Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Website review / feedback please …

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  • #970245
    Sunshine Coast Camping Hire
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    • Total posts: 3
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    Hello

    We are a new camping equipment hire business based on the Sunshine Coast, Qld and I am looking to get some feedback on our website please (see sig).

    I have designed the site using Wix and would like some general feedback about first impressions, layout and content, etc.

    Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Kim

    #1043293
    GirlSunday
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    • Total posts: 20
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    Alas, as I don’t have Flash Player, I’m unable to view it.

    #1043294
    altaimage
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    • Total posts: 98
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    Well we’ve been able to get in and have a look around and it’s very slow loading. Very flash heavy which cuts out anyone on an iPad and mobile media device and also cuts your SEO down phenomenally.

    That said though there’s some good positives. When you finally get into the main hub of the site you’ve gone for quite an easy looking layout – everything is easy to find and looks nice and organised, maybe a little busy in places but the structure is there. Would be good on a white background to get things nice and crisp (try infuse a bit more colour in there where possible too, just helps to stand things out a bit). Could also do with moving the contact us link up to the top of the page, it get’s buried away and this should really ideally be a major link for consumers.

    It does need some work – definitely need to get those page load times down or Google will push you to the bottom of the pile rankings wise and always bear in mind people with narrowband or mobile wireless connections. The quicker you get all your information up on that first page, the better your chances are at getting them through to checkout or at least running through what you’re offering.

    Hope this is all positive constructive advice for you – not the worst site I have ever seen and the thing with websites is there is always something you could change. If everybody waited until their website was perfect before launching there’d be nothing on the internet to look at!!

    All the best,
    Scott Swinton
    http://www.altaimage.com.au

    #1043295
    unravelled
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    • Total posts: 12
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    Hi Kim,

    I just took the tour of the site.
    Couple of main points that come to mind.

    Firstly the domain itself is very long (31 characters), domain names this long are quite often just parked pages registered by domainers.

    So i’d be hesitant to follow your result from google etc. Understandably campinghire.com.au isn’t going to be available.

    sunshinecamping.com.au is available
    camphire.com.au is also available

    The site itself is very unnecessarily flash heavy. There is nothing here that you couldn’t do cleanly and quickly using standard html and jquery.

    The splash page is an extra click you are asking from your users.

    I hope I haven’t been too critical!

    #1043296
    Stuart B
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    • Total posts: 1,070
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    Ok there is lots to talk about here…

    Positives
    The overall layout of the sites pages isn’t too bad. It definitely needs a bit of polish, but the placement of various information throughout the site is fairly logical.

    The page structure is also pretty good too, there are all the main pages that people would need when looking through the site, so the mechanics are mostly in the right place.

    Negatives
    As others have said, the site is build entirely out of little flash flash and more flash, and even on my broadband connection it was still very slow loading. Goggle won’t be indexing the content on the site because it’s flash so it’s going to be really hurting your rankings…
    As far as I can see the only benefit of the use of flash on the site is that the phone number has some little sparkly things which fly around it, which honestly adds absolutely nothing to the site’s value.

    Splash pages now days are almost never a good idea because it forces that extra click just to get past the door-mat you’ve put out there. If a person has found your website, you’ve got about 10 seconds to get them interested enough to stay and explore, before they take off somewhere else. The splash page is just wasting that time and losing you conversions.

    I think one of the biggest weaknesses of the site is that it hasn’t been built by someone with a strong design knowledge… The colours (blue and grey) of the site have nothing to do with camping, and don’t get me excited about the idea of camping either. You need to be inspiring people about camping with every aspect of the design, from the colours, to the fonts, pictures, even the way you write about your products. At the moment this isn’t happening.

    All things considered, the overall impression you get from the site is that it’s been built in-house, and the business is a small backyard type operation, which may be questionable in terms of how trustworthy they are.

    All of the content people need is on the site now, it’s just that in it’s current form, it’s being presented to customers very poorly.
    You need to have someone generate a professional looking design, and implement it to your site.

    Hope this isn’t too crushing, there are some positives to the site, fixing this site would be quite easy, but I think you do need to get someone to help you with it.

    Feel free to give me a call if you need any more advice on the site, or if you’re looking to snag a professional designer to help out with a re-design, give me a call any time.

    #1043297
    unravelled
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    Wow great review LemonChip

    #1043298
    WWDesign
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    I agree with the reviews so far, page loading time and google indexing is a big problem.

    I just wanted to add comments on usability.
    When I got to your home page I was a bit overwhelmed with choice.

    It seems like you have everything on there, complete package, tent, extra, book online.

    I think this could be simplified, you could ease your users into the business and understanding what you do.
    This structure could be helped with consistent menus. The left and top menus are in different styles and so don’t feel coherent or part of the same navigation system.

    I always like to think of websites as “lead” or “money” funnels. You take clients by the hand and lead them down a path to a “call to action” like an enquiry or a sale. This cannot be overt, at each point you just give them a path they can easily choose.

    So instead of all your products up front, think of how a new customer would like to be introduced to your business:
    1. Explain what you do simply.
    2. Maybe testimonials next to assure people it works – photos, videos.
    3. Hire packages, backpacker to 12 person and link to just extras.
    4. Call to action, hire or enquire. Explaining the process.

    This is one scenario, but the website then has to cater for a repeat customer, they want to go to step 3. This is where a good website structure and navigation steps in.

    Professional web design may seem expensive when compared with services like Wix. However as you can see from all the replies, a lot more goes into it and can critically effect capitalising on visitors to your site.

    Good luck.

    #1043299
    sydneyfx
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    • Total posts: 61
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    Hi Kim

    First thing i want to say is congratulations on getting a website up for your business. This means your made the step to getting your business online and now you have something to work with and improve.

    While I’d agree with many of the other comments, considering you did this yourself at very little cost other than your time, you’ve done an astounding job!

    My suggestion is that as soon as it’s practical for you business, to redesign your site without using Flash. I generally tell clients that unless you are Coca Cola or McDonalds, then Flash isn’t for you.

    You could do everything you have now using HTML & CSS, couple that with a cleaner and more professional design, and your website would do a much better job of serving your business online in the future.

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