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  #11  
Old 04-09-2007, 08:21 PM
Firehouse Studios Firehouse Studios is offline
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I suppose I should recant if you felt that I didn't think SEO was important for local services. However, the competitive nature of that part of the business is so overwhelming at the moment that it's going to get either a.)very expensive b.)very difficult for your page to be optimized to flag on all the top search engines.

I was more eluding to the fact that you should really know more, or consult someone who deals with just that if you place high importance on SEO. Honestly, most web developers today are going to optimize to the best of their ability, then they're going to recommend you find someone who can market your site. A web site is like a Tattoo- the artist does the work, but it's your responsibility to take care of it. A website done by most designers today is the same way, it's the client's responsibility to find the best marketing tools for them.

I in no way meant to begin any sort of argument, but I do know a pretty good bit of information about the way the market runs today. There's a lot of networking done between companies (hosting, programming, design, SEO) to produce really stout eCommerce beasts of a website.

These are all my opinions from talking with people in the industry and reading a variety of publications.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2007, 06:14 PM
Jake Wolf Jake Wolf is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NYC, NY
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Let me count the ways that design annoys visitors

1) Load speed. It took over 20 for the page to load. At least I didn't have to click to another flash page to get home.

2) Music. Visitors are coming to a landscaper's site for information about their business not to listen to some cheesy electronic music, especially if they are searching in an office environment.

3) The menu button on the bottom right. It's hard to find, you have to click to see the options. Not good. All the navigation should be on the top or along the right side. English speakers read top to bottom, right to left. If they don't see what they're looking for immediately do you really think they'll make it all the way to the bottom right corner to find more. That's usually where you hide privacy and terms of service links that no one ever reads.

4) Dark Georgia Turf logo is hard to see with the gray background and looks grainy in comparison to the rest of the page.

5) Dude, what's with the baby picture? Put one up of yourself.

6) Spell check the content. On the "About Us" page the word "beautiful" is misspelled. There may be more mistakes.

7) Unless you only want to work with god fearing clients, get rid of the "god bless" as it may scare off the unaffiliated, other religions and certainly the atheists.

Good luck! You have great portfolio pictures.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2007, 08:01 PM
Firehouse Studios Firehouse Studios is offline
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Let me count the ways people decide to be an annoyance on an internet message board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Wolf View Post
1) Load speed. It took over 20 for the page to load. At least I didn't have to click to another flash page to get home.

2) Music. Visitors are coming to a landscaper's site for information about their business not to listen to some cheesy electronic music, especially if they are searching in an office environment.

3) The menu button on the bottom right. It's hard to find, you have to click to see the options. Not good. All the navigation should be on the top or along the right side. English speakers read top to bottom, right to left. If they don't see what they're looking for immediately do you really think they'll make it all the way to the bottom right corner to find more. That's usually where you hide privacy and terms of service links that no one ever reads.

4) Dark Georgia Turf logo is hard to see with the gray background and looks grainy in comparison to the rest of the page.

5) Dude, what's with the baby picture? Put one up of yourself.

6) Spell check the content. On the "About Us" page the word "beautiful" is misspelled. There may be more mistakes.

7) Unless you only want to work with god fearing clients, get rid of the "god bless" as it may scare off the unaffiliated, other religions and certainly the atheists.

Good luck! You have great portfolio pictures.
It appears that everyone has jumped on.

1.) Load speed- the file size you're loading is < 1mb, the majority of images on many web pages surpass this size alone. Perhaps you should check your internet connection? Do you honestly get 'annoyed' waiting for images on standard web pages?

2.) Music is obviously debatable on a website, for those that don't want to hear the music (which fades in by the way, for those of you that don't work while you're at work) there's also a convenient on/off button.

3.) Site navigation is debatable, nobody here- including yourself, has been unable to read the word 'menu', and understand that the little finger means you're supposed to click it. My Bulgarian buddy who doesn't use the internet figured it out, surprise.

4.) Images across the internet are subjective across a variety of screen quality and resolution. My apologies if it's unclear to you.

5.) It's a temporary picture until he can get us a photo, it's not as if it's a completely unprofessional picture. It was meant more to make someone chuckle, rather than provoke super-hero responses on an internet message board.

6.) Will do.

7.) This is content that the customer provided us. I simply transcribed it into the page format, I know the post wasn't necessarily directed at me but I figured I'd chime in on some of the stuff that was directed at the design of the page.
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2007, 02:43 PM
Jake Wolf Jake Wolf is offline
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Just looking out for the landscapers here

Music also fades out once someone finally finds the off button is a desperate attempt to not piss off their boss.

It did load faster this time. Maybe it was just a temporary slow down.

I have to disagree with you on SEO. I started a site last fall that ranks in the top 5 on google for my area. And I am getting clicks and calls from it. Using free wordpress software to manage content. 1000's of designs available or get your own for not too much.

Show me a successful site that has a navigation bar you have to click on at the bottom of the page and I'll shut up. Why reinvent the wheel?

I'm only jumping on the bash the designer bandwagon because you bashed good feedback from others.

Back to the wet and cold for me now the our rain is slacking off.
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2007, 05:29 PM
Firehouse Studios Firehouse Studios is offline
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I'll challenge you to go back and re-read my posts to understand that I didn't bash any criticism that was given to me. I simply posted my own feelings toward the items, if anything I only bashed your criticism due to the fact that it was rather redundant of the others.

As for SEO, once again I'll refer to my previous posts and leave it at that. It's an issue that's already been beaten up. SEO and Flash aren't very friendly at the moment (this is about to change), however to act as if you can't have a very successful Flash site due to this fact is pretty ridiculous. The real point here is that you're 'looking out' for fellow landscapers as if I'm attempting to scam them. The site you looked at is developed in Flash, that doesn't mean that everything I do is developed in Flash.

I would challenge some of you to look outside the web design ideas that you have at the moment. Go out and read some of the newer content regarding the way information is being delivered across the internet in the present day before you start arguing the 'old school' typical retorts that anyone who was developing in the Internet 5 years ago was arguing. It's not about reinventing the wheel, but it is about making it a flashier, and more attractive wheel. Either way, I didn't come and tell you how to cut grass because I don't know everything there is to know about it. I'd suggest that some of you look a little past your present way of thinking before telling your fellow co-workers what's acceptable in Web Design.

Thanks
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  #16  
Old 04-12-2007, 05:40 PM
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ChadsLawn ChadsLawn is offline
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I will not flame your website, because I do like it. BUT.. Some of the text is pretty small and the music needs to go. Not everybody is on high speed connection and the music will slow it down. I haev worked in web programming and 1` thing I learned is, If the end user cant find what there looking for with in 15-30 seconds, they will move on. I was always told in my trainnning to use the KISS method. "Keep It Simple Stupid"..

I built my site www.chadslawn.us and its real easy to navigate.
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2007, 06:07 PM
N&CLandscaping N&CLandscaping is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Medford MA
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the music is stuck on my computer if i didnt turn it off and ex-d out the screen
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:35 AM
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NELawnCare NELawnCare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaturf View Post
a company named www.firehousestudios.net just finished my new website...i think it looks great. hope everyone likes it. the companys rates are very reasonably priced. if anyone needs a website give them a call. im very pleased with there service. they put it together in just a few days. like i said i hope everyone likes it. it a flash website so if your on dial up it may not load or it may load very slow. i also havent sent them new pictures yet for the gallery, so the pictures will change in the next few days.

www.gaturfco.com

ga turf
Just some professional opinions (I have my own computer consulting business along with an lc business).

- Site loads too slow. While Flash is cool and can do some neato stuff, it slows down the loading of pages. Here are some proven statistics: After 8 seconds you lose 15% of the audience. After 20 seconds you lose up to 55% of the audience. After 30 seconds you lose 80% of the audience. Your page took about 18 seconds to load and it did not finish loading much of the page in Firefox.

- At a minimum, make sure you site loads and displays equally in all three of the common browsers (Microsoft IE, Netscape, and Firefox).

Here is a good site to test your web page against:
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

Hope this helps.
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  #19  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:18 PM
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Dirty Water Dirty Water is offline
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Location: Redmond, WA
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Hi there, I'm a professional IT Consultant.

Just a few notes:
  • The industry as a whole is moving away from Flash. Exhaustive studies have shown that simple pages reach the target demographic better, and result in more conversions
  • Music in any web page is unprofessional. I'm currently working on a Fortune 500 companies website... Do you think they have music? Do you think any major company has music on their site? Its simply a waste of resources and bandwidth.
  • A good web page, including full graphics should clock in at around 250k at the most. If you can't manage to do that, then you need to rethink your career.
  • SEO does matter. As does picking smart meta tags. "Landscape" is a poor tag, because there are 100 billion sites that use that. Specific tags that target his location, or perhaps area's close by are much wiser choices.

That said, I wouldn't jump all over you normally, but I'm so sick and tired of cookie cutter flash template sites. This guy paid you to design a site, not stick his name on a template.

As far as credentials. I do DBA work, content management system design and implementation, marketing analysis based upon web data (A/B and Multivariate testing etc), and business logic implementation using both server and client side programming.
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  #20  
Old 04-18-2007, 05:29 PM
Gaturf Gaturf is offline
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Location: douglasville, ga
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my god people.....! its a lawncare website! im not using it as my sole advertising, im using it as a tool for my current customers.( paying online, email etc.) plus now days who wants to write down a phone number? my site is on my trailer and its short and easy to remember. plus i can weed out alot of dead beat customers who think they can get there grass cut for $15. i didnt reallize i was surrounded by IT pros! i thought this was a lawncare website. be real, is it the worst website you have ever seen? i dont think so. i think its great. and if you dont like the music......turn it off dumb ass......you can figure out how to do that cant you? the bottom line is that my customers like it because they are going to be able to pay online. they dont care if its flash or not...they dont care about the music.....they can recommend me by giving out my easy to remember web address. god for bid someone say that they like it, not that i care but come on guys.

ga turf
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