Free Web Consultation

I have had numerous requests for review of sites in order to give suggestions for improvement. Thus I decided to create a page specific for it.

If you have a specific question about your blog or site involving the design and/or traffic/ranking of it, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here and I will try to do my best to answer it, time permitted that is.

Only requirement is that I get to publicize the comments here for everyone to see and benefit from later on.

Category: 

42 Comments

Alex thanks for the contact.

Its an interesting project you have started there.

A few things about usability:

1. It would be nice to have sub-tabs inside
"component inspector" such as: color, font, shadow etc. this way the user does not have to use the vertical scroll

2. component inspector is better to be named "visual editor"

3. what do you do with the XML
I mean how do you get that menu runninc on your site.
Its not explained anywhere ???

4. Overall site design is nice but its too dark. I would make it a little more PLAYFUL (bright colors)

5. "know more" link does not go anywhere

6. "upgrade" link is misleading
better use "support" or "contact us"

7. site menu has very small font

8. The actual "flash menu creator" one needs to scroll to see it (not very pleasant)

Take a look at the screen shot to see what I mean

Take a look at another builder/creator similar to yours that is VERY WELL PRESENTED
http://quickribbon.com/

Notice also the simplicity and colors

9. I still did not figure out how one could use you menu on their own site ?? make it very clear.
Number the steps almost like this 1. visual designer - 2. item editor - 3. grab XML - 4. install

10. the help on the right column is counterintuitive. I would suggest to actual get rid of it or put help next to EACH ITEM (hover help maybe)

11. should you continue to develop it ? I don't know what you are trying to accomplish with this ? Is there a demand for something like this ? Find a flash developers community and ask them what they think about the tool. (I am not a flash developer) Lets talk more about this on email ...

Hello!

I’m a reader of your blog and I’m really fond of one.
I understand that you know much about webdesign and usability. I have created a
service which makes it possible to produce your own flash menu: http://flash-menu.net .

Of course there’re planty of desktop application but my service works online.
I’ve spent about one year on programming of this service and not so many people used it:(, although I have never advertised one.

Probobly you could advise if design of this site looks fine?
If speaking about usability, is everything in order or not?
How do you think, will this service be in use and do I need to continue developing it?

Thank you for your attention,
Alex

Hi GiorgosK,

It is very kind of you to offer this. I have a website at http://wcfm.info which is mostly of local interest. Visitors I have spoken to from time to time have mentioned having trouble finding what they need, but have been unable to offer specific feedback. I will not discount the possibility that the info they want is not yet on the site, and I intend to make my blog more findable and hopefully deal with some of that. It would be great if you could take a look and let me know if anything could be improved. Thanks so much!

I don't understand why you are asking for my advice since you already have an SEO COnsultant linked from your "lists/views/produce" page but anyway ...

There is some things that I don't approve of on the design - like the 200px border-left of the main in order to achieve a spacing from the sidebar !!!! it kind of shows a rather amatur approach to web design ... but since its works why change it

But that was only to mention that the design speaks a little on its own without digging in the coding of it.

Left side does not have an equal border (green) like the right side has ?? and in the end it does not achieve a distinction between background color and content color.

The right hand menu is kind of unorthodox and "hostile" if you ask me, I would use a horizontal menu instead and put it on the bottom of the header section.
you can find lots of examples at listmatic
http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic/

I see you are using drupal as the underlying CMS you could use this module and make your menu very convinient for the user
http://drupal.org/project/nice_menus

I would also create boxes around the left hand sections in order to group them and make the easier to understand.

Hope this helps

Wow thanks!
Surely you understand that SEO!=usability. :)
I will study your recommendations and work on making things better. Not sure about the nice menus as I browse without JS and am sensitive to that, but a horizontal menu could work anyway.
Thanks for looking at it so quickly!

Well,
SEO is a term loosely used to mean improving visitors experience and conversion. Even with the strict meaning of SEO (Search engine optimisation) bounce rates need to improve in order to achieve better rankings

http://geoland.org/2008/02/content-is-king-after-all/

thus layout, structure and a little usability need to be taken into consideration when giving SEO suggestions, at least in my mind.

Of course you can argue against it but I am only trying to justify my original claim.

Hi!

I like many others have been reading your blog for a while and am very interested to hear what you think of a site I have been developing for a few months now. It has all been written from the ground up so no CMS limitations etc. But anyway take a look and see what you think!

Nick, thanks for stopping by,
I don't really know who reading my articles but I am glad to have met some of you.

You site looks professional enough but,

to be take it a step further I would blend the google ads to make it even more professional looking.

and I would seperate the site's mission (top 2 lines) from the update/newsletter section

with the means of different background color probably.

and I would also give the submit some more spacing from "request a brochure"

On the tours by destination the search is refined as you pick things from the drop down menus therefore the "refine search" button is not only unecessary it actually leads to a blank page if pressed. I think you should make sure if javascript is enabled not to show it ...

Sitemap link leads to blank page

General comment: get even more deals on the search and then you can reconsider your layout and site functionality.

Hey man,

I just want to say that this post is perhaps the most content laden one on your site right now. I appreciate not the length of your post but the honest help and opinion you provide. I hope you do not tire in giving advice to those who need it.

Google mentioned value to visitors as one of the things bloggers should consider when writing posts on their blogs. What you have in this post is just that. Value.

Keep it up man. I know a lot of people appreciate it.

Hello. I actually has a several questions that I couldn't really find it from googling.

1. How does alexa work? I know the rank is implemented for the whole root, sub, folder, page, all at one. It determined the score from the Hit right? But is it only the hit to the root domain that counts? What if a visitor hit my rootdomain.com/page1

I think alexa mainly focuses on your main home page. They seem to update a bit slowly tho

I'd appreciate a critique of my website. Just tell me anything that comes out at you as being bad/unusable/etc.

Max
Thanks for stopping by.

The blog seems messed up in IE6
You COULD fix it though very simply

style.css (line 951)
#sidebar_top {
width:376px;
}
EDIT: maybe its not that simple
Someone has messed up with the theme
it will also need to play with the width of the 2 columns
(but it gets complicated to debug online)

style.css (line 989)
.lsidebar {
width:166px;
}

style.css (line 1107)
.rsidebar {
width:200px;
}

In general the theme looks OK, it has some good elements in it but there is some details that needed more attention.

Examples
I'd put #outer{margin:0px auto 1px;}
to eliminate margin on top

I don't particularly like the background of the comments.

The content seems nice also, fresh updated everyday as it should, only if I could update my content so often.

Thus your blog probably accomplishes what it was made for, to give valuable info and to get repeat visits

I do like your writing style a lot and I would welcome any guest post from you.

If you need comments on something in particular just let me know.

wow..nice looking,
i'd say focus on content.
otherwise looks good
=)

Hello GiorgosK,

will i was reading your blog i came up to that post. was interested to get a review from someone abut our new lifestream service.

So we whould appriciate a review and some comments.

The web site url is http://www.myfeed.gr

Hi GiorgosK,
First, I wan't to apologize because of my bad english.

Recently I build a new site : article89.com
It's an article directory where authors can submit their article for free.
I don't know how to promote this site since I don't have any good idea for it.
I also want to ask if my website structure is already SEO optimized.

thank you.

SU witno

I think you should find places with article writers that want to post them to article directories.

What better place then to put your link on OTHER article forums with link exchanges perhaps. You can probably find other article directory owners at webmaster forums

As far as I can see your structure does have a basic SEO optimization.

Hey where is my answer goerge? Nothing for us :$

Sorry Basili
I thought I did write something up for you. Guess I did not.

A few things strike immediately when you enter the page ...

the big fonts are TOO big compared to the regular fonts ... its distracting.

I would use
style.css (line 6)
#teaser h2 {
font-size:1.7em;
}

The LOGO is WAY TOO big for my taste too ...
I would make its width around 350px

Also the "floor reflection" is too much also
I would make less apparent ...

On the same page you are mixing English and Greek Language, you should stick to one ...

The links in the right side box being black is distracting I would use some lighter color ...

style.css (line 57)
#teaser .container a {
color:#EEEEEE;
}

I would make the node border 1px

style.css (line 94)
#main div.node {
border-left:1px solid #D3D3D3;
border-top:1px solid #D3D3D3;

of course you have to change the graphic to have 1px border

I would make the padding of the input forms smaller

style.css (line 208)
input.form-submit {
padding:2px 6px;
}

Other then those details, I think the site looks nice ... I did not have time to try it though ...

On the plus side is also your usage of Drupal

Cool I idea would be good to have closed group of SEO people sharing ideas

Hello GiorgosK!
Our Condominiums and Touristic Complex GOLDCITY is looking for a person high skilled in website design, SEO and Promotion. We are interested in expansion into the international real-estate and tourism commodity market. Selling the residential property and services of our Complex we concluded that our website design is not responding with our Company's aims. Because of this reason we'd ask You to look trough our website http://www.goldcity.com.tr . And it would be kind of You to send us the offer on its redesign, SEO and promotion with the fee you'd expected.
Best regards,
Denis
GOLDCITY Office

Denis
Thanks for stopping by
I will contact you by email about the prospect of your site's redesign

u have written a very good article.i appriciate the work u have done in this.if u need more information on this article and other subjects u must visit dreamworldtech.com.it is a fabulous site

Hi
I have been hanging around this site for at least 6 months and I am always very interested in what you have to say...
I would love you to look at my site, keeping in mind that I have built it with Frontpage, in an attempt to learn html for myself.. I did not plan the layout or the structure of the folders and I wish that I could go back and change the organisation but there are so many pages linking to others...If I move them, it will take me forever to fix broken links...
I would still love some input as you never know, I might find the time to remodel as the site is getting more and more traffic everyday.
The site is really up there for alot of keywords, mostly in the 1-10 results, so something is working...I suspect that is due to the content and not layout or design!

I have a hyperthetical.
P1=Page1
P2=Page2
P1 contains 2 identical links to P2:
a link in the navegation bar, and a link in the content.

Just say my anchortext for P2 is “Peachâ€

is it worth nofollowing either of those links?
if i do then im guessing that im distributing link juice more efficiently across my site.
if i dont, then that means P2 has 1 less inlink with the anchortext “Peachâ€, which is surely detrimental to my efforts to rank highly for the term “Peachâ€

am i making sense?

ostbi
What you want to do makes sense but I don't think it works as you describe

If you do as you say you might actually be confusing the bots since ON ONE PAGE you give it the same link as a nofollow and a dofollow !!! Which one has more weight ?? I guess a nofollow takes precedence and you might be creating trouble instead of helping google bots.

But only google engineers know what will happen ...

What some SEO experts are proposing is the use of nofollow to internal pages that don't have valuable content in order for google bots to focus on the IMPORTANT pages of our site ...

you can see such example at SEO smarty's blog if you take a look at the links for "advertise here" on the right side its a nofollow link since it only leads to a CONTACT US page with no content

Hope it helps

AS we followed most of your comments for myfeed.gr i will now ask for some more consulting at my website called, jailbait.gr

WHat i really need to know is the opinion for the template. It has pagerank 3 around 500 backlinks and alexa rank around 600.000 (though, i start doupt about alexa...)

Anyway i whould love to check your opinion once again Giorgos :)

Basilaki

The template looks realy nice

The only change I would make is improve the hover of the TOP menu (HOME GALLERY VIDEOS ABOUT)

When the mouse hovers over them the rest of the menu moves to the right with unpleasant "jumping" once in a while.

Hi
I'm new to your blog and very much enjoy you postings and over views of clients sites .
We are a new site and just starting out . Ifr you have time could you give us some thoughts on our site . The site was designed for us and if there is any problems I would like to know now before we market the heck out of it . I look forward to your thoughts .
Ron Thompson
Ernest and Lee Gifts

Ron
thanks for stopping by,

your site looks good stylistically

But, If you are SERIOUS about this business
URLs like this
index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=5

should not exist in your site

They have in them lots of variables, =s, &s etc

Those are not only search engine unfriendly

but also appall most people that see them
(I personally don't consider sites with this kind of URLs to be serious)

There are ready made solutions even for the system that your site is built on (Joomla)

Tell your web developer to install for your system something that make the urls
"Search Engine Friendly" (SEF)

Look here for solutions
http://extensions.joomla.org/component/option,com_mtree/task,listcats/ca...

Thanks I have forwarded your reply . Our site was programed by a leading wed design compasny . Why would they have used this programing if it was not SEF Is this some thing that happens to many web sites ? Do you have any other suggestions to make us more SEF
Thanks
Ron T

Giorgos

I have just come across your site via a comment you made on WebProNews. It appears to contain a lot of useful information and I have bookmarked it.

Would you mind having a look at my website, www.myoquip.com.au? I would be grateful for any criticism or comments.

My company manufactures equipment that is unique in its industry, so our first objective is to build awareness of these products. We are also trying to build an image as an authority site, which is why the side bar contains the titles of recent articles. These are also published on our blogsite. http://myoquip.blogspot.com. We also have what I term a Refertory section, basically a directory of links to articles that might be relevant to people who are potential customers.

Obviously the main objective is to stimulate enquiries that lead to sales.

In the immediate future I propose to have short videos of our machines being used and testimonials from high profile users.

Regards
Bruce Ross

Bruce
thanks for stopping by

Your site looks OK but mostly it looks old ....
I think it could use some sort of facelift

No matter what the industry a nicely laid out and modern site can win a customer to stay a little bit more and read a little bit more and maybe finally inquire about your services/products.

If the site has given you some customers invest some of that money back to its design and maybe marketing

(I can't give you specific suggestions as I think it needs a general facelift)

Take a look at your bounce rates in your google analytics account, a bounce rate of more than 60% is very bad for a site and it probably means that the design does not appeal to them ...

IMHO all future developments of the site should be considered together with a nice design ...

Hi GiorgosK
I have just found your site and am hooked...I have a web site business at www.Flooddefenders.com and i am trying to get it up the rankings, but all the web guys i speak to are not coming up with any solutions...wondered if you can help...happy christmas

Chris thanks for stopping by,

The site looks good and it seems to have all the ONSITE optimization right

I would the important links one more time on the footer (its not critical though)

As for optimizing your site from the outside in you need to build links to it

I would focus more on phrases such as "flood protection" and "flood control" and "flood defences" instead of "flood defence" since they have more searches per month according to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordTool

Try this simple techniques http://geoland.org/2007/10/free-link-building-techniques/ or have a professional do them for you ...

hi, I have recently changed my blog, and I'd like to know if you could stop by and give me some feedback about your impressions, I constantly visit your blog and it will be great if you could help me to make it better.

Juan your site looks very professional but there is some details that I don't approve

I would change the background which looks a bit dull even a color like your menu color would look better in my opinion

#wrapper, body {
background:#F55787 ;
}

I would give each post some color

style.css ( line 240)
.post {
background:#F6F6F6;
}

And maybe even change the title of each post since I don't like curved corners that much
style.css (line 244)
.post .title {
background:#EEEEEE;
border:1px solid #E3E3E3;
}

just make sure you preserve the DATE icon which is part of the post title

hi GiorgosK thanks for your suggestions, they're really good, in fact I've talked with the group to make those improvements.

Better to be open minded to enhance or improved your knowledge specially on internet, people do comment a lot just balance this comments or talk to a web designer..