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?