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Thread: Website Evaluation for Site we made ourselves

  1. #1
    Junior Member Limousine1.ca's Avatar
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    Default Website Evaluation for Site we made ourselves

    Hello,

    My wife figured out and made our own website. I think it is decent, but would welcome feedback, especially on functionality and visual appeal. I think we want to try to build in some mobile friendly code, and also to eventually learn how to base it on "frameworks" if that is the correct term... any advice you can offer, or places newbies can go to learn or get resources would be greatly appreciated. I'm also interested in how to make it rank better in searches. (we have some metatags attached - and run some SEO tools through our web host, but other than that I'm clueless).

    Thank-you for your time.

    Website address: www.limousine1.ca

    Gene
    Lomousine1.ca
    Lac La Biche, Alberta Canada
    780-623-3157 or 780-520-LIMO

    New Operation Sept 2011
    2006 6pax Lincoln Town Car

  2. #2
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    The biggest problem I see with it is the size, everything is so huge. I suggest shrinking everything about 50% of what it is now.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Limousine1.ca's Avatar
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    Thanks Digger. On our home screens it is okay, but we did notice that from other screens. It was hard for us to decide what size to make it. We will follow your advice or see if there is a way around that.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply...

    Gene
    Lomousine1.ca
    Lac La Biche, Alberta Canada
    780-623-3157 or 780-520-LIMO

    New Operation Sept 2011
    2006 6pax Lincoln Town Car

  4. #4

  5. #5
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    Get a different domain name. You wouldn't believe how many people don't know how to spell limousine.

    Get new pictures of the Lincoln Town Car stretch that have shined tires and don't show dust from a gravel road it drove down.

    Turn off the music. If someone is searching for a limo at work and music starts playing, they cannot click away from your site or close the browser fast enough as they don't want to attract attention showing that they are not being productive at work. And I'm done hearing the music every time I go back to the home page. UGH!!!!!

    On the corporate page, you only have pictures of stretch limousines. Corporate travelers do not want stretch limos as they draw too much attention and make people think they are spending too much money of luxurious items. This page completely misses its target audience.

    Dammit!! I clicked back to the home page and the music is back!!!

    The specials page doesn't match any of the other pages.

    ARGH!!! More wedding march!!!!

    Several pictures are so big they are pixelated. Also, the text is so huge I can read it from across the room.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  6. #6
    Junior Member Limousine1.ca's Avatar
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    Default Thanks... ouch.. .;)

    Thanks brandon1 and BLVD Limo.

    It's a little like being asked to be hit on the head I guess... but it is valuable to know how others see the site. Obviously a consensus that it's just too big. On my browser / for me the music only plays the first time, so it is good to know it is annoying. We certainly don't want to chase people away!

    We will address all of these issues. It may be time to learn how to re-do this with "frames", since it sounds like a bit of a reconstruct versus fine tuning.

    We appreciate the constructive advice.

    Gene.
    Lomousine1.ca
    Lac La Biche, Alberta Canada
    780-623-3157 or 780-520-LIMO

    New Operation Sept 2011
    2006 6pax Lincoln Town Car

  7. #7
    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    It looks like you have an idea of how you want your site to look. You just need to make it all fit. I noticed there isn't any text on the home page. This will make it very tough for seo. You need at least 2 small paragraphs that cover certain info about your business. Like where you are located, vehicles you offer and the level of service you offer. The long list of buttons you have should be shorter. Instead of listing all the services put then all on a services page. I usually have on average 5 or 6 buttons. Home, Fleet, Rates, Services, About Us and Reservations. Good for starters just needs some work. Good Luck !

  8. #8
    Senior Member Greg K's Avatar
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    The main thing I would suggest is to abandon using MS Office for making your website. I know you have probably invested the time in learning how to use it, however it produces absolutely horrible code. Your home page is 29,000 lines long! (in most browsers, hit CTRL-U to see the source code). I just saved the page (no images, just the source code) to my computer, it is over 1meg in size. Your entire page is around 1.25 megs with images, that is a really bad ratio.

    Granted most people have broadband connections, but you have to also consider now that google rates your site speed as well (and yes they do outsource and pay people to manually evaluate sites, and have them do it at various connection speeds. I have two friends that do this)

    Here is a site that can help you see your site as a search engine does: http://www.domaintools.com/seo-brows...mousine1.ca%2F Another one is http://www.seo-browser.com As you can see, with the code behind your site the search engines are not seeing much at all.

    The tips on the music and the size are definite considerations. my resolution is at 1600x900 (all jokes aside, inch size doesn't matter, it is about how many pixels will display) and it just fits. Generally, I design for 1000 wide myself. Take into consideration not only mobile phones, but now tablets are getting more popular.

    As far as suggestions on what route to take to handle the site better, it depends on how hands on you want be and what you mean by a framework. If you are wanting to keep a hands on approach, a very good program is Dreamweaver (don't even need the latest) while it does make a little bloated just doing the visual editing only, it will still for the most part produce valid code. If by framework, you are taking about using something such as Wordpress to manage the content, then you may want to look for either an established template or pay to have one built for you.

    No matter which way you go, the code produced should validate (another item that I hear is part of the checklist my friends testing sites check, as well as custom done 404/Page not found pages) use the tool here: http://validator.w3.org/ (although as long as you stick with what ever you are using now, it is almost guarantee it will never validate). So if you try some other program to generate the site for you, before you put a lot of time into it, make a rough page, and then send it to the validator (if you have questions about an issue it is raising, you can ask me, I enjoy helping)

    Again, I know your wife probably put a lot of time into the site, so I really hate to have to say that the tool she learned so far is wrong, but it does need to be said. If you have the time to put into it, my recommendation is to learn the code behind it ( http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp ) Even if you adapt later to a program to generate the code, it makes it it so much easier to diagnose it or make tweaks to get what you want. Some people are put off by the title, but all the ones I have used, the "For Dummies" books are pretty decent at teaching for those who are learning from scratch.

    -Greg
    This space intentionally left blank.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Limousine1.ca's Avatar
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    Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast...

    Thank-you also for your honest feedback. I didn't know anything about the text on the home page. Excellent information. I will make sure our new home page includes just what you are suggesting, and decrease the number of buttons.

    We will keep working on it. Thanks for helping us out.

    Gene.
    Lomousine1.ca
    Lac La Biche, Alberta Canada
    780-623-3157 or 780-520-LIMO

    New Operation Sept 2011
    2006 6pax Lincoln Town Car

  10. #10
    Junior Member Limousine1.ca's Avatar
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    Greg K - Wow.

    Excellent excellent feedback, thanks. I will have to research many of the things you mentioned, but you gave us the direction to look too. Our website offers tools, and I'm pretty sure I looked at Dreamweaver as one that is available. We will invest our time learning it. I have known for some time we needed to get away from MS Office, but it did allow us to get something online for essentially free. I really appreciate that you told us where to look and what to look at and for! We really do want to do it ourselves, and by the sounds of it what you have suggested will allow us to do just that. We don't mind the learning curve. It just may take some time.

    Thanks again,
    Gene.
    Lomousine1.ca
    Lac La Biche, Alberta Canada
    780-623-3157 or 780-520-LIMO

    New Operation Sept 2011
    2006 6pax Lincoln Town Car

  11. #11
    Senior Member Greg K's Avatar
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    Glad to help, any questions, just let me know.

    -Greg
    This space intentionally left blank.

  12. #12

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    I have two main concerns with the way your site is currently set up. Firstly, most customers will find the auto-playing video to be very annoying. Also, when I click the Contact Us button, your Contact Form gets covered up by the Flash Video. I would recommend you remove the video. If you really want to keep the video, you should make sure it does not auto-play and does not cover up other elements on your page. Secondly, I would recommend centering your content.

    Also, I see you made your website using Microsoft Office. You might get better results by just using Wordpress.

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