The Scariest Websites of All

Kelli Sandberg - Web DeveloperWritten by: Kelli SandbergWeb Developer

Well it’s that time of year again, Halloween season! This is my favorite time of the year because of scary movies, candy corn, and haunted houses. Things I don’t love are scary websites. I don’t mean sites with an evil clown that jumps out at you; I’m talking about sites that look or function so bad it’s scary. There are number of factors that contribute to what makes a website “scary.”

Websites that Use Adobe Flash

Back when the internet was still in diapers, Adobe Flash was the way to design and build websites with “super-sweet” animations. Flash-forward to today....wait for it….there are still websites out there using Adobe Flash! Now that’s scary. Do you know why it’s so scary? Because Flash has been DEAD FOR YEARS! Muahahahahahahaha!

Okay old people, if you are one of those still clinging to the past and who still has Flash on your website, please do us all a favor and bury that site six feet under. It’s smelling up the internet!

So why is Adobe Flash outdated and how is it actually harming you?

  1. Technology today, such as virtually all mobile devices, won’t even play your stupid Flash animations. So your site looks broken.
  2. Your visitors get terrifying error messages, like the one shown above, and run away screaming! (Yes, you’re like that scary old man who lives in that scary old house at the end of the block.)
  3. Google is protecting us from the horrors of your Adobe Flash website and won’t even show it to people anymore. That means these sites don’t get indexed and won’t come up in any searches. Yay! Our hero!

So what do we do to protect everyone from the evils of Flash? Avenue 25 builds websites using modern HTML5 & CSS of course. This is the “modern” way to build websites nowadays Grandma. Developing sites this way ensures they're compatible across all devices, and now we can create awesome effects like  this one!

Animations Here, There, and EVERYWHERE

Animations can make or break your website. They trigger when you hover, scroll, or click on something. For example, if you’re reading this on your desktop, try hovering over the Avenue25 logo and you will see the green light illuminate. This is a good example of an "interactive" animation because as I’m moving about the site, the site communicates or responds to my actions. However, animations can also be horribly wrong for a website, such as when they are annoying or when there’s simply no reason for them. Examples include anything that starts flashing to get your attention. If I’m trying to read what's on your site, I’m going to be distracted and annoyed by anything blinking or dancing across my screen, and anything moving so fast I can’t read it. Aaagh! Get me out of here!

Important tip: Don’t ever add audio that automatically plays on your website. If users don’t click “play,” then they aren’t expecting sound to come out of their speakers. It’s like living next door to that house decorated for Halloween that plays cheesy “scary” sounds EVERY TIME somebody walks or drives by. Frankly, it’s annoying to EVERYONE (except, apparently you, Mr. and Mrs. Foster)! Do something like that on your website, and you can bet your last Milky Way bar they're going to "ding-dong-ditch" that site of yours.

Repeating Background Images

If you have an awesome picture you want to use as the background of your site, make sure it covers the whole area so it doesn’t have to repeat. It’s just bad web design at its worst. It’s actually more sad than scary. Repeating an image that’s not meant to be repeated makes your site look old and glitchy. There are better options out there, like using a solid color or a pattern that is meant to be repeated like those here.

Too Much Information

If you have too many elements on your site calling for attention, then nothing stands out. Yes, this example is a bit on the extreme side, but it illustrates my point. Creating a well-balanced hierarchy and strong calls-to-action (CTAs) can be the hardest part of designing a site. Professional web designers don’t let this kind of ghoulish thing happen. We help guide you and define the goals of your site well before designing anything. By planning everything out first, we know what we need to create and how we should direct specific types of visitors to specific areas of your site. So please, take advantage of our experience in knowing what works and doesn’t work in the world of web design.

How to Avoid Creating your own Scary Website

This is simple, and rather obvious advice: Talk to a professional with a lot of experience creating successful websites. Ask what platforms they prefer to build their websites on and for examples of past work. Then understand that the best website platforms out there are probably some you have never heard of before. The common ones like WordPress, Jumla and SquareSpace are popular because they're rudimentary. But they also can be easily hacked and easily broken. Professionals will typically build on professional platforms. You know, the one's you've never heard of. Finally, if their website design portfolio looks professional and avoids the points listed in this post, you should probably consider using their services. Here at Avenue25, we display our past web design work not just because we're proud of it in terms of aesthetics and functionality but also in terms of branding, conversions and SEO. This equates to return on investment, and that is everyone's goal. And remember, you may be proud of your scary Halloween costume but you don’t want to stand out as having the scariest website on the block!

Interested in a professional website?  Get a quote from Avenue25, your favorite Marketing, Web, Graphic Design & Advertising Agency in Phoenix today.