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New Site - Be Gentle!

 
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pwatty



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Turquoise Coast, Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: New Site - Be Gentle! Reply with quote

We've just completed our first year as villa owners/renters. If we'd seen this site earlier, we'd probably have done a few things differently.

The site www.DiscoverUzumlu.com tries to give a good guide to the Turquoise Coast of Turkey as well as the villa, since I don't think it's a particularly well-known part of the world as yet - which is a benefit when we're staying there of course. 'Very Happy'

As well as promoting the site, we're advertising on three villa rental sites: Villarenters (free, but commission on credit card bookings); Holidaylettings (paid for a year in October); and Vacationrentalpeople (new site so on a free trial for first year).

Should I be on more sites? I'm thinking about Owners Direct as a possibility.

Any suggestions and/or criticism gratefully accepted. 'Shocked'
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From Sandy Beaches to Wooded Mountains, The Turquoise Coast is Unspoilt Turkey at its Best: www.DiscoverUzumlu.com
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Ju



Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 1952
Location: Vendee, France

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Lay My Hat!

I've had a quick look at your site and in general it isa nice one.

A couple of comments:

- the text is very small. It would be a good idea to increas it a bit.
- Once you click on the villa I didn't find it obvious how to get more information. I didn't realise the top menu had changed. Perhaps an introduction with links might be a good idea.
- is the pool private or part of the complex? I couldn't find the details for it.

I'm sure some others will be olong soon with there 2p worth.

Ju
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Adam Apple



Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 85
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one little thing about the layout. On the home page there needs to be a bigger gap between the text in the middle and the text on the right. It looks a little squashed.
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elena



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 432
Location: PERIGORD NOIR

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Pwatty!

Your place looks really lovely!

Your website's good but the first thing that struck me about it was the lack of continuity.

The navigation bar seems to change a lot from page to page and it isn't immediately obvious how to get back to where you want to be - e.g. when you click on "balcony" on the villa page you have to then click on "villa" to get you back to a page to get to "home". It should be easy to navigate from any page.

The size of the text varies on the different pages and some is quite hard to read (eg: On the "Uzumlu" page).

Also the prices & availability page looks like a different stlye completely, like a rental listing site page which you have to close to get back to your main site.

I would centre your pages as well, as there's quite a lot of empty space at the right hand side on some of the pages.

I would try to work on making it as easy as possible for people to look through your site - there's plenty of space to do it so I would have same navigation bar which has all the main pages on it and have that on every page.

Re Owners Direct - this is our 3rd season and for our first two seasons they brought us the bulk of our bookings. I know it's still a bit early but so far this year we've been very disappointed with the enquiries and bookings from them. Almost zero.

Hope this helps - GOOD LUCK!!

Elena
www.lescrouquets.net
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pwatty



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Turquoise Coast, Turkey

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses - all very good and I agree with everything so far. I'm trying to modify the site accordingly, but I'm just an amateur web site builder, and I may struggle to implement some of the suggestions fully.

Elena's point about navigation is quite right - but I'll probably have to fork out some money for a professional overhaul to get that working well Sad

Any more comments would be appreciated - don't stop!
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From Sandy Beaches to Wooded Mountains, The Turquoise Coast is Unspoilt Turkey at its Best: www.DiscoverUzumlu.com
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Gite Guru



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 196
Location: Tignes

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would agree with what elana said, information architecture needs looking at as the nav is all over the place. the header image on the homepage needs tidying up too as it has some blue to the rhs of the image. also agree about page centering (or making it broader, maybe up to 960 -1000px as most screen resolutions now 1024px + wide)

from an SEO perspective, you could look to optimise deeper than the home page, and whilst you've got page titles, names, meta descriptions etc tied down, none of your pages have any <h1> tags so the search engines cannot discern what is page title and what is body text.

The place itself looks AMAZING, just think that with a bit more planning you could really make it sing on the website.

hth,

Dave
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greenfrog



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 888
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I think your place looks lovely but I agree with others that the navigation is unnecessarily complicated.

Also, when you click on photos, the enlarged version opens in the same window - it would be better if it opened in a new window.

The level of information is good - I found all my questions answered, although not always as easily as I might have liked.
I think the layout could be tidied up a bit; it's not always as crisp and clear as it might be.

I found on my computer that the page is very narrow and flush left, with a lot of blank space to the right. Is there a way you could centre the content so that doesn't happen? (I'm not a web expert but I remember having that problem myself and found I could centre the content to get over it.)

I'm with many others here in the view that property shots should not include personal photos of people, as you have on the balcony. It serves to remind potential guests that it's not really their home and I think you want them to feel this could all be theirs, even for just a week.

Your separate prices and availability site is an interesting idea and it's very comprehensive and easy to use. I think you should have links to it from every page, however. In fact, the navigation menu is really the big failing - it would be good to have one with all the elements and have it across each page.

Best of luck!
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First 30 second impressions:

The header on the home page shows a pile of rocks. The rocks may have some deep mysterious history behind them but it still looks like a pile of rocks. You have some really nice pics on the other pages which would sell the place much more if used on the home page.

Clicking on from there I found the layout changed and I was confused (easily done). To me it appeared that the villa.html was a more suitable layout to be the home page.

It looks a fantastic place and I'm sure with a bit of rearranging you could make it look very appealing.
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MarieSatz



Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 22
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:24 am    Post subject: One other idea Reply with quote

I agree with what has been written so far. On a first impression, I was distracted by the fact that there is soooo much blue blank space on the page. I wanted the writting to go clear out to the margins!! I'm not sure that this was annoying to anyone else, but it did bother me. I kept thinking that the margins should be set wider.

Hope this helps.
Marie
http://alohafamilypropties.webs.com
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Tocanepauli



Joined: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 54
Location: Tocane St-Apre

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Initially it seemed to me to be more a site for the Place rather than the Villa. Perhaps if the heading was changed so the name of the villa was more obvious.......it looks like a fab place though, I don't mind seeing people in the photos.
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chrisj



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
Posts: 20
Location: Brittany, France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi pwatte

I,m a newby to Lay My Hat to.

Like the look of your property, but agree with all that's been said so far about the site. The content is good and the look is nice but inconsistent layout and technicals.

Not sure I like the way your prices link takes the visitor to another site with other options to get lost in.

With a bit of rebuilding it could be really good site.

Nice pictures to.

Chris

www.gitesbyjewells.com
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pwatty



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Turquoise Coast, Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're all quite right, my site does need a major revamp. I've bitten the bullet and commissioned a web designer last week, and he's already making good progress.

I expect to unveil this next week, and I'll probably make a new post on LMH at that point to show it off & say thanks for all the useful & constructive comments.

Peter
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From Sandy Beaches to Wooded Mountains, The Turquoise Coast is Unspoilt Turkey at its Best: www.DiscoverUzumlu.com
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pwatty



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Turquoise Coast, Turkey

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roll of drums . . . . DaDaaaa!

The www.discoveruzumlu.com site is now updated. I hope I've captured the spirit of all your comments from previous posts. The input from forum members was a major factor in motivating me to make the effort to overhaul the site.

Many thanks to all.

Peter
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From Sandy Beaches to Wooded Mountains, The Turquoise Coast is Unspoilt Turkey at its Best: www.DiscoverUzumlu.com
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