Ask any questions related to entrepreneurship or self-improvement
NO BLATANT ADS PLEASE
Ugly vs. slick looking websites - which are better?
I think it depends on what the sales message is...
For example, if the website is about a couple selling their home made jam online, then a "home made" website might actually be the most appealing. Their "home made" website "reinforces" the sales message - which is that the jam is "home made"...
If they have a very snazzy, corporate looking website to sell their "home made" jam, it could actually detract from the message... It makes it LESS believable that the jam is really "home made" - and might make it look more like a slick "scam" trying to pawn off factory-made jam as "home made"...
On the other hand, if it's a bank which is selling their services, you don't want a "home made" look! That would probably reduce confidence... With a bank, people want to know that there is a big institution behind it. They don't want to deposit their hard-earned money to a business they think is on the edge of going bust! So, for a bank, a "home made" website look could hurt more than help...
Of course, the answer is testing. I believe the answer will differ depending on your product and how you're "positioning" it in the market...
Another point is that many "ugly" websites are simple and focused. For example, some of the websites you linked to earlier have one single focus - to get the sale. Some other "slicker" websites have links taking you in all kinds of directions - which can distract from getting the potential customer from clicking on the "order" button...
Here's some other relevant discussion on this topic...
The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites
The hidden truth: Ugly websites do sell
An ugly website which apparently makes a lotta moolah
Blog by plentyoffish founder
Hidden Business Ideas