Worst Websites of 2012: April to August Contenders
The contenders from Q2 are some of the best/worst I've seen. There are NINE websites run by one organization and they are so bad I may have to create their own category.
Especially egregious examples of bad web design are identified with light blue backgrounds. The rest of the contenders are in alphabetical order so you need to go all the way through the list of sites. Some of the worst are at the end of the list.
NOTE: Those sites that are included in the final listing of the various Worst Websites of 2012 lists have had their links and commentary removed. Links to the new articles have been added.
Constellation 7: Might Be Worst Website of 2012 Or Of All Time
This collection of sites (9) are so bad, they are #1-9
Water Services Ltd.
#10. Worst Websites of 2012: They Should Know Better
The Wedding Collective
Submitter's comments: Right away from the pointless start page with music that takes ages to load, I knew I was being transported back in time…to maybe before 2004, when the trend was to unrelentingly create everything in Flash. (Maybe designers gave up trying to make sites work in a variety of different broken browsers and Flash was seen as a quick way out of browser hell… only to inflict us with another kind of hell.)
Enter the site and the first thing I see is a lot of badly formatted, nonsense text to read, which tells me nothing.
I Almost failed to spot the very dark navigation on the left that only appears when the mouse is over each one.
The noisy headings take ages to appear and they're annoying. Some pages have that horrible “make you read everything through a tiny letterbox with awkward scroll "thingy” that was so popular back in the day.
This site needs to be put out of its misery.. Sadly I'm not a web designer; otherwise, I'd quote them to redo it.
Vincent Flanders' comments: Nicely reviewed.
Flash for websites is as dead as Steve Jobs. To make a Flash website even “deader” than it is requires a Splash Page. This site has one. After that, I'm taken to a page I can't read, with symbols I didn't even notice without the help of the submitter's comments and such a confusing mish-mash of I-don't-know-what that I don't have the slightest idea what the site is about except that it's not about weddings. I don't care about the site so I leave. After taking a cursory examination, I suggest you do the same.
Other comments #1: Why would a site whose name implies it is about weddings feature a photo of three very large military ammo bunkers on its front page? (I know, because my job used to be making sure nobody broke into said bunkers.)
Other comments #2: After spending 3 minutes (which turned out to be 2.5 minutes too long) looking this site over and clicking various links, I still have no real idea what this site is actually about. This is a very poor design concept and a rather inept use of Flash.
Flash certainly CAN be a useful tool for certain bits of content on a web page, but must never, ever be used because the designer/developer doesn't know/is too lazy to learn how to use more conventional means of web page construction.
#10. Worst Websites of 2012
Best Spanish Websites
Submitter's comments: I used Google to search for “best learn spanish sites” and the top result was this page.
Vincent Flanders' comments: Somebody in the SEO community needs to figure out why this website ranks so high. It violates every positive web design concept we have. The site's success also makes me believe the Web Standards gods are full of it. Yes, there's content—plenty of it—but it's mostly on the home page. A very long home page that weighs in at approximately 6Mb. A home page that has a Page Speed score of 50 and 2,673 errors.
All I should have to say to prove it sucks are two simple words—”Comic Sans.” There's an error I don't recall seeing before. There are six graphics titled “Links” but none of the graphics are actually links.
I even thought that the search query was a little funky. I tried [best websites to learn Spanish] and it came up #2. Seriously, there's something going on here that might be very important to the SEO community.
Other comments: I can only guess at what they used to generate that code. It looks hand-written in a text editor, but it's hard to believe at the same time. It looks a little like the code produced by a very old version of Hot Dog or something like that, but there's no doctype or anything. A puzzle, certainly. I do like the 30 specified backgrounds though. I guess they wanted to be safe and always have one.
#12. Worst Websites of 2012
High Calling Cockers#13. Worst Websites of 2012
Submitter's comments: I would like to nominate the Jamet website as an example of poor navigation.
The company is a well established tent manufacturer, so I visited the site to get some details of a particular model, but 10 minutes later, I was still wrestling with graphics that rotated as they wandered about the screen, when all I wanted was the size and weight. Total fail!! I shopped elsewhere.
By the way, the entry screen invites the user to navigate using the left/right arrows and the spacebar.
Vincent Flanders' comments: Google Chrome automatically translated this page's text for me. I can't remember when I've seen sillier navigation. Oh. This site was built using HTML 5, which proves you can create sucky websites using the latest technology and shows why this site will never run out of examples.
Other comments #1: It's at least the second Daily Sucker to use HTML5. I remember a site early this year, maybe late last year, that was also HTML5. It was all blue, as in blue text on a somewhat lighter blue background, as I recall. It was for some sort of tech conference in England. Too designy, but still vastly more attractive than this heaving pile. Honestly, Jamet looks like a web site from 1994. (Remember the grey backgrounds?)
Other comments #2: Super-modern HTML5 and they still put their fax number on the contact/address page (if you can call it a page).
Other comments #3: Confusing. This is just the start of sucky web pages for HTML5, unfortunately.
#5. Worst Websites of 2012
Marvis Contemporary Toothpaste
Mindy Meyer for NYS Senate
Submitter's comments: Turn your speakers down.
A Friend of mine found this website. “A lifelong Flatbush resident, Mindy is the first young woman in the history of New York to run for New York State Senate. The Orthodox Jewish woman, aged 22, is the candidate for both the Republican and Conservative party lines. Mindy intends to utilize her religious values and moral compass as her guide. ‘I can tell you one thing, I have no experience in corruption,' said Meyer. ‘This is how politics has to change. There is always corruption, but I have the intention to follow my values and ensure that none of what happens in my district is corrupt.'”
I am not sure this is real… but it surely reeks. See the page Diva of the District.
Vincent Flanders' comments: It's my favorite time of year—election season. It's the time when really bad websites pop up only to fade away after the election. Apparently, Ms. Meyer's website has drawn other media attention: Mindy Meyer's ‘State Senate Campaign' Website Explodes On Twitter, Is Truly Awful.
While examining the source code for the site, I noticed the song that keeps playing is called LMFAO.mp3. Hmm. I know I LMFWAO (Laughed My Fat White Ass Off) when I viewed the site. I'm sure you'll laugh your ass off when you see it.
I have no idea if this person is qualified to be a State Senator; however, if she's using the sound file without paying royalties (or it's not her original song), then she's violating copyright laws and this would disqualify her because she claimed to have “no experience in corruption.” Well, maybe not corruption, but it is criminal activity. She should read my article Why You Can't Use Music On Your Website. It always amazes me that people think they have the legal right to put music files on their websites without paying for the privilege.
The pink is just a little too-too.
Other comments #1: I guess I would be laughing if my eyes weren't bleeding so profusely. It looks like Mindy is running for Prom Queen at some posh school, rather than for the State Senate.
Mindy. Please try to at least *appear* believable as a political candidate.
Submitter's comments: Suggestion for worst website design.
Vincent Flanders' comments: It took a long time before I could figure out where this festival was being held. Turns out it's located in my very own Washington state. There's a lot wrong with the site. A lot. 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.“
The only good thing about this website is that it doesn't keep my browser's Back button from working. In keeping with the theme of the site, and to misuse a hackneyed quote, “Create websites like this and the terrorists win.”
Other comments #1: Okay, that almost crashed my Firefox browser.
Other comments #2: Why in the world are there THREE main navigation bars... and a navigation map page?!!
Shorewood Lube & Service
Submitter's comments: Not only do they use a Flash header for navigation, Flash plays a different loud song on each page! Exactly HOW does that content relate to getting my car fixed?
Vincent Flanders' comments: I suspect the music was part of a template —the music has that Flash template sound. Red, white and blue colors don't inspire me, especially when they cause contrast problems like you see in the tag line. Flash is dead except in high-end games and video. This site is not a high-end game nor does it feature video.
The music is annoying because there's no way to turn it off and it repeats itself if you revisit a page. On the plus side, the site works on an iPhone—thanks to the text links at the bottom.
Other comments #1: I don't like having my morning Ravi Shankar tunes interrupted with this noisy crap. Plus, to add insult to injury, there isn't any visible way to turn off the sound. Beside that, the template reek and complete lack of any real creativity make this one very dull site.
Other comments #2: I spent part of yesterday morning in a meeting where two project managers, the head of development and the client all discussed what functionality should go with the pretty picture the designer drew. Oh, the project has been in development for a month and is due next week. I imagine that is a large part of how crappy sites get generated. (In the case of the site that was the subject of the meeting, it is themed an Exorcist-colored pea green ...)
Other comments #3: I wonder how many cubicle office workers got fired for going online and opening this site. I wonder if their customers like it when they crank up their repaired autos and blow out their speakers. Get ready for a 'going out of business' sale.
Submitter's comments: You don't hear from me often, but when you do you can bet it's because I've found something worthy of mention. To be honest, I find lots of sucky sites on the web, but I only send you the ones that truly, inarguably and inexcusably suck.
My nomination for the Daily Sucker is PenGun.com. It is abusive to the mind on so many levels. Everything from the color scheme to the background to the HR tag use just makes me cringe. Still, even with all of that I might have let it go, were it not for the Mystery Meat Navigation. That is where I draw the line.
The navigation on PenGun.com is flash-based, which is bad enough, but on top of that you can barely tell it is navigation because… there are no words in the default view, and all of the graphic links look exactly the same. You don't get the privilege of seeing where you're headed until you hover the mouse over each link. And, the descriptions promptly hide themselves after your mouse leaves the area. For further proof that we're dealing with a Mystery Meat Navigation issue, you'll find written instructions right below the navigation area telling you how to use it.
And just to add insult to injury, there is a sound when you hover over the navigation.
Vincent Flanders' comments: You need a monitor with 1600×1200 pixels before you can see the menu at the bottom. Why it's there I just don't understand.
Yes, it says the page is a personal page, but a personal page is a page about you and your life. Heck, even Vincent Flanders.com isn't personal.
Valley Isle Aquatics
Vincent Flanders' comments: My daughter said, “One of my friends posted on Facebook, ‘Two gay men just brought VD into my house.'” Naturally, my interest was piqued. The “VD” turned out to be “Voodoo Doughnuts” instead of something more salacious. Of course, I went to the VD website and discovered they were using Mystery Meat Navigation. Wrong. I use a portrait monitor and, as you can see from this screen capture, the menu is at the bottom of a very long page. The page isn't so long on a monitor in landscape mode, but the menu is not on the first screen. Like every normal user, I don't want to figure out where the navigation is located. I just want to find it now.
VD is using a technique I haven't seen in a long time—they're disabling the right mouse click. I realize their images should be protected, but they are using watermarks. Anybody who really wants the images knows how to get them, so I'm not sure why they're disabling the right click.
As someone who knows his way around doughnuts, their menu looks exciting. I'm sure their doughnuts are just as great as their names (Cock-N-Balls is my favorite name for a doughnut). All VD really has to do is make it easier to enter the site. I can overlook the rest of the design because this is the type of business that can have a fun website. Dunkin' Donuts can't and doesn't.
Other comments #1: I am not impressed. Do you suppose they could MAKE THE LOGO ANY BIGGER???? Good for the owner's ego, but bad for visitors/customers; very stupid.
Those stupid tiny navigation links at the bottom of the page are downright insulting. I want to buy donuts, not look at your cute logo. No more time wasted looking at your home page. I'm off to Krispy Kreme or Shipley's for some donuts.
Other comments #2: Too slow. And the list of donut types has an exclamation mark at the end of every single one! Do they not realise how irritating that is! Especially at the end of sentences like "Buttermilk dough with a glaze"! Aaargh!