New Horizons Website

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by NewHorizon's Land, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Lets get some constructive critism about my website. I dont like the way the pages have the same three pictures. Anything else?
  2. BDLC Mikey

    BDLC Mikey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    good color scheme... header is way too big. expand your footer a bit. heres me
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Your site looks pretty nice actually. Most of my negetive comments would fall into the catagory of nit picking.

    I don't really care for the term "Core Services" I think just saying services would be better.

    In the about us page you say You started in 2000 and have been in business for 7 years. It might give the impression of an out of date website and even more so in a month and a half when 2009 rolls around.

    A suggestion to work towards on your services page would be more photos of the major services (or core services) you provide.

    One of the things most distracting about all the top photos being the same is when you click on the navigation buttons nothing seems to change until you scan down.

    You have no meta tags other than a title meta tag. You really should have both a description and keywords added to your meta tags. Some search engines may not pay much attention to them but some do and with all the work that has been put into the site you need to do all you can to make sure the search engines find you.

    All in all, very nice.
  4. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687


    Actually not much work was out in by the company who "hosts" it. I am dissatisfied with it. Next year I hope to have a new company that can change some of this stuff.

    "In the about us page you say You started in 2000 and have been in business for 7 years. It might give the impression of an out of date website and even more so in a month and a half when 2009 rolls around." You would think they would have changed without me telling them that.

    One of the things most distracting about all the top photos being the same is when you click on the navigation buttons nothing seems to change until you scan down.

    I complained about that since it was built and the answer was it would cost more to rebuild it.

    Thanks again for the comments.
  5. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    I could give a long critique beginning with the same problem as above... you "waste" half of each page with something that never changes and really gives me no reason to use you. Second if that's you on the mower it's a bad photo...looks more like a employee having a ho-hum day--not very "owner" like.

    But you mention dissatisfaction with the company. I'm not surprised and hope you don't have some long contract with them (I'd suggest dumping them and starting over if possible).
    Being a "web guy" I have numerous programs that check out all kinds of things about sites when someone asks something like this. The "red flag" I got from your web host was they have a very strange and convoluted name server "set-up". They are related in a strage way with numerous other sites which don't sound very "up & up" with names to do with "coupons" and a strange mail set up making mails difficult to trace back (almost like they set the whole thing up to make sites and mails difficult to track and be able to avoid or switch things around to avoid "black lists".)
    I have never really encountered anything quite like it before and would be interested to know the company you were dealing with on the "face" (the actual "company" you thought you were buying from and what they offered)

    I'm not saying anything bad about them because I can't really tell who they are. Their set-up is so unusual I have never seen anything quite like it (although I did find one whole web page devoted to all the different names and ways whatever the company had things set up so it was like companies inside companies inside companies until there was no real way to tell who was what.) :dizzy:
    You can see what I mean if you just do a tracert or "trace-route" of your site to see the route from your PC to your web site, or a DNS Stuff lookup and you will see how nothing seems to match up, routers don't identify themselves etc. ...just strange and why I wonder who the actual company is you "use". :confused:
  6. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Contract was for one year with hosting. It should end in Dec so I am in the process of looking for a new web company.

    You mention something about mail Would this be email? I have a few email accounts off the site and since Dec 2007 it has been a nightmare sometimes it works mostly it doesnt.

    With all the stuff you mntioned it doesnt suprise me. I bielve I was the first website this company ever did "for payment". I should have ran when I saw the contract. Stuff was spelled wrong, almost a ten page contract that repeated things numerous times. When I checked into other web build companies they were almost $2000 before hosting and this was $500 "out the door". As you can tell I got what I paid for.
  7. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    A web site for your company shouldn't run over $200-$500 depending on how much you wanted to do so that price, for what you got (very basic) was, sad to say, quite a price to pay. The thing that made you in the market for them was you had been talking to the wrong people before so you had an artificial expectation of costs & such being very high.
    The thing to remember about any type "service" web site whether it's you or a plumber or painter or whatever there is only so much to say about what you do (or they wouldn't be looking at a lawn care/landscape site in the first place) and after that the way you use the site to generate business.
    IMHO you can do a fancy Flash site and a lot of "cool" effects but I don't know if it will sell you one more job than a well-planned site to drive business to you. It might even "cost you" customers.
    People looking for a service want to know: (1) do these people do what I need? and (2) what is it about these people that gets my attention?
    On web sites there is what's called the "8 second rule" which is that from the time a visitor's eyes hit your page you have 8 seconds average-12 seconds at most to let them know they have found what they are looking for and there is something they noticed in that 8-12 seconds that interests them enough they will continue to read the page and/or go through the rest of the site and eventually do whatever action you designed the site to get them to do (it ends in contacting you basically-no matter the method)
    Again IMHO less is more in service businesses because there is no inherent reason for them to wait to watch some Flash or animation before finding out about your landscape business; it's not like it was an entertainment site or some site for a TV show or cool new car where the visitor expects animations & maybe video... it's landscaping for goodness sake and the visitor is probably in a hurry (who WANTS to spend time looking for lawn/landscape care... probably rather be doing something else...not a "fun" way to spend 'net time) so no reason for you to spend a fortune on "cool" effects.

    I want to mention there is NOTHING "wrong" with people charging whatever they want. Just like you set your price for doing your type work so do other companies and as the old saying goes "it's worth whatever someone is willing to pay." So if it's a $2,000 deal and somebody is very happy and making tons of money form their site; then that's fine for them. It doesn't make that a "bad" company, just very expensive. But in some cases you don't get what you pay for at the high prices (like you have a VERY basic site) and I have seen people pay $1,000 for one like yours and be happy.

    The article /page I read about the company you use was that they use a variety of mane servers for different purposes pointed to different IP addresses which is VERY unusual. It seems by looking anyway, that they have set up a defense plan for spammers & such so they can move names around IP addresses... It's nothing illegal but it's not "standard" practice and is so unusual it warranted somebody doing page explaining the crazy way they have all their IP's & name servers set-up and how some seemed to be only used for mail and rotated in some way.
    Who knows? Since I still can't tell the actual company you personally used which in itself is very unusual. They have obviously had some pretty aggravating problems for someone or there wouldn't be expose' type pages about them when you do a quick search. There name server set-ups also get a lot of crazy answers when you do a DNS report for them (as I advised).

    I can understand why you are shopping. As I said you should be able to get a better site at a better price and your monthly charges for hosting (includes your e-mails and usually a bunch of other features like statistics programs & such) shouldn't be over $9-$10 a month for "business grade" hosting services. So a total of maybe $470-$500 for the 1st year (domain name charge, $350 web site, plus monthly hosting) and then about $120 max for very high quality, dependable, hosting with a "normal" set up and business grade uptime & backups/speed/etc. Plus maybe $50 to $100 per year to have changes made in your web site which with the economy like it is -- you may need... things like to "try" 2 or 3 different methods or change the "theme" if you go for a different market if one dries up and another is available so you are going for a different "type" customer. No telling what the economy may bring in the next few years & that's what's great about a web site compared to "static" marketing--you can "try" for a new market quickly and know if you are making inroads within just a few months or less
  8. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Changing photos itself would take about 2 minutes of time. Add a few minutes to ftp the site perhaps. The thing that might take some time is finding the right photos.

    I would suggest just deleting the part about 7 years in business. It would save watching that for updates and if you left the part about starting your business in 2000 most people have enough math skills to know how long you have been in business.

    SEO prowness varies among web designers but I think any one who was worth his salt would know enough to at least stick meta tags in.

    I am glad to hear your current program expires next month. You need a change. I won't say it is terrible but I think you could have better for the same money or less.
  9. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Thanks to all that replied. I will post the new website when I get it finished.

    WebMan would it be possible to have the new hosting and design/build company keep the same domain name and delete all of the pages or do they have to start from scratch with new domain name?
  10. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Personally, I don't like much in the way of stretch to fit the screen sites. Only the color does it on yours. But I prefer the look as if the website is a page centered on a backgound, with the page section being about 800 to 900 pixels wide. But that's just what I like to look at.

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