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Site Review 101 (guidelinesV1)

    • 2 posts
    August 29, 2010 7:10 PM EDT

    Thank you Chuck. I hope people will add to this post, all the other things I may have missed. That way the original post can be updated to include anything I may have missed.

    http://directloansservicing.u

    • 54 posts
    December 12, 2007 10:33 AM EST
    I hope I have the right place.  I have been working on this site for about 6 months.  I was hoping to have anyone review the site and send me any feedback.  My site is http://www.mployd.com  If you want to test as an employer log into the employer side.  As an employee enter the employee side.  The idea is to provide a site for employees and employers and allow them to communicate.

    Thanks for the review:  www.mployd.com

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    • 45 posts
    June 7, 2007 10:25 PM EDT
    I really like this post and agree 100%.
     
    I will also add that websites are a constant evolution along with your message and brand.
     
    Anyone just starting to tackle a website for the first time may be discouraged from this post but I will give you hope. All you need is practice.
     
    Chris

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    EventBrander.com | Custom Printed T-Shirts, Promotional Products, Lowest Prices Guaranteed

    • 205 posts
    December 14, 2006 2:08 AM EST
    This is really helpful Vincent - I think everyone sees the value of these critiques, and if those requesting critiques can cast a critical eye on their own site at the outset, it should make for more fruitful discussions.  I`ve made this a sticky topic that`ll remain at the top of the Website Critique category, so if anyone has an interest in this category, please be sure to continue this discussion.

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    chuck fuller

    • 184 posts
    December 20, 2006 8:54 AM EST
    I do have to add a comment to the list. I think a lot of people skip the concept of "usability" when it comes to their website. If you have a small website, it`s not quite as important because people can generally find what they`re looking for without much effort.

    However, if your website grows and you have lots of pages, it becomes more challenging for web visitors to locate the information they are seeking. If they can`t find it quickly and easily, you can bet they`ll be off elsewhere to look for it.


    • 5 posts
    October 12, 2011 10:56 PM EDT

    Greetings

    I was looking around the forums and wish to submit my website for review. I believe that any and all reviews and critiques are helpful in providing improvements to a website. So please check out my website and let me know.

    http://www.ninenappy.com

    Adalberto McFarlane

    NINE Nappy Productions





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    A. McFarlane, Owner/CEO
    NINE Nappy Productions & NINE Nappy Publishing http://www.ninenappy.com

    • 62 posts
    June 12, 2007 3:33 AM EDT
    As an advocate of objective reasoning, I think there`s a difference between taking something personally to the level where your *feelings* override your analytic capabilities.

    Anything done well requires a level of personal involvement and commitment. But then that personal involvement causes someone to ignore reasoned advice, then there`s going to be trouble.
    Amen Craig!

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    Chit Chat and Chew is reconnecting families and changing lives. Visit us online at www.chitchatandchew.com


    • 6 posts
    October 27, 2007 2:49 PM EDT

    Hello, everyone...I am a newbie to "SUN", and I think this thread is truly wonderful!    So...I am going to try and take full advantage of using it...it is not often when you can get truthful feedback about your "baby" or "pet project", (especially from friends or family) and, in this case, a project that I hope will not only become my primary source of income, but, eventually provide enough income for me to also help produce seed money for an adjunct business.  Now, on to the desired critique.

    My website is Working Girl Gems, and the address is www.workinggirlgems.com .  I also have utilized Hyperstreet`s webhosting as well as their website builder feature.  However, since my background is pretty extensive in computers and networking, I also utilize an FTP site to make necessary corrections and changes that I feel Hyperstreet`s program is remiss in, primarily the SEO side of this equation.  (Some of the ability to upload files is cumbersome also and I am very comfortable with FTP, so, I use it.)

    What I really wish to have critiqued is the following:

    1. How effective is the template design I have chosen for the business that I am in? (Artisan jewelry) I have not yet changed the primary logo (the lady that appears on all pages, and intend to when I am able to do so, so that I can more accurately reflect the industry.  Is this the kind of site that someone will feel comfortable buying Artisan jewelry from?  Should I utilize a more simplified, ecommerce "siteish" one-page type of website design, versus the one that I have now?
    2. Please pay particular attention to my "Online Store".  It is the first tab on every page and it is where my "shopping cart" is for prospective customers to make purchases.  Is it appropriate for my line of business....should I utilize a separate program to make my own shopping cart and upload that to a new page(s)?
    3. And last, but not least, are the rest of my web pages appropriate?  What I mean to say is, I am hoping to convey as much information as possible without being too wordy.  (I personally hate that myself, so I try to be as concise as possible when addressing any issues on my website.  I know that robots like a lot of text, however, I personally believe that well written pages and excellent SEO, combined with sufficient traffic/sales to/from one`s site can usually broach that obstacle.

    I appreciate any and all comments from serious responders!  And...I thank all who do in advance...

    Thanks, Deborah

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    Working Girl Gems...Artisan jewelry at affordable prices! http://www.workinggirlgems.com

    • 3 posts
    January 31, 2009 7:46 AM EST
    WOW, that is some serious advice...
    Thanks, I shall be reading and inwardly digesting it.
    Tony
    www.photocards4all.com

    photocards4all1/31/2009 1:45 PM

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    photocards4all.com "stunning photos... friendly service"

    • 1 posts
    October 19, 2011 8:06 AM EDT

    This is very useful information. The huge difference between a website which is functional and a website which actually helps grow your business and attracts customers.

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    photo portrait

    • 1 posts
    February 26, 2008 2:02 PM EST
    I think I may be ready for a review - but be kind -
     
     
    where business gets done - its a twist on the community/social site - we enable everyone to use everything but geared towards the business community
    bizman702/26/2008 8:03 PM
    • 20 posts
    June 10, 2007 7:46 PM EDT
    This may or may not go without saying, but I`ll say it for the sake of emphasis.

    I think it`s important for reviewers/critics of sites to exhibit a certain level of tact when offering their opinions and observations. A recent and popular thread here has highlighted this point.

    On one side of the discussion, some folks think site creators should not be emotionally involved in their site and should be able to take (negative) criticism without taking it personally. On the other side, some folks think that the creation of site is in many ways a personal expression of the business, and therefore near and dear to the owner.

    However you may feel about this issue, it should be clear that a tactful and measured criticism/observation is always the best approach.

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    Mac-Sage "Complete Mac & OS X Consulting"      www.mac-sage.com

    • 34 posts
    December 19, 2006 6:08 PM EST

    Built these myself using Stores Online and GDI. I preffer GDI 100 to 1. Much easier and way way cheaper.

    GDI website: www.epeters.ws   (Something I slapped together ina about 2 hrs.)         & nbsp;      Stores Online Websites:  www.kitchendecorshop.com  www.bestdragonshop.com  www.outdoordecorshop.com

    Any comments would be appreciated

     

     

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    I know you`ve heard of this before... Pay It Forward 4 Profits Free info on perfecting/advertising your primary business! Mastering Your Primary Business

    • 184 posts
    December 26, 2007 4:31 PM EST
    Mr Business, I love the look of the site! Very clean, easy on the eyes, etc. It is free to place a help wanted ad? If so what is the plan to generate income? Good Luck!
    • 1 posts
    September 23, 2008 7:43 AM EDT
    What about the G-man?

    Great post and well done.  I have spent some time doing web critiques as well and it`s amazing how many simple mistakes the so called "web developers" make.  Granted much has changed in the google algorithm particularly just last month. 

    However, I wanted to contribute one additional Item, Team Player, that should be added.  The Legal Beagle!  Note, I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute legal advise. 

    Since we plug in some features to identify traffic counts, sources and site behavior their are privacy issues.  Serious attention is being paid to this and will continue to be an issue.  Every site should contain a Privacy Policy

    In addition, since much of what we say is an attempt to influence behavior many times a Terms of Use Disclosure is necessary. 

    If your going to conduct transactions, except payment, delivery a digital product etc. Your going to need a clear Purchase Agreement or Terms of Purchase. 

    In all of our excitement of the opportunities that now exist it`s easy to get into the moment and ignore deeper issues that can effect our customers, our business and the future opportunities.

    Find a good Internet attorney for your team!

    Not selling, Just telling.

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    Stu

    http://www.ebizuniverse.com

    • 747 posts
    June 12, 2007 3:58 AM EDT

    I try to offer constructive suggestions based upon my knowledge and experience of what works or what does not work. I understand reading reviews of your own work may not be pleasant and you may tend to ignor it with the rationalization that "they don`t know what they are talking about".

    It is especially easy to rationalize when there is a wide diversity of reviews... that is, reviews that contradict each other.  Who is the website owner to believe? I`m sure all the reviewers believe their comments are valid.

    There is some level of frustration on the reviewer`s part too... when I see and comment on something that I think is important to change (to improve the website) and it does not happen. However, I try only to make a suggestion once... so I don`t beat it to death . If the website owner incorporates my suggestion fine, if not, that`s ok too... it is their website and thus their decision.

    The advice/review is free. So, it may be worth the price . If I were hired to make suggestions to improve a website, I would be more forcefull in guiding the client.

    ~Roland

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    Web Design | Best Beef Jerky | ecommerce articles | Follow vwebworld on Twitter

    • 156 posts
    December 13, 2006 7:47 PM EST
    Using hyperstreet.com web hosting service which also rents >5000 templates, I managed to create my website T-RexElectronics
    Please review and comment.  Well, that site already brought me some consulting business .

    Innovator72006-12-14 2:12:53

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    Go Green and put more money onto your bottom line with award-winning LED-based light bulbs PearlLED. If you manage a good sized store/business and want to boost the bottom line, call us!

    • 156 posts
    December 14, 2006 1:11 AM EST
    Of course some pages are just place holders until I have more detail.  I just added two more interesting pages to possibly make money on line.  More ecommerce later.  It looks like a portal for a chosen subject is the way to make some ad money via Google.  I`ll add about 4 products currently being finalized.  BTW I haven`t figured out how to add a link to the signature line, after various trials with html.

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    Go Green and put more money onto your bottom line with award-winning LED-based light bulbs PearlLED. If you manage a good sized store/business and want to boost the bottom line, call us!

    • 10 posts
    September 2, 2008 7:45 AM EDT

    Great post!  I agree with your suggestions.  One thing I would add is from my own experience.  Flash can provide a very rich experience for the user, but really gets in the way of ecommerce.  I saved my flash for marketing and built a seperate site for ecommerce.  You should think of what your goals prior to building a site - I happen to have developed two.  Having to do it all over, I would have just done the ecommerce site and saved some expense.

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    Tom Huffman - Founder of NiteTrip.
    nitetrip.com
    LinkedIN Profile

    • 621 posts
    December 13, 2006 12:13 PM EST
    Please note the “V1” in the title is not a typo. It stands for Version One. I think as people respond to this “Site Review 101” topic we will be able to create better guidelines than this original post. I will create a second post (V2) as new elements are compiled.

    If you’re prepared for criticism on your newly created site, by all means, ask for a critique! But remember. There are several levels of professionalism when talking about a website. Make sure your site is being critiqued on the proper level.

    Everyone wants a website review, but many are not ready for one. It’s easy to become excited about having a “working” website. You finally bought that domain! You’ve taken at least 10 hours to learn to code, and upload your homepage. You’re an educated, successful professional. There should be no reason you can’t build a website, just as your daughter or the 15 year old down the block did!

    Although it’s possible to find that occasional “natural” at web design, most designers take years to learn and apply effective design and layout. Typically it takes a team of 5 to create an effective site. This isn’t a post about creating a site, so I will keep this tangent short. … Speaking in very basic terms here.

    1. Graphic Artist: A Graphic Artist is needed to create an effective visual design and layout to your online web page. It doesn’t matter what you are selling; product, service, or information. They all need to be displayed in a manner, which compels people to continue reading or otherwise be involved.

    2. Photographer: A picture paints a thousand words. We’ve all heard the expression, but it also keeps your attention. Without effective photography on your site, words become stale and less inspiring.

    3. Copywriter: With an effective Copywriter you are much more likely to capture your readers attention. You might be thinking, “I use words daily. There’s no reason I can’t write it myself.” In reality, there is an entire collegially trained group of people who’s time has been spent finding ways to improve the effectiveness of words and to inspire action. Try using one of them.

    4. Programmer: In the beginning days of the Internet, programming was basic and all you needed was to spend some time playing around with HTML code. Nowadays, with the necessity of search engines indexing and serving sites of interest to you, or your viewer, it is necessary to program your site so the search engines can find your site. This takes a lot of time and breaks down into several sub topics. Having a programmer well versed in HTML is no longer enough.

    5. Security Officer: There’s probably a better term for this, but the Security Officer is to be the person(s) responsible for making sure transactions or any other information passed through your site is secure from malicious intent. This “position” is critical, especially when making transactions over the internet.

    The 5 team players required to create an effective site will grow in some situations, when applying the Internet to your business. In other situations, you may find the desire to “do it yourself.” This works fine, if you are not attempting to “play ball with the big boys.” If you are not a “professional” in one of the 5 team player positions listed above, you should not pretend to be.
     
    Just because the site is “live” doesn’t mean it is ready for visitors. I understand the necessity of a site critiqued, at any stage of development. When giving a critique it is valuable to understand the professional level the site is competing for. Opinions regarding what should be found on a webpage will vary. But key factors continually restate their presence. I hope to create a list which helps differentiate between the professional levels of website design.

    This list should provide a basic understanding as to what a new viewer should expect from your site, once visiting. It’s possible to make lemonade and sell it on the street corner. It’s also possible to open an executive level lemonade stand in your favorite mall location. Each sells the same product, but at different prices and to different people. They have different selling points and that makes them both successful. Please tell us what level of business you are trying to do. It might even be a good idea to answer this question on your website while answer the, “What is the purpose of this site?” question.

    When asking to have your site reviewed, please check that the following, standards, have been achieved for the level of business you are trying to conduct. … Speaking in very basic terms here.

    Level One
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    Active URL: If you want a site review make sure the link or URL (domain name) you direct reviewers to is active. All to often, the site is not even activated or functioning online.

    Site Theme: Look closely at the site’s theme. Do the colors and fonts (type style / size) used, complement the design of the site? Is it easily read?

    Image Size: In nearly all cases, images should have low resolution setting. A good resolution to start is 72 dpi. If you don’t know enough about manipulating the image size for a proper fit, this is a topic you should explore before placing images on your website.

    Browser Compatibility: Do you know how many are out there? You know the major players by name. You should have tested your site using these browsers to ensure your site is readable to the masses. Did you know, Macintosh and PC do not render a site in the same way even when using the same (brand name) browser?

    If you did not design your own site, it is likely your web designer has addressed these issues. In many cases, they are not addressed. There are lessons to be learned and much time wasted for the person who doesn’t take the time to qualify the skills of anyone helping you. Even if your designer is free, there is still something to be said about doing it right the first time.

    Level Two
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    Assuming you have effectively accomplished the tasks in Level One, it’s time for Level Two.

    Professional Layout: Template is better than, “first try” designs. Just make sure your template isn’t someone else’s “first try.” In order to compete with others on this level, your site must look clean, polished and professional. There shouldn’t be any visual distractions due to poor background or font colors. The page flow should take the reader on a journey. It should not lead them on a hunt for the reason they are on the page in the first place. It doesn’t hurt to create a “personality” for your website. Do something visually that sets your site apart from others. Some ways this can be accomplished is in the layout, copy choice, or even image selection.

    Professional Copy: Professional copy isn’t professional because you paid for it. Your copy should motivate the majority of readers to continue reading or take action. Style is one thing, but word content is another. A professional copywriter should be able to address “keyword” issues to assist in search engine recognition also. In general, the most important verbiage on your home page should contain a 10 words (or so) heading, and a few sentences to reinforce that heading.

    Function-able Navigation: All links should be functioning. The mistake of one misdirected link does nothing to reinforce the professionalism of your site. Site navigation must be easy to find, easy to use, and functioning.

    Professional Photography: Digital technology has made it extremely easy to upload your personal photos to the Internet. Although it’s easy to take a photo from your low-resolution camera and upload it to your site, in order to compete in the marketplace, you must devote some attention, and resources to this.

    Images: Make certain your images are “linked” properly. You should have no broken image links, just as you should have no broken text links.

    About Us Page: People don`t ordinarily feel as comfortable viewing a site where they have no idea who the people are behind that site. This isn’t particularly important when viewing Macy’s website (http://www.macys.com), but we are not being asked to critique the Macy’s site.

    Sound, Bells & Whistles: First, if using music or sound on your site, you must have an easily located, “sound off” button. Many people surf the web in situations where sound is not permitted in their environment. You don’t want to make your site unusable because of your constant theme music. Rarely, are bells & whistles effective at bringing revenue, long-term or returning visitors to your site. Remember, the Internet is about information, not how many fascinating programmable “click here” moments you can achieve.

    Flash: Flash content should really go under the “Sound, Bells & Whistles” topic. Using flash isn’t bad, but relying on flash to convey your message to people looking for your content on a search engine is ineffective. If you are serious about competing with other bonafide businesses online, you will need to loose your love for programming an entire site using Flash. This is also the case when describing your product or service by using Flash. If the search engines cannot effectively search your site for cataloging purposes, you are likely not to be found by anyone but the people you directly market to. That is a huge waste of Internet resources.

    Level Three
    ===========
    Assuming you have effectively accomplished the tasks in Level One & Two, it’s time for Level Three. If you are attempting to achieve this level of expertise in your site evaluation, you should probably seek more professional, facts backed, detailed results by hiring a research team.

    This is not intended to determine the functionality of your site. That is your job, and you should do that on a regular basis, as your online business progresses. As a site critique, we are only discussing face value of your site. Does it make us want to read more? Does it look appealing? Does it do the job the site was intended?
     

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    Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
    Drummer
    My band: Letters Make Words

    • 621 posts
    December 14, 2006 8:45 AM EST
    Thank you Chuck. I hope people will add to this post, all the other things I may have missed. That way the original post can be updated to include anything I may have missed.

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    Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
    Drummer
    My band: Letters Make Words

    • 621 posts
    December 20, 2006 10:27 AM EST
    CraigL... Spot on.

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    Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
    Drummer
    My band: Letters Make Words

    • 621 posts
    June 12, 2007 9:16 AM EDT
    Let`s not forget the original reason for this post. It isn`t to direct the actions of the critiquer, it`s to address when you should request a critique to begin with. At the time of this post, it seemed people were asking for a critique for the purpose of being able to announce to the SuN community, "I have a website. Take a look!" That`s not the real reason for a website critique. Many of the requesters were not ready for a critique. It was being used as an advertising option (my personal opinion).

    That doesn`t discount that there is a sort of responsibility to the critiquer. People do have their feelings and emotions tied up in their website. Especially when they are on revision 15 and have spent all their time trying to improve it. Nevertheless, the website owner needs to take all critiques with a grain of salt. If you (the site owner or designer) don`t agree... just ignore the comment. There is no need to go on the offensive and shout a post back about how rude the critique adviser came across.

    We all have attitudes. Some are easy going. Some are "in your face." Respond to those people you (the web designer or site owner)
     feel provided quality insight and forget about the others. After all, every successful person was shunned by someone for their idea at one point or another. The proven, long-term success is the best "I told you so" any site builder or owner can provide.

    So Site Review 101 (guidelinesV1) is less about the review and more about being ready for your site to be reviewed in the first place.

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    Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
    Drummer
    My band: Letters Make Words

    • 6 posts
    April 24, 2013 9:43 PM EDT

    Thanks for sharing huge discussion about the site reviews and differenciate a site with functional and business prespective.

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    File Upload|File Transfer|File Server

    • 2 posts
    February 20, 2014 6:28 AM EST

    http://www.listnerd.com/

     

    This is our new project. Any thoughts?