Ontario Web Design Company

Why is their so many bad websites on the internet?

Shawn Purdy On June 27, 2014

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This is a complicated question, because it's not just one thing. Back in the early days of the internet in the mid to late 90's most websites were pretty horrible compared to today's standards. The tools to build websites were fairly basic as well. So there was a lot of websites that just had a patterned background with giant text. Today bad websites tend to come from more advanced tools that people just don't know how to use, and have no real marketing background. They don't understand how to use the website as a tool to market they're products or services.

#1 Old websites that haven't been updated
This is becoming less and less over the last 5 years or so, but there is still plenty around that are from the late 90's early 2000's. Sometimes this could just be an abandoned website. Other times it can be a website with a really complex system in place where they just don't have the budget to re-build it from scratch. It is hard to get a developer to come on board to just patch a really outdated software as it's like nails on a black board. It's painful to look at code that you know is no longer usable, yet you have to find a solution that is cost effective.

#2 Bad Developers
Not so much bad designers, but they exist as well, but there is far more bad developers than bad designers, but it depends on who you ask. Because some people consider CSS and HTML as part of the designers job. Personally I don't. If a designer has skills in CSS and HTML they are more than just an average designer. Than again they may even prefer a developer to do this work as the developer may be more knowledgeable in this area. So This is a good designer. Someone that knows their limits. So where do bad developers fit in? With technology consistently changing there is many developers that don't adapt to new technologies. That doesn't mean you need to know every single developer coding language. But it does mean the ones you do work with that you keep up with changes in the technology, and build modern websites. Developers sometimes can get stuck in they're habits of doing what they are accustom to doing and the next thing you know your 5 years out of date. They're is a lot of buzz words in the industry as well that are designed to confuse the consumer. A good developer will know what is good and isn't good. Just because something is a trend doesn't mean it's practical in everyday use. For example Responsive Design is very normal today. But several years ago it wasn't really practical as it wasn't widely support by web browsers. Being able to make those decisions is an important part of being a good developer. I've lost count how many times I've had clients come to me for a new website where they said they had the site re-done 2 years prior, but want a new site. Even though the site was only 2 years old. It was technologically 8 years old. Sometimes I see clients sites that are so bad that I hope they didn't pay money for it.

#3 Putting your business's website into the hands of a beginner.
It's not uncommon that you may know someone in your daily life that may know a little about putting together a website. Today a website can be up and running in the matter of an hour or two if you know just the basics. Is it going to be visually appealing? probably not. It won't be at all designed around your business, or needs. It may load and display some information, but in today's busy internet that isn't enough. So while the question you may ask yourself is. Isn't something better than nothing? That depends what the website is for, but in a lot of cases. Nothing is better than something bad. If you do have any kind of traffic generated. You're leaving a unprofessional impression upon your potential customers. Is that what you want to do? Many times first impressions are everything. You could have the best product in your industry and someone comes to your website and see's a horrible looking website or one that just looks like it was slapped together. Or it loads really slow. Than they may not even consider you. It's very likely your competition has a better looking website. So this is should be what you focus on to start with. How good does your competitions websites look? Who do I hire that can make it look as good or better than my competition? Who is going to give me the tools I need to keep the website maintained? and support me when I need help?

#4 Web Development is very accessible
Similar to #3 in that if you want to get into web-development. It's very easy to get started. Loads of information available on the internet about almost anything you would want to know. However it is a subject that will take many years to get to a level of the professionals. So in the industry we have a wide array of skill sets. For example someone that can code in : CSS,HTML,Javascript,PHP,MySQL just those languages and a single person. It's actually pretty rare. While if you do look around there is quite a few people that can do it. However they are often overshadowed by the 1000's of people that can only do 1 or 2 of those 5 languages. Even large Development Firms have sometimes 2-3 different developers with different skill sets. You will see many "development" companies offer wordpress websites. Many of them only know html/css and maybe some basic javascript. All they are doing is downloading plugins from real developers and installing them and in some cases tweaking the visual to fit with the graphic design they make. In some cases they aren't even designing you anything, and just downloading a template design or purchasing it from a 3rd party.  From my point of view your not really a true developer until you can do every aspect of a project. At the minimum those 5 languages are a requirement. After those 5 languages are at a high level you will want to understand the software behind the website. Including browsers and server side software. Once you add those two to the equation the amount of good developers drop dramatically. So my question is. How can you say you are a good developer if you don't understand the server side software? Not just editing php.ini but understand what is actually happening. Why the code you write has a negative or positive effect on the performance of the website. These are questions a lot of developers cannot answer. Now of course there is different combinations of coding languages for windows platform, as well as ruby on rails, cold fusion, and others. But until a developer can code in logic based languages and design databases. They aren't really a full developer. So how do you know if the guy you want to hire knows anything? Do some research, ask some tough technical questions. Find the anwser to those questions even if you don't understand the anwser. See if they really know what they are talking about.

#5 The India plague
This has become a issue to many Western Development companies. Don't get me wrong there is some good india based developers but just like before there is a lot of bad ones. Why India stands out is that they have website development companies like the USA has coffee shops. They are on every street corner in India. With a country of 2 billion people, and $10 being a lot of money. They can offer a website at a price that is just completely impossible for a North America or European Development company. I've seen India based developers for as little as $3 an hour. While anyone worth they're salt will be $50 to $75 or more. A lot of times you get ZERO support on any issues or bug fixes from India based companies, and they cut a lot of corners. While you may think I'm knocking India. I have had customers so many times go that route and waste several $1000 only to have to completely start over again. This is a ongoing trend. The good news is India does have a lot of smart people particularly in technology, that one day will be a serious threat in the market, and that's something Westerns are afraid of. They are already a threat by providing very cheap website development, but from my experience they fall way short. I've heard way too many horror stories. It is a little bit like #3 putting your business into the hands of a beginner. While it's a little more upscale than a full blown beginner. It's your business, and the success of it relies on you.

That wraps up some reasons why bad websites exist. Help make the bad websites disappear and hire someone that knows what they are doing.


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