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My new-and-improved wp blog
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: My new-and-improved wp blog Reply with quote

I've set up a new site with a new theme...it's really just a rough draft so-to-speak, at this point (!) but I would love any helpful comments, tips, advice, thoughts, etc. I have zero technical experience so please don't suggest anything complicated though i.e. I have no idea about plug-ins or how I'd even go about that so I'd prefer to just work with what I have. I know a plug-in would give me an availability calendar, for instance, but I'd like to find something I can just cut and paste the code. I basically just want something more modern and updated than my old site (in my signature.) I haven't purchased the domain yet (but I will so don't nag, @kev Wink )I'm not sold on the name yet so it can still be changed.

Thank you, in advance, for taking a few minutes!

http://CalitriRental.wordpress.com
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Casa del Cipresso in Calitri, Italy

Southern Italy Blog
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tavi



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 2578
Location: Algarve

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

|Hi Musetta,

No time at present - just had a quick peek. I like the colours and the look, very clean, modern, Italian stylish Smile

on home page - text seems very small compared to everything else....

Photo of kitchen with gas bottle next to cooker is probably not the prettiest shot, and also doesn't look very safe!

Must run ...
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Tavi! I'm going to play around and see re text size - the front sections are widgets provided w the theme so I'm not sure - going to see if I can tweak Wink

re gas bottle. yes. i know. Sad That's how they have them there (!) Every house. As an American, it seemed very odd at first - we don't do that here! Our natural gas is piped in from the mains or there is a propane tank outside the house and piped in...but they are stone, attached houses so no outside I guess...I actually moved it. It was next to the open fireplace when we bought and that just seemed too wrong to ignore. so...I'm not sure how to change it. I guess I could move it for a photo but that seems dishonest. Maybe another angle that makes it less prominent? I didn't want to cover it with a curtain or cabinet because I want people to remember to turn it off when not in use. I'm open to ideas!
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Casa del Cipresso in Calitri, Italy

Southern Italy Blog
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ChrisP



Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35
Location: Normandy, France

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Others will be along shortly who are much more experienced at reviewing sites, but a few thoughts to be going on with:

The layout isn’t bad and I especially like the images

I would lose the boxes that overlay the images on the home page e.g. About, Accommodation, etc. They don’t look right to me and are superfluous with a menu at the top.

I’m not sure about the ‘Reservations’ box in the top right hand corner, an alternative might be a ‘Check availability’ button which opens a link to your calendar?

I find the font used in the main body of the pages too fine and difficult to read.

An embedded Google map would be better on the home page rather than a text link. You’ve already done one on the ‘Location’ page.

Accommodation is misspelt.

The facebook and twitter icons below the accommodation link are superfluous as they are duplicated at the bottom of the page.

On the Accommodation page, I don’t think all the text links are user friendly, e.g. Amenities: Dining Table for Four, Equipped kitchen, Fireplace, Sitting Area with Sofa and Coffee Table, Washing Machine, etc. instead use the space to describe each gallery and make the images links to the various carousels.

Hope some of this helps.
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, Thank you! Most importantly for catching my typo/misspelling!!

I've added the map back in on the front page. If actually had it originally but then removed it because I was afraid it was looking cluttered. What to you think? Better with?

I'm going to play with the font since it seems to be a problem reading!

Some of the things you mentioned are not changeable & are just part of this theme so it's something I need to think about if I want to stick with this one or try out another.

The slider on the front, for example, I can change the heading but I cannot remove the overlay boxes. "Reservations" I can switch to "Contact Us" or something but I don't think I can link to a calendar there...I maybe can add a link to an external calendar in the header menu next to the blog link (?) I'll check!

The accommodation page is a bit of a mess - the theme allowse to add each "room" w a featured image and link to it's page and "amenities" I can't remove that word but I think it won't show if I don't list anything but the photo and title & then you can click that for a page w info...or I can delete the "rooms" and just make that one page w a photos or gallery of the rooms and text. (If that makes sense.) I'll try to redo that part tomorrow.
Thank you again for taking the time to have a look!

p.s. & the extra Twitter & Facebook icons should be gone now
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Southern Italy Blog
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1209
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Musetta. Please accept some critical comments from a non-expert like me:-

(1) The text under your "ABOUT" heading is the same as the text under your "HOME" heading except the paragraphs are reversed. Do you really need the "ABOUT" heading, or alternatively use it for some other purpose like saying something about yourself? People like to know a bit about the person they are renting from. It gives them confidence.

(2) A small point, but could you highlight the particular item on the main menu that one is currently reading. I.e., if you click on "ABOUT" then "ABOUT" would be highlighted and the same if you click on any other heading. I realise that you do make this clear with a heading inside each section, but it's not as graphic.

(3) Your "Terms and Conditions" make interesting reading, but they are not exactly terms and conditions! T's and C's are normally dry and boring because their function is to set out your rules and give you some legal protection. You could check out the T's and C's on other peoples' sites to give you some idea.

Your main picture is great - what a fantastic ancient wall! The views from the window are really interesting too.

On domain name, not everyone from around the world will know where Calitri is. They are less likely to search "Calitri" and more likely to search for some name containing the word "Italy".
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Good idea - I'll come up with something else to say in the "about" section & maybe a brief bio.

I'm not sure what you're saying w your second point...but on my phone now do I'll pull up the site on the computer and maybe it will be clear.

On the t&c's page, if you click "rental terms and conditions Casa del Cipresso," it should pull up a fairly boring pdf of my booking contract. Is it not pulling up? Or do I just need to make it more obvious that it's there?

Thanks again! I don't know what I'd do without the extra sets of eyes.
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Southern Italy Blog
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You’re probably dreading me reviewing it but here goes Razz

The site is clearly based on a template and very little has changed from the layout of the original template. This is a shame as you have the freedom to use your imagination and make any layout you wish from these templates. However, the default is not too bad so I won’t dwell on that.

The leading slider pictures are good and give a strong impression.

The “Reservations” link comes straight from the template but it’s really a contact form rather than a reservation. Perhaps this could be renamed. It also seems to appear more than once in some pages.

On the home page there’s an image titled “Accommodation”. Click on that simply opens a larger version with a title “image” … and it’s a door. There’s also a big button to “About” but this navigation only appears on some pages so it’s a bit confusing.

Moving on to “About”. Strange choice of page name as the visiter has no idea what “About” refers to. About you, the property, the town, the country? The picture there is the same as the home page so it feels like you have not changed page.

Accommodation. Here it gets confusing. The thumbnails are very small and not clickable. The links beside them are clickable but there are so many and take you to blog posts containing a few photos in each post. This is the wrong type of structure and these should be pages, not posts. Posts are used in blogs, pages are used for your normal website content. If you confuse them now, it will get even worse if you do incorporate your blog into your site at a later date. This problem made viewing all the aspects of the accommodation very difficult and time consuming. The blog posts even have links which use the word “hotel”.

Availability – This takes you to a page where you say availability is on VBRO. It’s worth doing a quick Google to find out how to embed this into your own site.

Hopefully you will progress to your own domain once it’s ready to go live, so it's a good start and integrating your existing blog should now be feasible.
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll write more when I'm at a computer and can check it out there but wanted to pop in and say thanks. Not dreading Smile I've never done anything in computers (last & only was the last wp blogs!) so I don't take a hit at all when people have a look - it gives me another set of eyes and ideas how to improve and learn how to fx it! Also, since I'm not advertising this one yet, I figured if it was total junk I could start over Wink

I'm not sure I have the technical abilities to be creative...I'm going for a functional place to send visitors that dosen't look schleppy Wink If I have a chance in the future (ie when I am not trying to do it w a toddler "helping.',) I can always do a newer, more customized site; this one dosen't have to be forever...but I was embarrassed to post the old on k own fb page (!) so that needs to be fixed Wink

I'm going to rename "reservations " I kind of like the look of it on the home page header...that said. I have the option of keeping one in the left widget (or anything else I want to put there.) so it is on all pages or getting rid of that for a cleaner look but just keeping it on the home page and I can add my contact info on the about page...

Speaking of which...named it about for the minute for lack of something better. When I tried to give the home page an image and the slider pages images, there was a wired duplicate image showing so after playing around (& reading the wp forums,) I removed my home image and created a different page ("about," that I put the image I wanted to appear on the home page...dosen't that make sense? I like the castle wall photo in this theme - I just thought the coloring looked nice, so we trying to incorporate that. Maybe I should make it "about us" or something? Ideas anyone?

The accomodation pages were me trying to be fancy & use the template...that's why they are "posts," I'm thinking of just making it its own page w gallery's of rooms and normal text. It's easy to delete that little experiment.

As far as I can tell from vrbo forums & Google, I'm not able to embed the vrbo calendar I use mainly. I can use google calendar to synch w vrbo & embed that but it lists my guests' info it seems! and looked bad, imho, so I got rid of it. I'm still looking for something I put there that will look nice (figured s link better than nothing until then.) if anyone has an easy solution, let me know?

Speaking of pages...subpages seem to not show on the mobile version (on my phone. They work fine on my iPad.) So I put links at the main page bottoms (ie "gallery." but now I think they look messy. What do you guys think? Is it important to you to see every page on your phone? Should I leave those or just leave them only on the drop down that you can't get to on phone? (Although I guess people can pull up the full site...but do people do that?) I do not have an office job so I'd say 99.9% of my internet usage is from my phone...but I don't know if that's normal or if people would be on an iPad or laptop anyway.

Still going back & forth w the homepage map, btw, if anyone else has thoughts? I keep removing it and adding it back. I like the cleaner look - the cleaner the better for me / but I also want guest to have any info they need.

Thank you for the compliments on the images. I spent a while getting the right ones!

Thank you for your time & thoughts!
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Casa del Cipresso in Calitri, Italy

Southern Italy Blog
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just saw what you ment w the front page bottom house photo! I changed to the house name rather than "image" and I chanced the heading to "the house" as to not be as confusing...as for the photo of the door...ummm. yeah? That *is* the house! In it's entirety. They are teeny homes built into the mountainside...its 45sq mt (if that.) I felt I needed some sort of picture on the front somehow since my front image looks nice but it's not the front of my house. I can add a description to the photo...or I can add text in the front page by it? I didn't realize people would think it's a random picture of a door rather than a picture of the house (!) thanks for pointing it out.

p.s. Just added an additional photo of the street...not sure I love it on the front but I don't want confusion.
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Southern Italy Blog


Last edited by Musetta on Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I should change/use the "about" page for FAQs (?) instead of "about us" I feel weird putting FAQs first...but I need the current "about" to be listed first if I want that image as the main one...but I can name it whatever and use it for whatever....

or could remove some of the text from the front page as to not duplicate (?)
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Southern Italy Blog
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7005
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure quite what you're trying to achieve, but you can change the order in which your pages display when in edit mode and there are plug ins that allow you to choose which image a page will display, which can be different to that on the page. Probably a bit complex for where you're at but something to remember. I'm no wordpress expert though, these are just lessons I have learned in creating mine.
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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no, I can change the order - no prob. I don't need a plug in or anything to set featured images in the front slider. With this theme though, whatever the first page featured image is is what will display on the front (from what I can tell.) It's not a big deal though to change the images on the pages...I'm probably not expressing myself well as I don't know the technical terms Smile
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7005
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I don't know the technical terms either so that makes two of us. Wink Sounds like you're on the right track anyway. There are plug ins for calendars I know, but I chose to embed my PIMS calendar. It's in an iframe so there are compromises but it works well enough for me so far as I use PIMS for the whole booking management process regardless of where the enquiry originates.
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Musetta wrote:
Maybe I should change/use the "about" page for FAQs (?) instead of "about us" I feel weird putting FAQs first...but I need the current "about" to be listed first if I want that image as the main one...but I can name it whatever and use it for whatever....

or could remove some of the text from the front page as to not duplicate (?)


To make a new page, you click on Pages "Add New" You are not limited to overwriting the template contents.

Simply make the pages you want and then go to Appearance/Menus. In there you drag the pages you want into your menu. If you want a submenu page, then indent it to the right in the list.
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