The Value Of Cheap Web Design
Photo by Craig Finlay

What Cheap Web Design Really Looks Like

Following on from last week’s in-depth look at Why Web Design Doesn’t Cost £40, I wanted to get more of an insight into what ‘cheap web design’ actually looks like.

So what could you potentially get for that £40? It’s time to find out….

  • Website UK Design

  • HavenWorks

  • Fabric Land

  • Nina Hagendas

  • Yvettes Bridal Formal

  • Norcalis

  • Tusitioya

  • John Eppler

  • DP Graph

  • Frnz

  • Dokimos

  • Silver Queen

  • CPT Pisa

  • Arngren

So would that £40 have been well spent? It’s up to you to decide just how much your value your business and brand.

Still not had your fix of the ugly? Well here are some more resources to feast your eyes upon:

So if your eyes are still in working order after that dose of ugliness, in the comments tell us what your favorite ugly site of all time is!


  1. sean farrell says:

    Hey, wow, these are really bad! where did you find these! haha

  2. There’s even a difference between “cheap” and BAD design. You’ve struck paydirt multiple times with both above. Thanks for compiling the listing of horrors and keep up the great work, Grace!

  3. completely agree…

  4. Ivan says:

    Not sure about “cheap”, rather OLD. Post a fake design job on GetAFreelancer (budget < $300) and check out the portfolios people submit – now that's cheap.

  5. Going blind – too much sparkly stuff and not sure where to look anymore

  6. Alan says:

    haha good to see my recomendation of Glasgow Limo’s make the list.

  7. Kevin says:

    Now all we need is for this post to be plastered everywhere until it sinks in!

  8. Ryan Carson says:

    The MIA one reminds me of:

    SPOILER ALERT – This site will just go crazy with your browser but it’s oddly entertaining.

  9. Christina says:

    Ouch! Some of these are harsh! Some, not so much.

    The MIA site I’m actually not opposed to, I see it as more “ironic” and I think it suits the personality of the artist. The style would be executed a lot better if only it didn’t have under construction pages and 404s – navigating around the site forces me to use my back button too.

  10. Sean O'Grady says:

    Some of those sites are amazing – i dont know what sites you guys are seeing 😀

  11. Matt Hill says:

    Poor Yvette’s Bridal. So bad, you used their pic twice! :-)

    I hope you have ‘nofollow’ on the above links!

  12. Matt says:

    I really wish people would stop using M.I.A. as an example of bad design.

    Sometimes bad design is appropriate.

  13. Oh my mother lovin’ goodness — I think I need to seek visual therapy for a couple of hours before I can go back to work. Whoa!

  14. Really agree. And not only cheap also very very old! Like a first-try of the early 90’s 😉

  15. I already had a headache but now it is much worse! :s

  16. @matt Hill – With regards to the ‘nofollow’ I completely agree!

    Oh dear, 1995 eat your heart out!
    … How are these people make any money online! …. seriously!
    Im supprised alot of these sites actually render correctly!

    Aside from that great post as always Grace! Keep them coming!


  17. jonthebeef says:

    All right, except for the MIA one. It was actually designed to look cheap and shit – it’s a riff on the horrors of MySpace.

    Great article otherwise!

    • Grace says:

      @Matt I just had to include it twice, it’s my favorite of them all! P.S. The links are now all ‘nofollow’ ;-P

      @Matthew, @John, @Ryan & @Rafael Thanks for the heads up on the MIA site, they’ve actually then done a fab job in re-creating some of the MySpace horrors! Though I will leave the site on the article because it is so good at mimicking the eye sores of ‘cheap web design’.

  18. Ryan Loomis says:

    I agree with Christina re: the MIA UK site. The design is intentional and the irony suits the style/brand of her music and videos. (Having said that, yes, it hurts my eyes.)

  19. Aidan says:

    Awesome. Have we improved that’s why we find them ugly, we can live with them 10 years ago. 😛

  20. Agustin Ruiz says:

    Yvettes Bridal Formal site made me lose faith in humanity jejeje. And thanks for including tusitioya, it shows that fugly web design can be achieved in Argentina too 😛 jejeje

  21. While designers like us look at these and start gagging, there’s a shocking number of people who don’t care. I was talking to a friend the other day who has a pretty ghastly website (though not as bad as these!) and no amount of persuading could get her to see how something that bad could affect her business. Her opinion was “the people who see it don’t care what it looks like”. How on earth do you get around that mindset?!

  22. Paul says:

    Hahaha wow, excellent finds. The level of awful on Yvettes is too ridiculous to be serious. It takes a lot of work to make a site look that bad. I just added a theme switch to my site that takes you back to the year 1999, I think you all should follow suit 😀

  23. There are going to be some happy webmasters wondering why they are getting so much traffic today.

  24. Allan says:

    AAAAAA….i believe the backs of my retinas are forever scarred. My personal favorite is Norcalis. Since they can make my website better, I would like to contact them…oh, wait, no contact information at all. My website will forever live in the doldrums of unbetterness.


  25. Tessa says:

    oh the pain, the pain!!! make it stop!!!

  26. Ingrid says:

    Yvette’s site is so hilariously bad that I clicked on it to see if it was real (it is) and the site started to play some awful midi song, very 1996. Thanks for the lol. :)

  27. Yari says:

    Yeah, my eyes definitely hurt after seeing that. But you know what, it’s important for clients to see that so hopefully they’ll appreciate quality work. Great follow-up, Grace!

  28. Carl Franke says:

    The Dokimos “Jesus” one can really induce some vomiting. The rainbow animated GIF background is just God awful… The video on “Web Site UK Design” is hilarious. She should go into product sales for QVC.

  29. Well that’s it. I’m done for the day…my eyes are fried!

  30. TonyLav says:

    Its speaks volumes about a company when they are willing to only spend £40 on a website.

  31. whew, mine is not included

  32. Wow…Grace!! Nice pot there….the websites are really so cheap that it would put some dollar store to shame!!
    Disgusting….i still wonder why people opt for cheap web-designers to do their work.

  33. Rafael B. says:

    MIA website design is intentionally designed in a way to portray the artist feel and style. I don’t think its bad design, however I think it’s an annoying design. They should post a warning for epileptic people :)

  34. @Joshua Hughes (Fifty Digital) – I know exactly what you’re saying here. Its a pain because for those that dont care are killing their own business ten fold. For those that do will benafit both our trade and their own. Lets hope that the next year for these said people becomes a bigger learning curve.

    That said… With regards to
    @Chris Olbekson – This might mean the above will never happen, so much traffic to their sites from Graces’ blog they might fall over and think they’re doing something right afterall! LOL.

    • Grace says:

      @Sean, @Lee @Rajesh, @Kimberly, @Dave, @Matt, @Tessa, @Catherine & @Yofie Apologies for the abuse on your eyes!

      @Mike I think at times it’s hard to separate ‘bad design’ from ‘cheap design’ simply because one is usually the result of the other!

      @Ivan Most of these are actually up to date sites 😉 Though i would like to try out that experiment, would definitely make for some interesting follow up articles.

      @Alan Thanks for the suggestion, it’s one of my faves!

      @Kevin That’s the aim, the more people understand the value of design for their business, the better.

      @Ryan Woah crazy site!

      @Sean I know we only wish we had these sites in our portfolios 😉

      @Aidan I think it shows just how much the web and web design itself has moved on and how far some companies and individuals have been left behind.

      @Agustin I think cheap/ugly web design can be found everywhere!

      @Joshua I can completely understand. Locally this type of mentality exists on a high scale, it’s difficult to help individuals understand just how much damage they are causing to their business and brand. As Dan points out, we can only do our best to ‘educate’ and hope that people understand the medium a little better as time goes by.

      @Paul I love love love your theme switch!! I advise all those who still have eyes left in tact after the horrors above to visit pauls site at:

      @Chris I know 😉 I’m hoping I get some responses from some of them!

      @Allan Yes, like us all, we felt Norcalis could make our site better, now we have to put up with mediocrity.

      @Ingrid If only that lovely Midi song was on iTunes, we all know it would be a best seller!

      @Yari Thanks for visiting Yari. I agree, i think it is important for clients to gain a better understanding of this issue/practice, hopefully one or two find their way to this article.

      @Carl Don’t encourage her 😉

      @TonyLav It does, if only they realised this point.

      @Michael Never good sir!

      @Tonmoy It does perplex sometimes but i think people have blinkers on when it comes to costing a website/branding, pity, because they fail to see just what they could achieve.

      @Dan Do you think they would ask me to redesign their site? Now that would be awesome 😉 I’m awaiting one of them to get in contact!

  35. Hi grace,
    Nice Post…

    There are some clients who preferred these type of websites. isn’t it.. i have some experience…
    BUT not this much worse.. i have to tell that.. this is awful :(

  36. Gareth Botha says:

    The M.I.A. one is just her style! If you’ve ever seen her visual art (or the way she dresses), it’s actually kinda appropriate.

  37. Andy Sowards says:

    LOL Those are the best web designs ever

  38. Adie says:

    Great post.

    I couldn’t have believed I’d ever say that about bad web design :)

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