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  1. #1
    Junior Member TimR's Avatar
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    My main goal in working on this revamp of my dad's small business site was to try to optimize it for search engines, so that hopefully he gets more calls from locals who stumble across him online.

    So I read some books at the library and pretty much tried to model this on an example they gave. Of course I hope it also looks okay (I know it's very plain vanilla) and is functional. The pages with photos of old (1930s - 1960s) signs are kind of fun I think.

    Any critiques/comments?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Tim,

    I'd like to see you focus on details of the design more.

    Things such as headers not aligning with paragraphs, too many different colors, and a footer that is not aligned properly cause me to give it a thumbs down.

    As for your menu, I'm requiring you to re-locate it to the top, under the header -- no choice here . Make it span horizontally and use on-hover sub-menus. This will make navigation easy, visible, and it will fit.

    Finally, consider making your front page shorter and sweeter.

    For example:

    Need signs in Birmingham? We got ya.

    ? Road signs
    ? Billboards
    ? Store signs
    ? And much, much more!

    Everyday, 9 to 5.
    Call us: 808-111-2222

    -R

  4. #3
    Junior Member TimR's Avatar
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    Thanks RDesignista. The colors bug me too, maybe I'll play around with them a little more. Thankfully it's easy to change just the one CSS file.

    On the headers, you don't think it looks okay to have certain elements at a different indent? That seems like something I see in professional layouts fairly frequently.

    The footer I think I initially tried to center but was having some difficulty and thought, eh, maybe it can align with the main paragraphs. At least it aligns with something...?

    I can understand your preference for expanding menus --- the options do look a bit overwhelming right now. And it would fit better. But why horizontal/top as opposed to vertical/side? That seems arbitrary to me.

    I agree with you about the importance of short and sweet copy. However an SEO book I read claimed that having a moderate amount of copy could be beneficial to search engine rankings. Something to do with the idea that search engines wanted to see pages in a very conventional format of "heading, subheading, body copy" etc. as opposed to something that might be more punchy from a design standpoint. Maybe that's wrong?

    Although even aside from SEO I'm not sure it's such a bad thing to give customers a few actual paragraphs to hang onto. It maybe risks overwhelming them or being off-putting, but it does have headings so they can at least scan the page for main points and see if it's something they want to read or not. They can always skip the copy and click on any of the specific links they may want, such as contact or location information.

    Thoughts? Anyone else care to weigh in?

  5. #4
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    Hey Tim,

    I agree with RD on making a short and sweet opening statement/bullet points, which I like, but I would also add your explanatory statement below which would add more content to your page and would help SEO.

    While we are on SEO, you should only use around 10 different Keywords per page and mix them up according to the different pages. You should also change your Titles on each page as well. Make sure you have relevant content on the page that match the title, keywords, and H tags to show relevancy in your content.

    You do need to make a drop down menu that will house all of your options because right now the menu options are overwhelming to look at. I know you gave them a indent to show sub categories but since the menu font colors are all the same it makes the indent irrelevant.

  6. #5
    Junior Member TimR's Avatar
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    Thanks very much, those all sound like great ideas.

    I like the idea of a compromise between a bullet point style opening and slightly detailed paragraphs below.

    The keyword etc. stuff sounds like I should have known that already, must have read it and forgotten it somehow - I'll correct it.

    On the menu, it sounds like I might be able to get away with just emphasizing the sub-categories more clearly through color etc? I'd prefer obviously to limit changes to things I can do to the CSS file alone unless absolutely necessary (like the keyword and title changes.)

  7. #6
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Yeah, horizontal and vertical menus isn't that big of a deal, but the main thing is that it is at the top and easily visible. Right now, yours is placed under a Google map and spans 2 screens. Also, it's not obvious that it's the navigation menu at first. That's an issue.

    -RON

  8. #7
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDesignista, post: 240104
    Tim,

    Right now, yours is placed under a Google map and spans 2 screens. Also, it's not obvious that it's the navigation menu at first. That's an issue.

    -RON
    Ron that is a great point maybe the vertical menu wouldn't be so bad if he moved the google map maybe underneath or to the contact page. Because it does throw you off that there is a menu there.

  9. #8
    Junior Member TimR's Avatar
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    UPDATE: I've made some changes based on the comments here. Still in progress though.


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