Heal Your Church WebSite


Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

The Worse Web Page Ever, Really Ever.

I don’t know whether to thank or curse Andrew Careaga for pointing out a post on Tim Bednar’s e-Church blog entitled “The Worse Web Page Ever, Really Ever” — after being spammed by the owner of what can only be described as an act of visual violence entitled “Prophecy is one of the Presents of God.” I mean c’mon Andrew, I love you and your new book, but next time please — next time give me a bit more warning.

The very first thought that ran through my head was how much this site resembled a parody of web design via Strong Bad’s Macromedia Flash presentation on “how to design a web site.

Both include that dark, brooding, gothish background that is sure to inspire seekers that we are the light of the world. Both are chock-full of spinning animated gifs .. “can’t have enough of those.” Especially Remenant’s use of flaming torches that look like they’re from a basement sale at Mordor.

Of course, nothing says “circular logic” like a java applet that makes images look like they’re under a foot of water — especially when the image is a banner of your web site’s name and url that takes up the majority of the center page and hyperlinks you right back to the same page. There are images next to titles on the left side frame that make no sense. The designer appears to have created a background image on the center page that is either a failed attempt at keyword stuffing — or just chose render unsearchable text half off to the right of the screen using a color selection that is too dark to read against the dreary black background. The later technique which is only outdone by the very ‘readable’ black text against bright red background on the “breaking news” page. Which is only equaled by bloated beveled images on a black subpage with dark blue hyperlinks and bright red text titles surrounded by animated gifs that have nothing to do with a subject matter that is beyond absurd.

Yes, I know I’m being a bit harsh here — as I usually take great pains to offer constructive criticisms — but this site is exactly what I had in mind when I said the following in my interview over at Niphal:

Many churches have no clue why they’re online, just that they’re supposed to be there an that anything is better than nothing. An unfortunate misconception that has made church web sites a laughing stock to non-believers and an embarrassment to the churchgoer.

You’re daggoned right I’m a bit angry — and I haven’t even discussed the theology aspect of this site — but I must remember to return evil with good. That said, the only possible constructive advice that I can offer is that the individual running this site either hire a professional, OR, in the order defined, purchase then read then redesign their web site based upon the teachings in the following books:

  1. Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul
  2. Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design
  3. Son of Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design
  4. Addicted to Mediocrity: 20th Century Christians and the Arts
  5. Fit Bodies Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don’t Think and What to Do About It
  6. E-Vangelism: Sharing the Gospel in Cyberspace

8 Comments

  1. I love that Strongbad e-mail.

  2. Strongbad is great… that site however made me laugh so much more. If laughing can be defined as the choking noise you make when you see something so visually offensive that your eyes have of their own accord jumped out of your head and impaled themselves on the handy sharp pointy stick you keep by your computer

    If there ever is an example of a website that should be used when teaching people how not to design websites then this is it.

  3. Man, I almost think I would feel morally guilty if I tried to help these people “heal” their site…with the “message” they have to present, perhaps it’s a good thing that their medium is so awfully tacky…

  4. i think i just found a site inspired by both of those…

    http://www.flyingtigersrestaurant.com

    if that’s what they do to html, i don’t want to know what they do to the food.

    i was thinking about taking my girlfriend there for her birthday.

    not anymore.

  5. Useless animated gifs are a pet hate. They add no extra information and unless they are coordinated very well, don’t add a lot to the look of the site.

    But particularly, I hate animated gifs because I connect sometimes through my work computer which has a crappy connection and too much animation invariably crashes or freezes my account.

  6. I was trying to remember why that web site design looked so familiar, and then I remembered the “Mr. X” Simpsons episode in which Homer builds a web page. The page reminded me of his first site, before Lisa redesigns it and advises him on web site content.

  7. Hey, come on – it doesnt look any uglier than some of the powerpoint presentations I’ve had to sit through at work. It’s not just Christians who have bad taste. And, where do I get my “presents” from God?

  8. that site rules… well compared to the site im about to mention, its so bad it took loads of people to actually make it, for all people who are eiter very crazy or insainly drunk the link to the site, http://www.kingsleyrevision.com or http://www.kingsleyrevision.co.uk