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View Full Version : New site, looking for input


Bill S
09-14-2008, 07:08 PM
Looking to get general feedback on my new site. I do realize the links page isn't fully operational yet, it will be in the next round of changes.

Any further feedback would be great. I have looked at this site so many times it is just starting to blend together.

Thanks...


www.wjsmallwood.com

MJS
09-14-2008, 07:22 PM
Very nice - not to be a pain, but you missed a bunch of comma's in your "home page" paragraphs. I would also put a little bit less info on the "home page" - the stuff about lighting etc. could go on the lighting page without giving the customer more than they want to know.

I honestly think that your logo/name in the top left corner could stand to be a little bit bigger.

Overall, the site seems to be laid out very well, and I like the photo gallery a lot. Keep up the good work.

:weightlifter:

cbscreative
09-14-2008, 09:00 PM
It's basically a good design, but since you started with a template, you had a guideline to work with. Here are a few suggestions though.

Times font is more difficult to read on the screen. It baffles me that they make it the default on browsers. Your bottom row of links are perfect. Your top row and body text should match these.

On the pictures where you click them, they should either not be links and included only in the gallery, or you should do a new window for enlargements. The way it is now, it cancels out navigation and forces you to use the Back button.

As mentioned above, I think you should recrop the logo so you can make it larger. To be honest though, it looks like an afterthought trying to make it work with the template. I would rather see it reversed out of the background so it looks more professional than just the "slapped on sticker" appearance it has now.

Now I predict that WebMan will have something to say about the 800px width, right WebMan?

Bill S
09-15-2008, 10:29 AM
Steve -

Site actually isn't a template. I think I had originally started with a template far different and quickly deleted all and went with my own design. Anyway...

I do agree with the logo though I am having difficulties making it fit in appropriately with the current page layout... Ideas???

The font used was Georgia throughout the text boxes... Is anyone else having difficulty reading it??? I'm not married to the font...

Good idea with the pics... I think I know how to make that happen...

MJS -

You are dead on with the content on the home page... problem I am faced with is I am killing on my seo for all my keywords. I don't want to jeapordize that. I will slowly pull back on the content though as to not disrupt too quickly and lose page position.

Thanks for the input guys, very valuable...


Any more???????????

cbscreative
09-15-2008, 01:28 PM
I do agree with the logo though I am having difficulties making it fit in appropriately with the current page layout... Ideas???
My idea is to do a solid red behind it to match the current color (cover the scrolls in the logo area). The tree graphic could be done in the scroll color making it more subtle. The text that is now red should be white reversed out of the red. The brown should be another contrasting color that shows up over red, possibly a pale yellow or very light tan.

On the font, I don't have difficulty reading it, but fonts like Arial and Verdana are much easier to read on the screen while Times/serif is best in printing. Notice how books and magazines use Times or a similar serif font. That is the reason, it has long been known for readbility in print.

WebMan
09-20-2008, 11:50 AM
Briefly as I say SO often... it violates the "8 second rule", it's too cluttered and so multi-colored it looks carnival-like -takes away from your photos. On my 22" it's the 800x600 for 15" monitors I complain about because only here for some reason are people "married" to that old 1990's style.

Then there is "Our snow removal team uses a plethora of equipment
and de-icing products"

Plethora :dizzy: heck who are you talking too? I know what it means but remember our schools have been turning out illiterate college grads for years! I imagine 80%+ of visitors won't understand that word and it will make them feel dumb, not the warm-fuzzy feeling that "sells".
How about "Our large fleet of equipment and products will provide the perfect snow removal/.de-icing situation for whatever our unpredictable weather throws us; Guaranteeing you have the most snow & ice-free pavement possible"
That last statement was one of the "pain relievers" I talk about, what can YOU do for ME? Make sure I don't have snow & ice problems & knowyou don't blame it on not having the right plow. That simple I don't need a "Plethora" I need snow & ice problem solved.

I could spend an hour critiquing and I'n not going to...to much free "work"... links too small, not obviously links, text small & hard to read, photo behind contact form makes form difficult to see useless information taking up paragraphs on some pages...repeated photos lose their impact, etc. etc. etc.
Get a decent book on basic web design something like "web sites that sell" or whatever (not a real book title-just the idea you need) then re-work it.

Team-Green L&L
09-20-2008, 01:29 PM
Your content is great, but the graphics, background, and definitely your contact form need work. The pics are all square, which looks amateur. The contact form is WAY too busy. Finally, the background is really basic and a poor color choice IMO. The color pallete is not so great, but I don't want to be too critical.

The site looks like you used a template background and simply placed a bunch of pics in in with no more than some resizing. Spend a little time (or $ if you are not a designer) on your site. It is a reflection of you.

As far as the code itself; there are no "alt" tags, no external links, and no incoming links. There are several W3C errors for your language and no sitemap. A sitemap is a website's bibliography and is a MUST HAVE!

Overall analysis is that you spent a lot of time on your text, which is great, but neglected to spend the time on creativity and coding that is necessary to have a successful website.

Looking to get general feedback on my new site. I do realize the links page isn't fully operational yet, it will be in the next round of changes.

Any further feedback would be great. I have looked at this site so many times it is just starting to blend together.

Thanks...


www.wjsmallwood.com

Team-Green L&L
09-20-2008, 01:37 PM
Wow, did you say SEO? Please don't take this as an attack, but your site has miles to go for SEO and you haven't even "broke the ice". Meta-Tags are not SEO. They are simply the legend for SEO. The "backbone" if you will. Besides, 70% of SEO work is not even done on your site at all. I am a seasoned SEO expert and it takes me every minute of 150-200 hrs. in SEO work alone to properly optimize an 8 page website. That equals 3 times the time I spend on design and coding. Think about what you have done and what needs to be done, outline it and track your progress. Without the brainstorming, outlining, research, and implementation all together you will never reach your maximum potential. Hope this helps?

Steve -

Site actually isn't a template. I think I had originally started with a template far different and quickly deleted all and went with my own design. Anyway...

I do agree with the logo though I am having difficulties making it fit in appropriately with the current page layout... Ideas???

The font used was Georgia throughout the text boxes... Is anyone else having difficulty reading it??? I'm not married to the font...

Good idea with the pics... I think I know how to make that happen...

MJS -

You are dead on with the content on the home page... problem I am faced with is I am killing on my seo for all my keywords. I don't want to jeapordize that. I will slowly pull back on the content though as to not disrupt too quickly and lose page position.

Thanks for the input guys, very valuable...


Any more???????????

Bill S
09-20-2008, 11:13 PM
Hey Andrew,

Thanks for the input. The alt tags have only been completed on the home page. I wanted some feedback before I went through the rest of the site in case of wholesale changes, which I am still contemplating. Ditto with the links.

Laugh at my seo techniques if you will but I am dominating my markets in all the categories that I want. Of course local seo is rather simple...

I am looking at photo enhancement programs as the one I have is very basic and doesn't do the job well. I just don't want to go to the other extreme in finding a program so sophisticated that i can't figure it out!

I pulled the red out of my logo (professionally designed) and thought the yellow worked well though maybe it is a bit too much mustard and catsup. What might you use in keeping the red as a secondary color(s)?



Webman -

I like your suggestion on the plowing. It is something I have been reading up on to try and get better ideas on the what's in it for me aspect...

Where is the text too small and hard to read? My main text or the geo section at the bottom?





Thanks to all for the input, I will be working on the site again throughout the coming week and hope to make changes within 7 to 10 days.

Team-Green L&L
09-21-2008, 12:50 AM
Bill,

Thanks for being a sport about my over-zealous opinion. I am a bit anal about SEO techniques and have diarrhea of the mouth when discussing them.

You are smart to get your site together before investing much time in alt tags. Just make sure you have an alt tag on every image in a timely manner.

As far as the color palette, you took the words from my mouth with "ketchup and mustard". If you are "married" to the red, then I would consider using white as a secondary.

I think my main issue is that all the images are centered in the border of the page, making them look like a "print ad" IMO. I really think that the logo needs to blend in well with the background to keep a good flow to the page. If that issue is dealt with, I believe my opinion would be changed.

You may want to consider using an Arial or Heltivic font. They are much easier on the eyes for good reading.