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Anyone have tips for improving my site?

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  • Anyone have tips for improving my site?

    Hello!

    My site is Loch Ness Water Gardens (we sell koi pond supplies and aquatic plants).

    What do you guys think?

    Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated!

    ~ Scot
    Last edited by jimmy3dcart; 12-16-2019, 04:28 PM.

  • #2
    OK Ill give you some opinions. I stress the opinion part. I can only say what I personally find as a hindrance to me as well as my own personal preference. I am not near the expert alot of these guys and girls around here are but here goes....
    • Left alignment- Im not a fan of left alignment. Im guessing this was done to not obscure the background image.
    • Slow load- First time in the site loaded VERY slow. Once I had it cached it wasnt terrible. I didnt pull your source but something isnt exactly right in there probably something in your frame.html
    • No contact form on the contact page- I expected to find a contact form on the contact page. There was some minor contact info but not much in the way of immediate direct contact. Im left with a call or copy and pasting your email. I did notice the clickable Mailto: in the header. In my experience this will eventually get you spammed.
    • Contact page and About us combined- I would personally give each their own page as well as a page for the other info.
    • Some items without base price in category view- I firmly believe everything should have a price in category view. I have seen cases that a price was a bad idea. The ones you have with no price really didnt seem to have a reason that they could not have a category price. I might be missing something.
    • Price and header font color- While I could read them, the light color font on a white background did not contrast well. I have very poor vision and had to look closely.
    • Need a favicon- Add a favicon. I find this as a simple easy way to give your site some definition. Almost all browsers support them these days. Super easy to add.
    • Page width- Id personally like to see the overall page a bit wider. I felt compacted into a small space.


    Overall youve got a nice start. Your product listings themselves look good. You might want to look at a slider for your home page in place of the static graphic you have there. I sat there for a second waiting for it to change lol.

    I hope something in my ramblings is useful for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Site Review

      I agree with many of Ruppy's point. Here's my take:
      • Your background image is wrong. When I arrived at your site I expected a "look and feel" of "water/ponds" more than a giant flower. IF you do keep the image, optimize it and call it from your stylesheet. I didn't peek at your code to see if you had already. I'd switch the image to a pond with lily pads or something like that and work with a color scheme of 4 colors throughout your site that played off of the "water" theme/background. The "fuzzy" flower image really should go. Your site will load faster without a background image.
      • Heading and rollover colors need changing for visibility, as previously stated.
      • The central image is TOO BIG! Possibly change that to a slideshow.
      • No need for a "1" in front of the phone number.
      • Cloak your email address AND link your email address everywhere it is used/written.
      • Definitely a separate About Us, Contact and Policy page. Add content to the About Us page that tells me about your business, your expertise, your qualifications - NOT a canned message! Make it real and personal. Why should I trust you?
      • Your Contact page needs ALL contact information and business hours.
      • Add a Resources page.
      • Center your site.
      • ALL listings need images.
      • I have a pet peeve with ( ) They look like you're whispering. If you have something to say, say it. Nix the ( )
      • Consider changing the gray background to white or off-white.
      • ALL listings need text descriptions.
      • Take your font size up a notch - at least a 12, possibly 14. You may need to adjust padding.
      • Your ADD TO CART button needs to be a darker color.
      • Your blog looks nice. It loads s-l-o-w-l-y. Try making your site to match your blog look and fix the loading time of the blog.
      • Your blog needs a link back to your website.


      That's all the time I have. Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you Ruppy and celebra1! I appreciate your advice and time.

        I've implemented some of your ideas already and will be doing some more tuning this week.

        I've removed the background image and centered the site. This has made a pretty big speed improvement since that image was about 450kb.

        There is still something wrong with the speed because it seems like it's getting hung up on very small images and having to wait for the 3dcart server. I use tools like pingdom and have notified 3d about it to see if they can figure out what's happening.

        You're right, Ruppy; the left alignment was chosen to better display the background image. It was a lotus flower and very recognizable to our customers. I hate to loose it because I feel like it presented the feel of the site I'm aiming for, but it's not worth the speed reduction.

        I also adjusted some of the text colors, like the price, to increase the contrast and make things easier to read. I also increased the font size like celebra1 suggested.

        I'll be making some more changes this week.

        Thanks again for your suggestions!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dubert11 View Post
          Thank you Ruppy and celebra1! I appreciate your advice and time.

          I've implemented some of your ideas already and will be doing some more tuning this week.

          I've removed the background image and centered the site. This has made a pretty big speed improvement since that image was about 450kb.

          There is still something wrong with the speed because it seems like it's getting hung up on very small images and having to wait for the 3dcart server. I use tools like pingdom and have notified 3d about it to see if they can figure out what's happening.

          You're right, Ruppy; the left alignment was chosen to better display the background image. It was a lotus flower and very recognizable to our customers. I hate to loose it because I feel like it presented the feel of the site I'm aiming for, but it's not worth the speed reduction.

          I also adjusted some of the text colors, like the price, to increase the contrast and make things easier to read. I also increased the font size like celebra1 suggested.

          I'll be making some more changes this week.

          Thanks again for your suggestions!
          Ill pull your source and see if anything jumps out that could be slowing you down. I can probably web optimize and edit the background image if you really like it ;)

          Make sure everything has a description. The alligator decoy was the first thing i clicked on and it did no hav e a description. I checked several other items and they all did. No description will not play nice with SEO

          Centered looks ALOT better. Some definite improvements :) Get a linkback on your blog or make it open in a new tab so you dont lose traffic that clicks it. It may not index well either the way it is.
          Last edited by Ruppy; 06-05-2012, 02:51 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for the offer, Ruppy! That image is so large dimension-wise that I don't think I can get it much smaller without sacrificing quality. It was originally several megs (maybe 7?) before I got it down to about half a meg.

            It was getting called from the CSS which helped a little.

            I might put it back up if I can get a CDN working. I haven't found many people using it on 3dcart (here's a discussion: http://forums.3dcart.com/plugins-3rd...-options.html). Seems like it would be pretty cool (especially for my other store that's using 90 gigs per month...).

            I think my speed issue might have to do with the reverse proxy I'm running. That's how I'm able to have a wordpress blog on the root in a subfolder. The revere proxy is very cool and allows you to do some neat things, but I think it's causing a delay when browsers call files.

            That blog does have links back to the shopping site, they're up at the top.

            Glad to hear you like the look when it's centered! Thanks for the suggestion!

            You're right on with the product descriptions, too. We're still re-writing some.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a quick update.

              The site is now about twice as fast as it was and I'm now regularly getting sub 2 second load times on pingdom. This was accomplished by changing some settings on the reverse proxy (what I'm using to get Wordpress on the root URL).

              I'll be switching hosts over the next few weeks to see if we can increase the speed even more.

              I've taken some more of your suggestions and increased the contrast of many items (buttons, prices, etc.) to make everything more readable.

              I think the site has improved a lot! Thank you both again for your suggestions.

              If anyone else has any comments/tips, please let me know. Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Suggestions
                • Consider making your ADD TO CART buttons and the rollover in your left nav the darker green like in your logo. IF you keep the ADD TO CART buttons orange, make the text #000;
                • The topnav rollovers need a lighter color, possible a pale blue or the lighter green in your logo
                • The product rollover links need a darker color, like the darker green in your logo.

                Overall, much improved w/o the background image. It's easier to see what you're selling - less distracting. The faster load time is a BIG plus!

                Comment

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