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  1. #1
    Member kristof's Avatar
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    Hello folks. Here is my new site:

    http://affordable-seo-services.com

    Any comments or suggestions about the design appreciated...

    Also, I thought I was doing alright... but then when I reviewed everything using a Netscape 4.7 browser, it did not recognize the &BULL; text bullets. I like text bullets in links, rather than using graphics, because they respond to link color changes. Well for now I changed it all to asterisks. (*) Next maybe I will try putting <ul><li></ul></li> around every link, just to make the bullet? Wish me luck.

    Also, the CSS was finicky. Netscape did not seem to recognize my FONT-WEIGHT: NORMAL for the <h2><h3><h4> subheadings. Also does not recognize CLASS="scaps" that I put inside the font tags to make .scaps {FONT-VARIENT: SMALL CAPITALS;}. (No problem with IE-6.)

    Worst of all, the Netscape recognition of my BODY protocol for CSS was on-and-off. I am trying to set the default FONT-FAMILY to Helvetica. No problem with IE-6. Netscape recognizes it at the top of the page---but then sometimes after I use anything enclosed in <font></font> tags----suddenly Netscape thinks the BODY protocol is turned off, so it reverts to the Browser's default font.

    This does not happen after the first <font></font> tags. It just happens some place without any predictability.

    Is this because Netscape 4.7 is very out-of-date----or is CSS normally this finicky----or is it maybe because I am not using a proper external style sheet?

    I am putting the CSS in the <head> of my .SHTML pages, using the SSI server-side-include protocol. I like this because I don't use much CSS---and so then I can just use one HEAD-INCLUDE.HTM file for everything in the <head> that needs to be updated regularly. So far this works pretty well----but is it somehow a "bad idea"...?

    Thank you for any comments on this, and also on my basic design.

    PS---no big problems with &NBSP; so far---just a normal nuisance the way that different browsers give different values. But I read a year ago that the use of &NBSP; was being "discouraged"...? Well so far as I can see, it is more popular than ever, and I like to use it to modify spaces between graphics, etc. (Better than using a "ghost gif" in my onion.) But if there is something "risky" about this....please let me know!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member ironhacker's Avatar
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    Your site is very poor deisgned, you have merely no graphics at all and I sepcially don't like those HTML borders. I suggest redesign.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Trico's Avatar
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    It's not as bad as Ironhacker makes out. . .

    It looks very plain in terms of more modern sites, but this could also be linked to the fact its taking early versions of Netscape in mind. FORGET about any version of Netscape that happens to have a 4 in it, (or imo anything that has a 'Netscape' in it.) Okay so the recent versions are well supporting but are still bulky and unattractive to use. - But seriously move on from their early versions.

    Having a fluid layout is all very well, but it does nothing for readability when you paragraphs have the potential to be spanned out over no more than 1 or 2 lines. - This is why newspapers use columns, I'm not suggesting you do this but try and define a cut-off point as to when paragraphs will wrap for people using larger resolutions.

    Arial is more widely supported than Helvetica; maybe make this first chocie in your style sheet ?

    I'm sure you could create some sort of graphical banner instead of boring un-styled html, you can still maintain the significance of a <h1> tag using a certain method that you can read about at ALA. - (Useful resorces)

    Don't write 'click here' to point out links, then wrap the actual link below it; people could actualy interpret it as an in-complete page when they hover over 'here' and nothing happens. Use some style/emphasis, colour etc on the links so people can tell what they are without having to read a sign that gives directions; you should be able to recognise links just by glancing at a page.

    Instead of using SSI for areas of CSS why not just create an external stylesheet indipendant of the html files ?

    *You can afford to dedicate a bit more space to your navigation column so links don't wrap to 3 or more lines etc, short/brief 1-2 words would do for the clickable area and you can use <a href="" ...title="">SEO</a> for further detailed descriptions of what can be found by following it.

    Sorry but the multicoloured cycling link rollover is quite lame, people will get the impression of 'my first home page'. Leave those sort of things to Geocities sites. The technique used itself is nice, (when used right). I used a similar method when I worked on this website. Keep things professional looking ?

    Your promotional offer sounds nice - Whats the catch ? you must place a reciprocal link... doesn't sound like such an inviting offer in the end. After all you're supposed to be the one providing the service, especialy when they are the ones who will be paying. If you must offer this as a suggestion, don't force it upon them.

    Hope reading all that wasn't too strenuous, but the points mentioned should help you alot.

    ps. Your sister webdesign site suffers from very similar problems.

  5. #4
    Member kristof's Avatar
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    THANK YOU BOTH for the EXCELLENT advice, Ironhacker & Trico!

    (I feel like I've grown up about 10 years.... Yes, I am glad I came to this forum...)

    Well I have this to say:

    ---The bullets are back in town....I found a reference sheet that reminded me there is a NUMBER CODE for every symbol. The number code for a bullet ? is recognized by the old Netscape.

    Golly and also recognized by vBulletin....! The number code that I was trying to post, that turned into a bullet above, is & # 1 4 9 ;

    ---(And my next mystery is.....why do some people only use 3 characters like #FFF in CSS color codes...? Am I out-of-date to use 6 characters like #FFFFFF?)

    ---I am not up to a "good" graphic design right now, as IRONHACKER suggested. I am not really a web designer nor planning to be one.... But after thinking over what IRONHACKER said....I did install a background image...

    :nervous: I just hope this makes it better and not worse...

    ---Well anyway, after spending half a day fine-tuning the background image....then I really did agree with IRONHACKER that the HTML borders were tacky! So I am phasing them out.

    ---I agree completely that it is wrong to say "you MUST do this..." to a customer! I caught myself at the same bad wording a few days ago. I changed it to: "WE ASK that you do this...." But it looks like I missed one? Anyway, thank you because now I am really sure that I have to be more careful with certain word situations......

    ---I have removed the "rainbow links." Somebody else here told me last year that they were tiresome... well Trico, you described it so well that now it hits home....!

    ---But I still have 2 opinions about colored links. Yes, they need to be "obvious"... but no, by the same taste standard against Rainbow Links...I also don't like pages riddled with colored words! That is why I am experimenting with the "colored bullets" instead of the entire word being blue. I started out with the usual "blue light specials..." but I did not like it.

    ...And so I am 1/2 in favor of colored links, and 1/2 against. Well now with your vote, that is 1-1/2 votes for gaudy links, vs. 1/2 vote against....

    And so I have decided to use my "bullet style" in the margin, where it already is pretty clear that they are links---but in the main area, I will rregress to the usual blue light.... (Well actually I will make them just barely blue enough to stand out clearly....)

    ---Arial used to be my main choice for fonts, but after looking closely last week, I decided that Helvetica is very much easier on the eyes. And so I will stick with Helvetica, with Arial is listed as backup: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif.

    ---Yes, I also was thinking about making 2-column text in some areas..... or having more pages, less text per page....

    ---If you want maximum SEO value, you need to put certain exact wordings in your links. Probably I go a little farther than necessary for SEO over slick design. But I figure there is plenty of room on the page, and I am selling SEO not web design...!

    ---What's the catch about my SEO offer? Well the catch is that I am out of a regular job right now, so I have nothing better to do....

    And when I read about what most people charge for SEO, it really seems to me that I might find an SEO niche before I find a job. So that is why I have worked night and day to "just get this site running...." Next stop, Overture...

  6. #5
    Senior Member sarab's Avatar
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    Hi Kristof -

    I'm the least able person to give you advice on your site's 'design', but I do own a small business, and can therefore comment as a potential user of the services you are offering.

    How the site struck me:
    First, I assume that you' ve already incorporated some of the comments you've received, since I can't see some of the problems to which others referred...

    Next, I'd keep the acronym for SE optimisation in upper case (ie SEO) just so your visitor doesn't try to read it as a word. Don't make understanding your page difficult for a visitor.

    I couldn't understand why you've included the biographical details...
    If you're selling SEO skills, then your Bachelor's in Literature is irrelevant. What a visitor wants to know is: can you deliver a good service for the price you're asking. A reason for having a low price might be that it's a loss-leader or something, but you're not reassuring potential clients if they think that you're likely to be doing something with your degree in future, rather than using your skills for their benefit.

    I'm not sure what effect your chosen URL - and the reasoning for it - will have on visitors. It's like saying: if you give me work, you're exploiting me. (Even if tongue-in-cheek, it's not good PR).

    I was surprised (given your Lit. degree) to find singular and plural mismatches in some of your sentences. (See, you shouldn't have told us :devious: ). Things like the verb form 'is' followed by 'our services'...

    I agree that the text is too wide on your page. Probably, that's because we've come to expect columns with borders on web pages.

    I didn't mind your background at all. It was quite soothing. But I couldn't see the point of the small 'globe' image. It distracted me while I worked out what it was.

    And I agree about the 'click here' comment. (More likely to annoy than endear).

    Basic advice: stick to telling visitors what you can do for them and why they want your services. It's all that's likely to interest them.

    Good luck with your venture. It's a good basic idea.

    SaraB
    ...............................................
    My best pal's site: Algarve Beach Life :ichatcool:

  7. #6
    Member kristof's Avatar
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    Thank you Sarah!

    Yes, I have done a lot more work. I think I have managed at least to make the navigation margin a lot more crisp. (Thanks to advice from Trico and Ironhacker.)

    I am glad that you find the background successful! (Or at least pleasant.)

    Literary skill is very important because a well optimized web site needs textual content. It is difficult to make sentences sound natural or at least "alright" when repeating clumsy keyphrases. Everyone can learn SEO technical skills but not everyone can incorporate this with good writing.

    I am very watchful of matching singulars with plurals. My grammar is not perfect, so you could be correct about the errors. On the other hand, you could be mistaken. Singular vs. plural can be tricky---sometimes the actual word is plural, but the idea is a single idea, therefore the verb should be plural in my opinion. However perhaps this is incorrect? I haven't met a a really good grammar expert since high school...

    (If Sarah or anybody else visits my site again, please post an example of any possible grammatical errors here...! Would be fun to discuss.)

    But anyway Sarah, you probably are right about the biography. I should either (1) explain WHY a literary degree is relevant to SEO, or (2) remove the biography.

    And yes, now that I have your objective reaction, I think I will capitalize SEO. And about the "globe" picture....it's the only thing I could find handy right now. Guess it didn't quite make it?

    Can anybody suggest a good image theme for my home page? What would you expect to see for a graphic at an SEO sight...? Something besides a con artist waving a fistful of dollars I mean.... Well I have installed 5 screen prints of "surfing the search engines..." They have improved the information pages but are not attractive enough for the home page, I think.

    Thank you for the important suggestions Sarah! And I am glad to find that I am not the only one on the internet who "tries" to speak English...

  8. #7
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bother with testing on NS 4.7, it's more than 3 versions old and approaching a decade.

    No one uses it, it sucks at CSS completely and utterly and there's just no need for it at all.

    EDIT: Another note you might take into account is that it seems that you're selling more content design than SEO...

    Youv'e also got a font tag in your title... that's a nono.
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

  9. #8
    Senior Member mossoi's Avatar
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    When you are using CSS you can reduce something like #FFFFFF to #FFF. Basically the browser knows to repeat the first four bits of the represented binary number (first 3 characters) to render the color. #ABA is seen as #ABAABA and #008 is seen as #008008.

  10. #9
    Member kristof's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Brak Youv'e also got a font tag in your title... that's a nono.
    ...That was there about 10 minutes while I was editing....

    ...Thank you for explaining CSS Mossoi...

    Well everyone, I've followed a lot of your suggestions. Please take a look!

    http://affordable-seo-services.com

    --All new graphics on home page
    --Wider margins on home page (no time for inside pages yet)
    --Re-edited the home page text
    --SEO in capitals

    :classic: Well I just think it is 1,000% better....maybe? Anyway thank you for all the timely advice!

  11. #10
    Senior Member sarab's Avatar
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    (If Sarah or anybody else visits my site again, please post an example of any possible grammatical errors here...! Would be fun to discuss.)
    Para exemplara:
    Webcoolie seo is offering this special promotional rate to increase our portfolio. Our service could not be more affordable than at this time.
    So, is you is, or is you aren't our baby???
    Sara
    ...............................................
    My best pal's site: Algarve Beach Life :ichatcool:


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