Ugly Web sites


Yes, we are offering a service specifically to create ugly websites, and we do have a good reason for doing so.

The point is to put your resources into creating an easy to use web site with the functionality and the content your users need. Its a matter of priorities.

Such web sites do work. Some ugly websites make a lot of money: one of the world's leading experts on internet marketing has a list with some commentary about why they work.

We have a blog post explaining Why your website should be ugly

In fact, ugly is a bit of an exaggeration these days. There are (free and open source) design frameworks like Twitter's Bootstrap (very popular) or various implementations of Google's Material Design, or Zurb Foundation, or many others. The more popular of these retain the advantage of traditional ugly sites of familiarity (because so many sites use them) but give you a few more choices and can make a site look elegant. We are really talking about design not being fancy. This site qualifies.

So what will you get from this service? A site that is easy to run, gives visitors a good experience, has good SEO, and has all the functionality you need.

It creates an opportunity to put thought and resources into functionality, whereas a design focus often leads to bikeshedding because everyone has an opinion, and everyone loves to tweak a design.

Instead, you put that thought and time into adding functionality that makes a site work better. There are a lot of things you may do. The commonest is conversion optimisation: tweaking the site to improve the rate of leads or sales it generates. This means A/B testing (running different versions in parallel, and randomly choosing what each visitor is shown) so decisions can be based on solid data.

Usability testing (ensuring visitors can do what they want easily) is also useful, albeit expensive to do really thoroughly.

A good but simple example would be an enquiry form that asks for information relevant to you business (e.g. a travel company might ask the number of people travelling), then records it to a database as well as notifying you of the enquiry, and lets you download the data as a spreadsheet so you can analyse it later. That is based on a real example we have implemented.

Another example would be a carefully tailored product catalogue that give customers a search function built around your product.

It is often useful to show different information to people in different locations, or to adjust information automatically (e.g. the nearest branch, or the correct delivery costs, or whether they are in your usual service area).

Some service businesses require a custom bookings system.

A very common requirement is integration with existing systems - customer databases and CRMs, mailing lists, stock control, booking systems and calendars, and anything else you business might use.

You might want to be able to send emails or other notifications to certain users. Maybe a happy birthday email (with perhaps a special offer along with it) or an automatic follow up to an enquiry.

We would say that the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. That is not entirely true as not everything is practical to implement. On the other hand we advise you on what you can do. Why not get in touch and have a chat about what we can do for you.