5 Lessons Learned From the Ugliest Website in the World

At HostBaby we love awesome web design. We’re constantly scouring the web for beautifully designed sites to use as inspiration for our custom website templates. Lings Cars (www.lingscars.com) is not one of these sites. It may very well be one of the most obnoxious, confusing, and aesthetically challenged websites that exists online. And we respect that. In a way, Ling’s Cars has transcended bad design and become an entertaining curiosity in itself.  It’s actually somewhat fun to click through the labyrinth of pages and odd bits of humor that make up her site.

That being said, I’m not sure I’d want to spend the time figuring out how to buy a car on lingscars.com; it would probably give me a headache.  And a headache is probably not what most website owners want to induce with their web design. That’s why this site is a great example of some of the things you should avoid at all costs when you create a website.

 

1. Don’t Bombard Your Visitors

ugliest website animationLingscars.com is full of things that blink, flash, strobe, and pop. The website is a virtual barrage of animated cartoons and flashing lights, widgets, and all manner of roll overs and goofy surprises. In fact, if I were you, I’d limit animations to just shy of zero. Why, you ask?

1. It’s distracting. When someone lands on your website, they are already at your disposal. There is no need to overwhelm them with things that spin and blink or scroll.
2. It’s confusing. What are your visitors supposed to look at? Everything is shouting at them at once.
3. It looks like spam. We all hate spam.

2. Don’t Go Crazy with Color and Fonts

Color

A color scheme is important to creating a well designed website. Choose your colors and stick with them. The fewer colors, the easier it will be to keep the look and feel of your site consistent. There are actually many great online tools out there for choosing a color scheme for you site. Here is one of my favorites.

Fonts

Choose a font and stick with it. Integrating too many type styles will make your site look messy and hard to read. If you do use multiple fonts, make sure to use them in a consistent way. For instance, you could use one font for titles or headers and another for body copy.

 3. Don’t Weigh Down Your Website with Links

You don’t need hundreds of links per page. Nobody does. Think about how your website should be organized. What are the most important and least important links?. Where would you like your visitors to click first and where would you like them to go next?

Figure out what your 3-10 most important pages or content categories are and make those your main navigation. Then create subcategories beneath your main categories. People are used to this kind of hierarchy and it will be easy for them to find what they need.

 

4.Don’t Put it All on Your Homepage

 

Ling’sCars homepage will go down in history of as one of the most horrifically stuffed homepages ever conceived. Don’t do this. Don’t do anything even close to this. Ask yourself, what do I want visitors to do when they land on my site?” Do you want your visitors to sign up to your newsletter? buy something? Read your blog? Leave a comment? Choose a few of your most important goals and provide content (videos, pictures, text) that will inspire your visitors to take the appropriate action.

A well organized website, with clear intent will reward you with more visits and more sales.

 

5. Don’t Forget About the User

Lingscars.com spends a lot of time self-aggrandizing. There are articles about Ling, awards, interviews, testimonials. This is all fine and great. Testimonials and awards establish credibility, but you also have to consider your website visitor. What’s in it for them? How will your website satisfy a need they have? This is especially important in how you write copy. Instead of saying “I just wrote an awesome article about myself” you could say “This article will really brighten your day. I promise.” Sometimes simply shifting your focus to the user can increase sales and interactions on your website.

What other lessons can be learned from lingscars.com? Have you ever seen a more convoluted site? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

P.S. LingsCars is a real hoot and a legit business site in the UK. Sometimes you can succeed by breaking the rules. Just be sure to know the rules before you break them.

Build a website that’s NOT UGLY with HostBaby today!

 

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