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  1. #1
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    Hi, please have a look at my new website for a pet shop which I own. Ultimately I would like to be able to sell items online from it but I don't know how to do that yet. Thanks in advance for your comments.

    Phil

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  3. #2
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    10406
    Well, first let me say that it appears you do have a nice shop.
    As for the web "design", it certainly doesn't do your shop justice. If anything, it makes your business look more unprofessional.

    I could have a whole list of what is wrong with this site. Starting from not having a proper domain name, to the animated graphics, to the background, to the layout, content, photos, etc..............you name it, it probably needs to be fixed.

    I guess I would just ask how serious you are in developing a site and what direction you would like to be able to offer some advice.
    If you plan on selling from the site, you do have a lot of work ahead of you to get to that point.
    You need to look at the site in terms of credibility. Go to other pet store websites in your area and get ideas from them. Look at the sites and then look at yours and ask yourself who you would rather do business with.
    It won't matter if you are the best pet shop in all of England, it will be the potential customers perception that yours isn't (based on your website).

    Post some more if you are interested in finding some direction and advice.

    Good luck.......
    GMan

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
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    I could have a whole list of what is wrong with this site.
    You're better than I ....couldn't find a way to estimate all the things wrong with the site. The sheer number of categories for each list of problems boggles the mind.

    In other words, it is wrong on so many levels: Code, Layout, Aesthetics, Information Design and Information Architecture, Business Effectiveness and minimum best practices, Usability, Copywriting, Competitive Advantage, Readability and basic communication, UX, etc, etc, etc...

    It doesn't only make just about every mistake in the book ...it makes all the mistakes in every book.

    The only direction at this point is either 1) buy a lot (a whole lot) of different books on everything from basic business, writing, web coding and web design , or 2) Hire a multifaceted web designer who can start by explaining what a web site is for and the rudiments of user psychology and design

    Just learning HTML and CSS and Design is merely putting a cosmetic coverup on deeper problems of business strategy and basic merchandising realities.

    You'll probably save money hiring someone. However, you'll want to hire someone who is willing (and able) to get you up to speed on all the dimensions of business and web design. Otherwise you're probably looking at a three year (minimum) learning curve.

    To somewhat put yourself on the outside looking at your own site from the user's shoes, go to a few mediocre sites and a couple very well put together sites ...then visit your own site. It just doesn't come up to bare minimum adequacy.

    Other than write an encyclopedic post, there is really nothing else to say. I'm not being nearly as blunt or as impolitic as it seems in this post. This is the nice version that still manages to be informative and useful.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hatfield, England
    Posts
    855
    Member #
    9790
    I look at your site, despite the nice photo's I get the feeling you are running this shop part time out of the back of your garage. I would recommend you take this site down.

    1) Work out what you want this site for and what it should do.

    2) Get a proper domain name, if you are a shop and not a chain then get a regional domain. i.e. .co.uk ( .co.uk is around 2-4 a year to register). You will also require a webhost, as you are not selling goods you can get the most basic of packages for around 2.99 a month.

    3) This is where your real options begin.
    - Hire a designer
    - Buy a template
    - The old fashioned way. (buy a few books on the following topics. HTML/CSS/Design and make it yourself.)

    The first way is generally expensive. Templates can go for about 50 so is cheaper. However you still require knowledge of coding and graphics so you can customize it. Old fashioned way is time consuming, however can be very rewarding.

    On a sub note, i usually get bored over christmas and am spending most of the time traveling to various far off relatives. If you want i'll convert the site you have into a better coded more professional looking site for 50. It will give me something to do in the car

  6. #5
    Senior Member -chris-'s Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Location
    SK
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    13102
    I have to agree with all that has been posted. You should post on the "Request A Service" board to see what members here are available to help you out.
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    Was my post, or someone elses, helpful? Click the thumbs up to let everyone know!

  7. #6
    Senior Member solidgold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    i think that continuing to improve it yourself could be a worthwhile thing to do, rather than getting somebody else to do it (christ im not doing the industry any favours here...) because it could end up being really expensive.

    If i was you, i'd get a few books on HTML (or XHTML for the time being) and CSS, which could be useful, but for a start you could use a tutorial site like
    http://joe2torials.com which offers some interesting reading.

    @DC856 - 3 years? thats a bit much isn't it? i've only been desiging websites for two...

    Have a look at http://webcreme.com for some of the industries best in terms of what you're aiming for.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    488
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    One year for getting the HTML and CSS up to snuff. One more year for figuring out it takes more than HTML and CSS and starting in on SEO. One more for coming to the belated realization it takes more than all that and figure out it's about business -- which leads you back to changing the HTML, CSS and SEO.

    Technically, it could happen a lot faster. Realistically it doesn't. ...All the kicking a screaming coming to the realization is what takes most of the time.


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