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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:31 pm    Post subject: Website review Reply with quote

Hi,

Anyone who want's a stab at our's go for it!

http://www.corsicanholidays.com
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PC
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sleekitbeastie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
http://www.corsicanholidays.com


Stunning.

Sadly I can't afford it otherwise I'd be booking now.

I don't know about the technical aspects (although it looks very NetObjects Fusion ish) but I like the clarity of the whole site - especially the absence of a fussy background.

Out of interest why is the French site different? Not important - just interesting.

Apart from a couple of perhaps too long sentences which tripped me up as I read and a stumble over ‘food and wine is’ rather than ‘food and wine are’ I tramped through it without a problem. To illustrate my comment I suspect one of our children’s books editors might make “The main 6km gently-shelving sandy beach, which is very popular with families and offers a wide variety of watersports ranging from kayaks to kite-surfing, is a ten minute walk away” into something like “The main gently-shelving 6km sandy beach is a ten minute walk away. It is very popular with families and offers a wide variety of water sports ranging from kayaking to kite-surfing”. You may feel that this is too Jeffrey Archer in its simplicity but the original did make me falter as I unpacked the sub-clauses on the way to the conclusion. Pretty minor stuff though.

You might want to read elsewhere in this forum about spam avoidance as your e-mail address is in clear and therefore harvestable.
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3952
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lovely site, well done. This underlines my belief that a white background is often best - clean, uncluttered and shows off the pictures well.

One thing I would do differently - Corsica is a really beautiful island and I would show that on the homepage by moving up one or two of of the great pics on your 'Photos of the local area' page.

How did you get your pictures by the way? Did you take them or did you hire a professional?
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Thank you for your kind comments.

sleekitbeastie,

we may well use your new phrasing - that sentence has never felt quite right so thanks for that!

The reason why the French site is different is because we have just updated the English site, inc the photos on page 2, and haven't yet done the same with the French. Also as our French improves we update the French text and do aim to have it more descriptive soon . . .The other difference is with the French/French speaking clients we get, as they do tend to know quite a lot about Corsica already, and there are details such as square metreage which they always want to know while other nationalities don't seem to care.


Paolo

Thank you for you kind comments! 80% of the photos are our own work, the rest we obtained permission to use. As for our home page I take your point, the reason we haven't put other local photos on it is because we have found that most people seem to decide thay are coming to Corsica, and maybe have even decided on which area, and then they search for property.

Thank you for all your input, the more the merrier.

Cheers, PC
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Christine Kenyon



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 625
Location: Glenridding, Ullswater Valley, Lake District, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Paul. It's probably very telling that, as I write, there have been 54 views of your post (which probably means 54 peeks at your website) but this is only the 4th reply. We're not usually such a reticent bunch Very Happy

Your town house looks wonderful; your website sells your town house in a wonderfully crisp and colourful way (apart from the occasional long sentence which have been mentioned above). Sorry, but I've got nothing to add. I love your site and would struggle to improve it.

Good luck with the 2005 season - or are you already booked up?

Christine
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear .......... i can see i'm going to have to get very 'pernickity' about your site. It really is as good as people have said Wink

It's very crisp, clear and the images are excellent, but, here's what i've come up with whilst wearing my 'super critical' hat.

1 - the quality of the images is sadly let down by the lack of consistancy regarding the borders and dropshadow.

2 - what exactly is 'web studio'? It's not software i've come across (i'm ashamed to say) and it does seem to be presenting the code in a very strange way, which in turn, is causing some big problems!

a - google can't scan your pages, take a look at googles 'cache' of the only page it lists http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:Qtbzh7ei_qsJ:www.corsicanholidays.com/+&hl=en

b - i've checked the site with a program called 'Xenu Link Sleuth' which checks for broken links and images. It comes back with 42 broken links! Obviously, they work when you click them, but spiders and search engines seem unable to get through.

3 - the site doesn't fit into a 800 pixel width browser which results in a 'scroll bar' along the bottom of each page. The latest figures still show that over 40% of web users still have a screen resolution of 800x600.

4 - you have links from some images to larger versions of the same image. Though in my opinion, the size difference isn't enough to justify the time taken to 'click and load'.

5 - (and i'm getting really 'picky' here!) the 'jagged' edges to your menu 'swoops'. This is caused by you saving the file as a transparent gif, but personally i'd save them on a 'white' background for a smoother result.

ok, that's it ........ told you i was being picky, but when things get into the 'advanced' stage, you have to comment on the 'little things' Smile

Hope this helps
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Tony
http://www.livinginitaly.co.uk
http://www.property.livinginitaly.co.uk
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for your kind and constructive comments (Christine still got some weeks left if you're looking to come over!....nothing in June though)

Tony

Neither my wife or myself have any background in IT so went for an easy ( and cheap £30ish ) software package. This one seemed to fit the bill as it's all drag and drop and it does all the HTML for you. If you go to the following link you can download a free trial, we have version 3. http://www.webstudio.com/

I don't know if there are now packages available which are also easy but perhaps better, especially with regard to what you are saying about the problems with Google, spiders etc. If there are, what would you recommend?

1- agree and can fix that one

2- see above

a- Is this to do with the software we are using? or something I am doing wrong?

b- again is this the software or something I can fix?

3- how do I shrink it down?

4- again that automatically happens, can I stop it? I have to agree there seems little point

5-Know how to fix this one


Thank you for being picky, it is much appreciated!! and keep em coming

Cheers
PC
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

I've taken a look at the 'forum' that offers support on Web Studio and it seems that many other users are having problems with getting their site listed with Google.

Having taken a glance at at few of their sites, they all appear to have the same problem as you (ie, missing images and broken links in google's 'cache').

It all depends now on how much you value the search engines. You can build up 'page rank' and search engine position by developing a good 'Link Exchange' system, but as google can only 'scan' your homepage all important keywords would need to be included.

Alternatively, you could change the software and rebuild the site (a major task). Lots of software out there, personally, i'd have to say that Dreamweaver is the best as it can be used as a drag & drop editor, but also allows you to become 'more involved' as your skills develop. Not the cheapest though, at around £200 rrp, however, i've just checked eBay and a new / boxed 'Acedemic' version can be purchased for £98 (did you ever go to school / college / uni? Smile ). 'Pirate' copies are also advertised on there for £2 ..... but personally, I wouldn't advise purchasing them.

I'm sure others can recommend other software though, take a look at this thread http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=92

The page width problem is caused by the software automatically 'sizing' the page to fit the content you add. I'm sure that in the options somewhere it'll have a setting where you can 'fix' the page size to a 'pre set' one of 800x600. If not, you could try placing the email text elsewhere (it pushes the images over) and maybe 'shrinking' the images by 10 -20 pixels each, that should just about do it (for the homepage anyway).

I'm guessing that the 'popup' version of the smaller images, is caused by you inserting an image of say, 300x300 and then scaling the image in webstudio down to say, 200x200 to fit with the layout. Webstudio then 'thinks' it's being helpful by inserting the 'popup' code .......... thats just a guess though.

Anyway, as i've said .... super critical points from me about what is a visually attractive and well reading website. Smile
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http://www.livinginitaly.co.uk
http://www.property.livinginitaly.co.uk
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank's Tony,

I have downloaded a free trial of Dreamweaver ..........christ on a bike!!! its back to school time, well that's the winter taken care of.

Cheers
PC
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tony,

I dont know if I belive this? I have just been told this by webstudio, What do you reckon?

"The cached version is an old version stored on their servers - you get a similar result in Yahoo.
There's nothing you can do to fix a cached version (which would show the little red x's if the images can't be found).
I wouldn't worry about it. Those things will probably be fixed the next time the search bots make their rounds"
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well it's true up to a point ....

The 'cache' is a copy of what google collected the last time it 'scanned' a site. In your case, it's 'revisited' again since i last checked, as the 'cache' is dated 9th December 2004.

Now, unless you have quickly changed every image on the homepage and replaced them with images with different names .... you should have no red 'x's (i'm guessing you havn't Smile )

They 'must' be aware of the problem, as they have at least 4 threads running on the front page of the forum covering the same or similar problems (some people are aware of a problem, but havn't worked out what it is yet).

I'd stick with the dreamweaver 'winter project' ...... there are lots of excellent forums for support. Including this one!
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Tony
http://www.livinginitaly.co.uk
http://www.property.livinginitaly.co.uk
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Fella ......Pace e Salute as the say in Corsica !!!
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Paul Carmel



Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3854
Location: Palma Mallorca & Greece

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I was to add another photo to my home page how slow would it be for people on dial up? The one I was thinking about was one of the panoramic ones from our site of the beach.
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livinginitaly



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 266
Location: Italy (at last!)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

best way to work this out is to find out the file size of the image.

56k Dial-up 'downloads' at a little over 4k per second (6k on a good day) ..... so in the case of a 24k image, it'll add 6 seconds to the download time.

HTH
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Tony
http://www.livinginitaly.co.uk
http://www.property.livinginitaly.co.uk
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3952
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a good panorama is worth the wait. If there is text on the page they can read that while it downloads.

Paul - is that scary guy in your avatar you, or the frontman for a dodgy 70s rock group? Very Happy
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