Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Please check my website

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  • #966331
    yellowgirl
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    • Total posts: 56
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    Hi Soloists,
    I’ve made a bit of headway with my website http://www.fidosfunhouse.com.au
    I’m using the Hostess template that someone recommended here a while ago. I don’t love it but we are learning to get along with each other.
    Please use regular language in your replies, not computer speak as I’m teaching myself to do this as I go along :)
    My dad said some of the side pictures in the home page don’t come up on his computer. It all looks set out okay on mine though, so I’m not sure what that’s about.
    Anyway have a look and let me know what you think.
    Cheers,
    Jo

    #1017501
    mike@engagemarketing
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    • Total posts: 300
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    Hi Jo,
    that’s not too bad actually. Im a bit of a web design fan so i’m not in love with the design but you’ve done very well to put all the important information on the front page. The only thing is that maybe I would add an offer – e.g. “Spend over $50 this month and receive a free XYX”. Something to make them spend now.

    Mike

    #1017502
    vxd
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    • Total posts: 78
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    Good Work, You should be proud of yourself. I can definitely say I have seen a lot of websites that were built by “non web developers and designers” that looked horrible.

    I’m not saying that fidosfunhouse is perfect, you are still learning and the website is still improving.

    First thing is I think you should get rid of the counter on the bottom. They were popular in the 90s and they were the must have thing on your website. Now they are just stupid.

    I’m not a big fan of the design of the website, I know your using a template so I’m not sure how much you can customise.
    Check out Joomla or wordpress, You might find a more suitable template and there is a lot of resources out there to help you build website and the online store using those 2 cms.

    In the product page you should change the colour of the headings and get rid of the underline.
    The default colour for a link is blue and it has a underline.
    Users are going to think they are links.
    the url for this page is http://www.fidosfunhouse.com.au/home_page_16.html
    Shouldn’t it be http://www.fidosfunhouse.com.au/
    “products”.html

    That’s it for now but defiantly look into joomla or wordpress

    #1017503
    yellowgirl
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    • Total posts: 56
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    Thanks guys. Did it look like all the pics were there?
    I’ve changed the product page underlines. I have no idea why the page urls come up like that, they all tend to say the wrong thing but I don’t know why it does that or how to fix it.
    Unfortunately I can’t customise the pages a great deal, it’s been pretty frustrating at times.
    I will look into the other two options you mentioned xvd. I was reading about wordpress here yesterday and put it on my list of things to look at. If I made another site with wordpress or joomla, do I then get it hosted with Hostess? … not really sure how that all works.
    Thanks again, I appreciate the input.

    Jo

    #1017504
    JohnSheppard
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    • Total posts: 940
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    All the images are there, but for me there are 2 that are jutting out the side. (The guest book box, and the funhouse image). I am currently using Opera 10.10 (This is a web browser has about 1% of the market, so you might not care about it).

    IMO you will find it easier to ditch that template than to fix it.

    I’m not sure what Hostess do, but they don’t specify the kind of hosting they do. If you want to move to WordPress or Joomla I think you will have to change hosts. Word press is probably easier for you on your own.

    Hope that helps! Good luck!

    #1017505
    yellowgirl
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    • Total posts: 56
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    Thanks John. To be honest, part of me would kind of like to ditch it and start again but I’ve already paid for 12 months with Hostess.com.au
    I don’t really like the idea of having to pay again for another hosting company and I don’t know enough about it all to know which one is right for me or who hosts what. It’s soooo confusing! I thought it would be easier with Hostess. Actually they are pretty good, it’s just that their templates are all pretty much all the same.

    I don’t think there’s too much else I can do with the current template. All I can do now is try to make sure that I’m putting the right information in there. It mainly needs to be easy to understand and navigate and have a happy feel about it.

    I will look into the other site builder options but if anyone knows how the hosting part of it works please let me know.

    Jo

    #1017506
    beancounter
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    • Total posts: 159
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    Great Start for a website

    When I first looked at the website, my eyes were going all over the page – very unsettling – there’s no focal point

    Have a look at some websites that you like, and see where your eyes focus

    Your first headline : “Thanks for visiting Fido’s Funhouse!”
    -A more productive headline maybe: “One Stop Online Shop For Your Pet” – to quickly tell the visitor what your website is all about

    You sell stuff online? So perhaps put the opening hours under the street address rather than the centre of the page

    Is the focus of the website to direct people to your physical store – or to sell products online?

    We played around with a very different designs and headlines – that’s the great thing about websites – you can quickly change stuff until you get it right

    #1017507
    Burgo
    Participant
    • Total posts: 2,104
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    Congratulations you certainly have come a long way in a short time.

    Hows business starting to build?

    #1017508
    JohnSheppard
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    • Total posts: 940
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    If I read Hostess’ website right it’s $35 per year for the hosting. They have their own site builder that probably isn’t portable to other hosting.

    That is very cheap and in the grand scale of things, not much money. Consider your wage, is it cheaper to lose the $35 you paid or have a website that turns customers away (or doesn’t attract them)?

    I won’t tell you WordPress or Joomla is easier…it’s not going to be…it’ll likely be more expensive too…but you will in the end likely have a better site, that has a whole bunch of advantages over the Hostess’ site builder.

    For DIY WordPress/Joomla you are roughly looking at ;
    Hosting: $3 a month right up to $30 a month. $5 is probably what you’d want.
    Templates: $30-$100
    Install/learning: Several weeks work (to do it right really its more but thats my opinion and I don’t want to start a fight :))

    #1017509
    yellowgirl
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    • Total posts: 56
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    Hi Beancounter, I had a look at the Bookkeeping Team website in your sig as I like to see what other people have done and it seems to be the same kind of layout as mine, a column in the middle with two smaller columns on each side. I don’t think we can get too much of a focal point with that particular layout :)
    The main aim of my website is so that people who have seen the local advertising material can see what the shop is all about. The online stuff is really only there because apparently everyone has to have an online store option as well these days. I’ll probably put a bit more focus on that in the near future but at the moment it’s primarily an information site.
    (PM me if you like, there are several spelling and grammar errors on your website that you’d probably like to know about, starting with the first sentence :)

    Howdy Burgo, business is starting to build after a somewhat rocky (and scary) start. The word is getting around the local dog parks and training groups that Im here, and I’ve had quite a few of my old customers come in, as well as a good amount of new customers who have returned more than once :) Things seem to be going pretty well (*quietly crosses fingers, arms & legs).

    John, I’m paying $75 for the business package plus the SiteXpress option. I had to laugh when you said compare it to my wage (wot wage? ..lol) but you’re right, I don’t want to pay for a website that turns people off. I had a look at the WordPress site and my brain nearly exploded! I had a bit of trouble making sense of the options but I think I’m feeling a bit muddled at the moment. I might have to step away from the website for a day or two and get some perspective. At the moment I just need a site that people find comfortable to look at and to use, and that tells them what they need to know about the shop.

    A quick question about the suggestions to use another DIY option. Just wondering what the main issue with the Hostess template is? Is it the layout itself, the enormous heading section, the online selling part, the particular content I’ve used, the presentation … all or some of these or something else?

    Thanks for the input so far.
    Jo

    #1017510
    mike@engagemarketing
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    • Total posts: 300
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    I’m with Hostess and you can definitely host Joomla or WordPress sites there. I currently host a WordPress blog for my website.

    #1017511
    JohnSheppard
    Member
    • Total posts: 940
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    Hi Yellowgirl,

    I’ve attached an image of what it looks like in the Opera Webbrowser. Right hand side those images are out of wack…

    It works ok in IE 7 and Firefox…

    Opera is a fairly uncommon web browser so you might not want to worry about it. As long as IE7, IE8 and Firefox work that covers a *most* of the market….as for fixing it, perhaps report it to Hostess and ask them to fix their template…

    I think regarding your hosting, you best bet is to ask hostess if your products can you exported once you have entered them…if you can’t I’d seriously recommend moving hosting and going with a different setup, it’s going to mean you are stuck with them or have to reenter everything manually…..

    I know its tough running a small business without not enough capital, but I guess in my opinion its best not to overextend. That is, it’s better just to have a simple professional looking site than one that is full of information but doesn’t look good or function well.

    But yeah, take a break and come back to it…do that a few times and you wont feel so overwealmed…:)

    Good luck!

    #1017512
    JohnSheppard
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    • Total posts: 940
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    mike@engagemarketing, post: 20173 wrote:
    I’m with Hostess and you can definitely host Joomla or WordPress sites there. I currently host a WordPress blog for my website.

    whoops, I hope I’m not looking at the wrong site. We are talking about http://www.hostess.com.au? (the Netregistry one?)…..if they do word press use them, it’s a good price..

    #1017513
    Cesar
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    • Total posts: 591
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    Hello Jo,

    Considering it is your first attempt, it’s not so bad. My only suggestions are that you keep the layout of all your pages uniform for a more professional image. The best layout would be this page http://www.fidosfunhouse.com.au/home_page_16.html which has to be renamed “products” and not “home” page.

    Your home page is far too busy with images and not enough content. Why not place the images separately with a description beside each one giving your viewers a better idea in regards to your products.

    Make sure to include “alt tags” and “descriptions” within your images and a “call to action” in the content like “click here” to direct the viewers to the products page that relates to the image.

    Another important aspect you have left out is a “meta description” for each of your web pages to give the search engines a description of the relevancy of your website. The “meta keywords” can also be added too, although they do not have much importance these days from a search engines point of view due to “keyword spamming”.

    Try this first so that we can review it again for you and make the necessary improvements “step by step”.

    Good Luck!!!

    #1017514
    yellowgirl
    Member
    • Total posts: 56
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    Hi Mike, did you use a Hostess template or do you just use them for hosting?

    Thanks for showing the image John, how very weird. I appreciate your input.

    Hi WAHE, Quite a few of the pages show the wrong title and I don’t seem to be able to fix it regardless of how much I try to edit it.
    I’ll look at the ‘alt’ and description tags shortly. I had a go at the meta tag thingies yesterday in the Hostess extras section. I’m not sure if I did it correctly, their ‘help’ section isn’t the most informative. I don’t think I’ve quite got the hang of it yet.

    Jo

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