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Website review please
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject: Website review please Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I would welcome any comments on my website that you feel are wrong or could be improved.

www.swallowdale-brundall.co.uk

Thanks.
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The site seems to have all the components required for a rental property apart from something showing where you are on the map.

I found the dark green borders around everything a bit over powering. There are already panels there with colored background so not sure why the border is needed as well.

The site is desktop only, which is maybe a bad choice when starting out these days. On y mobile device it was only possible to navigage with a lot of scrolling and zooming in and out. Bear in mind half your visitors may be on mobile devices and you will penalised by Google.

Other small comments - The visa info is display in header and footer. One would be sufficient. The footer is partly empty but fairly wide. It could do with rearranging.

Website marquees are from the last century.

On a technical side, I'm not sure what tool you've used but the source code is a terrible mess and extremely verbose. Absolutely everything on the page has an absolute position.
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi kevsboredagain,

Thanks for your comments,

My site has a map showing our location on the contacts page.
I will try removing the dark green borders and see what it looks like.
I have looked at building a mobile site but wanted to get the desktop site completed first. I also wasn't sure if I can get the mobile site only on small screens e.g mobile phones and not iPads etc. As I think a desktop site is better on an iPad rather than a mobile site. What do you prefere?
I put the Visa info in the footer just to use up some space, I agree if I remove it and alter the layout, it would look better if the footer was smaller.
If I remove the marquee, what do you think is the best way to display a temporary offer?
I am using Serif Webplus X8 to write the website.

Thanks again for your comments they are very much appreciated.

Ian.
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd always heard that Serif Webplus was good and I know my parents even use it but the biggest complaint I see is that it's does not handle responsive designs.

Your site is a fixed 1500 pixels wide which means it won't fit on a small laptop or small tablet, which might only be 1280 wide. I don't think such devices want to be served up with a mobile site. By making a desktop version first and then a separate mobile site, you've given yourself the task of doing the whole thing twice, which is fine if you have the time and enthusiasm.

In the days before responsive sites were possible, a desktop site would normally be limited to less than 1280 wide so that it would fit on all devices which can handle viewing a desktop site. Some people even say use about 980 as most people don't browse with the window at full size of the screen.

You can display a special offer without the marquee effect. It's just considered a bit cheesy these days, like spinning email GIFs and flashing colours.
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have reduced the size of the footer. I know there is still some space to fill, but do you think it looks small enough now?

I have removed 3 of the borders on the home page to compare them. Do you think they look better without the green borders?

Ian.
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 796
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on a lap top but I can't see it's full width without scrolling across.
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rosie,

I will change the width of my website tomorrow from 1500 to 1280.

Thanks for your comments.
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1586
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm slightly confused by the booking process as I seem to be taken to different places depending on which buttons I press.
The "Click here to book your 2017 holiday at 2016 prices" sends me to a payment site which appears to be still on your website powered by bookalet and allows me to happily book available 2016 dates whereas the "Please click here to book Swallowdale for 2016" sends me to Riverside Rentals and a Supercontrol booking page.

Having 2 different online booking systems running in parallel for the same dates runs the risk of double-bookings.
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi newtimber,

I have recently purchased this holiday let and the previous owner was in contract with riverside rentals and as there were already a lot of bookings I had to agree to stay with them for the rest of this year. Next year I will be taking my own bookings which is why I have set up the bookalet system. I know it is a bit confusing but at the moment I am stuck with having to use both systems.

Ian.
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1586
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian

If you aren't allowed owner bookings in 2016, then you shouldn't allow anyone to book dates in 2016 using bookalet.

If you are allowed owner bookings, why link to the agents site at all?
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Bookalet doesn't have the option of starting on a certain date. All I can do is hope customers click on the correct button to be directed to the correct page. I know it's not ideal but I couldn't see any other way. If customers do book 2016 through bookalet then I can cancel the booking and put it through riverside rentals quiet easily.

Ian.
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can fix the width by having all the widths in percentages instead of fixed widths in pixels. That way it will work the same at smaller or larger resolutions.
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also think it looks better without the green borders around the text and would also ditch the green strip at the top, the credit card logos thing was designed for a white background and looks bad. Also the scrolling text marquee is really distracting, I always scroll pages that have those so I don't see them any more.

That said none of the above would put me off booking as the property looks really nice from the photos you have.

In terms of search engine optimisation, you need to change your page title from just Swallowdale to something much more key
word rich - eg "Riverside holiday home on the Norfolk Broads" or similar. It's the bit in the title tag: <title>Swallowdale</title> and the most important thing Google considers to index your site.
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi kirigiwi,

Thanks for your comments,
I don't understand about setting the width as a percentage but I will have a look at Webplus x8 to see if it is an option before I reduce the width of all the pages.
I am going to remove all the green borders to see what it looks like.
I'm not sure about removing the dark green header and footer though, I think it needs to be a different colour to the light green background, I'll try changing it to white and see what it looks like, but I do agree the credit card sign looks bad on the dark green.
The marquee will be going.
I will change the page title to see if it makes a difference.

Thanks, Ian.
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ianwxxx



Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Brundall, Norfolk

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:57 am    Post subject: Most changes made. Please comment Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have made the majority of the changes that you have all recommended. I still have to alter the width of the site and write a mobile site and a some general aligning left to do.

Any comments on the amended site please.

www.swallowdale-brundall.co.uk
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