A pretty ugly site doing very well

30 replies
I typed "learn english" in google and went to the first site listed.

tolearnenglish came up

When I went to the site I was appalled how ugly it was... but very impressed with the organization and the amount of visitors it receives on a daily basis.

Is it better to make a website "ugly" and organized to give it a less "businessy" feel?
#pretty #site #ugly
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Baker
      Originally Posted by Irvan Mhd View Post

      The website is 12 years old.
      Does domain age matter is SEO? I don't think so..
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      • Profile picture of the author Marketing Fool
        My adsense websites are ALL ugly...on purpose.

        I want people to click on my adsense sites...if the site is ugly they're more inclined to click a link and LEAVE! Which is exactly what you want for adsense sites...

        if you were monetizing it another way it would be a whole different story though.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I don't necessarily think he set out to make the site look ugly. What appears to be the case is that the website was probably made years ago (when most websites looked like that) and since it has continued to be successful he has decided not to play around with things... you know, if it ain't bust, don't fix it.

    Obviously it's working well for him... it's not to say it couldn't work even better for him with a nice redesign.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    Ugly sites can make a lot of money but try telling that to this crop of newbies who insist on using WordPress for everything. If you have good content, you can get away with a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blaine Smitley
    By God! That is an ugly website HA!

    I have a small service website that's ugly though. People still call me so I guess it's not all bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeoMasters
    Looks pretty ugly but been around for a while and I'm sure many backlinks over 12 yrs and different traffic sources, and good seo maybe
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  • Profile picture of the author RevenueGal
    Yes, I have an old ugly site to that I haven't messed with in ages too...
    but I do think a more pleasing site still would do even better...I like the nice, clean (clutter free) look for a nice, informational site.
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  • Profile picture of the author CarlsTips
    I'm definitely NOT going to use wordpress like I usually do... I however, might use Joomla.... Joomla has great templates and an incredible menu and category building section.

    I'm not allowed to use the thanks button yet...

    so

    THANK YOU ALL
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  • Profile picture of the author TWalker
    I came across one about horses that was hugely popular and looked like a 12 year old built it.

    I wrote her and I thought I could buy it since the owner was clueless. Turns out it was built by a 14 year old in the 90's. She optimized it for ads when she was 17 and it put it her through college.

    It may not have looked good but she figured out what to do make money off it and still does to this day.
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    Craigslist is one ugly mofo too. Look at how much traffic it gets!

    If you have something that people want and are looking for everything else doesn't matter.

    People THINK things matter that don't to the general public. We're all a bit jaded in our views because we "know" better. But we're not the general public, we're a subset and a small one at that.

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  • Profile picture of the author rexmagus
    I've got an old old site about deer velvet that is as ugly as anything but is actually doing OK.
    Rebuilding it in WordPress and have wondered whether a "pretty" new design will help or hinder.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nexstair
    Maybe they have regular customers or offering something others dont.
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  • Profile picture of the author giseo
    drudgereport.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
      Craigslist and Drudge are both good examples. I've also seen some funky (in a bad way) squeeze pages that apparently do pretty well. The simple fact is that what looks ugly to a designer often works just fine in the mind of the user.
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      • Profile picture of the author jblinzy3
        Originally Posted by Jon Patrick View Post

        Craigslist and Drudge are both good examples. I've also seen some funky (in a bad way) squeeze pages that apparently do pretty well. The simple fact is that what looks ugly to a designer often works just fine in the mind of the user.
        Sometimes, ugly = functional! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    That web site was not always that ugly: Internet Archive Wayback Machine

    It looks like the owner likes it better when the site is ugly. In the paste it was not a particularly pretty site but probably not as ugly as today.

    But: taste is a matter of taste.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
    I always go for the ugly sites when I buy them on Flippa.

    Remember guys and gals a good established site can take time but a new design can be done in 24 hours.

    Also when you are wanting to buy a site no one else wants the ugly ones so the chances are you can pick one up for a bargain price.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    It reminds me of seeing ugly men with beautiful women...

    Clearly, looks isn't always the most important thing... :p
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  • Profile picture of the author puneet tyagi
    but still it is providing good info
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    You could even start your own business based on that idea. I can feel the WSO beginning to come together ...
    _____________________________________

    Let Me Make Your Website Ugly for You!

    * Dump Wordpress
    * We have plenty of experience in crap design
    * Let us rubbish up your site today

    Only $97
    Order today to avoid disappointment.
    _______________________

    Will
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandiccc
      Originally Posted by Will Edwards View Post

      _____________________________________

      Let Me Make Your Website Ugly for You!

      * Dump Wordpress
      * We have plenty of experience in crap design
      * Let us rubbish up your site today

      Only $97
      Order today to avoid disappointment.
      _______________________

      Will
      LMAO Will! I love the concept! (NOT). Nevertheless it is pretty important that your content is really giving your audience what they are searching for. Just throw any rubbish content at them and they'll quickly leave your site. Fill it with really well researched articles and give them a reason to stay... soon enough they're going to be intrigued as to why your site keeps serving up that same ad.... and they'll click! Voila, you have made income.
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  • Profile picture of the author pennymena
    yeb, this kind of site is still doing well. focus on content.
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  • Profile picture of the author pauley13
    As they say: "it's not in the looks, it's in the books!"
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    Specializing in SEO research. You may be interested in SEOlater Deep Keyword Research System, KeywordAikido upcoming Total Niche Domination System or my general site MarketingEasyWeb.

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  • Profile picture of the author gregsmith007
    As they say: "it's not in the looks, it's in the books!" ya right.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanJohnson
    Can you imagine how much money he is making when ranking for that term and someone shows up and thinks "holy crap what have I ended up on"..... then the first thing they see at the top is an ad that says "Online English Classes"..... BAM..... "get me out of here.... take me there"

    .... while the site owner counts his money.....
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    A lot of ugly sites do well. That site was built when sites looked like that. I wouldn't set out to make an ugly site just to see if you can make an ugly site successful. It's not hard to make a site well organized but still attractive.
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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    My websites for the most part are simple and plain, Some would call them ugly also.
    I only use one picture and that is for the alt tag for google.
    I try not to use a graphical header.
    I use a basic friendly color.
    My sites rank very fast and very well.
    I would say 90 percent of my website is just relevant content.

    This is not always a rule of thumb as some sites need to just look darn right pretty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    I have to admit I have one website that is quite ugly and I created it that way because I was following a program. It's an Adsense website and that ugly site is doing much better than any of my other sites.
    Whether it's the ugly site or whether it's the keywords I used that has made it do so well, I don't know. But something's working right so I'm keeping it ugly
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