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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    Hello all,

    I was on an Internet Marketing forum, a major one, and had ask for a review and/or critique of a squeeze
    page I created. I didn't mention what I used to create it - I just wanted some opinions. And yes, I made
    it in Xara Designer.

    Ok, 98% was positive, but this one, the one I copied below I found interesting.... I was just wondering what
    some of the more experienced, programmers types think of this.... sorry to ask you to read all this, but it
    really has my curiosity up, being that I'm not a programmer by any means.

    The squeeze page is http://www.thebestinternetmarketingcourse.com
    And the response I'm talking about is here....

    Header is way too large, fixed width layout is too big for my netbook and too small for my desktop, falling apart miserably and not fitting on the screen once zoomed... something is causing the border to flicker while scrolling, possibly some broken or incorrectly applied CSS.

    If this is a new site, the use of a tranny doctype is basically saying to the world the code is in transition from 1997 to 1998; not exactly bleeding edge development methods. It appears to be built using presentational images in the markup, non-semantic markup, absolute positioning of elements that have no business not being in flow, inaccessible forms (thanks to that stupid malfing AWeber BS) -- it's "yet another" laundry list on how NOT to build a website... hence the 28 validation errors (which in tranny means you don't have HTML, you have gibberish), and 33.9k of markup to deliver a mere 2.7k of plaintext and MAYBE 5 or six content images and one object... basically three times the HTML that should be used.

    It has nothing remotely resembling header navigation, proper document structure, semantic markup, images off or css off graceful degradation, or any of the dozen other things that are key in terms of accessibility. You've got massive slab fixed-size background images building the layout instead of letting flow do it's job -- worse you have TEXT that only exists as images, meaning search engines, screen readers, and people who block images due to bandwidth restrictions or caps basically aren't going to see anything -- just what off the shelf 'tool' did this?

    "XARA HTML filter" -- no clue what that is... actually I do know what it is -- another rubbish WYSIWYG that tricks people into THINKING they can make a website; the end result often being very pretty, but ultimately useless on anything other than the magical combination of screen size and OS the person who painted it together happened to be on. In a lot of ways I'd say said page reeks of the "but I can do it in Photoshop" mentality -- which has exactly two things to do with accessible useful websites -- and Jack left town, took his **** with him. That it vomited it up as windows-1252 character encoding pretty much says all we need to know about it... Probably their "Webdesigner MX" which is basically same thing as Dreamweaver or the artist formerly known as frontpage -- only thing about them that can be considered professional grade tools are the people promoting their use.

    Total page size is also MASSIVE -- 576k is ridiculous for that, but even more of a worry is it being built from 76 separate files. Handshaking ALONE that's anywhere from 12 seconds to a full minute just ASKING for the files, much less downloading them. (and anything more than 5 seconds is considered 'bad').

    Though at least your description meta actually seems to try and use that for what it's actually FOR... the keywords could use a trim though since it's keyWORDS, not keysentences, not keyphrases, keyWORDS -- 7 to 8 single words with 100% relevancy to the content of the page, preferably totalling less than 128 bytes.

    Basically you've drawn a pretty picture of a website using broken outdated methodologies, instead of actually building a website.
    For a moment, it bothered me.... then I realized that I was having success with it and realized it was doing what it was intended to do.
    So, I guess this guy was just vomiting up his knowledge in his field...

    Thanks for you time and input...

    Cliff
    "Progress Not Perfection"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Bradford, England
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    1,818

    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    Cliff, you will always get these guys who hand-code everything because they think that is how a site should be built, it was 10-15 years ago, but then software such as dreamweaver came in and changed that dramatically. A hell of a lot of websites these days are created initially in photoshop and then developed into sites. It seems this guy thinks that designers should keep out of web developing. The site loaded quick enough for me, and the validation errors are not that bad, even major sites will have validation errors on them, it's not something that I worry about; I have seen most web design companies proudly displaying the validation icon and when checking their site is shows up dozens of errors, try checking youtube or ebay or msn.com or windows.com and see how many errors come out.

    If you must use text as images then give the image an alt text name which should help anyway. Some of the thinking out there is that cheap software such as xara is not for professionals, and the funny thing is that the same people are using free software such as wordpress to create websites. I would consider myself a professional now after 90 or so websites created for clients using xara; all of which I consider professional sites, so I can tell you that what matters is the skill of the person using the sofware not the software which creates great sites. A lot of the sites I have seen from these hand coders are frankly crap in design and worse still for seo. All my sites with seo created using xara are in the top 10 for their particular keywords and some are number 1 nationally for their keyword. I would recommend 8 to nine keywords (some 1 word, some 2, 3 and 4) but these days the keywords are not as important as they used to be, good, original and updated content is king.
    Flawless Form. Faultless Function. Crafted by Cloud

    https://www.cloudwebagency.co.uk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    37,865

    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    I agree with Sketch. You are never going to please everybody and it is senseless to even try.

    Do the best you can do and if you are happy with what you have designed, and your client is happy, then this is what really matters.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    S. Florida
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    Thanks Sketch and Gary....

    I feel better now........ LOL

    Sketch as far as the text image and using an alt name, this site is not in the least concerned with SEO..
    I drive traffic to it myself and could care less if Google disappeared tomorrow.

    Thanks Guys!

    Cliff
    "Progress Not Perfection"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Kildare, Ireland
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    At first I thought you had all text as images but in fact I think you might have a transparent page border image covering most of the text? I don't know if it's the case or intentional but I'd suggest moving that large border image lower in the layer stack so your text is on top and is selectable and more visible seo wise. It might not matter too much but I would also suggest trying to fix the validation errors if you can. There are definately things you can do to make it better and give people like that less to complain about but if you're not bothered about seo and the site does what you want then you can probably just ignore most of the criticism and advice. Btw that auto play video is annoying, just saying
    XT-CMS - a self-hosted CMS for Xara Designers - Xara + CMS Demo with blog & ecommerce shopping cart system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
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    8,298

    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    If the site is working well, then that's the most important thing.

    Clearly your critic has some attitude, but does raise some good points and he is absolutely right in much of what he says about this particular page in comparison with a page developed by a HTML-aware web designer.

    Two of the images on the page total 230K. Worse still both those images are the same image ( A web business explained ). So even without optimisation those images could be the same images, but scaled. You could easily optimise those images as jpegs - at least give it a go.

    As has already been said, you should have alt text for your images. This is easily done and has been mentioned time and time again on talkgraphics.

    There's no doubt that this page would have been built in a completely different way by a HTML/CSS practitioner and any HTML guy that built the page like this would be harshly criticised - but well knew that, didn't we? Xara removes the usual HTML skill level required and you have to pay for that by losing some behind the scenes elegance and flexibility.

    The critic is right - the page is heavy, requires multiple accesses to the server to be loaded and in comparison with a hand-coded page is very inefficient. Most people have fast internet access and won't be too bothered.

    Definitely optimise the images I mentioned earlier. To give you a comparison, those images are circa 230K. Earlier this year I built a "heavy" website with loads of animation and functionality in flash and it weights in at something like 500K. Your two images alone are almost half the size of that. And your page download is 560K - bigger, I think than the site I worked for weeks on! (in case you're wondering, my client had a lighter page loader built to engage the user because of the download delay)

    Here is the result for estimated download speed:

    56K 123.35 seconds
    ISDN 128K 45.41 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 13.99 seconds

    I ran the HTML through here: http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

    Which shows how the page is made up and importantly identifies the heavyweight graphics which can be optimised.

    I think the conclusion is that the page is doing it's job, so great, but it's certainly true that this is, in normal web terms, a highly inefficient page with a comparatively slow load time that you can and should optimise for download speed and SEO benefit.

    Your critic may be harsh, but he has correctly identified things you can improve upon.
    Last edited by pauland; 13 July 2012 at 10:06 AM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    OK Here's a second thought. I revisited the site and figured out how to get Chris Ferrel to shut up (I really do not like websites where some overly enthusiastic spokesperson starts yelling at me--I'm sensitive). You are selling Internet Marketing here correct?

    Even though page load time is not important to you, it should be for most persons trying to market their goods and services on the Internet. So in this respect, your site should load almost instantly. And looking at the page, even though there is a lot going on, it seems like the page should load faster than the times Paul is showing. As a designer who worked for 15 years in advertising and had my own graphic design business for 12 years, I think the site design is too cluttered and lacks a central focus. I understand the need to communicate the idea of there being a lot of activity and energy but this is not what I am getting out of the page layout. I might be a design snob and maybe this design is perfect for your target audience.

    You may remember the early Sharper Image advertising. And before that, I forget the guys name who used to do those full page ads in the airline magazines. Those ads were always persuasive and while they hammered you in ten different ways telling you why their product was so revolutionary and why you HAD to have it, they did it in a very clever and organized way. And they did it mostly with simple visuals and well crafted ad copy. I think your site could benefit from being simplified and more focused.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    Great post Gary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    Once again,

    Thanks to all... always much to learn....

    Cliff
    "Progress Not Perfection"

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Would Love Some Opinions On This Response I Recieved On Another Forum

    I hope my criticism is helpful. I know I unloaded both barrels.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






 

 

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