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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2009, 11:01 PM
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Hi all:

After another discussion last week with a friend who wants to blog some of her ideas, but doesn't have a technical background, I had an idea to help out folks in similar circumstances with a basic blogging service.

The site is almost done -- but still has some tweaks (especially in the shopping cart). Since I'd like to open for business in November, I thought now is a good time to throw the site out for review.

I'd appreciate your insights and input on the site.

Thanks,

Alison
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:32 AM
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Hey, ladies (and gents)! I could really use your input! Pretty please?

Win with 1

Do you understand what the site offers? Is it clear?

Can you reasonably find your way around?

Are there gaping grammatical errors or typos that I missed because it was 3:30 am?

And, yes, I am setting up a contact page -- any minute now!


Last edited by AlisonMSmith; 10-28-2009 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:16 PM
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It seems basic and yet it tells you what the site is about on the main page, I like that but I have to say I dislike the green...very hard on the eyes.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:57 PM
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LOL Well, at least I got a response! I love the bright colors (that's just me) but I'll see if I can tone it down without crying too hard! Thanks for the feedback.

Anything else anyone? I've never seen it so quiet in here.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:45 PM
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Alison...

You are a fantastic contributor to this forum... and there are times we don't see eye to eye on things.

My take on your site is that most of what you offer can be acquired for free (except for the domain name).

That being said... I think you have a good concept as there are many people who are getting into the "internet world" and have no clue as to where to begin.

It is hard for me to be objective as I have always been a DIY type.

I would suggest pointing out the benefits of one platform (WordPress) and sticking to it.

Explain the ownership of a domain name, ownership options, and who the provider is. After all, you are appealing to an uninformed audience.

Can I host more than 1 website for the price? How many email addresses can I have? What kind of SEO is provided? Maintenance?

These may be questions that are asked.

I realize that this is a convenient option for some but I feel that a lot of people getting into the market these days are going to be savvy enough to do "some" research and may question the ROI of your business.

Look through the threads in this forum (and others) and read what people are asking for.
They are SEO aware (even though most don't know what's involved).

Plugins are free. A vast majority know this. Including this as part of the cost is not credible. Even If I was not aware of this, I probably would find out in the future and not be happy with your package.

Unfortunately, even the most naive people are aware of search engine results and we need to give them a reason to do business with us.

I like the concept but I think you should be offering more.

(also - your domain name service and hosting service are posted on the main page)
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlisonMSmith View Post
LOL Well, at least I got a response! I love the bright colors (that's just me) but I'll see if I can tone it down without crying too hard! Thanks for the feedback.

Anything else anyone? I've never seen it so quiet in here.
Hi Alison!

I was wondering which CMS you are using to put together your blogs? Or if you are writing your own CMS?

I think the layout of your site is very nice and clean, but I agree that the green is a little hard on the eyes. It's not the color itself, but it's in contrast with a really bright white. I think you can definitely pull off the bright colors that you like though. I found some websites to show you what I mean and hopefully give you some inspiration!

I am new to WAHM, and I don't know what the rule is for posting websites for non-promotional purposes. I looked and can't find a rule against it. So if I am breaking it, someone please let me know!

USTVARJALKO - 3. glasbena delavnica :: Utrinki This website uses a bright green. Two things it does is have a gradient background which ads a bit of a modern feel to it, and the other thing is that it uses a light green in place of white. It helps tone down the website so that there isn't so much contrast.

:: EMOTIONS by Mike :: freelance portfolio This website is like 90% green, but it uses a solid background with gradients to add interest and eliminate contrast. You could probably easily create an effect like this with your layout.

Lastly Bookkeeping in a Box ~ Business and personal bookkeeping made simple is an example of a bright website using many colors, but it seems to fit the layout you are going for a little more. There is a significant use of white on this page, but notice all the bright colors are up top, and the white is all at the bottom, and there is a gradient that transitions the site from bright colors to white. This also tones down the contrast.

Anyways, I looked at all of your pages and it is clear to me what your business is. I think you have a fabulous idea! I didn't see any typos or anything either, and all of your sentences made sense to me.

I hope this helps!

Last edited by DigitalChique; 10-28-2009 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:41 PM
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Hey LA Grouch, I appreciate response! I was really asking for feedback on the site itself and the functionality -- not the business model -- but I'm happy to address that, too. Thanks for taking the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Grouch View Post
My take on your site is that most of what you offer can be acquired for free (except for the domain name).
Actually, it can't.

Just today you posted this:
Quote:
The best of both worlds would be to purchase your own domain (less than $10/yr.) and hosting at HostGator ($7.95/Mo - unlimited everything).
You'll note that your "best" suggestion costs $105.40 for a year. Mine costs $100 ($90 for those who buy in November). And my clients also get a premium theme, Thesis. Which costs $87. And I do all the work setting everything up for them.

They pay me. I buy the domain, the hosting, install the software, install the theme, set up permalinks and other basic settings, install the plugins, set up the email, link back to their site. Then I send them the username and password.

They spend less than it will cost them on their own and I do all the work.

Quote:
It is hard for me to be objective as I have always been a DIY type.
DIY is great, but only when it's cost effective (or when you really, really love doing something that isn't cost effective). That's true for building a home or building a car or building a web site. Positioning yourself as "a DIY type" shouldn't create a bias against creating services that make sense.

Quote:
I would suggest pointing out the benefits of one platform (WordPress) and sticking to it.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. I am only offering one platform: WordPress.

Quote:
Can I host more than 1 website for the price? How many email addresses can I have?
I think this is a good point, but is the offering not clear on this point? It says on the front page "1 domain" and "1 email." Could you clarify the point of confusion?

Quote:
I realize that this is a convenient option for some but I feel that a lot of people getting into the market these days are going to be savvy enough to do "some" research and may question the ROI of your business.
Could you give me some more feedback on what you mean, please? Using your domain and hosting numbers and adding Thesis, the package is worth $191.50 even without including the labor. So I'm not sure what's missing on the return on investment.

Quote:
Plugins are free. A vast majority know this. Including this as part of the cost is not credible. Even If I was not aware of this, I probably would find out in the future and not be happy with your package.
Yes, they are. I'm not including them as "part of the cost" (there is no cost breakdown there). The value ad is that I'm downloading, installing, and activating them for the client. I'm unsure why including them in the package would be deemed to mean that I had to buy them from someone first. Do you think it does?

WordPress is also free, as are the email address, ebook, and keyword linkback. They just take my TIME and expertise to set up. I do not present them as having an added cost to me. SERVICE has value of it's own. Do you disagree?

Quote:
also - your domain name service and hosting service are posted on the main page
Yes, as is the theme I install. By design.

Last edited by AlisonMSmith; 10-28-2009 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:50 PM
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DigitalChique, your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalChique View Post
I was wondering which CMS you are using to put together your blogs?
I'm using WordPress for my clients and also on this particular site. On the homepage it lists WordPress as the installed application (see the bullet list).

Quote:
I think the layout of your site is very nice and clean, but I agree that the green is a little hard on the eyes.
LOL yes, I think there is a consensus on that. Thank you so much for the links. I will look over all of them to get a feel for what you suggest. That's what I really need is another set of eyes. Thank you.

And thank you for the kind encouragement.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:56 PM
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Just looked over those links. Really good examples of people who are much more artistic than I am! (You'll never find me offering to create logos or other art for people!) That has helped a lot. Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:17 PM
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No problem. I hope I've been able give you some inspiration. Let me know if you want any help with the graphic stuffs.

By the way, I know another designer that does nothing but build Wordpress blogs/websites for people and she is very successful. Your approach is a little different than hers, but I think you'll do just as well because Wordpress is such a hot commodity. Good luck!
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