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Thread: Serious Critique Needed

  1. #1
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Default Serious Critique Needed

    Okay, so as I am on vacation in Cali, buying my 1st house in Kansas, and raising 3 teenagers...I'm thinking I need to do something different with my site!

    Seriously though... I have visitors but they are not converting to sales and very few inquiries.

    Could you all please take a look and give me your feedback as if you were shopping for my services in business card printing, graphic design, or web design.

    Feel free to tear my site apart to the basics of what might turn people away. My design? Colors? Examples? Prices?

    Thanks in advance!!! RL Hanson-Online
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  2. #2
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    c'mon seriously...no suggestions?!
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  3. #3
    jmarcv's Avatar
    jmarcv is offline Cranky Coder
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    Geez! Give us a chance to look! LOL!

    Its always looked good to me. Only thing its missing is a biz-card previewer!

    Although I will say, the website examples white on green hurts my eyes.
    The green on 'bus cards' seems just about unreadable, IMO.

    But the worst part of the site is when I go to get a quote and get a list of your competitors on the left.

    Custom Business Cards
    Full Color, Create & Preview Online Quick Delivery, Only $2.99!



    But, now that you woke me up.

    Menus - green hover on grey for titles is not contrasted well.
    Menu panel transparency is distracting

    Premium Business
    Cards

    That menu item only is full justify? Looks odd.
    Why is it green? To get my attention? At one point it turned fire-engine red and stayed that way.


    The orange hover text color in the quote calc box seems a bit dark against the blue background. The 'contact us' starts to look better, so the choice to me is not the best for all shades of the grad.

    The colors DO look fine in the quick link box.


    I'll try to take a closer look, but hopefully that will ease your impatirnce for a while (G)

  4. #4
    Matt's Avatar
    Matt is offline GlowHost Administrator
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    Well, "GlowHost' is spelled wrong but other than that

    Hehe, thanks for the link just the same.

    If it were me I'd put your hackersafe next to your other third party seals, for example, your authorize.net and BBB stuff on the right. I'd also put it higher on the page instead of where no one will look at the lower left hand side. it is an expensive piece that adds credibility to your site, so you should show it off.

    I think you should consolidate your left nav to 3-5 main topics and then do your keywording perhaps in the footer instead of in the left nav, and make those 3-5 links prominent, larger, easier to read.

    Ditch the google search, no one uses them, and if your site nav is good, no one will need to.

    Your site is about you, not google Hope it helps.
    Last edited by Matt; 03-30-2008 at 09:52 PM.
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  5. #5
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Geez! Give us a chance to look! LOL!
    lmao!!

    I am having TOTAL withdrawals from my PC and work! 11 days is w-a-y to long to be away from work! lol Just thinking and thinking about what I can/should do....

    I'll try to take a closer look, but hopefully that will ease your impatirnce for a while (G)
    You are really starting to know me! lol No patience, never had any, try to, but just never quite get there!

    Ditch the google search, no one uses them, and if your site nav is good, no one will need to.
    I considered moving the google search and making it smaller, I left it on there (last time I re-designed) as I was hoping to at least catch a little revenue from someone leaving the site.
    But, I may scratch it all together.

    I placed the google adsense on the quote pages as I was getting so much spam from those that I figured I'd make some cash from the spybots following those links instead! I made $9 last month. lol

    - I was considering a splash home page where the printing and graphics go to one area and the web design and hosting another... kind of separating the type of examples and design.

    - I agree with changing the gradients to more solid colors if I am going to use them as backgrounds for text.

    - I like Matt's suggestion about the left links....which is why I was thinking of separating the site... relevant links for the content area.

    What about the header area? To big? To girlie? Not professional?

    Is the site to big?

    Thanks so much!!!!!
    (Did I mention that I am on dialup where I am staying? lmao Talk about no patience!)
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  6. #6
    Websync is offline What's a Guru? I want to be a GlowRu!
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    Did you design the sites that you have listed as website examples? If so, do you find it harder to design for yourself then someone else? Well, I sure do! Sometimes we can be our own worst critics and that can put the blinders on when trying to create our own product.

    I only looked at a handful of those examples briefly, but if you compare any one of them to what you are presenting to the public as your business hub you will see what I mean. Each of those sites has an overall feeling of cohesiveness. Well put together, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. Yet when I click back to your site, I see a work in progress.

    I have to run, but here are a couple of suggestions.


    Top of page:
    • Your Logo is breaking up the menubar along the top into two pieces. Way too much white space. Close the gap or incorporate the logo into the menubar graphics.
    • I would move the Crafty Syntax logo to the right so that it is not competing with your logo.
    • Frequently asked question should also be moved to the right after Client Tools. (Only spell it as FAQ’s to make some room. Most people know what that means by now.)
    Content:
    • Get rid of Google. I agree with Matt. This is supposed to be about you and your company, not about Google. This is not professional looking.
    Hope this helps a little.

  7. #7
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Did you design the sites that you have listed as website examples?


    Yes, I designed them (except 1) and I do find it harder to design for myself and it always is a work-in-progress. I am constantly adding or changing something because of what I have learned most recently.

    If it were me I'd put your hackersafe next to your other third party seals, for example, your authorize.net and BBB stuff on the right. I'd also put it higher on the page instead of where no one will look at the lower left hand side. it is an expensive piece that adds credibility to your site, so you should show it off.
    I like this advice too - you are correct, the hackersafe is an expensive piece on the site.

    I also like the advice about how many links in the left nav and John-Marc's color suggestions. My css is such a mess right now! lol

    You are all giving me confirmation of things I've been considering. I love the input!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  8. #8
    charlesh's Avatar
    charlesh is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Lynne,

    I am in total agreement with leaving the Googling for Google, since that could take people off your site too. Also if you're not making a bundle off your AdSense, I would say that it also should go.

    From a layout perspective, I really like the drop-downs on the horizontal bar. The vertical bar looks cool with the gradient, but I think you could free up some space in that area by incorporating those into one nav bar as well.

    Hope those comments are what you were after. Vacation... Now that sounds like something we all could use.
    When I was in Lithuania over the summer, I was two weeks without a solid connection. Finally went to the Ol' Soviet style bunker library and they charged .35 cents an hour - not a bad price, but they were only opened a few hours a day if they felt like it. The concept of even an Internet cafe hasn't hit the rural parts of Lithuania - next time we go I will make sure my mother in law gets DSL before we come, which I hear is available rather easily nowadays over there, surpisingly.

    CharlesH

  9. #9
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Thanks for the input CharlesH! I'm still thinking about the design aspects that I want to address. I like your suggestions about the space as I sometimes feel like I'm just squished in...

    I am blissfully back from vacation - it was way to long for me. Though I have no complaints about the Cali sunshine (80's almost everyday!) and spending time with my family!

    Now, the lack of (actual real-people) internet....when I got home - I hugged everybody when I walked in the door, pet the dog and cats, kissed my hubby... and headed straight for my computer and actually sighed as my emails downloaded!
    a-h-h, now that was wonderful! lol

    We are buying our 1st house at 10:30am tomorrow so I suppose I won't get to sit down to design my site for a few weeks anyway. It's driving me crazy though. Maybe I can pull some all-nighters, drinking java and wishing for a cigarette! ha!

    I will actually be removing a wall, hanging new drywall and kitchen cabinets again! Don't ya'll just love a woman who can drywall?!

    I missed you guys so-o-o much!!!
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  10. #10
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Okay - launched the new site!

    John-Marc, I have the designers on there - yes, plural - made one for the raised ink cards too! I eventually would like to download all the clip art available and have them placed on the templates too, just need time.

    Designers:
    RL Hanson-Online Raised Ink Business Card Designer
    RL Hanson-Online Raised Ink Business Card Designer

    Websync, CharlesH, and Matt -
    Took your advice and removed the Google Adsense and search. I actually lightened the site by about 25 pages, and re-configured the quotation process.

    Let me know what you think: RL Hanson-Online :: Business Cards :: Web Design :: Hosting :: Graphics
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

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