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    13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2008 6:25 AM by intechspecial

    Feedback on Website Please

    intechspecial Ranger

      Please visit my company's homepage, and reply with some feedback.

      Good, bad, or indifferent feedback is appreciated, as I would like to improve this site.


      The site is

      Thank you
        • Re: Feedback on Website Please
          DomainDiva Ranger
          Instead of dyer need...use DIRE NEED.

          PS I worry that you are not charging enough for those that can pay.

          Looking Good, DD
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Feedback on Website Please
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Last Month, Monday August 11, The Wall Street Journal had an article

            "How to Create A Successful Web Site For Nothing"

            It might help you, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Feedback on Website Please
              sethstacey Wayfarer
              It looks good!

              One minor critique is that the content in the three boxes across the bottom of the home page do not line up (I would expect the "Volunteers" "Web Services" and "Portfolio" titles to be on the same vertical level).


              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                intechspecial Ranger
                Hey if anyone has suggestions as to how I can make this site better, more interactive for visitors please reply.
                  • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                    sethstacey Wayfarer
                    Hey again! : )

                    Looking around a bit more, I noticed a few things that maybe could be improved. Some of this is simply my opinion (so take that for what it is worth) and some of it will be more substantial.

                    1. I really hate tables. They tend to make things load slower and get more browser compatability issues. For instance, when I look at your page in Firefox or Google Chrome, I see some issues. In IE 7 it looks a lot better. We just had a problem on our new site launch where we forgot to check the final version of the site with IE 7 before launching, and had a big messed up footer. Very embarrasing for us a web design company. =) The link the full story is httt://
                    2. The background image is huge. This presents a problem in several different areas. Recently, Google made the statement that the page load time will be a factor in site rankings for organic search results. It took well over twelve seconds on my cable modem for that image to finish loading. This is fixable, though, since most of it is just white space in the image file.
                      1. A possible solution is to"cut" that image a little but, and make one image that is say 150px wide by 500px tall that has your sun spot (the size can easily be adjusted). Then set it to be the background of the element (just as it looks like you have done). With some tweaking there, you can have it display the (smaller) image in the upper right corner, and let CSS tell the rest of the element to just be white
                    3. Opinion piece: I think the border around the middle box on the bottom could be darker. It looks a little awkward between the blue and orange borders. Maybe make them the same color even?
                    4. Opinion piece: I don't just love you menu to death. I have been to your site twice now and just figured out that it was a pop down menu with more options. I think it may be just a little small. Also, when you hover over the menu, the white box that comes up feels like it needs to be a bit wider (should be easy to add a padding element). It looks like you are using tables there, so that might be annoying to do (or easy--have I mentioned I hate tables?).
                    1. The things the validator finds are often very helpful. Not a lot of errors, and most of them will be super easy to fix.
                    2. Opinion piece: The page titles (title tags) could maybe be a little different from each other. One thing to do write <page name> | <company name> intead of the way it is now. Also, the more effort you put into those, the better. That line will show up in search engine results.
                    3. Opinion piece: On the subpages, some of the spacing feels a little funny to me. Not a huge thing, but maybe spend some time messing around with it.
                    Hope these help. You have a nice site, so don't take these as insulting to you or anything like that. It is meant only to be helpful. I have made so many mistakes in web design over the years it is not even funny anymore. : )
                      • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                        intechspecial Ranger

                        sethstacey -


                        Thank you for your feedback it is appreciated. If I could respond to my reasoning for some of the elements and possibly rebuttal some points as well.


                        So, here I go:


                        1. You Stated: "I really hate tables"


                        Tables - I would agree that for HTML statically loaded websites that tables are useless to say the least. Tables were never intended to be used for design but nearly as a "place holder" for data. Eventually tables on site will be linked to databases, as this is the only rational way to display server-side dynamically loaded content. Browser side static content has no use for tables. I do not know if you noticed that the site is an website driven by Visual Basic, with dynamically loaded content via a Microsoft SQL database and XML files. As far as the browser problems, here is a great tool to test before you implement: This site gives you a great way to view a screenshot of multiple desktop environments. You thought things were bad now, wait until IE version 8 comes out. Many problems already in the beta version.

                        2. You stated: "background image is huge"
                        I would agree with the background image. I just have not gotten around to it yet.


                        3. You stated "border.........could be a little darker"
                        I would have to agree, as I am not a graphic designer, but the code I write is error free.


                        4. You stated: "love the drop down menus to death...........I hate tables"
                        Thank you for the drop down menus compliment, this is a feature of development, server side scripting. It would not be possible to develop this with HTML Divs.


                        5. You stated: a link was placed to a validator that validates HTML
                        I believe this opinion comes from a misunderstanding of the website, as the site is being loaded dynamically( 3.5 IIS 7, visual basic, SQL, XML) and then sent to the browser, which is much different then a static html website. This is the potential problem for the html validation. If you notice at the bottom of the site there is a button that states this site is valid CSS. Click on the button and see the results! Once again validation focuses on CSS and HTML, and cannot check an 3.5 website accurately for HTML validation. If the site was not developed correctly it would not even render correctly in the browser, you would just see a bucn of programming errors, unreadable to most. You can do a validation on this website or Microsoft's or Yahoo's and come up with much more errors. As well if you view the source of Yahoo or Microsoft's website you will notice Divs wrapped around Tables, as the the CSS divs are used for what the user sees, and the tables hold the server side dynamic content. To simplify Static HTML = DIV's, Dynamic Server Side = Tables.

                        6. You stated: "the validator finds things that are helpful"
                        The validator link you gave me is for static html. When I develop static html sites, I no longer need to validate, as I can write the code with absolutely no errors. I might get a warning or two, but no errors.

                        7. You stated: " engine results"
                        I would have to agree that I this site could use some tweaks for Search Engine Optimization, but I am focusing on driving traffic through marketing rather then just utilizing search engines.


                        8. You stated: "spacing feels funny"
                        Once again, I would have to agree. I am not a graphic designer but my code is error free.

                        Finally, I most certainly did not take offense to your comments, as I always like to hear someone's point of view.
                        • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                          intechspecial Ranger
                          Hey I wanted to point something else out as well.

                          When you go to, notice that the extention is .aspx and not .html or .htm. The .aspx extension defines this as an website.

                          Also if you go to the home page click on the home page link. Click on it again. Notice that the image below the drop down menu changes. This is because the images are being loaded dynamically from the server then sent to the browser at random. I have the ability to control how random they are loaded by giving each image a variable via the .xml file. The higher the variable the more often the image is loaded in comparison to others.

                          What happens hear is this: Browser Makes request for page, server takes request, page is compiled via .net framework, IIS 7 Server, with commands given in Visual Basic. Once page is compiled, that data that was requested is sent back into an html format so that the browser can view what was compiled.

                          This site is not just an HTML website, but an actual web application, like Microsoft Word or Notepad. It is an online application, and I hope to increase user interaction over time. I have the ability to do 1 million things with this site, I am just not sure what I should do. Over time I will decide on the who what and why, hopefully I can get some feed back that will help me to make the correct decision.
                            • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                              sethstacey Wayfarer
                              I want you to understand I did not mean to insult your coding prowess, that was just my feedback. =)

                              To be fair, I have pulled your site up in several browsers, and it does not display right in all of them. Check out Firefox 3, Safari, and Chrome and you should see some improper display action going on.

                              The tables thing you are right on, and I meant to go back and add a post to that effect. I was more reffering to tables used as a layout mechanic (could have communicated better on that one).

                              As to the HTML validation, in what I am seeing there, it looks like there are some minor issues (errors may be a too little strong of a word). I recognize that not all things will validate under strict XHTML, but it is still a great place to find some silly HTML mistakes that we all make when we put the design side of pages together (I always end up with too many divs at the end of the page, for instance). Is it a big deal? Not really, the page will still display properly, but it is still worthlooking at.

                              The one unknown for me is that I do not use ASP, so things there may be considerably different than PHP. But I do use PHP, so I am familiar with dynamically inserting components from databases. Once again, that is not the issue I was pointing out, but some of the errors that pop up at first glance seem to be valid, but they may not be for your situation. That was more of "something I always look into" pile. Once again, I probably could have communicated that better, and I was not trying to insinuate you did not know what you were doing.

                              Now, since you mentioned you wanted to look at overall functionality, not nit picky stuff I thought you were asking for :P, here are some ideas (if you will indulge me). Not trying to insult anything or anyone, but these are my thoughts. I'm sure you have already considered these, as they are fairly basic in nature.
                              1. Blogs are ussually fun. You seem to be good at writing, so this may be a good option for you. The blog has several big benefits, even if you do not necessarily get a ton of readers ( though we all hope you do).
                                1. You get a good excuse to add content. As the content in your site grows, the search engines start to like you that much more. Eventually your posts will start ranking for wierd "long tail" phrases, and you will get a decent amount of traffic to your site.
                                2. Since you are writing content, you have more to fill up your page. A "Here are our top blog posts" section on the home page is an option, or any number of things.
                                3. Comments are a good user interaction kind of thing, but it is hard to get that going until you get a fair number of readers.
                                4. You also could increase traffic when your blog takes off. Keep in mind, though, that it ussually takes some time to build up readers, so it is not a magic bullet of traffic or anything like that
                              2. You mention a free templates area--would there be a way to add a simple digg-like functionality there? I'm thinking of little arrow next to each template, and one click gives a vote to it. Templates with top votes go on top, otherwise they go on the bottom kind of thing. Simple, but kind of fun.
                                1. Maybe have a mechanic for people to give you their templates for you to distribute? Maybe even you pay for them for the template, or better yet, or offer to link back to their site (if word got out on something like that, you could have a ton of templates to distribute). People are always looking for links back to their site.
                              3. Since you seem to have a wide range of things you do, any articles you write (this relates to a blog, but they could be just stand alone guide type things) could do well for you.
                              4. Fun idea possibly: since you mention doing volunteer work, could you have some sort of page to have people submit organizations they think deserve your services? Maybe they can then offer to donate some money ($10.00 or something), or better yet, once they submit the organization, ask them to create Squidoo pages for them and try to generate money that way?
                                1. This could be interesting since you seem to like volunteering your time and doing good things, and the people who like helping non-profits tend to be very passionate. So, if you told me I could get my favorite charity or church a new website by doing something simple (make a squidoo page, or even something you figure out to create), then maybe they could help their favorite charity, and you could get to work on projects you believe in.
                                2. Lots of brainstorming could come from here, but it's your idea, so I'll step out now. =)
                              Once again, I really did not mean to insult your site or the coding of it, so I apologize if that came through at all.

                                • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                                  intechspecial Ranger

                                  Seth -

                                  Thank you for your feedback, and like I said previously I am not at all upset about your remarks, as I appreciate and value this feedback.

                                  It is a funny thing that you mention the Firefox/ Safari, etc. problems. After reading your post I viewed site in several other browsers as well as downloaded and installed IE v8 Beta 2.

                                  IE v8 did not display the drop down menu correctly, so I reimplemented navitation. I think this works a little better.

                                  As far as all your other comments in the latest post, I appreciate the feedback, and your suggestions are definitely good.


                                  Thanks again.

                          • Re: Feedback on Website Please
                            ChicGeek111 Wayfarer
                            Hello! I really like the idea and mission of your company - to help the little guy. Very noble! :-)

                            I have two suggestions for you - this one being the most important - hire a proofreader. There are too many spelling errors. Maybe your customers won't notice, maybe they will. The point is that this site is your first opportunity to make a good impression and let clients know that you are worthy of their time and money. Spelling errors make it look sloppy and undereducated.

                            I use someone here locally for all of my proofreading and she is very good, very fast and very reasonably priced. If you'd like contact info, let me know.

                            Second suggestion - try to stay away from the clipart stuff. Nowadays, people are really looking for something tailor-made for their needs and using clipart that is easily recognizable makes it seem a little "canned" and impersonal.

                            Other than that, I REALLY like that you are doing something good with your talent. Helping others is so noble and there aren't too many unselfish people out there any more it seems. Good luck to you! I hope you're very successful. :-)