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Worst. Canadian. Site. Evar.

A two-part question for you, our esteemed One Degree reader:
# What – in your opinion – is the worst Canadian web site?
# Why?

Please heap scorn on large Canadian organizations that should have the resources and wherewithal to do much better. No picking on the little guy just trying to get by.
_(Comic generated at the non-Canadian “StripGenerator”: site.)_


  1. Ken Schafer
    Ken Schafer August 29, 2005

    Alright, I’ll get things started by answering my own question.
    Here is one site that I think at least deserves serious consideration:
    Laura Secord
    So many reasons really, but let me point you to this page to give you an idea.
    Other problems even a quick tour of the site makes obvious:
    1. No e-commerce
    2. No web standards
    3. No search friendliness
    4. No way-finding
    5. If you click around a bit you’ll find links relative to their host (Power Site Factory).
    6. Useless navigational “jump pages”
    7. Limited but dreadful content
    This is particularly upsetting because Laura Secord is a Canadian retail institution that certainly deserves more than this.

  2. Barry Welford
    Barry Welford August 30, 2005

    Ken, I’m all for looking at lots of websites to see what we can learn from others. However, without wanting to appear a wet blanket, I’m not sure this theme is the most productive way to go. Unfortunately most websites do not perform well and that goes for both big and small. Just take cross-browser compatibility. A surprising proportion of the big ones will suggest you use Internet Explorer to view. If your default browser is something else, that’s quite a turn-off.
    Perhaps when you’ve finished this thread, you could start one on the very best website for a major Canadian company. Of course it should be without blemish. That’s quite a challenge and the results would be very instructive.

  3. Ken Schafer
    Ken Schafer August 30, 2005

    Barry, I agree that we want we to be encouraging and highlight the best that is out there. In fact that’s what my business is built around. I (literally) wrote the book on web site best practices and found hundreds of examples of sites doing stuff right. (Doing EVERYTHING right is another story…)
    I added this post out of frustration with Canadian companies that STILL after all these years figure it is okay to ignore the web or give it lip service with a token site.
    If big companies haven’t figured out after 10 YEARS that they need to have a credible web presence I don’t feel too bad in calling them to task for that!
    To your point though – I’m suggesting we look at REALLY bad sites. Major offenders. Not just “they should do better”, more “what were they thinking when they built that train wreck”.

  4. Barry Welford
    Barry Welford August 30, 2005

    You’re right, Ken. Big companies that don’t care about their Internet presence probably are delinquent on many other aspects of business performance. However most companies that become aware of your thread probably have little to learn from such neanderthals.
    I’m more concerned about all the small ways a website can eat away at the effectiveness of a website. Each error cuts away another percentage of all those hard-won visitors who made it to the website. Cross-browser compatibility is one. Excessively slow-loading web pages is another. Not catering to the 800 x 600 crowd … and so it goes. You can quickly end up with only 10% or less of your visitors not enjoying their user experience.

  5. Barry Martin
    Barry Martin September 10, 2005

    I agree with Barry (brilliant name) that organizations who take the users experience seriously are few and far between, but that’s no reason to skip a good laugh.
    Laughing at an individual’s style sense, lack of communication skills, inability to communicate, or egotism is mean because they might not be able to help themselves. But a (big) company?
    That Laura Secord page is just plain funny. And Laura’s a Canadian Icon!
    Sorry I haven’t contributed a site but one comes to mind that I can’t bring myself to point out because we were invited to pitch on it. They’re the biggest in their industry and licence characters from the Disney’s of the world.
    We proposed an strategy that mixed a bit of ebay and neopets, showed them how to engage their targets, lead their peers, and leverage the tremndous enthusiasm their customers already invest while collecting their products.
    They ended up deciding to do the project in house.
    The end.

  6. Jason
    Jason April 30, 2007

    I’ve been surfing the net for about 7 years, and have visited hundreds of different websites, and the Rogers site is BY FAR THE WORST OF THEM ALL!
    That’s not an easy contest to win, there’s some pretty terrible websites out there. They should be completely ashamed to have this title, specially being a ISP and telecomm company.
    But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense for them to have this “WORST” title, since they probably have the worst phone CS in Canada as well.
    The site has several problems:
    -it’s terribly slow
    -you have to log in several times during the same session
    -constant error msgs (session expired, unbable to process, etc…)
    -often down
    -navigation is not intuitive.

  7. Jazz
    Jazz July 10, 2007

    Apparently your comment about Laura Se cord’s website made an impact. They are re-doing it.

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