On LackLuster Websites

March 4th, 2024 At 11:14PM

Digital Cheese

Somehow there are more lackluster websites in the modern era than there ever have been. They somehow fail at both looks and content, of which you need one to be good, preferably both.


If you've looked around on Neocities, or nearly any other site-host (especially one that has heavy "old-web" and "nostalgia" culture), you'll notice just how many websites have nothing except the default new-page, a "WIP" page, or just a generic layout, despite being months or even years old, and sometimes having 100s or 1000s of updates.

I would consider it a web-epidemic, due to just how prevasive these websites are. I am not entirely innocent on this one, as my website has itself been in update hell for the past few months until I finally gave up on self-hosting and PHP for now, but it's safe to say that there are far too many of these websites.

I've noticed they even end up looking the same because they often use static-site generators, but that's not entirely the issue. Its not so much a SSG, but also the fact they don't ever add anything. So imagine half the websites all look the same, except they ALSO don't have anything interesting to read or see. Now realize that is essentially the current state of Neocities.

I'm not sure where such a desire starts. Even if they make a cool unique layout, they just give up on the website after a while. I believe it is due to pure laziness, the extra popularity of static-site generators from Sadgrl who used to actively manage Yesterweb, and/or a few other reasons.


I am addressing Neocities specifically because websites hosted here, such as my own (as of writing), are the primary source of this BS. I could probably write a book as long as the Bible listing off websites with this BS that will never get updated. This isn't to say there aren't plenty of good websites, whether they fit the well-crafted or the well-written criteria for a "good website" to me, but many of them are neither well-written nor well-crafted enough that it would be meant to be more artistic, hence why I am putting Neocities especially as a note.

A. Examples Of Stupidity

I flipped the sorting to "Random" for this search, and while I obviously couldn't click every individual website, I could easily take a guess already. 5 websites that are essentially the default look, with nothing to read on them unless a default new-page message is that cool. 1 website that isn't the default look, but uses a SSG with no actual content.

I was very generous with my rating on "default", so if I actually went stricter, there would probably be 15 at least on this list for just the first search alone. I will list the 6-websites I see like this, but I doubt they'll change. If they do, I'll update them and show another example (since there will likely still be plenty of these by then).

No, duplicate content is not "unique" and so 4 pages with the same shit isn't a "good website". I probably don't have to tell you that unless you're an absolute idiot luckily, but still.


Even a page simply pretending you're gonna do something with the website is better than doing this over and over again. Like come on, are the examples above that hard to avoid? Well I guess it is, apparently it's been an issue for many years, even before Sadgrl, Yesterweb, and anything else that merely dumbed-down the already often stupid Neocities user.

Although back then, many people still actually coded the website instead of not even knowing HTML/CSS when making a website while also making it so soydevism isn't available to auto-detect the website as normie garbage. Now, even if the website looks interesting, its likely to be SSG bullshit, and so you often can't even go "oh this website looks cool" after the 5th time of seeing a site like this. Because you'll just notice the layout instantly.

I would argue that the shitty-SSG layout copy/paste websites of now are more like an evolution of the Nostalgiaminning that was (and still is) frequent on Neocities, just the shitty-SSG copy/paste websites are far easier to create and forget about without any effort at all, whereas Nostalgiaminning websites are still going to require more effort, although maybe not even that is required anymore either.

B. Average Website Here

Below, a page I have made is shown where I make fun of the average website on Neocities. If it can load this page, that page should also work well. I may later turn it into a .MAFF and simply upload 1-2 images for those who aren't on a computer (and hence can't load .MAFF files via WebScrapBook on Firefox).


You should see real quickly why I don't like it, when it's a perfect example of the average website here.

Proper Web-Design

Either make one damn good looking website with a few interesting pages, or write well enough to make up for the lack of an interesting layout. Preferably, do both interesting layouts and actually write interesting stuff.

A. Layouts

I will note right now that I am no-where near the best on layouts. But, I can give you some guidance on a "good" layout. If you don't have much to say, but much to show, make a very detailed layout (it's ok if it doesn't work on mobile, but try to get it working there too if possible). If you have much to write and can't make a very good layout, just keep it simple, people will still read the page as long as it's not soydev garbage.

Examples Of Detailed Websites:
- fauux.neocities.org
- feelingmachine.moe
- cyberoccultism.online

Examples Of Well-Written Websites:
- thricegreat.neocities.org
- simpleliving.neocities.org
- foreverliketh.is
- whitevhs.xyz
- youtuube.neocities.org

Some of the very detailed websites listed are highly advanced and well-written, others are purely for looks but still good. Either way, these should be examples of something to strive towards. While I don't expect the average website to be on level of someone's like faaux, it can't be that hard to make well-written content first like with thricegreat's website. There are more of course, but I didn't want the lists to go on forever.

B. Avoiding Soydevism

Avoiding soydevism is quite important. I don't have much to say here, so I'll go over the few key-points as it should be easier to be sane than soydevism, unless that's all you're taught. If there are other things you should do, then you can try them. Otherwise, this is the basic 5 things I can say that are fully necessary.

Why It Happens?

There's a few guesses as to why these issues happen to the websites. They're pretty simple overall luckily, and they're easily fixable. But often times, they don't end up getting fixed even though it would be easy.

A. Laziness

I believe a major part of it is pure laziness. They may be able to finish a layout, but then they just realize they have nothing to say and thus don't write anything on it. And then the website dies out. However, many websites now simply use SSGs, so sometimes they don't even get unique layouts despite having literally no content on it.

B. Other Reasoning

I can think of other reasons too. Usually the inability to actually think of a good thought even after years, though usually that can be summarized in laziness. It could be the inability to make the site they want too though, at least when it comes to anything that can't be done with HTML, CSS, and JS (such as PHP-necessary stuff).


Basically, its not that hard to make a good website. Just get good bros, and make a non-lackluster website.
TLDR: Most personal websites suck not because of the layout, but because of it's lack of effort. Its not hard to attempt unless you're just making a website because it's cool and trendy, in which case you shouldn't even have a website at all. Just go back to Twitter, or even the fediverse, because that is far more useful to us when there's less worthless websites.

XMR: 442aR1B8F7QPK6eH1cb5en6VBYc1Ve193NrMVXEX6qe7ALdKQVUBLH6WpMXoVGXnjD6wdtpp5JoeU5Ee31owkFPd9gVHRcA
BTC: bc1qk46y0enamrf7g80xvcgu7xj4thu4zjh5uhjnwe

Created On March 4th, 2024 At 11:14PM
Last Updated On April 6th, 2024 At 2:25PM


Digital Cheese
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