This is Why I Hate Your Website

Hey Mister Internet Marketing Guru Dude,

Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that I like your website as much I like being suffocated with a pillow by a psychotic nurse in a hospice.

The internet is annoying enough without your help. Most sites take ages to load, are riddled with ads, and look shit on mobile. But that's kind of okay because that's what we expect.

I know you need to make money from your sites, and that means hustling for email addresses and trying new things to increase your conversions rates. I'm fine with all that.

No, what I'm talking about here is your 'increased conversion rate at any cost' mentality. You add things to your site that are staggering in their stupidity. Is it worth the extra 0.2% signup rate if you make people hate you?

Specifics. I hate your site because:

  • OptinMonster
  • You Are Obnoxious
  • PushCrew
  • Show Notifications
  • Share to See
  • Highlight and Share
     

1. OptinMonster

Today I read a guest post by whoever writes the Fat Stacks Blog and went to see what else he'd written. I won't link to his site because as soon as the page loads this image takes over the WHOLE SCREEN:

Most of the time this kind of 'Welcome Mat/Welcome Gate' is just sort of tacked on to the top of a page and if you scroll down it will disappear. So normally it is at worst a mild irritant - you scroll a bit and then it's gone.

THIS example was another thing altogether. It took me like ten seconds to realise there was no way out except by clicking the 'no thanks' button. [Remember that I haven't yet read a single word of content on that site, don't know this person, and have no reason to give him my email address.]

A bit of research suggests this one is from OptinMonster, who seem to be the leading name in this field. You know, the way ISIS are the leading name in terrorism right now.


2. Obnoxious No Thanks Buttons

Read what that 'no thanks' button actually says:

Argh! Seriously. Does this really increase your conversion rate? If I click that button it's because I've been on your site for ten seconds and haven't read a single word of content from you except a sales pitch I didn't want that didn't disappear in a polite way. If I click that button it's because I want to read some of your content, so why are you being a dick about it?

So far I have a WHOLLY negative opinion of you. Only someone with no self-respect would give away their email at this point. Presumably your list is growing. Good for you. I'm out.


3. PushCrew

This has been ruining my internet experience more than anything else recently. 

Presumably the idea is that I'm going to get informed about updates to the site by this widget. As if giving my email isn't going to result in the exam same thing.

These things are worse than normal popups since they must be dismissed before you can do anything and clicking elsewhere on the screen doesn't close them.

Look guys, when I come to your site I want to scroll up and down and get a feel of what's going on. ANYTHING that stops me doing that - anything that makes me click on a particular button or a little X is ANNOYING and I HATE YOU for it.

I've been on your site for twenty seconds and all you've done is spam me. There's no value here. I haven't seen a single word of content. I don't know who you are. Literally all I know is the name of your website. In what world would I sign up for fucking UPDATES?

Ugh but I grew my list by 2,000 last month ugh.
— These people

In my considered opinion, PushCrew is to the internet what Francesco Schettino is to the cruise industry.


4. Show Notifications

Authority Hacker. Gael Breton, another guy, and now Perrin from Niche Pursuits. Great guys who produce unbeatable content. I listen to their podcast and have been following their site since I started building websites.

I'm on their mailing list.

Recently the site has taken a turn to the dark side. Not in terms of content, which is still great, but in terms of just being crushed under the weight of its own marketing.

I resent getting this shit every time I go there.

More nuisance and passive aggressive bullshit.

In case it's too small, the thing in the top left says 'Do you want to allow this website to show notifications?'

Is my desktop an iPhone now? Is this the future?

No, this isn't the future. The future will be much worse.

And check the bottom right of that screen. You are made to click a button labeled 'No, I Don't Like Growth'. My response to that on a site I didn't know would simply be to close the tab.

But... building the list is more important than user experience...
— Those people

Reminder: I'M ALREADY ON THE LIST.


5. Share to See

I remember hearing Doug Cunnington on some podcasts yonks ago, but I never looked at his site until this week. There is a lot of content, a lot of value, and a fair amount of nuisance.

Have you ever seen a site that forces you to retweet or give a Facebook like to 'unlock' some content? I have. A gazillion times. And I've never retweeted, ever. Why would I share some random blog post with my family, who aren't interested in niche sites or online marketing?

This particular plague gets especially ludicrous when you are browsing through a site and can't read a post that was written THREE YEARS AGO.

Why would I retweet a page that's about 2013?

If you're going to have these shitty content locks, at least turn them off some time. Let's say... within 30 months?


6. Highlighter (Sumo Me) AKA Highlight to Share

Browsing a site that links entrepreneurs with virtual assistants - made the mistake of trying to read some of their content. The way I read on a PC is to highlight bits of text so that I know where I'm up to.

A while back The Guardian made a change so that highlighting text brought up this maddening 'tweet' feature that obscured the text. It's still there, but they had the good sense to move the popup to ABOVE the text, so it doesn't get in the way.

Sumo Me, however, have gone that alternate route - that of maximum inconvenience to the user.

Look:

 
 

Hey everybody! I've got a cool tweet for you:

u have an inkling ab.
— People on Twitter, apparently

7. Blocking Your Content With Social Icons

I'm trying to read a guy's impassioned defence of Donald Trump who is definitely not a racist. He posts a snapshot of the definition of the word, which might be a good place to start the conversation. Um...

 
 

Guys, this is just pitiful. No-one's ever going to share a PHOTO of a dictionary definition of a WORD. Or at least, I hope not. Actually maybe I don't even know what's normal anymore. 

I DO know that I can't read a fucking thing in that picture, since the key content is blocked. Not even mentioning 40% of the screen is covered in garbage.

But it gets better. After I took that photo I stared at the page with such contempt that it triggered another pop-up, ironically in exactly the same position as the other one.

 
 

Just pointless. Awful. Retrograde.


<< Space reserved for future whingeing >>


If you've read this far you might be interested in joining my email list. I would send you news about special offers. The other day I found a 500-dollar course being sold for 25. I wanted to tell you about it but I couldn't because you weren't on my list.