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Got time for a site critique?

PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Joined: 13 Feb 12
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Got time for a site critique?

Hi All,

I'm putting the finishing touches on "Phase 1" of my new blog to market my new "Visual Marketing Online" ebook and would greatly appreciate any feedback you could give.

Would be happy to critique your site in return.

It's mostly done. The buy button is not set up for ClickBank yet and no resources/tools for affiliates yet. And the freebie I intend to give mail list sign ups is yet to be created and expressed in the signup box.

'Visual Marketing Online' site

Thanks All!
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mark schaaf
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I like the fact that you are using a bigger font. I have a difficult time reading most web pages and is the reason why I use a bigger font as well. Other then that I think the home page looks nice and clean without being cluttered. Mark
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Mark
 
PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Thanks for the interesting feedback Mark!

I think I'm getting larger fonts these days by choosing WordPress themes which have been setup to work on both desktop and mobile devices. Mobile needs bigger typefaces.

Actually, on this theme I had to do considerable CSS sheet edits because the title fonts and such were HUGE.

But I like the simplicity and minimalist qualities of this theme - and since it's based on my favorite combo (WordPress + StudioPress "Genesis Framework" + Genesis child theme + favorite plugins) I get a lot of flexibility, control and good SEO. Hope I can make it cleaner and more minimal as I work on it more.

Any one else please?

Cheers!
_jim coe
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Site Admin
maryt
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Hello Jimcoe,

Here are my comments:
- I do not know if it is just me, put the alignment of your text seems awkward and "unclean".
- Are all your texts the same? If not, try to perhaps do one text to all and see which version looks better.
- http://www.well-made-webs.com/visual-ma ... ng-ebook/- I love the big letters, but this page here is too long that the "buy" form at the bottom is left unnoticed (I did not even know it's there unless I go way down the page). Additionally, since the left column contains a lot of text, the bottom part of the right column has a lot of space. Maybe distributing the content in these two columns would work?
- the "Share" button should at least be visible. It is already located at the very bottom of the page, thus, you may want to make this one standout.

Like I said on the other thread, your niche is very intriguing and I think that it is a good material to read. Good luck!
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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Thanks Macdalangin,

You've confirmed my worry about the buy button being not only below the fold, but really buried below the long div list of ebook topics.

I think I'll try to move that vertical topics list div to the right and get the buy button box at least up to the top row of the topic box and to its left.

It's technically tricky because all of this is really in just 1 column (no 2nd column) and getting CSS inline layout code to behave in different browsers inside a WordPress column and with their editor seems tricky.

2 and 3 column pages are available in my theme, but would require PHP hacking to get the widths right for what I need - and I'm just now learning PHP coding. Also those hacks have to get redone every time the theme is updated (I think personal child themes are only for CSS).

May have to resort to an invisible table. And with no tables in the WordPress editor, I'll have to build it in Dreamweaver and then hack it into WordPress.

WordPress has improved their built-in editor over the years, but it's still a dog, compared to a real HTML editor. Frankly I really despise it - much as I like other aspects of WordPress. The way it messes with your code every time you update your page (and not even any line numbers) is lame. I do use the Genesis commercial framework on top of WordPress, which helps some.

Not sure what bothers you about the text. It is an unusual typeface, but I though I'd laid out the text pretty well.
Can you or anyone say more about the text please? (on the ebook sales page).

Anyway thanks so much for the help and excellent advice. I'm starting to feel that it does need to be better and it's good to get that confirmed.

Wonder what would happen if I just do the page correctly in Dreamweaver and try to drop it into an inline div in WordPress - rather than fighting that WordPress editor? Worth a try, I think.

Cheers!
_jim coe
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Site Admin
maryt
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No problem :)

I also find Genesis framework to work best on Wordpress and would recommend it for use to those looking for clean layout, hassle-free.

Good luck with your new site. I am excited to see the final output.

All the best!
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jimcoe
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Decided to see if there were any plugins supporting better WordPress editors than the default TinyMCE and I'm finding some interesting stuff. Will report back after more discoveries and some testing.

So far, there are a few advanced TinyMCE editors with table and CSS support plus other goodies.
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michellerana
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Google will be launching an important algorithm change in the next few days. They are rewarding high quality content sites so you should also work on the content of your pages. The articles on your pages need to be made a lot longer. 500+ words is what they need to be. This is to show visitors and search engines that your site is of value and that your articles have fully covered the topic. Also, keep the pages coming so you reach the magic number of 20. :) This again, improves your credibility.

Are you also sure that you want comments enabled on your posts? Moderating them can take up a lot of your time! And that time would be better spent on content creation.

All the best!
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Michelle
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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Thanks Michelle!
That's some valuable info!
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gradyp
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Maybe it's just me...

When I'm sitting up close and looking at the screen "normally", I can see the text in the "cover" just fine. But when I'm sitting back a bit, the tag line almost disappears into the background. Maybe I'm noticing that because it's the same color (or close to it) or maybe it's because the "white edge" around that text could be a little bigger. Then again, it could just be me. The main area I'm noticing this is right about the "V" (where the foot edge is in the background) and the "C" (where the knee edge is in the background). The back adn forth color variation is almost a little much for so tight an area, I think. Perhaps moving the title and tag line up to just above the knee/foot might help. Not a big deal, mind you. Just something I was noticing, since I happen to be leaning back a bit further away from the computer than normal at the moment.

Otherwise, I like the look of the site. Looking at the TOC, it might be another one I want to read when I have the time :D
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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Nope, not just you Grady, and good spotting!

I'd done a new version of my new cover, but hadn't had time to put it on the site yet. Here's the new version I'll be using:
Image.

Sometimes everything you can do with text effects is not enough to make the text 100% readable against the background image. Then you have to also make the background lighter.

Putting text over complex graphics is something I see done poorly on a lot of sites. I did a YouTube video on my method of doing that some time back: YouTube video on text over graphics.

Cheers!
_jim coe
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Site Admin
maryt
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Better! I like this version and nice resource you found on YouTube.
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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Thanks Macdalangin,

Yes, I think it is better.Hope I can keep improving things.

BTW, are you all aware of Tube Mogul.com for syndicating and distributing your YouTube videos? Things move fast on the Inet. Tube Mogul's distribution outfit is now OneLoad.com

Made a lot of improvements to my new site as well:
Visual Marketing Online

Just got my new product approval from ClickBank and am expecting to launch the ebook this Saturday - exciting!

Cheers!
_jim coe
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PremiumMember
gradyp
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Jim, that one looks a lot better! :D

I agree. It's one of the things that I have seen in so many sites, even some from Affilorama members. I try to point it out when I can.
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cecille.l
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Hi jimcoe,

Site is looking great and I can see you've made the recommended revisions. I like the site navigation and how everything is "neat and clean". I'm expecting more of an eye-catching header though. It is after all a site that deals with visual marketing, so having I think having an appropriate eye-catching header is a must.

My two cents. Have a great wekeend! :)
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Cecille


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jimcoe
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Thanks for that feedback Cecille!

That's an interesting comment. I was trying to do 3 things.
    1. Minimize the masthead and concentrate the visitor on the headline
    2. Make what masthead there is into one which would defeat "banner blindness" by an unusual look
    3. Make my portrait image into my biz logo (it's becoming my "brand")

Looks like time for a re-think.

I've noticed that since making the book cover background a lot lighter, the whole sales page looks very light - like a pastel drawing. It is looking cleaner and more professional, but not very strong visually. And like you say - that's the whole point.

I was always one of those who say, "Do it until you get it right!", lol. If you can't be brilliant straight away, beat it into submission by perverse persistence. No failures - just experiments to learn from... and like that.

Besides, this stuff is a lot of fun to do. Was telling someone the other day that if I wasn't getting paid for my "work" (for which I've substituted what I like to do so it's actually "play) I'd pay to do it!
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gradyp
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Hey, Jim, I don't think Banner Blindness affects the "masthead", it's more about the "ad" banners that used to be frequently found at the top of pages.
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jimcoe
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Well, my understanding is that "banner Blindness" isn't just about banners, but slops over into ignoring anything rectilinear in a landscape aspect ratio. In other words anything resembling the shape of a banner.

The "banner blindness brain filter" is not very discriminating. So, I like mastheads that are very wide (look less like banners and take up less important vertical real estate) Also, I see a lot of sites with no masthead nowadays - just a big title at the top. I like that too.

Would be fun to do a study of mastheads and find some really nice ones - maybe a good topic for a post to my new site.
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cecille.l
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I've noticed that since making the book cover background a lot lighter, the whole sales page looks very light - like a pastel drawing. It is looking cleaner and more professional, but not very strong visually. And like you say - that's the whole point.


I agree and wanted to say something about the cover of the eBook too but just can't quite articulate it. Like the header, it is missing that punch, that zing to it. I don't know if it's just me but it just isn't "visual" enough for me.

Have a good day!
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Cecille


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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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A new version:

Before:
Image

After:
Image

Better?
Worse?
Same?

Of course the full size versions look a bit better.

Thanks All!

Cheers!
_jim coe
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Site Admin
cecille.l
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I like the after version much better. The text seems to pop out of the cover, making it more visible to the viewer/reader.

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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