The worst landing page I’ve ever seen

It’s about time I wrote about this one. I have never seen a landing page quite as bad as the one I’m about to unveil. I honestly thought that this site was down or not responding the first time I visited, however it’s been almost a year now and nothing has changed. Is it a high-school student’s weekend project while learning HTML? You’d almost think so…

Introducing “Canada’s” largest food distributor” and billion-dollar company: Loblaw.

Loblaws.ca

The web site I’m referring to is www.loblaws.ca. Most people probably wouldn’t have a problem with the landing page. For those using browsers other than Safari for OS X, you’re probably seeing a clean and simple design. Not so bad eh? However, those of you that are using Safari, you may be thinking to yourself, “Where’s the web page?”. (Note: I’m assuming they’re going to fix their web site one day, so if you’re not seeing what I’m describing, check out the screen shot below.)

Here’s a screen capture for anyone that doesn’t use Safari.

I guess you could call this the “Green Screen of Death” at loblaws.ca. I have absolutely nothing to click, no images, no text and no idea what’s gone wrong. I honestly closed down my browser the first time I visited this page because I thought the site was down. A week later, I decided to go back to the site only to find the Green Screen of Death was still there. I popped up a View Source window and dropped my jaw. Perhaps this is a high-school student’s weekend project afterall. Here’s a copy of the page source so you can follow along. This source has not been altered in any way whatsoever.

I’m not going to examine every single detail in this source code but here’s a list of things I can see at a glance:

  1. No DOCTYPE. Not the end of the world, but read on.
  2. There are <script>, <div>, <style> and <form> tags all found above the opening <html>.
  3. After the <head> tag is closed, a new <form> is opened and wrapped around <body>.
  4. Oh, and don’t forget the client-side image map defined after the <html> tag is closed.

I’m actually shocked that any browsers can render this page at all! Kudos to those browsers that actually do manage to render this page. It would be like trying to bake a cake, but instead of flour and sugar, your only ingredients are spaghetti and lemons. This is definitely the worst example of a landing page I have encountered. And what does Loblaw’s technical support think of it? After emailing them and expressing my concern, I received the following response almost a year ago:

May 10, 2006
Thank you for your comments. We are looking into improving our site and making it compatible for our customers.

Best regards

I guess they must really care about their Safari users. I have seen no changes to their landing page, nor do I expect they will do anything soon. It must not be in their budget to spend an afternoon cleaning up their source.

Landing pages are essential to your web site’s success. It is the first thing customers see when they come to your site. If you don’t immediately pull visitors into your web site, you will lose them. Not only does Loblaws.ca have a horrible landing screen, they are turning away thousands of visitors that can’t see any links or images at all. It’s like covering up their grocery stores with giant green tarps and letting the public fend for themselves.

One Thought on “The worst landing page I’ve ever seen

  1. Was that a shot at my spaghetti-lemon flan?

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation