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Old 04-05-2010, 06:40 AM
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Default New website build...thoughts?

I reluctantly post this here for many reasons. First, my site is FAR from what many of yours are but this is about all I'm capable of. This is a temp site that will go "live" later and be transferred to my current domain name. This site is build using SquareSpace's service, which for a novice like myself is awesome. My old site was built on Joomla and I'm just tired of all the open source hassle since I know just enough to be dangerous.

Thoughts? How ugly or appealing is this? My goal was clean and simple but professional and effective. Currently I get 0 customers from my website and I do nothing to promote it, but I want to change that in the future and it was time to start from scratch.

What do ya'll think, might as well be honest, I can take it.

http://benchmarkct.squarespace.com/

Edit: If you see grammar, spelling errors or anything else that doesn't make sense, let me know. It's nearly 2 am, I'm tired and I just finished this. I haven't even proof read it yet. I figured I'd get opinions on what it looked like before I went any further.
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Last edited by Appleby; 04-05-2010 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:09 AM
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Cambridge PC Support Cambridge PC Support is offline
 
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that looks really good Jason!

just a coupla things though:

1. The Contact Us page has a different font from the rest of the site - I love the typography you use on the front page

2. I'd cut down on the personal stuff on the About Us page, especially details about your missus name and work address
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
might as well be honest, I can take it.
Ok then, here goes ..

The B logo with all the lines looks bad, and it's a little bit plain jane with not enough "good" info. The pricing part says "I charge $65 an hour", but takes a whole paragraph to say this, I'd use the whole paragraph (better yet the whole page) to list out some common repairs that you can easily wrap into a fixed pricing structure like tune-ups, hardware installation, network setup etc... I know that I just move on if I can't find the price or at least a ballpark of the price when I'm looking online..

Quote:
feel free to give us a call and we will be glad to tell you if we can help
I never say I'll see if I can handle that... I KNOW I can handle that, and portray that to the customer ..

anyways, good luck with everything, I know what your going through as this stupid interwebuilding is a pain in my arse.. I'd actually order some business cards if I could just get my site live (logos, color schemes, layout, and good content is driving me nuts)

SeaTek
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:55 PM
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Spell Check

I also like to see a picture of a laptop or a computer on this type of site. You want something visual that makes people think "Computer"
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:27 PM
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Overall it looks professional, and it's easy to understand and navigate. Remember that web surfers largely 'skim' over the content in webpages. To take advantage of this, highlight the important parts and cut out the excess. Fill in some of the whitespace with graphics.

I would be very concerned about the personal information. What happens if you get a psychotic customer who isn't happy with your work? Now he has your wife's name, he knows where she works, he knows that you have a daughter, and he knows where you all go to church.

To summarize:

The Good
  • The layout and color scheme work well.
  • It's clean and easy to follow.

The Bad
  • The logo is very rough.
  • Page titles all read "Your Site Name".
  • The textual content is a little wordy.
  • Lacking graphical appeal.
  • Too much personal information.

Recommendations
  • Clean up the logo.
  • Try to cut down on the volume of writing.
  • Add some graphics.
  • Remove the personal information.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:47 PM
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I personally like the look of the logo the way it is

Each to their own!
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambridge PC Support View Post
I personally like the look of the logo the way it is

Each to their own!
I don't think the look or design is bad...It just needs to be cleaned up.

Usually when you start drawing diagonal lines in small graphics, they start getting jagged. The best ways around this problem is to develop the graphics as vectors and convert them to raster, or blur the edges.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:11 AM
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Thanks guys and gals, I greatly appreciate it. I'll address the comments here. These aren't rebuttals, just my thoughts on WHY I did some of the things. I'll look into changing most of it.

1) Contact Us page font, will do I can handle changing that.

2) Personal info. This crossed my mind too. My initial thoughts are that we live in a very small town and if you look my name up in the phone book you are going to find my home address with my wife's name included. She operates a business too and her info is obviously very public and advertised just like mine. I thought giving her info might just be a little publicity for her since it's no real secret who she is or where she works in this little town. BUT I do see the point several have made. I think I'll remove the whole "about us" section. It's really not needed, I just thought I'd give a personal/local face to a small town business.

3) Pricing...I almost didn't list this at all because it is hard to explain. I do not offer fixed pricing. Yes I know what my average virus removal is going to cost but if I end up with the rare nuke and pave, I don't want customers feeling misled. I have nothing against fixed pricing, it's just not the way I operate my business and I've never had a complaint. My prices are fair and often the customer is the one benefiting when an easy virus removal takes 20 minutes instead of an hour. I just feel like when I open the whole pricing can of worms, then I have to explain myself a little. I'll see if I can't re-word some of it and make it more simple and shorter.

4) As for saying "I'll see if I can handle it..." it might be bad business to say that but I figure honesty is the best policy. I'm not an expert or even qualified to do certain things....ie servers, complicated large scale business networking or Mac computers. I'll be the first to tell a customer "sorry, that's not something I'm capable of doing, I wish I could help." Granted those things are a rare but I know my limitations and I'd rather be honest up front then advertise myself as a "one stop shop fix all" when I can't. I don't turn down many jobs per year, but if it's something I don't feel like I can do, I don't. That's probably bad business 101 skills, but I just like to be very frank with people.

5) Picture of a computer on the Home screen. I agree. I was thinking I needed a graphic with some color. I'll see what I can do!

6) The logo. That isn't going to be changed, as it was professionally done by a well known regional graphic artist and chosen overwhelmingly by a large test group before I started my business. HOWEVER, ya'll are right about the lines in the B. They are not like this on my business cards or other materials. I think I need to go back to the original logo files and see what I can figure out. I was working with a .PSD copy and the org. is very clean. I'll get on that. Thanks for pointing out.

7) Too wordy...I totally agree! I just have a hard time knowing where to start and stop? Personally, I don't even like having a Services page. Who the heck is going to read all that? If I'm looking for a plumber or an appliance repair man, I'm going to the phone book or getting a personal referral. I'm not going to search the web and spend an hour reading a bunch of malarky on their webpage. That is one reason I've put so little stock into my site in the past. When my customer's computers don't work, they go to the phone book or Facebook for a referral, they don't spend all day Googling to find one of the 3-5 repair companies in our small town. Just my thoughts. I'm usually wrong though.

Oh and someone mentioned that it says "Your Site Name" instead of my name, that is just part of the test site. That will all be gone when it goes live.

Thanks so much to all of ya'll, that was excellent feedback. All of it!
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Appleby View Post
6) The logo. That isn't going to be changed, as it was professionally done by a well known regional graphic artist and chosen overwhelmingly by a large test group before I started my business. HOWEVER, ya'll are right about the lines in the B. They are not like this on my business cards or other materials. I think I need to go back to the original logo files and see what I can figure out. I was working with a .PSD copy and the org. is very clean. I'll get on that. Thanks for pointing out.
If you want to send me the .psd file, I'll see if I can clean it up. I normally upsize them as vectors in Adobe Illustrator, then shrink them to size in Photoshop.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:31 AM
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Thanks! I have PS CS4 but I don't have Illustrator. Any help would be appreciated. PM me your email address if you will.

I just looked and I've got an .ai file (Illustrator) but I can't open it. Maybe that would help? I had an old version of Illustrator one time and I'm afraid I might have messed around with that file too. Who knows.lol It's been several years.
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