I haven’t visited ZDNet in a while, but my one visit today made me not want to go anywhere near it again! I clicked on a link to ZDNet from a google search and the amount of time I had to spend cleaning it up before I could even read any content was simply infuriating. Firstly, a pop-in from the side to sign up for the newsletter blocked some of the content. There was a banner ad at the top of the page, and there was another banner ad above the article for the exact same thing (and BTW that same ad is present 4 more times on the right side of the article and as a footer!). If I remember correctly another pop-in of some sort shot down from the top as well. So had to click out of the two pop-ins before even getting to any of the content. That’s when I realized that a video was about to auto-play. Seriously? What year is this that websites still have auto-playing videos? (I’m aware that some browsers have a setting to block auto-playing videos, but they’re not always successful). I couldn’t scroll down to read the article until the video loaded enough to finally start playing so I could pause it. After finally pausing the video I got to the point where I could finally read the article and found that any interest I had going into it was non-existent.
The above is not simply to complain about ZDNet, but to also praise websites like Thurrott.com that are doing it right. No auto-playing videos, and if you’re not a member, the ads are not nearly as intrusive, if at all. Ars Technica is another site that does ads correctly. I wonder if it’s worth the small amount of revenue for sites like ZDNet to constantly bombard their customers with all this nonsense.