Ugly Websites Do They Work?

This evening I was crunching some numbers on an ugly website I manage. I know there are some good sources out there on “ugly websites” that are successful, but I wanted to share some my personal experiences.

A couple years ago, I had an automotive site that I managed, graphically, eye appeal, etc. it was not an award winner, but man did that site convert well when compared to the replacement site with much more sophisticated graphics and layout.

After crunching some conversion and revenue numbers on the ugliest site in my portfolio, I was shocked!

So here’s my question to the community; What is your experience with ugly websites?

  • Have you replaced your ugly website with something much more polished and sophisticated?
  • Did your conversions increase or decrease?
  • Did your website visitors increase or decrease?

Here are a few good links for ugly websites:

My personal list of ugly websites:

  • Dallas Yellow Pages – This site is ugly, unchanged for several years, but the domain has been alive for approximately 10 years and it indexes very well.
  • 1800GetACar – This is one of the ugliest automotive websites I’ve seen, but it has an amazing success rate for connecting car buyers with lenders and auto dealers nation-wide.

2 thoughts on “Ugly Websites Do They Work?”

  1. After watching a video through a membership group I’m part of I think I discovered one reason ugly websites tend to perform well. Many ugly sites are singular focused. Meaning there is very little to distract the visitor from not completing a particular task in mind that is related to the site.

  2. After talking with a colleague the other day regarding the ugly website I mention in this post, the new polished website is not performing any better than the ugly website it replaced. Thousand of dollars were spent on re-design, building back links, article marketing, etc., etc.

    I did a competitive analysis on the polished site and the SEO company that did the work did an awesome job, but the site still did not perform any better than the ugly website.

    I’m now convinced more than ever…If it is not broken, don’t fix it!

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