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  1. #1
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    I'm getting around 60k hits a month, which translates into about 6k of relevant page views (and lots of misc. views of pages that aren't that relevant but that are on the site, for more see http://adrr.com/wusgage/).

    I've been playing with this since it was part of GNN (boy, that was a long time ago).

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts or ideas.

    It is, in the most part, intentionally low bandwidth because a fair number of visitors are dial-ups from non-USA locations.

    You can compare it to http://aom.pace.edu/cmd/ -- a site I've also done for someone else -- I have done small, clean work.

    I've just got a lot of content and it is hard to organize it just right.

    I'm running a vbulletin board, though I'm going to have to maintain it via ftp since the guy I hired to install it (who has the passwords and such) is long gone and I'm not sure where.

    Anyway, I'm looking for conceptual help or comments that will get me "outside" the box I'm in. Right now the content keeps people interested *in spite of* the interface. I'd like to think of something that enhaces the content without irritating my wife too much (as I'm not making a cent from the site).

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Stephen

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  3. #2
    Senior Member splufdaddy's Avatar
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    What's the address of your site? www.adrr.com brings up a directory listing.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    That is bizaare, it should not be doing that.

    http://www.adrr.com/index.htm

    That is the home page.

    http://adrr.com/ should bring up the same page, it doesn't.

    Instead, it brings up a page that is unrelated, completely, an old directory that has been deleted.

    Now I'm perplexed.

  5. #4
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    Fixed the problem. .htm used to have control over .html. Now it doesn't (for the default index.* when http://www.adrr.com/ is typed in).

    Live and learn.

    Thanks for the warning.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    My primary suggestion as it pertains to the site is that it needs some sort of a menu structure to it. It's very difficult for the user who's never seen it before (i.e. me) to figure out where exactly he/she is supposed to go when there are 40 or 50 hyperlinks scattered throughout the home page. What I would personally do is organize the content into the appropriate sections (which appear to be the sections laid out in the first set of bullet points) and base your menu off of that.

    Once you have that figured out, you would be well-advised to put that menu into an SHTML (server-side HTML, or server-side include/SSI as it's often called) template file and have it called with an Include call.

    http://www.bignosebird.com/ssi.shtml

    Is a good place to go to get an explanation on how SSI works in general. This will allow you to use one menu across the site and only have to update one file to maintain it. Once you learn it, you'll wonder how you ever did without it (especially on a site your size).

    If you're really feeling froggy and you have some programming knowledge, you may also want to consider putting your articles/links/things of that nature into a database. You may find this is easier to update, as well as allowing for search functionality (this can also be done without putting the pages into a database, but it's not anywhere near as responsive, I've found) and things of that nature.
    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)

  7. #6
    Senior Member DanielOliver's Avatar
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    Yeah you deffiantly need a navigation of some sort as there is nothing that is really user friendly and will make your visitors stay easy?
    Maybe a few graphics and logos needed aswell.

    If you have had that design since you started maybe a complete redesign is needed as in my opinion it is very basic, you should try and stretch yourself a little more and see what you can come up with.

    I agree with TheGAME1268 where he says it needs to be sorted out into sections as the homepage is very harsh hitting to the visitor as all they see is blue links dotted around the page. They will get confused and wont be able to concentrate on the content. Maybe a little to much to look at in other words.

    SO basically menus of some sort and a nice new design, Maybe if your not to into designing you could download a free one of some sort. Oh and one more thing, a logo.

    Sorry if that sounds like there is a lot that needs doing. Im fairly critical these days.

    Good Luck!

  8. #7
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    I've used simple menu front pages and they actually did not work as well as what I have now.

    Currently the part that displays for most visitors is a menu (assuming they come to the site from the front page -- most do not).

    That loads them to sub-menus. I've thought of basically cutting off everything that is on the front page below the two recommended books, which would give me a simple menu design, and having the menus link directly to the content directories.

    I've found that people don't tend to go that far unless they've seen an idea of what is to be found.

    At the same time, you are right, I've overgrown the site.

    I've had logos, but they have not seemed to work terribly well.

    For every hit on the home page I get ten hits on interior material, so I know people are clicking through.

    But I've been frustrated at the lack of good structure --

    In other words, I came here because I agree with both of you, but I just can't figure out how to implement it.

    I will be considering server side includes though. I've looked at ssi before....

    Thanks, I'll wait for a few more comments (I hope) and if nothing else comes up, hope the admin will split the award between the two of you.

  9. #8
    Member Nukeler's Avatar
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    You should combine simple menus and the current menus for maximum effect. Also if i were you and my site had gotten so big id really consider building some sort of content system using php, asp or cgi. Initialy it will take you quite a bit of coding but it saves an immersurable amount of time in the long run. If you dont want to make your own you might get php nuke and integrate that into you site.

  10. #9
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Nukeler is right. There's nothing wrong with a little redundancy as far as where you want people to go. Sometimes by putting a link in front of someone's face twice, (s)he will click on it.

    You may also want to look at placing your main menu at the bottom and top (or left) of your page.

    As far as the logo goes, you may find this tutorial of some use to you:

    http://www.pegaweb.com/tutorials/com...ogo-design.htm

    It's not hard to implement (and I, as the Resident Graphics Expert, should know) and it usually works pretty well. It also works if you use a sans-serif font.

    Another thing you may want to look at doing is putting your money-making items in a column down the right-hand side of your page (sort of a "featured products" section). This can also be done with SSI and would keep the products you're trying to sell fresh in your users' minds (which I'm guessing are those books.)

    My own suggestion on where to go from here is to take the ideas you've got from us, come up with a layout you like, and submit it here for review. That way, you can tell if you're on the right track or not.
    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)

  11. #10
    Junior Member
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    I'll do that.

    Give me until the weekend.

    My old attempt is at http://adrr.com/mediation.htm

    The problem with that one is that it did not register on the search engines at all (compared with where adrr.com shows up now with a search for "mediation" -- fifth on Google and Yahoo for example).

    I also tried the same format I used at http://aom.pace.edu/cmd -- which is much simpler.

    The stupid web tricks version is http://adrr.com/index1.htm (I never used that one) and the old version of the site is at http://adrr.com/index2.htm

    But, I will give it a shot and will be back with a new design when I've thought things through.


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