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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Manly, Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    27

    Default 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Hi all,
    My partner (who is a graphic designer but never did websites until recently) recently updated my 2 business websites - a metalwork business and a wellness coaching business. We've pretty much self taught ourselves to use Xara Web Designer Premium and these sites were updated using V16. (but really wish Xara would have a fee based phone support service to save us the learning curve)

    https://www.reversediabetes.com.au/index.htm

    https://www.jbwroughtiron.com.au/

    A couple of challenges working with Xara that we think we have found solutions to (but always open to ideas from those with more experience). The main one is how to create a blog.

    The ironwork website has a blog page https://www.jbwroughtiron.com.au/blo...ought-iron.htm that is just one article after another down the page. We will get around to changing it though for 2 reasons - it is not SEO friendly as search engines don't like 10 different topics on 1 page and as we add articles , it will get too long and not user friendly.

    we think we have a much better solution on the wellness coaching site blog page https://www.reversediabetes.com.au/blog.htm On this site, the blog headline links to a new page, which is much better for SEO. And scrolling down through just headlines is much easier for the users. (we tried a back-end feed in from a Wordpress blog before but think this solution will be best)

    We're very keen to hear from anyone who thinks they have a better way of having a blog page while working in XWD.

    The other issue we think we have decided on (just for the wellness coaching site) but still open to ideas on, is to not have sub menu pages appearing on nav bars and instead have clickable links in the page, so users who just want to quickly scan a page about a topic can do that but also click on links on the page if they want to read more in-depth info on a topic. (We used to try and have huge amounts of content on a page but the feedback was no-one will read it) The clickable links would open a new page, like the blog page does now, which again allows for tightly focused keywords, theoretically being better for SEO, which is the main reason we are wanting blogs.

    Look forward to any comments generally but on these 2 issues in particular.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    37,884

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Very nice work.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

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






  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Both sites come across as being very well put together and are visually pleasing. I purposely just flicked around instead of reading the content to see what I instinctively clicked rather than be lead around and found the sites easy to navigate.

    If I had to nit pick...and I do...here are my hair splitting, personal opinion, subjective blah blah blah:
    Reversing Diabetes - the Facebook icon doesn't match the look of the site. There are plenty of FB icons that would match with the round company logo and the 'Top Of Page' link. I even think Xara has one in the Content Catalogue.
    RD - the drop down menu under About Us needs to be sternly stared at. It's an obvious Xara Navbar from the early 2K era and doesn't match anything else on the site.
    RD - on the Causes Of Diabetes you have a social media bar on the left. It either needs repeating on all pages or removing. It looks odd just being on one page.

    Wrought Iron - on the Products page I would like to see the sub menu bar on the main page as it appears on the individual product pages. My reaction was to click the photos to make them bigger, not as a link. I then used the sub menu bar to hop to your other products. Going back to the main Products page had me wondering where the sub menu bar had gone to. Not a huge deal as it only took a split second to work it out, but it's worth mentioning.
    WI - On the Design page you have a totally different heading format to the other pages.

    Both sites - really, really subjective here. The body text font...slightly too big??? This is like saying 'how hot do you want you curry', very much personal taste.

    Sorry I can't help out with the blog side of your question, but I have seen references to Nabble in an iframe on several occasions here on TG.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Would be worth another look at your mobile variant for https://www.reversediabetes.com.au/. On my mobile the NavBar submenu exceeds the page width and the top of page button is only half visible.

    Maybe it would look better with a solid background on your menu layer? you could group all the social icons together on this layer too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Xara's standard Navbar submenu is a bit primitive, but from a user navigation perspective maybe retain links to all pages? As you only have a submenu on the About tab, you could use a standard NavBar for your submenu navigation too.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RD Desktop Menu.jpg 
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    The same principle could apply to a mobile variant, although I prefer a separate inclusive mobile menu page for ease of navigation.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	126033

    Hopefully some help here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,304

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    I think the first site - the diabetes cure - is nicely done ( I hate these kind of sites, but I'll set that aside ).

    My suggestion on both these sites is not to have a pure white background. Why not? because the contrast is very high and it makes it slightly uncomfortable to read. Go for an off-white background to knock back the contrast. A lot of websites have 'white' backgrounds that aren't pure white.

    Your site is slow to load. I think you have some big images.

    The second site.

    I kind of despair at the way that what should be a celebration of the skill in making wrought iron work has been reduced to a waterfall of text and small pictures. I absolutely hate the home page it should emphasize in pictures the design and work quality. Make people believe in the quality of the work to want to have these people work for them. Instead what we have in the hero position is "10 year guarantee".

    I hate what you've done on the second site. The sea of text is badly laid out and hard to read. Way too much text and content. What should have been a celebration of the skills of those guys has been sacrificed for a load of text to satisfy SEO bots.

    I'd like to see a lot less text, a lot less content - there's far too much. Show what they do. Show clients are happy. Explain why they can do a great job for the visitor. Nobody wants to read the amount of text and content that you have. Big pictures, focussed text. Less will be more.

    Client: I need some ironwork, these guys look good, I'll contact them. I'm not interested in their life story.

    Big thumbs-down on that second site. Sorry.

    I would have sent these comments privately but it's not possible. I know a lot of people will think my evaluation is nonsense, but that's fine.

    Paul

    These sites aren't perfect but showcase the client better. There is a low bar for these sites, it seems.

    https://wroughtirondevon.co.uk/bespo...ght-iron-work/

    http://www.dcblacksmiths.co.uk/home

    https://www.ironcraft.co.uk/products...poke-ironwork/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Here's where subjectivity comes into play. I agree with Paul about more pictures and less text, I clicked the photos expecting them to enlarge for example.

    However, as a customer, the 10 year guarantee would be important, maybe not the main feature, but still high on the list.

    And those example sites? The first 2 are very old hat in design and the last one is a mess of animated glitz and template blocks.

    Lastly. Please post your views when they've been asked for and not PM them. I, for one, learn how people react to different layouts from the comments.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,304

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
    Here's where subjectivity comes into play. I agree with Paul about more pictures and less text, I clicked the photos expecting them to enlarge for example.

    However, as a customer, the 10 year guarantee would be important, maybe not the main feature, but still high on the list.
    Yes, the 10 year guarantee is important, but not as the first thing you see.

    And those example sites? The first 2 are very old hat in design and the last one is a mess of animated glitz and template blocks.
    Yes they aren't the best, but they are an indicator of the direction of travel for the OP. I think your comment about the last site is at odds with my perception. Less animation is good, for sure, but it has good pictures, less text.

    The goal is to get a phone call or email from a customer.

    Lastly. Please post your views when they've been asked for and not PM them. I, for one, learn how people react to different layouts from the comments.
    I can sometimes be less than diplomatic sometimes and rub people up the wrong way, so in this case I would have preferred to have sent my site 2 comment privately. I actually toned down some of what I originally planned to post.

    I agree public discussion is better than private posts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Manly, Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Appreciate the comments - we haven't done any work recently on the mobile variant but intend to once main variant is finalised.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Manly, Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Quote Originally Posted by pauland View Post
    I think the first site - the diabetes cure - is nicely done ( I hate these kind of sites, but I'll set that aside ).

    My suggestion on both these sites is not to have a pure white background. Why not? because the contrast is very high and it makes it slightly uncomfortable to read. Go for an off-white background to knock back the contrast. A lot of websites have 'white' backgrounds that aren't pure white.

    Your site is slow to load. I think you have some big images.

    The second site.

    I kind of despair at the way that what should be a celebration of the skill in making wrought iron work has been reduced to a waterfall of text and small pictures. I absolutely hate the home page it should emphasize in pictures the design and work quality. Make people believe in the quality of the work to want to have these people work for them. Instead what we have in the hero position is "10 year guarantee".

    I hate what you've done on the second site. The sea of text is badly laid out and hard to read. Way too much text and content. What should have been a celebration of the skills of those guys has been sacrificed for a load of text to satisfy SEO bots.

    I'd like to see a lot less text, a lot less content - there's far too much. Show what they do. Show clients are happy. Explain why they can do a great job for the visitor. Nobody wants to read the amount of text and content that you have. Big pictures, focussed text. Less will be more.

    Client: I need some ironwork, these guys look good, I'll contact them. I'm not interested in their life story.

    Big thumbs-down on that second site. Sorry.

    I would have sent these comments privately but it's not possible. I know a lot of people will think my evaluation is nonsense, but that's fine.

    Paul

    These sites aren't perfect but showcase the client better. There is a low bar for these sites, it seems.

    https://wroughtirondevon.co.uk/bespo...ght-iron-work/

    http://www.dcblacksmiths.co.uk/home

    https://www.ironcraft.co.uk/products...poke-ironwork/

    Thanks for the feedback - definitely will take onboard these comments -especially the pure white background.

    maybe a couple of points to make on the comments - in regard to the ironwork site - whatever we are doing it sure works well from an SEO point - we turn away about 70% of the leads it generates because it generates so much business and we consistently get comments from new customers saying how the appearance and content of the site were what made them contact us and not our competitors.

    loading time- again never mentioned and various SEO tools rank it very well on that score. so not sure why slow loading is being encountered. we still need to do alt text on most images but most are optimised -doing that will further improve SEO

    In regard to amount of text and content - this site ranks through the roof, so we wont change a formula that seems to be working so well. At the end of the day it's how much business it generates that matters.

    Even though the diabetes site gets favourable comments on appearance, it ranks badly and we plan to add a lot of content in a way that still allows quick reading / skimming but has links to more in depth info for those who want it and to boost rankings.

    Appreciate you taking the time to look over and comment Paul.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: 2 Recently updated websites- looking for comments

    Using 'wrought iron gates manly nsw' as search criteria:

    DuckDuck - Ranked 6th - Contact page
    Google - Ranked 4th - Advisory Services page
    Dogpile - Ranked 1st and 2nd - Home page and Contact page
    Yahoo - Ranked 8th - Contact page

    Page loading isn't an issue for me.
    Last edited by Chris M; 03 January 2020 at 08:29 AM. Reason: missed nsw

 

 

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