How to Create the Worst Homepage Ever

It’s not that I’m all about doing stuff the wrong way, but sometimes it seems that people don’t really know what’s the difference between a mediocre homepage and a properly designed one.

I hope I can be of some help here. And I’m not THE top expert on this, but I do have the experience running my own design business.

What follows is a tutorial on how to create the worst homepage ever. If you want to get some real value out of it, all you have to do is reverse the advice and you should be just about fine.

Feature no clear main element

Main elements are what catches the user’s eye right away when they first come to your site. A quality homepage is one that leaves no mystery and points the visitor directly to the main element.

Now, throughout the article I’m using the weight loss niche as an example. This is usually easy to grasp for everyone.

If someone is selling a product then the product image plus a short description constitutes the main element. For a site providing weight loss and dieting advice, some kind of a getting started guide is a great main element.

However, since we’re talking how to be the worst… You don’t need this. The worst homepage ever doesn’t require a main element. Everything should be equally eye-catching.

No clear starting point

Besides the main element, good homepages always present a starting point where the visitor can go to get more info about the site, the product it offers, or the content it presents.

For a weight loss blog, the starting point could be a link pointing to the list of the most basic content that every beginner will find useful. For a product, it could be the comparison of available models and pricing.

For the worst homepage ever, there’s no need of paying attention to this. Visitors should be able to figure this out on their own, right?

Don’t say what you’re about

This is somewhat similar to the lack of any main element. Every website has a specific purpose standing behind its creation. If someone wants to sell a product then they should make it clear right upfront. If the site is meant to promote an online service then a suitable message is in place too.

However, for worst homepages on the internet this is not anything significant. The more the visitor has to spend figuring stuff out, the better.

Look like a spammer

Looking like a spammer is very easy (especially if you’re in the weight loss and dieting niche). All you have to do is:

  • Have no logo. Just put your site’s name written in Arial in the upper left corner of the page, and you’re good to go.
  • No trust elements. Provide nothing that could help you earn some instant trust. Like some VeriSign badges, or quality “as seen on” blocks.
  • Testimonials that look fake. Fake testimonials are ones that use stock photography, list only the person’s name in the byline, and don’t mention anything specific (just some semi-promotional talk).

Use a header that’s way too big

Big headers were the trend a couple of years ago, not the case anymore. However, since we’re talking about creating the worst homepage ever then you should probably take a page out of the history book and get some really big header created.

The recipe is simple: logo on the left (not logo, just your website’s name written in Arial, as mentioned above), banner in the center, giant menu right below the header.

The menu is key here. Make sure to feature every page that’s part of your site. Don’t leave anything out. This is the only way to make the worst homepage ever.

For instance, fake weight loss blogs often use big headers just to create some instant trust when someone new visits the site. Plus a set of nice before and after pictures … I’m sure you’ve seen those.

No links to the most popular stuff

Good websites pay attention to linking to their most popular content … simply to make it even more popular, and also to provide their visitors with the best quality content possible right away.

You don’t have to do this.

Basically, when you’re creating the worst homepage ever, you don’t want to showcase anything significant.

For example, if you have some nice dieting advice on your weight loss blog then don’t even think about linking to it. Your readers can find the way by themselves, right?

This concludes my tutorial. I’m confident that if you followed it thoroughly, you’d end up with one of the worst homepages possible.

If you’re aiming for the opposite goal, however, simply reverse this tutorial and do the right thing.

What’s your take on this? Have you stumbled upon any crappy homepages lately?

Karol K. is a writer and blogger. He writes about BistroMD food delivery programs (link), finding out if Medifast works and what the benefits of the program are. He contributes articles on weight loss and dieting, and signing up to quality food delivery services. He also enjoys writing occasionally for WeightLossTriumph. He’s all about healthy living and finding a way to do things the easy way, as opposed to the hard way. In his personal life, he proves that one doesn’t have to struggle to be healthy.

About Kiesha Easley

This is my blog - where I love to encourage bloggers. My hope is that you'll leave this blog with more than you came with; you'll learn something new or will at least be engaged and entertained.
In addition to teaching others how to blog, I'm also a college instructor who teaches students how to write for mass media.
I've guest posted on Problogger, DIYThemes and many others. I'm also the author of Highly Favored, a blog devoted to Christian inspiration & encouragement. Please follow me on twitter @weblogbetter or on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Yes, I agree with you. A good looking homepage is very important because it helps to draw the attention of the visitors.

  2. just don’t follow these above steps and your homepage will look gr8…..got it what you are coming to say. Thanks buddy:):)

  3. I completely agree. Your homepage is like the front door to your house. Is anyone going to want to come in and look around if the first presentation they see is shabby one?

    The other tip for failure I would add is “Don’t include a way to search your site”. If people don’t see what they want on your home page, they may want to search your site to find what they are looking for.

    Great post!

    Cheers!

    –Sean

  4. Nice way to converse about the right steps the wrong way :)

  5. I enjoyed this post. Your home page should be the welcome mat to your home, making a great first impression to your guests. Great points here.

  6. I subscribe to your viewpoint. I feel homepage reflects the personality of the blogger and therefore detailed planning has to go in selecting the theme as well.

    Kumar

  7. I agree with this a lot. The blogging world has evolved so much that having a main homepage has become a standard as opposed to just a blog format before. And obviously, we always have to continue tweaking and testing things depending on how they are performing. I know that’s already saying a lot considering the topic is just about having a decent homepage. :-)

  8. There are so much worst site on the net. And amazingly they have high PR without strong backlink support plus only put duplicate content inside it.

  9. The main page, as well as the About us are really important, even if we don’t have anything to sell. A reader or a potential buyer should find basic and get a good first impression.

  10. The main page of your website is very important because it determines how comfortably people would be able to navigate your website.

  11. I think you’ve done a great job of telling people what not to do. I’ll admit I’ve made some of these mistakes myself.

    One thing I would like to add is that most blogs don’t do a good job of showing readers the best content, only the most recent content. I like to add (per Tom Ewer) a “Start Here” tab at the top that contains the best content that a newbie should read when they start your blog.

  12. I couldn’t agree more. Your first page of your website is the most important. Make sure you can link to everything on your website quickly and easily for the viewer or reader

  13. You’ve made some very good points, there might be at some point when we try too hard and ending up looking like a spammer. Lol!

  14. the thing a lot of amateur Internet marketers don’t know is that when it trying to create a home page, they naturally messed up. A lot of people are getting into online marketing don’t know what they’re doing. However, it is through making these mistakes of making the worst homepage ever that dedicated Internet marketers learn valuable lessons about how to become better in this industry of promoting their blogs and websites on the World Wide Web. Don’t you agree? :-)

  15. The first impression on website is the graphics content!

  16. The graphics is the main thing…

  17. I think when to make homepage need good content and design as nice as google to easy SEO

  18. It reminds me of my first homepage I made about 10 years ago. It was on a free hosting named angelfire or geocities, and because I wanted to make it unique, I put a thousand gadgets and animations on the page.
    It took some minutes just to load (internet connection was slow then), and there was so many distractions…
    Building a website is an art – if you don’t master it … don’t do it. Thanks for a great post.

  19. Nice points, If you avoid such mistakes then you can build an attractive websites which pleases every visitor.

  20. As usual another great post by you. Happy New Year. Regards.

  21. Buy Electric Chain Saw says:

    Yeah , That is a way to building backlink from web 2.0 but If you spam , that will dont effective

  22. Your homepage is the first thing people will notice when they visit your website so making it the best , user-friendly and well optimized is imperative. Your post was great to read so now we know the things to avoid which you have actually recommended. This way we remember in a better way.

  23. Great article. I remember that at beginning I made two mistakes, which probably discourage users and cut off my blog traffic.

  24. Oops…It seems i have to work on my homepage a bit. Thanks a ton for expressing your views on Home Page openly..Will consider them for sure.

    Regards
    Amar

  25. Worst Homepage irritates the visitor a lot. Isn’t it?
    The landing home page must be clear from any ads and any popups. Attracting home page makes good fans to the site.

  26. Home page layout should have very pleasing color scheme, easy to read and with interesting articles to read so your home page can engage the visitors attention and let them navigate easily. This is very important topic and should be handled with care and planning. Thank you for sharing the great information and sensitive topic. :)

  27. These are really the most common mistakes, although some of them are always depending on the actual design trends. Of course I know that digital design must react really fast and has to be always up2date.

  28. Thanks for sharing although all the points are the key points for a website or blog but i must say 4th ,5th and 6th are the most striking factors . I must say header and logo makes impression in the users mind.

    • You won’t believe how many people make these mistakes! I have even seen big companies that get caught in the worst homepage category. Besides the factors mentioned in your post above I also want to add one that makes me want to cry.

      Lately I have seen many websites with a sidewide top bar but when you navigate to a certain page there is no home link in there and their logo doesn’t lead to their home page either. Isn’t this one of the biggest mistakes a webdesigner could make in terms of ease of browsing ?

  29. I have noticed some sites use testimonials. They do vary from one site to the next. Some of them are a little difficult to believe. I think they forget to update their testimonials sometimes too. I was looking at one site not too long ago where it provided links to customers and the links were either broken or didn’t exist anymore. Probably a good idea to make sure links work if you are giving examples. The worst homepage ever I don’t know that is a tough one. I still come across some that remind me of the mid 1990′s that seem old school.

  30. yeah…. thats kind of some essential things not only a home page but almost other pages need too…

  31. I like the title of your post. Such titles attract a lot of readers. A plain common headline would have grabbed less attention for this post. So you have already gained a compliment with that title of yours. Moving the ahead, the post is equally good and useful. I liked it very much Glad you shared!

  32. I looked at the title and i was like i gotta check this out lol.
    thanks for this NOT to do list :D i guess if i dont follow these pointers my site will be great!

  33. Firstly, happy new year all!
    Secondly nicely summed up i must say. Avoid all these mistakes and ull have an attractive homepage that will make the visitors stick and check out ur site.

    Cheers for the share.

  34. Dont look like a spam , this is important …. thanks for your articles, it useful for me .

  35. Hi Kiesha,

    Nice Post. I believe these are few important tips to be taken care while blogging. Just like face is the mirror of heart similarly home page is the mirror of your blog which reflects the complete picture of the blog. Keep writing.

    Thanks
    Amit

  36. Yeah if it looks too spammy its definately a turn off for a visitor, and i agree with many of the other pointers aswel. Great summary, this will help not to make a bad homepage!

    Happy new year

  37. The reverse of all these points will make a great home page.
    Thanks for the points
    Happy new year

  38. Interesting take on tips, a common mistake a lot of people seem to make is they don’t write the website to be interesting to the reader. It’s all about their company and not how they can help you with your problem.

  39. great article, i am designing websites since 2009 and with my experience home page decides the worth of the company as well as the reputation of the website and second thing if your home page is not good and attractive then your internal pages will get lesser number of visits.

  40. Super agree to this article. Homepage is what attracts the readers, ofcourse before reading the content. So, it must be properly designed and organized.

  41. very good points and well written article….a much needed lesson for those who dont care about the basic considerations for a home page design…

  42. Nice way to write and make people understand the cons of having worst homepage. Making the site’s purpose clear by explaining who you are and what are you up to, and using visual design or interaction design to enhance the objective more can be added here. Meaningful graphics have always added more benefit to my blog as they are the power communicators and allures traffic instantly. The rest of the points are really impressive. Nice article!

  43. WordPress & Zoomla are providing ample of facilities to make our site the best, we can easy make out the status of the company through its website. So I think websites should be properly designed and organized. You have provided useful post, thanks for sharing.

  44. A funny post, thank you! Always nice to see. I love fake testimonials, they’re always hilariously bad! “Mike from Skegness says; ‘I used to think I was a bit too fat as I couldn’t sit and eat my McDonalds without acquiring chronic chest pains, but after using Paracetamol Plus I never have the same problem! I’ve successfully gained seven stone and don’t feel a thing. I’d recommend everyone use Paracetamol Plus as it blocks out reality and lets you be as irresponsible as possible. Available from all good chemists!”

  45. haha, awesome post. Had a good laugh.

  46. Perhaps the best advice I ever heard on proper homepage design would be to create it as if it were a magazine cover with a clear definitive message (i.e. masthead), an explanation of what the website is about (i.e. magazine description), one or perhaps two striking visuals (i.e. photo or illustration) and then links to your major inner pages (i.e. articles).

    Granted, I’m pretty much rehashing what is written above. Nevertheless, this advice says served me well for over a dozen years now.

  47. And what is the purpose of such page creation, I wonder?
    I have never thought that there is some value or some necessity of such kind of pages

    Julia Spencer’s recent post.. Awesome Facebook Templates For Personal Pages

  48. Yeah your are right. You gave great information for business peoples. Now they got what thy want?. Thanks for sharing great useful information.

  49. The homepage is the main page of a website and it needs to use most effective design concept on that web page. Using the latest web design trends is a great way to make worst homepage ever. The basic idea required for home page is to include all web page concepts and also include linking of most important web pages.

  50. This is helpful stuff. We are planning on porting our site over to WordPress and we were thinking of making a checklist that we should have before starting with the development of the site. This is clearly going to be included there.

  51. You are right. First impression is the last impression. The homepage should be well designed. There should be proper navigation link. You should present the best content of your blog/website on the homepage. It should have a search box and some information about the owner. An ideal homepage loads faster.

  52. dating sites says:

    A funny post, thank you! Always nice to see. I love fake testimonials, they’re always hilariously bad!

  53. The title of your post seemed very interesting to me. Very nice read. thank you.

  54. Its amazing how many sites that are so bad actually out rank and perform my sites, nice article look forwards to reading more of them…

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