Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Crap Websites

 Crap Web Sites from Experts

I found a bunch of really crap web sites over the past few days. Don't ask for the links - they are not worthy of receiving traffic and thereby getting their rankings improved. Besides, even this personal blog of rants probably gets better traffic than those sites

Strangely enough, the sites I am referring to web sites created by people or companies portraying themselves as web designers, web builders, web developers and other so-called 'experten'. Some of these sites even had fairly good front page rankings from Google, but no traffic... One sample of a web designer and coder's personal site ranked lower than 8 million according to Alexa, the site traffic ranking organisation, and the same persons company website faired dismally as well.

Technically at least the business site was fine, the personal site front page was technically fine too, but not the inside... although I only found a handful of pages in both these sites. Yeah, nice to stick a W3C validation certificate logo on your pages, but then anyone can do that - just exclude everything that might get visitors interested in the site, keep it really simple so as not to upset the validation service, and voila - validation. These sites both looked like creations of middle high school projects. My cousin could have done better when he was in the same level of secondary education (and he wasn't in a school where web design was taught). They look like the site builder sat with a school text book and followed a sample work project to the letter.

Yeah, everyone has to start somewhere. I know the first site I built wasn't all that technically wonderful, no attempt at SEO, no code validation other than what Dreamweaver 4 provided, and not all that easy to navigate, no site map, no search facility. But it got traffic. Lots of traffic. More than 600 unique visitors a day within 3 months, 25000 to 30000 page views day - most visitors navigated to a lot of pages, not just 1 or 2. And it looked good! That was all it had going for it, it looked really good!

Boring Crap Web Sites

The kind of boringly crap web sites that could only appeal to the likes of hard core Linux users (the type that prefers command line to a graphic user interface; throwbacks to the early 1980's when antiquities like Basic and CPM (Control Program for Microcomputers) were the height of computing technology, and before DOS was just a smile in IBM's mind...

Never mind the crap websites created by the caveman designer; evidently the self same caveman also has a fetish for old Linux browsers, or possibly Windows 98 and IE5, with all the options turned off - no java, no rich content, just bare bones internet. Possibly our caveman wasn't taught at the same high school where he attended web courses how to enable these normal browser functions the rest of the world is using. Possible it's just a case of hankering for those school days (some people apparently enjoyed school! Weird!). Or maybe caveman is so paranoid about having his surfing activities tracked by cookies he would rather put up with a crap experience - one wonders what sort of sites the caveman likes to visit - illegal porn or seriously warped sex?

Give me an interesting looking site 

I would rather have an interesting looking site over one that meets voluntary standards any day. I voiced my opinions on the W3C validation protocol on my techno blog a few weeks back. The standard for validation dates back several years (several lifetimes in computing terms) and any site that has visual impact along with the things we enjoy about sites, like sharing on Facebook with our friends, will struggle to achieve the validation standard, if at all, and definitely not if CURRENT technology is incorporated. Actually the article generated much  enjoyable debate, with the standard being defended by troglodytes who evidently failed to get the point, and led to other topics like totally paranoid internet surfing and spam.

These young ancients will no doubt defend their point of view from the aspect of web site accessibilty. Accessibilty is the latest mis-begotten legislation being considered (at least in the USA), requiring all (US hosted sites) to be fully accesible; among other things, full accessibilty means users of ancient and outdated text only browsers must be able to access the content in a satisfactory manner. (There are also considerations for reading devices and such for people with vision and other challenges - not a bad thing at all) Legislated Accessibilty. No way. At least I live in a country that is free... The day I am forced by legislation to compromise what I do with a web site is the day I shut down any sites I have, and depart the industry for good!

I cannot imagine a more boring thing to do than surf an internet based on text. There are already enough of these kind of visually boring sites around, and they are becoming a growing trend in the struggle for Search Engine Results... Funny how some of my own highly graphic intensive web site pages get decent Google rankings, and even high placement in search result! And visitors too!

There is definitely a place for these type of web sites; sites dealing with technical articles and academic treatises. But who wants to visit that sort of site without a need to find out some information. For the rest, business sites, personal sites, entertainment sites, and just about any other web site - pictures tell a thousand stories. A good looking site with useful and interesting content brings visitors back.

Not Validated
Thank you! I will rather have the type of sites I currently create, bringing 200+ visitors each day, and growing in traffic constantly, than some obscure 'validation achieved' site with 1 or 2 occasional visits and no reason to return. When it comes to accessibility for the pitiful few who insist on using an outdated browser, tough for them. Either get a modern internet browser or put up with what you see. My primary website is already well into the top 200 sites for traffic in South Africa, and 99.99% of visitors are using up to date browsers - mostly Firefox and Chrome, with IE 3rd. So losing 1 in 10000 visitors because the site is not accessible to ancient technology is hardly going to give me sleepless nights.

Here's the validation report from W3C for this blog page. Now surely if Google was really looking for page validation by a 2006 or whenever standard, they would ensure which they own, would validate succesfully!

227 Validation Errors
After all, they definitely can afford better developers than the hack working for an obscure and hardly known backyard web design company.

No comments:

Post a Comment