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Thread: Small business website

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Current Rating

    Visual Appeal:
    0.0 out of 5

    Accessibility:
    0.0 out of 5

    Website Speed:
    0.0 out of 5

    Compatibility:
    0.0 out of 5

    Overall Rating:
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    Small business website

    My employer asked me to make a website for his business and I have no prior experience building websites.

    So I gave it a shot, using Joomla and this is what I have come up with.

    Any feedback and/or suggestions would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    URL: http://armstrongroadsurfaces.com.au/

    PS. The menu has some troubles at the moment, the gap on the right side as well as the tab you are currently viewing is supposed to turn white, I am getting help with these issues through the template designer
    Last edited by Amun; Apr 14th, 2014 at 11:59 PM. Reason: PS

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    I generally don't like reviewing things like this. In fact, most of the time, people who do what you've done here get driven right back out. What you've done is install a theme on a site and asked us to review it, which is basically taking someone else's work, changing it a little bit and asking us to tell you if you did a good job.

    I'll make an exception here, mostly because your experience level is basically zero, and you were somewhat straightforward about the fact that you used a theme.

    The first thing I noticed was that the site loaded very slowly. I don't mean just a little bit slow, I mean prohibitively slow. There are a lot of factors causing that. I suspect that part of the problem lies in your hosting. Joomla is a powerful CMS, and it will load very slowly on cheap or low quality hosts. The other thing causing the slow load is your images. The background image is 3.3Mb! The weight of the entire page, images and all, should be about a third of that at most. I tried to use Yahoo's SmushIt, but your image crashed the app. I was able to get JPEGmini.com to work, and it compressed it to 559Kb; about 1/6 the original size. You're going to need to do that with all of your images, as they all load very slowly.

    The second thing I noticed was the quality of the photography. All of the images in the slider are blurry and not well composed. Furthermore, if I weren't a web designer to begin with, I'd have never known there were more images. The slider didn't go through the images on its own, I had to advance it myself. No normal user is going to do that, even if they do realize the option exists.

    I think the background is a bit too strong. It's actually pretty distracting when you're on the page. If you want to keep the gravel, use a photo editor to wash it out just a bit. Also, it may work to your advantage to turn it into a repeatable pattern and scale it out to make the gravel bits smaller. I have a guide on how to do it in photoshop on my blog. You can find the link to my site in my signature.

    Your front page doesn't have any information on it. Yes, if I'm truly determined to contact you, I'll find the information on your contact page. That presumes that I've already decided to hire you and I'm just popping in to find your phone number. You need to get your phone number, location and a quick run down of what you do on the page where everyone will see it immediately. That's all users coming there for. There's a big space to the right of the logo that would work just fine.

    You can lose the gallery and the slider. Anyone who's ever driven on a road under construction knows what these services and vehicles look like, so if unless you have something new or different to show me, don't bother, because I'm not here to look at that any way. I'm here to find out what you do and how to get in touch with you.

    I do like the map on the completed works page. It's a pretty slick addition, though when I tried to scroll down the page, it zoomed out the map instead, which was a bit annoying.

    Over all, you've got a lot of work to do. If your boss is bent on having you take care of this instead of hiring it out, you're going to need to fix all of this and come back for another look.
    Amun likes this.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    It's going to be somewhat hard for us to evaluate speed in this instance because the site's Australian and on an Aussie host. So it's not going to be all that fast for us.

    With that said, there is a lot within Joomla that makes it insanely slow and hard to work with (yet another argument against open source CMSes). You basically took someone else's bloated crap without realizing it and made it your own. There are massive scripts in there (e.g. pretty much anything Mootools-related) that are slowing down your site.

    https://developers.google.com/speed/...2F&tab=desktop

    If you go through the list of things here and try to solve as much as you can, you'll be a whole lot closer. That, and if you do the things Ron says you need to do.
    Amun likes this.
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  5. #4
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    Thank you for your honesty guys.

    Ron, I can't thank you enough for your in depth response, I am floundering in my attempts to improve this page and your advice has given me something to work towards.

    I will try to address all the points you guys have brought up.

    Thanks, it means a lot that you both would take the time to help.
    Ronald Roe likes this.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Hey, we're just glad to see someone who appreciates it. Some people can be real jerks when we point things like this out. So big up for recognizing where we're coming from and trying to improve your skills and do a better website.
    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.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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