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Thread: Thorough criticism needed please!
      
   

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91

    Default Thorough criticism needed please!

    Hello everyone!

    I've recently reworked my site and after I'd republished it all I realised that
    most people were seeing really untidy text mainly the subheadings. I know this was because I used a combination of non-websafe fonts. After several attempts to fix it I've reverted back to a standard font in italics - not the atmosphere I wanted to convey but better than seeing rubbish.

    Now having started to re do it all I'm conscious that the site still isn't working for me as I would like and would like to throw it open for impartial comments.

    I'm mainly concerned about SEO as we're not getting found - the best I've found is 7th pg on google for " self catering cottages near sarlat". That brings up the home page but other than that, zippo, searching both web & images. There's only so many combinations of holiday,cottage,france and in an extremely competitive market I don't know how we can compete ( or if I'm doing it right!)

    Also any thoughts on first impressions,navigation,things I could add, should take out, anything in fact would be gratefully taken on board.

    I'm reworking the site as I write so some pages will still have obscure text.

    Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks for taking the time to read it.

    Elena
    www.lescrouquets.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    X marks the spot
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    8,332

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Well..one thing that really annoys me is that each and every one of your pages is a different template.. no continuity.. i have to LOOK for navigation on each one so it rather looks like a GROUP of sites.

    Your pages dont appear to be linked anywhere besides your menu, which the se cant read... so you need good text linking..

    Your about us page from the index doesnt have a link.

    I would rather see some page continuity...

    Karen

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    91

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Hi Karen!
    Thank you for the feedback.

    I actually quite like the fact that the main heading (Domaine des Crouquets) stays the same but the colour and subheading change from page to page - I feel it keeps each page individual but still maintains the connection between the pages. In fact several people have commented that they liked that. Whether it's technically wrong to do that though is another thing altogether.

    I know the homepage is a different style completely apart from the main heading - I had originally wanted to have a sort of entry/intro page so I could have a large photo to stand out a bit, but knew that I needed to have some text and information on it so people could see what we were offering at a glance as well as for the SEs, so now it's ended up somewhere in the middle of what I had before and what I'd intended to have. So far it hasn't proved to be better than before but neither has it been detrimental but maybe a bit early to tell.

    The navigation bar .... well, I admit I wasn't sure about it. It is basically the same on each page except the page you are on doesn't show. Apart from that, the order doesn't change from page to page. I was short of space and didn't want to have a vertical nav bar. I tried drop down menus but couldn't find a style which complemented the site. I had also thought about taking out the home button which goes to the entry page and replacing the small photo on the top RHS with the entry photo which you could click on to get back to that page. Then the nav bar would be the same throughout. I was actually working on a version of that and then didn't go with it.
    Do you think this would work better?

    Sorry, Karen ,if I appear to be missing something obvious, but what do you mean when you say my pages aren't linking to anything except the menu bar? What else am I supposed to do with them?

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

    Elena
    www.lescrouquets.net

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Warwickshire, UK
    Posts
    4,539

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    You have put a lot of work in and to be honest it isn't bad... but I have to agree with Karen, having the style of the home page then completely change (not just colour) is a bit strange and unexpected.
    Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Hi Elena,

    First of all I have to bow down to you. Your website is layed out great and it looks great (like it was done by a real professional). I like the fact that the look of every page changes too but the same thing like Marin and Karen said, there are a lot of valuable information but I have to look for everything again when I get to that page (what are the links in that page as they have changed). The other thing is that I found myself going back to the home page several times to see what are the other links you have in that page deterring me from looking at all the other links on the current page I am in. Can you have the links on the home page also in the other pages so that you don't have to click back everytime to see what other information i didnt see yet in the home page?

    Hope that helps a little bit... and thank you also for reviewing my site.

    Ricky

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Get as many links from agro and eco tourism sites as possible and you
    will quickly see your traffic expanding. We have not done any paid advertising but have found there are many organizations, including
    government run ones, that are anxious to spotlight beautiful places like yours!

    Good luck,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    2,317

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Looks good. Changing the colors is not that bad with reference to pages looking different and I can be ok with that. However, a pet peeve of mine
    is uniformity when changing from one page to another. When you set the header it jumps just a little from page to page and sometimes a lot. This can be corrected by using the copy and paste buttons at the top of the builder. Using those copies and pastes in the exact same location from page to page.

    Or you could us the php method used by many here.

    Along these same lines is uniformity of menu. If the menu bar changes it is distracting.

    Aside from that- looks good.

    I mention these small things as they are really a guiding principle in top professional sites. Take a look for yourself when cruising the net.

    Cheers-
    Andy
    PHP- is a blast!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply!

    All points taken on board and I'm re -working the site as I write. No doubt I'll be back to get feedback on the final result.

    Thanks again!
    Elena
    www.lescrouquets.net

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!- Site now redone!

    Thanks everyone for the previous replies.

    I've now redone the site and would be grateful for any more constructive criticism or general thoughts before I start the French one.

    Karen Mac - if you're around, what did you mean that my pages aren't linked anywhere except the menu bar? I've searched the forum for answers but can't seem to find anything. Hope you can help!

    Thanks again.
    Elena
    www.lescrouquets.net

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bristol UK
    Posts
    1,750

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Hi Elena, I don't know if you've made changes since you first posted it but I think it looks really good and you've obviously put a lot of effort in.

    Couple of things that stuck out are

    1) Les Crouquets - don't quite fit the button

    2) When you flick from page to page the header elements (and sometimes the white background layer) jumps around a little. You can get exact positioning for all elements using the x & y co-ordinates.

    All the best

    Darren
    Happy Building

    DarrenC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Thanks Darren!

    I know "Les Crouquets" doesn't fit the button and it doesn't look particularly neat. I can't make the buttons any smaller and the 8 pt font is just too small to read, so don't know what else I can do.
    Our place is also known as Le Crouquet which does fit in but I wasn't sure if this would confuse people as nearly all of our marketing is in the plural version.

    Andy also mentioned the header jumping about - I have tried my best to align them on every page but visually it's hard to get it exactly right. Is there a way to physically enter the x & y co-ordinates to get it spot on?

    Thanks again!
    Elena
    www.lescrouquets.net

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    I really like the site, its professional and full of information. I found it easy to navigate. My only criticism would be your photos page. I think you would have been better to use the lightbox or something to make flicking through your images easier.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,317

    Default Re: Thorough criticism needed please!

    Looks great! Nice Job.

    Andy
    PHP- is a blast!

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