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Just started! Views please
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Greenacre



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:46 am    Post subject: Just started! Views please Reply with quote

Hi all, I have just started a website and before I go any further, I would value your views. I am waiting for some higher res photos so the ones on the site will be replaced at some point soon! I feel nervous about sharing so early, but better to get feedback before I go too far, I think!
www.greenacrelodge.co.uk
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll go first Very Happy

Obviously a Wordpress site and this one uses the free Vantage theme. Because it was made using Wordpress and doesn't deviate from the defaults much, I found the integration of the blog to the website a little confusing. I was never sure if I was reading a normal website page or a blog entry.

I like the presentation of the home page. The more info links take you to some rather empty, dull pages, which I assume are not finished. Many of these pages have a testimonial at the top right with some unknown image. The testimonial is always the same one.

On the lodge page, there were only 8 pictures, which should really use a lightbox or similar to expand. I don't want to hit back after each picture. I missed the links to the other parts, like the kitchen initially. I think navigation needs to be clearer. These pages should appear as sub menus at the top or most people will not see them.

A general comment about design. Some pictures are big and others are small but the text never flows around them. It doesn't looked designed but rather just stuck on the page without any thought to formatting. Consequently, there are big gaps and an awkward layout.

Contacts page: I could barely read the text there. OK so I'm pushing 50 and my eyes are going but it's still way too small. You use a gmail address even although you have your own domain name. Why? Gmail email addresses do not give a professional feel to a business. You'll also get lots of spam by publishing it in that way, which although Gmail is good at handling this, could easily be avoided.

I expected to see the contact form on the contact page. That way would wouldn't need to give the spammers your email address.

I know you've gone for a free theme but you would have have a much easier job and far more options if you had paid a little for a premium theme. To me this is money well spent. Now that you've gone the free route, you could enhance things a little with some plugins for photo albums, Google maps etc.

One key point missing: On your home page - what exactly is your product?? It doesn't actually say.

Good start though and I love the logo.
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www.samoensalpineholiday.com
www.websiteproud.com
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Bertie85210



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Vendee, France

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Greenacre Reply with quote

Hi, I would agree with Kevin re the images and it would be nice to see an exterior image of the lodge as well. Also a telephone number would be useful! Good clean site otherwise.
Bon courage!
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks nice so far and I can only echo kevs comments. The home page needs the key information of what the product is and how many it sleeps etc. The font is definitely too small on the location page - I'm viewing it on a large widescreen and it's still tiny. Yes for a phone number too. Good luck!
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Joanna



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 882
Location: Chester, North West England & Sidmouth, East Devon

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good start - I like the colour scheme and the logo. I agree with everything Kev has said. Also, on my iPad in portrait mode, the logo clashes with the 'now taking bookings' text and the testimonials are so narrow there's only 1 word per line. Looks like the theme is not fully responsive - it's worth checking it on a smart phone too as lots if people will see if there first. Hope that helps.
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Jo

Joint owner of Baker's Cottage in Chester & Chandler's Cottage in Sidmouth
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanna wrote:
Also, on my iPad in portrait mode, the logo clashes with the 'now taking bookings' text and the testimonials are so narrow there's only 1 word per line. Looks like the theme is not fully responsive - it's worth checking it on a smart phone too as lots if people will see if there first. Hope that helps.


Not so much a fault of the theme but of the content. If a theme is designed for a certain content, it's easily broken by putting unexpected stuff in there. The header for example is probably designed just to take a few social media icons and not a long piece of text. For example, you could easily just say "Now taking bookings" with bookings being the link. The rest of the text is not required. Still wouldn't fit though Smile

I would take that text out of the header completely but probably have a one liner under the logo, describing what the website is for.
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Greenacre



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All really helpful thank you! Just the sort of comments I need to keep me on track with the growth of the website. I was going to add a description of the Lodge on the front page last week, because I realised we didn't tell anyone what our offer is but hadn't got round to it. I have only started showing friends and family so far so the advertising is limited! Happy to hear any more comments and I will post again when I have updated the website so you can see if it has improved. It's a steep learning curve for me as its the first time I have ever done anything like this. My daughter did the logo - she is a talented graphic designer!
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another small comment. Somewhere you will have entered a title and this appears in the source code as:
<title>Greenacre Lodge</title>

Somewhere else, you should also find a description. This is what will appear in Google and this is currently missing. Having some control over what Google displays when your site is found, is very important.
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teapot



Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 804
Location: Loire valley

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too many fuzzy out of focus photos and I got bored having to click back on the browser to get back to the page before. Can you not get a mouse over that enlarges the photo when you hover and then automatically goes back to the page when the mouse pointer is moved off the photo?
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teapot wrote:
Too many fuzzy out of focus photos and I got bored having to click back on the browser to get back to the page before. Can you not get a mouse over that enlarges the photo when you hover and then automatically goes back to the page when the mouse pointer is moved off the photo?


Called a mouse over and can be done withheld CSS or javascript. Not mobile friendly though which is why you see it less these days.
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teapot



Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 804
Location: Loire valley

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevsboredagain wrote:
Not mobile friendly though which is why you see it less these days.

Kev this is your subject and not mine but it works fine on my site on my mobile (via a Serif webplus package) is that just a flook?
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teapot wrote:
kevsboredagain wrote:
Not mobile friendly though which is why you see it less these days.

Kev this is your subject and not mine but it works fine on my site on my mobile (via a Serif webplus package) is that just a flook?


How do you hover a mouse on a mobile? You can only click in which case you would use something like lightbox.

Some mobile browsers will emulate a click as also mouse over but not all.
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teapot



Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 804
Location: Loire valley

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On mine the thumbnail responds to the touch screen, touching anywhere else on the page flips it back to the page.
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teapot wrote:
On mine the thumbnail responds to the touch screen, touching anywhere else on the page flips it back to the page.


Your mobile browser is emulating the hover event which may not be the case on all devices or browsers. Google hover and click events on mobile devices. Your web design tool may have even created a handler for a click event in addition to the hover.
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teapot



Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 804
Location: Loire valley

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kev,
Sorry for the thread drift.
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