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Thread: Critique our new website design

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    Cool Critique our new website design

    Hi all,
    I`d like to know what everyone thinks about our new website. We mainly sell motocross gear, parts, and accessories but sell street bike items as long with other powersports.

    First off all we are switching ecommerce platforms. We are coming from Volusion and now to Magento.
    We just thought Volussion was getting out dated and had too many limitations to it.

    We are putting our hands in a new pot, Magento. In which my co workers and I really have no knowledge of. We in general are not big time programmers and what we mostly do is handle putting the products on the website. I did do a great ordeal of tweaking CSS and HTML my self to get things to work with a lot of learning on the way of doing so.

    We are not completely done with the website but want some feedback before we switch our domains over and make it our main website.

    So please tell me what you guys think.
    Magento development website.
    Motocross Gear, Apparel, Parts ? MotocrossGiant 805-484-2000

    Our live website that we plan on switching over domains too that is currently running on Volussion.
    Motocross Gear, Apparel, Parts MotocrossGiant 805-484-2000

    Magento has given us troubles especially around or workflow, we have had to purchase multiple extensions to get things to work but I have also found out that extensions cause conflicts and etc...

    We are also thinking about doing a soft launch to get customers feedback.

    Also do you think Magento was a good choice for our websites scale and the content.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    To be honest I like the Volussion better, I feel navigating the Magento site is more cumbersome and sluggish, I like the look and feel of the Magento site more so than the original. My thinking is, "is it working??" then why change it? In the long run you might turn people away with the new design and it being cumbersome.

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I like the look and feel of the Magento site more than the Volusion site as well, although I'm not feeling the white space at the top. I get why you want to use white space, but this serves no real purpose. You could move stuff up more against the top of the page.

    I don't like the functionality of the Magento site as much, though. The big problem is it took me three clicks to see any product. At least with the Volusion site you had the drop down menu to get to products right away (e.g. Dirt Bike parts). That's too much. I get why you want subcategories, but show featured sales and products as well.

    The reason Fireproof thinks the new site is more sluggish is because...well, it is more sluggish. You've got a serious server response time issue, although if this is a temporary or home host and not the final host this may well resolve itself. It won't resolve all the other issues, though.

    https://developers.google.com/speed/....nextmp.net%2F
    https://developers.google.com/speed/...ssgiant.com%2F

    On the first one, I saw a response time of 3.8 seconds, which is far too long (this will vary, but you generally don't want it more than about 200 ms if you can get it that way).

    Another thing you'll need to seriously consider is this, and I guarantee you there's only one other person on this forum who would have thought of it but it's incredibly important.

    Dirt Bike Parts
    Dirt Bike Parts - Dirt Bike - Department

    Those aren't the same URL, although they're for pretty much the same thing. You need to find a way to 301 redirect the old URLs to the new ones if you're getting any search engine traffic at all (and I suspect you are), or you're going to take a serious short-term hit and one you may never recover from in the eyes of Google, Bing et. al. Ideally, you won't change the URL structure at all if you don't absolutely have to. If you must, then make sure the 301 redirect is in place...you'll suffer a hit either way, but with a 301 the hit will be much shorter in terms of effect and you generally will recover from it. The extremely oversimplified reason is that older pages have been around longer, you may have generated external links from other sites that are of value, and you don't want to lose that credibility. Another extremely oversimplified reason (and probably the more important one) is that if those pages have external links from other sites, you don't want to direct them The Island of 404 Misfit Toys if you don't have to...give them some content.

    So yeah, you're going to want to rethink this quite a bit. The good thing is that you haven't launched it yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproofgfx View Post
    To be honest I like the Volussion better, I feel navigating the Magento site is more cumbersome and sluggish, I like the look and feel of the Magento site more so than the original. My thinking is, "is it working??" then why change it? In the long run you might turn people away with the new design and it being cumbersome.
    What is cumbersome and sluggish about it more specifically? in the navigation? Yeah we are having an issue with the speed of the website right now. I think this is because we don't have our CDN attached to it right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264 View Post
    I like the look and feel of the Magento site more than the Volusion site as well, although I'm not feeling the white space at the top. I get why you want to use white space, but this serves no real purpose. You could move stuff up more against the top of the page.

    I don't like the functionality of the Magento site as much, though. The big problem is it took me three clicks to see any product. At least with the Volusion site you had the drop down menu to get to products right away (e.g. Dirt Bike parts). That's too much. I get why you want subcategories, but show featured sales and products as well.

    The reason Fireproof thinks the new site is more sluggish is because...well, it is more sluggish. You've got a serious server response time issue, although if this is a temporary or home host and not the final host this may well resolve itself. It won't resolve all the other issues, though.

    https://developers.google.com/speed/....nextmp.net%2F
    https://developers.google.com/speed/...ssgiant.com%2F

    On the first one, I saw a response time of 3.8 seconds, which is far too long (this will vary, but you generally don't want it more than about 200 ms if you can get it that way).

    Another thing you'll need to seriously consider is this, and I guarantee you there's only one other person on this forum who would have thought of it but it's incredibly important.

    Dirt Bike Parts
    Dirt Bike Parts - Dirt Bike - Department

    Those aren't the same URL, although they're for pretty much the same thing. You need to find a way to 301 redirect the old URLs to the new ones if you're getting any search engine traffic at all (and I suspect you are), or you're going to take a serious short-term hit and one you may never recover from in the eyes of Google, Bing et. al. Ideally, you won't change the URL structure at all if you don't absolutely have to. If you must, then make sure the 301 redirect is in place...you'll suffer a hit either way, but with a 301 the hit will be much shorter in terms of effect and you generally will recover from it. The extremely oversimplified reason is that older pages have been around longer, you may have generated external links from other sites that are of value, and you don't want to lose that credibility. Another extremely oversimplified reason (and probably the more important one) is that if those pages have external links from other sites, you don't want to direct them The Island of 404 Misfit Toys if you don't have to...give them some content.

    So yeah, you're going to want to rethink this quite a bit. The good thing is that you haven't launched it yet.
    What white spaces were you referring too in the top, in confused?

    Hmm, good idea. Ill make the Helmets and riding Apparel a drop down so unnecessary navigation can be skipped if necessary. Yeah, i agree featured products under subcategories would be nice. That is where my lack of programming comes into play. Only thing id know how to do is build a table and manually put entries into it. I was thinking also in addition adding featured brands for that subcategory.

    Yeah page speed is a big issue. Something ill have to talk to our host about, I am hoping when we apply our CDN to our new website it will help alleviate the issue.Even the backend is sluggish as heck.

    I see, looks like i will have to definitely have to look into this 301 redirect issue. What's the easiest way of addressing this?

    I hope these issue can be fixed easily and quickly as we are planning to go live soon.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    The white space I'm referring to in the top is the 90 pixels of padding on the .page div. I get why you'd want a little bit of blue at the top, but that's excessive to me. I'd say 1, 1.5, maybe 2em tops.

    The CDN probably will help with the page speed, and more specifically with the caching of scripts and other non-page content...but it's not going to solve all of this for you. It's maybe going to do about half of it. A lot of your speed issues have to do with the excessive number of scripts and CSS resources that you're calling (merge them all where/when possible, move your JS down to the bottom of the page if you can, etc.), and a lot may have to do with your host and/or Magento. Magento, from what I've used of it (and it wasn't much before I got completely turned off of it) is resource-heavy. In fact, if you talk to your host they'll probably say something to the same effect.

    The 301 issue isn't going to be easy no matter how you do it, especially if you're not a programmer. It's a pain in the *** if you are a programmer and have to implement the various 301s. I don't know of anything specifically for Volusion to Magento, since I've never worked with Volusion before. What I would suggest would be the easiest...and this is if you can even pull this off in the first place...is to mimic the URL structure of Volusion exactly. Exact case match, exact matching of dots, slashes, extensions, everything. If you can do that, you won't even need 301s and you won't hurt yourself at all.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264 View Post
    The white space I'm referring to in the top is the 90 pixels of padding on the .page div. I get why you'd want a little bit of blue at the top, but that's excessive to me. I'd say 1, 1.5, maybe 2em tops.

    The CDN probably will help with the page speed, and more specifically with the caching of scripts and other non-page content...but it's not going to solve all of this for you. It's maybe going to do about half of it. A lot of your speed issues have to do with the excessive number of scripts and CSS resources that you're calling (merge them all where/when possible, move your JS down to the bottom of the page if you can, etc.), and a lot may have to do with your host and/or Magento. Magento, from what I've used of it (and it wasn't much before I got completely turned off of it) is resource-heavy. In fact, if you talk to your host they'll probably say something to the same effect.

    The 301 issue isn't going to be easy no matter how you do it, especially if you're not a programmer. It's a pain in the *** if you are a programmer and have to implement the various 301s. I don't know of anything specifically for Volusion to Magento, since I've never worked with Volusion before. What I would suggest would be the easiest...and this is if you can even pull this off in the first place...is to mimic the URL structure of Volusion exactly. Exact case match, exact matching of dots, slashes, extensions, everything. If you can do that, you won't even need 301s and you won't hurt yourself at all.
    Oh, you're referring to the blue on the top of the page? That is where you threw me off.
    A lot of these scripts i have no idea about and i know we have a lot of CSS sheets because a lot of them are for caching and some are to make the website responsive. Unfortunately we purchased and template. Not sure if its the template with all these scripts and what not or just magento. Plus out catalog is pretty large on our website. We have a ton of SKU`s.

    Makes me wonder if Magento was a good choice or not for our new CMS.

    Sounds like mimicking the URLs would take forever. Thats including products as well right?

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    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    Cumbersome as in difficult to navigate along with the site being slower than the original site, like what Thegame said
    The big problem is it took me three clicks to see any product. At least with the Volusion site you had the drop down menu to get to products right away

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    That includes products, category pages, about us pages, and everything else. If you can find a decent PHP programmer, ideally a Magento one, you may be able to solve this in a matter of a few hours...but that's going to be tricky. One of the big disadvantages of Magento is that very few people know it and support is almost non-existent. I'm a "decent" PHP programmer (I can get it to do what I want if I Google what I'm trying to do), and I found it almost impossible to work with.

    The server response time can't be explained by the scripts. That's the time in which it takes to process the page and generate the HTML output for it. They're not helping by any stretch, but they're not generating a server response issue by themselves, and that's why I said the CDN won't help all that much...serving of static output generates minimal resource usage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproofgfx View Post
    Cumbersome as in difficult to navigate along with the site being slower than the original site, like what Thegame said
    Thanks for your feedback. I now changed the top categories to drop down and go a couple of levels deeper for faster navigation.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264 View Post
    That includes products, category pages, about us pages, and everything else. If you can find a decent PHP programmer, ideally a Magento one, you may be able to solve this in a matter of a few hours...but that's going to be tricky. One of the big disadvantages of Magento is that very few people know it and support is almost non-existent. I'm a "decent" PHP programmer (I can get it to do what I want if I Google what I'm trying to do), and I found it almost impossible to work with.

    The server response time can't be explained by the scripts. That's the time in which it takes to process the page and generate the HTML output for it. They're not helping by any stretch, but they're not generating a server response issue by themselves, and that's why I said the CDN won't help all that much...serving of static output generates minimal resource usage.
    Wow, looks like Magento is no good. Yeah i do have a hard time finding support for it. The magento forums are just bad. Full of spam and rarely people reply. I've tried everything from stack exchange to reddit for Q&A.

    Just out of curiosity, what CMS do you prefer and use?
    Last edited by BugJuice; Aug 30th, 2013 at 01:13 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Me, personally? Give me a list of the common ones and I'll pick "none of the above".

    I learned to build carts a long, long, long time ago...back in the dark ages (2000) of the Internet. Back in the day, most of the carts and scripts were just bloated crap and had to be significantly retrofitted to meet the custom needs of the people I was building the carts for and it wasn't worth the energy or the time to retrofit them when I could build something better and more efficiently from scratch.

    Nowadays, most of the most of the carts and scripts are just bloated crap and have to be significantly retrofitted to meet the custom needs of the people I am building the carts for and it isn't worth the energy or the time to retrofit them when I could build something better and more efficiently from scratch. So quite a bit has changed in 13 years.

    It's difficult to build carts from scratch, but it's a lot easier than trying to deal with Magento for precisely the reasons you've listed above...except for the spam one. I haven't noticed this myself, but I do tend to believe you. What I find utterly hysterical about it is the number of people who talk about it and mention "the community" as the big selling feature. It's a bunch of people asking and almost no answers. Sort of like Amazon Seller Central, but with more elitism.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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