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5 Ways to Ruin Your Website

Ever since the dawn of time, Man has asked himself: what is the best way to make a website look like an unprofessional mess? It would be arrogant of me to claim to know the answer, but I can still offer my opinions as an Internet Anthropologist™ — the most prestigious position in the modern world. Eyebrow waggle.

The true goal in this exercise is to weed out the weak — the people who visit your website for such base needs as “content”. There’s an art to web design that some people just can’t appreciate on its own. These people need to be lost if you are to be a true artist, and my studies have shown that there is no better way to do so than to ruin your website with the following tips:

5. Don’t label anything clearly.
Common navigation tools are too easy to understand! Why have an “about” page to explain who you are and why you have a website? If you use a synonym for the word “about”, but provide the exact same information you would normally, you can confuse your visitors without having to do much work.

Consider words such as:

  • Author
  • Legacy
  • Identity
  • Pretentious Asshole with a Thesaurus
  • Me

4. Abuse long filenames.
No one reads URLs these days, anyway. That’s why companies don’t put their website’s full domain on all their business cards, and popular domain names don’t get sold for huge sums of money. Why not show your disregard for basic readability by having the most unwieldy URLs imaginable?

To start off, you’ll need two or three hyphens in the domain. But make sure not to put a hyphen between every word, because that would create a pattern. Use something like bensawesome-web-site.org.uk — and make sure to never use a common TLD such as .com or .net! Those are for conformists, anyway.

When people go to your website, make an index.html redirect them to Main_Page.htm — search engines will thank you later! If you need to redesign your website, just put all your work in /New%20Web%20Site/. When your new design reaches the deployment stage, just change your index redirect to go to /New%20Web%20Site/Main_Page.htm. Who needs to do things like removing superfluous directories, or not using characters that require awkward workarounds? That’s just unnecessary effort. Note: The mix of spaces and underscores is crucial! Think different!

3. Tilt everything.
So you've just finished watching a Tim Burton movie, and you can't help but remember all those neat camera angles. How can you make your content as interesting as that? Why, by tilting it all! That's creative, right? You don't have to tilt the text if you don't want to, but make sure to tilt every image on the entire website. If the image is very common, like your logo, tilt different parts of the image at different angles so that it resembles those magnet letters your grandma has on her fridge. That's probably where Burton got the idea, too.

2. Make everything a PDF.
If your website has rich content that would benefit from a rich format such as PDF, make sure to put it in a PDF. If your website has ordinary content that could easily be placed on the website itself, make sure to put that in a PDF, too. And whatever you do, never make any indication that your links lead to PDFs. Everyone likes surprises!

If you put your text in a PDF without any ornamentation, though, people might notice how much of a dumbass you are. Take the extra time to underline random words and add inappropriate colours. Arrange everything in a table so it looks like a half-assed Excel spreadsheet, and your audience will be successfully fooled! Take another shot.

1. Don’t have a favicon.
A favicon is that little icon to the left of the URL bar in all modern web browsers. It used to be rather uncommon, but it’s totally ubiquitous on the web nowadays. But not for your website! After taking all that effort tilting all the images, putting all your text into PDFs, writing long filenames, and reading the thesaurus, who has time to make a favicon? It’s not like it only takes 15 seconds or anything! But this might not be the right approach for you…

There are certain Firefox extensions that can replace the hideous “no favicon” image with appealing shapes and such things. The only way to foil these extensions’ attack on your artistic integrity is to master the art of giving your website a bad favicon. A good start would be to take a picture of something irrelevant, then resize it with MS Paint. If you don’t have a camera, just take something off Google Image Search.

If you’re really feeling creative, why not skip the photo part entirely and just give your website a white box for a favicon? In fact, why not replace your entire website with a big white box? No one is going to read the damn thing anyway. And it might help you get into art school, what with all those high standards and all.

There really is an art to making a website so appalling that no one will ever read it. It’s an art that some people just don’t have the talent for, but they shouldn’t feel too bad. At least they’re trying. Some people just use Microsoft Frontpage.

Written by Likes to Ramble

2 Comments

  1. dan · April 18, 2010

    pretentious asshole with ms frontpage ahahaha

  2. Connor · February 8, 2010

    As the owner of a .org.uk domain, I must say I giggled a bit at that criticism. 😛

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