has this code: @import URL(file:///C|/Program Files/Macromedia/Contribute 2 for Affinity/ My first WTF? is why are you using Macromedia Contribute 2? It's more dead than Stevie Ray Vaughn (yesterday was the 24th anniversary of his death). If it exists, it's up to Release 6.5. My second WTF? is the home page is using @import. HTML performance experts say it's best not to use it. Obviously, the page isn't really using it because web visitors can't access the designer's Drive C.
This website is a classic example of Mistake #6 from Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015 — “Have you ever seen another web site? Really? Doesn't look like it.“ I call this type of design the “I haven't taken my anti-psychotics in a while school of web design.”
8. Illuminati Exposers
Submitter's comments: Someone left a business card for something called “Illuminati Exposers” lying around at work, so I decided to check out the website (being interested in this sort of conspiracy theory stuff). I thought, “I've seen worse documented here but it's still worthy of submission.”
Gotta love the multicoloured texts, garish images, over-long pages, and general suckiness of the site. Now to go and clear up the blood that's oozing out of my eyes…
Vincent Flanders' comments: It's a classic example of Mistake #6 from Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015 — “Have you ever seen another web site? Really? Doesn't look like it.“ I call this type of design the “I haven't taken my antipsychotics in a while school of web design.”
What's really sad is that Edward Snowden has made conspiracy theories believable – because he's shown the government is out to get us. Nobody will take this site seriously. I don't even know if they should because “Why would I want to read a site that doesn't look credible?”
9. Liberty Van
It's just a mess of text, links, and photos all about their decorated cars. Not even nicely decorated cars, rather they're plastered with pro-smoking slogans (yes, pro-smoking…), anti-liberal rants, and religious texts. Their “old home page” linked at the top is naturally even more abysmal.
Vincent Flanders' comments: I was too scared to click the link to the old home page. Yesterday, we had HIM Clothing the Alpha of bad web design and today we have the Omega of bad web design. I'm a BIG First Amendment proponent (with a name like Web Pages That Suck I'd have to be) so his rants don't bother me because they're too hard to read. He needs PARAGRAPHs!!!!!! It's a classic example of Mistake #6 from Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015 — “Have you ever seen another web site? Really? Doesn't look like it.“ I call this type of design the “I haven't taken my anti-psychotics in a while school of web design.”
10. Gathering of Nations
Submitter's comments: Love the organization, but whaaa? Try and find how you buy tickets.
Vincent Flanders' comments: You would think there would be a prominent spot at the top of the home page telling you how to buy tickets. You would also think they wouldn't be using what amounts to a splash page as the first page visitors see. Granted, the graphic is very artistic but if I want to see something artistic, I'll go to a museum. When I originally made this site the Daily Sucker there was a garishly huge and very yellow “CLICK HERE TO ENTER” message may have set a new record for the largest “Click here” link in history. Bigger is not always better. The screenshot below shows the message.
The side navigation is too far down the left side of what should be the real home page. This page doesn't fit on my monitor and I have to scroll horizontally to read the text.
Oh, I almost forgot. My favorite part of the home page is where it states:
Celebrating 31 years on the World Wide Web
Let's see. Tim Berners Lee created the first web page in 1990 and it wasn't really revealed to the world until 1991 so…their math is wrong. Of course, it's 2015 and this little mistake has been removed.
Other comments: Honest to God, my first impression (without actually reading anything) was that some psychedelic rock band from the late 60's, like Iron Butterfly, was having a reunion concert of some sort. I feel a bit let down.
11. On Camera
Submitters' comments: Let's get it all on the front page, shall we? Despite using the Microsoft program to make the page, why put so much on the cover page? Even James Joyce had an editor and this site needs to be sliced, diced, and organized into usable bits.
Vincent Flanders' comments: There are also a lot of the usual type issues: multicolored, inconsistent use of color on text (H1 and H2 tags with same color), justified and flush-left text, etc.
12. Exmouth View Hotel
Submitters' comments: Here you go…
Vincent Flanders' comments: This website is where badly created, cheesy animated GIFs go to die.
This website is part of what I can “Cliche Web Design” or “1997 Web Design.” It would like to be a classic example of Mistake #6 from Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015 — “Have you ever seen another web site? Really? Doesn't look like it.“ Actually, I should have said, “Have you ever seen a hotel website before?
This may be the worst looking hotel website on the internet. I'll leave it to you to try and find one worse.