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gwilit
03-29-2010, 04:19 PM
In an ever lasting attempt to improve my website, can anyone give me any advice, or see if there are any problems I have missed?

Thanks

http://www.gwilit.com

cmonova
03-29-2010, 04:41 PM
Very nice and clean looking at first glance. Seems to be alot of content on there also. Overall very professional.

gwilit
03-29-2010, 05:02 PM
Very nice and clean looking at first glance. Seems to be alot of content on there also. Overall very professional.

Is there too much content in your opinion?

Thanks for your view also :D

sjlplat
03-29-2010, 06:38 PM
The Good

Clean layout
Easy to navigate
Lots of content
Good color coordination


The Bad

Headings don't contrast with other text
Content is very wordy
Email addresses displayed in plaintext
Some validation errors


Recommendations

Change the colors of your paragraph headings to add some contrast. Blue would work well to match your company title in the site header.
Try to cut down on the long words and long-winded paragraphs. Remember that your audience doesn't understand the terminology.
Hide your email addresses with JavaScript or use a form mailer for site communication. This helps to prevent spam.
Correct the validation errors. Most of these are attributed to missing alt attributes on images and missing closing tags on horizontal rules.


I like it. The graphics are nice, and the colors work well. My primary concern would be the amount of text on the site. Most web surfers only scan over the content in a website, especially when they're looking for service. It's improbable that potential customers will take the time to read all of your content.

cmonova
03-29-2010, 06:43 PM
I think it's a bit much on text but some people like it that way. Either way it is smooth so it really does not matter.

gwilit
03-29-2010, 06:47 PM
The Good

Clean layout
Easy to navigate
Lots of content
Good color coordination


The Bad

Headings don't contrast with other text
Content is very wordy
Email addresses displayed in plaintext
Some validation errors


Recommendations

Change the colors of your paragraph headings to add some contrast. Blue would work well to match your company title in the site header.
Try to cut down on the long words and long-winded paragraphs. Remember that your audience doesn't understand the terminology.
Hide your email addresses with JavaScript or use a form mailer for site communication. This helps to prevent spam.
Correct the validation errors. Most of these are attributed to missing alt attributes on images and missing closing tags on horizontal rules.


I like it. The graphics are nice, and the colors work well. My primary concern would be the amount of text on the site. Most web surfers only scan over the content in a website, especially when they're looking for service. It's improbable that potential customers will take the time to read all of your content.

Many Thanks, can I ask you a few questions on some of the points you've raised..

Where are the email addresses in plain text?
What browser are you using to view the site? I use firefox and IE 6 & 7 & 8 and can't see the validation errors - I don't doubt they're there tho :o
What pages would you say are wordy and too technical?


Thanks for the honest opinion so far

sjlplat
03-29-2010, 07:35 PM
Many Thanks, can I ask you a few questions on some of the points you've raised..

Where are the email addresses in plain text?
What browser are you using to view the site? I use firefox and IE 6 & 7 & 8 and can't see the validation errors - I don't doubt they're there tho :o
What pages would you say are wordy and too technical?


Thanks for the honest opinion so far

Your contact page uses mailto: tags. Without some sort of encoding or scripting to mask the email addresses in these tags, spam harvesters will collect them and use them to distribute spam.

I'm currently using Firefox 3.6.2, but I also use IE, Opera, Chrome, and Safari to test all the sites I develop. Web browsers don't have any affect on whether or not a site validates. You can use the W3C validator (http://validator.w3.org/) to scan each page for validation errors. I use a plugin for Firefox, which references both the W3C validator and Tidy (http://infohound.net/tidy/).

Here's a sample of the output for your landing page (index.html) from the Firefox plugin:

line 38 column 71 - Error: required attribute "alt" not specified
line 108 column 45 - Error: there is no attribute "color"
line 108 column 52 - Error: end tag for "hr" omitted, but OMITTAG NO was specified
line 108 - Info: start tag was here
line 111 column 52 - Error: end tag for "hr" omitted, but OMITTAG NO was specified
line 111 - Info: start tag was here


The volume of reading is a little cumbersome, rather than the actual technicality of it. Mind you, there is a little bit of a language barrier between you and I -- I'm sure that local people understand the UK terms better than I do. Something you might consider doing is separating the content with containers and background colors. As it stands, most of it blends together and it's difficult to discern where one topic ends and another one starts.

gwilit
03-29-2010, 08:35 PM
Your contact page uses mailto: tags. Without some sort of encoding or scripting to mask the email addresses in these tags, spam harvesters will collect them and use them to distribute spam.

I'm currently using Firefox 3.6.2, but I also use IE, Opera, Chrome, and Safari to test all the sites I develop. Web browsers don't have any affect on whether or not a site validates. You can use the W3C validator (http://validator.w3.org/) to scan each page for validation errors. I use a plugin for Firefox, which references both the W3C validator and Tidy (http://infohound.net/tidy/).

Here's a sample of the output for your landing page (index.html) from the Firefox plugin:



The volume of reading is a little cumbersome, rather than the actual technicality of it. Mind you, there is a little bit of a language barrier between you and I -- I'm sure that local people understand the UK terms better than I do. Something you might consider doing is separating the content with containers and background colors. As it stands, most of it blends together and it's difficult to discern where one topic ends and another one starts.

ooops, sorry I misunderstood you and thought you meant there were tags showing on the site itself.

What validator do you use, I do need to tidy it up a bit.

On the clear email addresses - I've always been in two minds about this one, on one hand I love the transparency of just giving my email address to new and existing clients - and the fact it's easy to email me this way rather than a form, on the other, yes I get spam but I block it out at server level before it gets to Outlook / blackberry. Fact still remains tho that I DO get spam :(

I have always thought there was perhaps a bit too much text, but it's difficult to make it personal without there being what text I have. The main angle I go for is that I am a personal service, and that I really care about what I do. With the clients I have gained from the website (which is quite a few!) they like that aspect of it.

I tried to summarise things with the orange boxes of text, does that work or does it just look worse?

hardtoremember
03-29-2010, 09:25 PM
I think there is too much text too. But I am the kind of person that wants all of the very basic information at first glance. I would say to focus on getting the customer to call.
That said, I think it is otherwise a very nice clean site.

cmonova
03-29-2010, 09:39 PM
On the clear email addresses - I've always been in two minds about this one, on one hand I love the transparency of just giving my email address to new and existing clients - and the fact it's easy to email me this way rather than a form, on the other, yes I get spam but I block it out at server level before it gets to Outlook / blackberry. Fact still remains tho that I DO get spam :(



You have to remember that if people are at work it is much easier to have a form to fill out. For example they work somewhere and they use Outlook for their email. If they click on your email link then they are sending you an email from "Outlook". Well their employeer may not care for that. So now they have to open their personal mail and mail you that way. And that is only if that is not blocked where they work. Just a bit easier with a form...I think..

Elemdee
03-29-2010, 09:47 PM
I tried to summarise things with the orange boxes of text, does that work or does it just look worse?

I understand why you tried to summarize things in the orange boxes, and the information is good, but when I look at that page and see a box on the left AND a box on the right as it is now, the page looks so busy that it feels like I'm looking at a website or webmail page full of advertisements, not necessarily yours. I would combine the info in the right box with the checklist of "with my service you can expect..." so you aren't repeating the information twice in such a short time.

gwilit
03-29-2010, 10:16 PM
I understand why you tried to summarize things in the orange boxes, and the information is good, but when I look at that page and see a box on the left AND a box on the right as it is now, the page looks so busy that it feels like I'm looking at a website or webmail page full of advertisements, not necessarily yours. I would combine the info in the right box with the checklist of "with my service you can expect..." so you aren't repeating the information twice in such a short time.

Would you suggest removing the right orange box then, you're right - I do repeat myself a bit :(

Or should I keep the right box and remove the text - I just didn't know whether the orange box was very "look at me" and summarises everything clearly and quickly?

sjlplat
03-29-2010, 10:47 PM
On the clear email addresses - I've always been in two minds about this one, on one hand I love the transparency of just giving my email address to new and existing clients - and the fact it's easy to email me this way rather than a form, on the other, yes I get spam but I block it out at server level before it gets to Outlook / blackberry. Fact still remains tho that I DO get spam :(

You can still post your email address. What needs to be done is some basic JavaScript trickery to hide it from spam harvesters. Most spam harvesters can't parse JavaScript, so it's best to take advantage of this when you display your email address. You can use the generator in the link below to create the JavaScript code for you.

http://www.jscode.com/generators/mailto_generator.shtml

I tried to summarise things with the orange boxes of text, does that work or does it just look worse?

I think the orange box works well. It contrasts with the white background to provide some focus. I would apply this sort of style to the main content of the site. Wrap some of the important points in containers to make them stand out, sort of like you've done with the customer testimonials in the gray box.

Elemdee
03-29-2010, 11:34 PM
Would you suggest removing the right orange box then, you're right - I do repeat myself a bit :(

Or should I keep the right box and remove the text - I just didn't know whether the orange box was very "look at me" and summarises everything clearly and quickly?

I do like the orange box concept, just not across from each other like it is now. What if you removed the right box from it's current location, and when you combine the box with the checklist, put the box (in a wider form) where the checklist is?

gwilit
03-29-2010, 11:40 PM
I do like the orange box concept, just not across from each other like it is now. What if you removed the right box from it's current location, and when you combine the box with the checklist, put the box (in a wider form) where the checklist is?

Yes I like that idea, but my dilemma now is - what goes in the right hand side?!

Elemdee
03-29-2010, 11:53 PM
Yes I like that idea, but my dilemma now is - what goes in the right hand side?!

Take your center text and move it over to the right a little, so that there is less white space. Don't feel that you need to fill every spot up. =)

edit: or, what if you were to move the certifications/seller thingys from the top and put them along the right side one below the next? That would clean up the busy look of the top and still leave some white space between the left orange box and the text AND the logos.

gwilit
03-30-2010, 02:28 PM
Take your center text and move it over to the right a little, so that there is less white space. Don't feel that you need to fill every spot up. =)

edit: or, what if you were to move the certifications/seller thingys from the top and put them along the right side one below the next? That would clean up the busy look of the top and still leave some white space between the left orange box and the text AND the logos.

After almost spending the whole day messing around with it, I haven't got too far, but I made all the changes suggested and it just didn't look right. Anyway it's been changed slightly now, what do you think?