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Why is this site a flop?

P: n/a
Hi,

Since I have made changes to my website it's been a complete flop. According
to the logs, as soon as visitors have downloaded the index page they are
off. I can't figure out why?

http://www.review-a-gadget.com/

Is there anything obvious that I am missing? Are there problems with some
browsers? Please let me know if you notice anything.

Thanks very much for any help you might be able to offer.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #1
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P: n/a
In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Since I have made changes to my website it's been a complete flop.
According to the logs, as soon as visitors have downloaded the index
page they are off. I can't figure out why?

http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
Probably because it looks like an amateur site, rather than a
professional store one could trust.

This on the main page doesn't inspire confidence:
"This page visited 559 times since December 10th, 2006."
Is there anything obvious that I am missing? Are there problems with
some browsers? Please let me know if you notice anything.
Well, I clicked on "remote control motorcycle" and got a page with one
motorcycle and two submarines. Then I clicked on the one motorcycle and
got "This Page Visited 1 Times."

Also, on the main page all the links for motorcycles and submarines
changed to my visited link color instead of just the one I clicked. Then
I clicked on one helicopter link and six links changed to visited color.
Heh.

The link layout is terrible.

My JavaScript is turned off; why do you need to know what browser I am
using?
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/includes/browser.js

You need to optimize a lot of your thumbnails. Ex:
http://images.hobbytron.com/BC-P618A.jpg
41.5KB, and should be around 1-2KB.

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

<quote>
URL: http://www.review-a-gadget.com/Airsoft_Gun.php
Title: The size of this web page (1019705 bytes) has exceeded the
maximum size of 1000000 bytes.
Date: Report run on Sun Jan 14 12:14:31CST2007

The size of this web page (1019705 bytes) has exceeded the maximum size
of 1000000 bytes.
Please try again.
</quote>

One page over a megabyte? People probably get tired of waiting for
pageloads.

I used Firefox and Opera.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 14 '07 #2

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Hi,

Since I have made changes to my website it's been a complete flop. According
to the logs, as soon as visitors have downloaded the index page they are
off. I can't figure out why?

http://www.review-a-gadget.com/

Is there anything obvious that I am missing? Are there problems with some
browsers? Please let me know if you notice anything.

Thanks very much for any help you might be able to offer.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
It's not really attractive.

* Your title "Review A Gadget" is easily overlooked because it is not a
header (e.g., <h1>) with a enlarged font. No, don't make the font
larger. Instead, use the <h1tag.

* Your navigation box overlays part of the Airsoft list of links.

* In the lists of links, the links are just strung together. They
should be regularly spaced in borderless tables with 4-5 columns, with
the same number of columns for each table. This would be a tabular
presentation, which is the proper purpose of tables.

* Each acronym should be capitalized. Each list item should begin with
a capital. "gas rc car" should be "Gas RC car".

* While the link appears okay, the text for your Contact has two
periods between gadget and com: feedback@review-a-gadget..com

* Your page has 8 HTML errors that might adversely impact how some
browsers display the page.

* You have a counter. For a commercial page, only 558 visits in over a
month might be embarrassing. If you want to know the number of hits,
use a silent counter (a counter that you can observe without it
appearing on the page). I use a silent counter until the count reaches
1000. Also, you need a better counter; yours increments even when you
get multiple hits from the same user within a few seconds. (Go to my
<http://www.rossde.com/internet/web_design.html>, scroll down to
"Counters and Other Scripts", and read the first paragraph.)

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

I use SeaMonkey as my Web browser because I want
a browser that complies with Web standards. See
<http://www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/>.
Jan 14 '07 #3

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Since I have made changes to my website it's been a complete flop.
According to the logs, as soon as visitors have downloaded the
index page they are off. I can't figure out why?
What did it look like before?

--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Jan 14 '07 #4

P: n/a
Hi K A,

----- Original Message -----
From: "K A Nuttall" <ke***@yammer.coedotyoukay.invalid>
Newsgroups:
comp.infosystems.http://www.authoring.html,comp.infos...ng.site-design
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2007 11:16 AM
Subject: Re: Why is this site a flop?
What did it look like before?
Even worse. http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluyn.../index_old.php But
it went flatout over the new year.

--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #5

P: n/a
Hi David,

"David E. Ross" <no****@nowhere.notwrote in message
news:cb******************************@iswest.net.. .
It's not really attractive.
I agree. Maybe this is why people are bailing at first sight. I should work
on this and other things such as list of link spacing etc.
* While the link appears okay, the text for your Contact has two
periods between gadget and com: feedback@review-a-gadget..com
How on earth did you spot that? Yes its deliberate. I'm trying to cut down
on spam.
* Your page has 8 HTML errors that might adversely impact how some
browsers display the page.
That's a worry. I'll have to find a HTML checker webpage and go through the
whole site.
* You have a counter. For a commercial page, only 558 visits in over a
month might be embarrassing. If you want to know the number of hits,
use a silent counter (a counter that you can observe without it
appearing on the page). I use a silent counter until the count reaches
1000. Also, you need a better counter; yours increments even when you
get multiple hits from the same user within a few seconds. (Go to my
<http://www.rossde.com/internet/web_design.html>, scroll down to
"Counters and Other Scripts", and read the first paragraph.)
Hmm, yeah I read that page counters were a waste of time as far as website
visitors are concerned. I've tried to hide it in the small print at the
bottom of each page. Maybe I should just log the data and not actually
display it. The old site went gang-busters and got 3500 hits in 2 weeks. I
suspect that most of the 558 visitors to this site have just been search
engines.

Thanks very much for the objective opinion. It seems that I still have a lot
of work to do. Gee, I though running a website was going to be easy. I
hadn't counted on what you have to do to both get visitors, and then to keep
them.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
Jan 14 '07 #6

P: n/a
Hi Beauregard,

"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote in message
news:Bw*********************@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Probably because it looks like an amateur site, rather than a
professional store one could trust.
Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. If there isn't any major technical
hangup, then I guess that's why people are bailing out at first sight. I'll
have to do more her I think.
This on the main page doesn't inspire confidence:
"This page visited 559 times since December 10th, 2006."
Yep. Old site went okay. This one has only been going for 4 or 5 days, but
gosh it's slooooow.
The link layout is terrible.
That's also one of the things that has been pointed out. I'll have to even
up the spacing of those a bit. Now that somebody has pointed it out, then It
does look pretty amatuerish I agree. I'm not sure what's going on with those
link colours? Maybe it's something to do with the HTML errors. I'll have to
give it some though.
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

<quote>
URL: http://www.review-a-gadget.com/Airsoft_Gun.php
Title: The size of this web page (1019705 bytes) has exceeded the
maximum size of 1000000 bytes.
Not too sure what's going on there, but the optimization link looks
interesting. I'll have to give it a shot in a minute.

Thanks Beauregard. I really appreciate the opinion and tips. Seems I've got
some work to do yet. Especially on the openning page I guess.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.

--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #7

P: n/a
"Murray R. Van Luyn" <va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrites:
"David E. Ross" <no****@nowhere.notwrote in message
news:cb******************************@iswest.net.. .
>* Your page has 8 HTML errors that might adversely impact how some
browsers display the page.

That's a worry. I'll have to find a HTML checker webpage and go through the
whole site.
I use W3C's validators, for both HTML and CSS:

<http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/#validators>
Hmm, yeah I read that page counters were a waste of time as far as website
visitors are concerned.
They're a waste of time for visitors because:

1. They don't really care how many other visitors you've had.
2. Even if they *did* care, they'd have no way of verifying the accuracy
of the numbers they see.

They're also a waste of time for authors because:

1. They make your page look amateurish.
2. They won't tell you anything your web server logs aren't already
telling you.
bottom of each page. Maybe I should just log the data and not actually
display it.
Web servers keep logs already - why reinvent that wheel?
The old site went gang-busters and got 3500 hits in 2 weeks. I
suspect that most of the 558 visitors to this site have just been search
engines.
Why suspect when you can know? Configure your web server to log user-agent
strings.
Gee, I though running a website was going to be easy.
Why on Earth would you think that??? HTML is easy, but there's a lot more to
running a web site than just HTML.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Jan 14 '07 #8

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Even worse.
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluyn.../index_old.php But
it went flatout over the new year.
Okay, I can see one reason why it may have done worse: no graphics.

Both layouts are too heavy on the links, but at least the old site had
a friendly face.

Was the old site at the same URL as the new?

I'd suggest adding some stock clipart and/or images to the design, to
make it a bit friendlier.

Also, that table stuffed with links looks like a real amateur job (no
offence) with the tabule layout and basic links - I'd suggest coming up
with a much more stylish and less fussy layout than you currently have.
Why not split the categories over separate pages? Illustrate the main
categories with suitable clipart.

The page needs breaking up into sections. Think up a groovy colour
scheme, and play around with the layout.

--
K A Nuttall
www.yammer.co.uk
Re-type the e-mail address how it sounds, remove .invalid
Jan 14 '07 #9

P: n/a
In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Hi Beauregard,

"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
<snippage>
>The link layout is terrible.

That's also one of the things that has been pointed out. I'll have to
even up the spacing of those a bit. Now that somebody has pointed it
out, then It does look pretty amatuerish I agree. I'm not sure what's
going on with those link colours? Maybe it's something to do with the
HTML errors. I'll have to give it some though.
No, it isn't the HTML errors; it is that you have six links all pointing
to the same sub-page. Why is that? For example:

<a href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">helicopter</a>,
<a href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">rc helicopter</a>, <a
href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">remote
control helicopter</a>, <a href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">r
c helicopter</a>,
<a href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">radio control
helicopter</a>, <a href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">electric
rc helicopter</a>,

Six links to ./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php
and the same goes for many of the others. You need just:

<a href="./RC_Electric_Helicopter.php">Radio Controlled Helicopters</a>

It looks as if you are trying to stuff the search engines. That'll get
you .. not far.
>http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

<quote>
URL: http://www.review-a-gadget.com/Airsoft_Gun.php
Title: The size of this web page (1019705 bytes) has exceeded the
maximum size of 1000000 bytes.

Not too sure what's going on there, but the optimization link looks
interesting. I'll have to give it a shot in a minute.
What's going on is your images need to be optimized for the Web.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 14 '07 #10

P: n/a
Hi Sherm,

"Sherm Pendley" <sp******@dot-app.orgwrote in message
news:m2************@Sherm-Pendleys-Computer.local...
I use W3C's validators, for both HTML and CSS:

<http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/#validators>
That's the one I was trying to remember the name of. Thanks for that Sherm.
Why on Earth would you think that??? HTML is easy, but there's a lot more
to
running a web site than just HTML.
Your not wrong there. I thought I could just jam up a few disparate pages
and have lots of visitor from search engines. I had no idea that I would
have to delve so deeply into PageRank just to get a few pages listed with
any sort of priority. I think I can ultimately get the visitors as soon as
the search engines pick it all up, but now no one wants to stay. Crumbs, I'm
only half way there!

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #11

P: n/a
Hi Beauregard,

"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote in message
news:aJ*********************@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
No, it isn't the HTML errors; it is that you have six links all pointing
to the same sub-page. Why is that? For example:
It looks as if you are trying to stuff the search engines. That'll get
you .. not far.
Yes, you are absolutely right. An unethical search engine stuffer am I.
Thanks for the warning about it not getting me very far. You're right. I've
gone backwards a few times with the search engines trying a few different
things over the past 5 weeks. It seems I've gotten away with this one
though, as the index relisted with the one domain that has been picked up by
Google so far.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #12

P: n/a
On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 05:55:59 -0800, "Murray R. Van Luyn"
<va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:
>Subject: Re: Why is this site a flop?
>What did it look like before?

Even worse. http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluyn.../index_old.php But
The old site looks *much* *much* better! You know what the page is
about and what you can do there as soon as you load it.

The new page is just a mess with no real clue as to what it is for or
how one should use it.

Your page has about three seconds to let the user know what it's for and
what they can get there. Your new page fails utterly at this, and
that's why your visits are way down.

The first site looks kind of interesting, I might linger there and click
on a few links. Nice big print. Big bold headline that tells me what
it's for.

Your second site is just a blur so far as first impressions are
concerned. No reason to stick around that I can see. And as you are
finding out.
Jan 14 '07 #13

P: n/a
"Murray R. Van Luyn" <va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrites:
I had no idea that I would
have to delve so deeply into PageRank just to get a few pages listed with
any sort of priority.
You don't have to do that. You don't have to know *anything* about PageRank.
Just write meaningful content, and PageRank will take care of itself.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Jan 14 '07 #14

P: n/a
Hi K A,

"K A Nuttall" <ke***@yammer.coedotyoukay.invalidwrote in message
news:Xn*************************@212.23.3.119...
Okay, I can see one reason why it may have done worse: no graphics.

Both layouts are too heavy on the links, but at least the old site had
a friendly face.
Mmm. Some of the sites I like best have photos of peoples faces on them.
It's funny how a little image can make so much difference to the impression
you get from a site. Here's one I really like that seems to do this for me.
http://www.searchenginesubmission.bi...ubmission.html
Was the old site at the same URL as the new?
No. I now have 2 new domains. Three separate sites at 3 different domains.
1400 pages bleeding PageRank into the 200 page main site. I'm going to get
banned by all the search engines for sure. Hey, you can't bake a cake
without cracking a few eggs.
I'd suggest adding some stock clipart and/or images to the design, to
make it a bit friendlier.
Yeah, you're right. That's exactly what it needs. EXACTLY! Some nice artwork
or a friendly face or 2 to greet people. As it is it's cold and sterile
text. No wonder people are bailing the second they see it. I just got
finished with a book that says that the text on a site is everything. I'm
starting to think that friendly faces are really important too.
Also, that table stuffed with links looks like a real amateur job (no
offence)
None taken I can assure you. I really appreciate getting the honest feedback
I need so I can find out what's going wrong here. I really wish I didn't
need the 'sitemap' and 'popular pages' tables. They're just to help serach
engines distribute PageRank around the site to where it needs to be. I'll
have to have a bit of a surf and see if I can't find something a little bit
nicer to try to emulate.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #15

P: n/a
Hi Ed,

"Ed Seedhouse" <es********@shaw.cawrote in message
news:s1********************************@4ax.com...
Your page has about three seconds to let the user know what it's for and
what they can get there.
That's very true. I probably stay at some sites for only about 3 seconds
before choofing-off if it doesn't look useful to me. I never imagined how
important those first 3 seconds might be. Yep, I'm really going to have to
put some effort into that first page that springs up.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #16

P: n/a
Hi Sherm,

"Sherm Pendley" <sp******@dot-app.orgwrote in message
news:m2************@Sherm-Pendleys-Computer.local...
You don't have to do that. You don't have to know *anything* about
PageRank.
Just write meaningful content, and PageRank will take care of itself.
Yep. I've been spending way too much time trying to please the search
engines. I think I'll let that go for a bit (there's nothing else I can do
with them anyway). It's time to start improving the site for visitors now.

I've heard a couple of times that all this search engine optimisation might
be a bit of an excercise in chasing one's own tail. The book I just finished
said to focus on delivering useful website content, and forget about all the
rest. I guess there's not much point to having hundreds of visitors, if they
can't find anything meaningful, and just scoot off after a 3 second visit.

Yep, I'm through with SEO for the moment. It's time to make it a really nice
site to visit.

Thanks everyone.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 14 '07 #17

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Hi Sherm,

"Sherm Pendley" <sp******@dot-app.orgwrote in message
news:m2************@Sherm-Pendleys-Computer.local...
>I use W3C's validators, for both HTML and CSS:

<http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/#validators>

That's the one I was trying to remember the name of. Thanks for that Sherm.
>Why on Earth would you think that??? HTML is easy, but there's a lot more
to
running a web site than just HTML.

Your not wrong there. I thought I could just jam up a few disparate pages
and have lots of visitor from search engines. I had no idea that I would
have to delve so deeply into PageRank just to get a few pages listed with
any sort of priority. I think I can ultimately get the visitors as soon as
the search engines pick it all up, but now no one wants to stay. Crumbs, I'm
only half way there!

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
Create a Web page with content people want to see. Then you don't have
to bother with PageRank.

My commentary criticizing United Parcel gets about 40 hits per day. (A
Google English-only search on "United Parcel Service" shows my page at
12th place.) My page about my hobby of gardening gets over 12 hits per
day. Yes, these counts might be puny for a commercial page; but these
are non-commercial pages that I did little or nothing to promote (other
than sometimes mentioning them in the signature of my E-mail and
newsgroup messages).

Note: My "hit" counter records the time and source (IP address) of each
access. If the next access is from the same source and the time is
within five minutes of the previous access, the counter is not
incremented. Approximately one-third of the hits are from search engine
bots and crawlers.

You might want to read all of my
<http://www.rossde.com/internet/web_design.html>, not just the part
about "Counters and Other Scripts". Although the focus is on the design
of personal, non-commercial Web pages, some of the information might
also be appropriate for commercial pages.

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

I use SeaMonkey as my Web browser because I want
a browser that complies with Web standards. See
<http://www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/>.
Jan 15 '07 #18

P: n/a
Ed Seedhouse wrote...
>On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 05:55:59 -0800, "Murray R. Van Luyn"
<va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:
>>Subject: Re: Why is this site a flop?
>>What did it look like before?

Even worse. http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluyn.../index_old.php But

The old site looks *much* *much* better! You know what the page is
about and what you can do there as soon as you load it.

The new page is just a mess with no real clue as to what it is for or
how one should use it.
I agree with what others have said - that the old site makes a better
impression than the new one.

Three further comments on the new site:

There is a lot of white space after "Our reputation depends upon it." I
thought that this was the end of the page. It was only because you had
asked for opinions that I bothered to hang about and noticed that there
was more if I scrolled down. A casual visitor might not notice that the
page continues after the white space.

I tried viewing the page in a 800px wide browser window, and the
navigation panel on the left overlapped the text on the right. This
starts to happen at around 900px width. Not everyone has their browser
occupying the whole screen. Some people still have 800 x 600 screens.

The text seems to put an emphasis on buying online rather that the site
offering reviews. I thought the text on the old site did better with
"find out about..." Okay, your interest is in people buying online
through the links on your site, but you have to give them a reason to
venture that far into the site.
--
Martin Clark
Jan 15 '07 #19

P: n/a
Hi Martin,

"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
news:Wu**************@getta.life...
I agree with what others have said - that the old site makes a better
impression than the new one.

Three further comments on the new site:

There is a lot of white space after "Our reputation depends upon it." I
thought that this was the end of the page. It was only because you had
asked for opinions that I bothered to hang about and noticed that there
was more if I scrolled down. A casual visitor might not notice that the
page continues after the white space.
Yeah, that only happened later last night. I'm trying to hide that awful
sitemap for the moment.
I tried viewing the page in a 800px wide browser window, and the
navigation panel on the left overlapped the text on the right. This
starts to happen at around 900px width. Not everyone has their browser
occupying the whole screen. Some people still have 800 x 600 screens.
Oh dear. I setup the page to work with a maximised browser on an 800 x 600
screen. Obviously what works for me doesn't work for everyone else. Thanks
for pointing that out. I wouldn't have known this otherwise.
The text seems to put an emphasis on buying online rather that the site
offering reviews. I thought the text on the old site did better with
"find out about..." Okay, your interest is in people buying online
through the links on your site, but you have to give them a reason to
venture that far into the site.
Hmm. The stuff I've been reading since doing the first site said focus on
text not graphics, and to specifically focus on the one goal of the site,
which is to sell. I'm starting to think I've misunderstood all of that. My
interpretation just doesn't interest anyone. I'm starting to get an idea of
what I have to do on the opening page. It should be a 'Magazine Cover', and
use visually interesting content to do just that - interest people. Text and
cheesy sales pitches can wait.

I'm really glad I asked you guy's about this. I can fix this. I wont have
this problem of people bailing out in the first 3 seconds anymore. Cool!

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 15 '07 #20

P: n/a
Martin Clark wrote:
I agree with what others have said - that the old site makes a better
impression than the new one.
Indeed. The new one looks somewhat like one of those "holding" pages put
up by cybersquatters and other such individuals. e.g.

http://www.voicetek.com
http://www.neatway.com
http://www.nisio.com

(some randomly selected samples found on Google)

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

Jan 15 '07 #21

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote...
>Hi Martin,
>There is a lot of white space after "Our reputation depends upon it." I
thought that this was the end of the page. It was only because you had
asked for opinions that I bothered to hang about and noticed that there
was more if I scrolled down. A casual visitor might not notice that the
page continues after the white space.

Yeah, that only happened later last night. I'm trying to hide that awful
sitemap for the moment.
I see you have added some pretty pictures before the white space now,
which at least makes the page seem more inviting!
>I tried viewing the page in a 800px wide browser window, and the
navigation panel on the left overlapped the text on the right. This
starts to happen at around 900px width. Not everyone has their browser
occupying the whole screen. Some people still have 800 x 600 screens.

Oh dear. I setup the page to work with a maximised browser on an 800 x 600
screen. Obviously what works for me doesn't work for everyone else. Thanks
for pointing that out. I wouldn't have known this otherwise.
See http://www.auluk.freeserve.co.uk/pic...iewagadget.jpg to see
what I see at 800px width.

Why is the javascript navigation box not further to the left?
I see it is given a fixed position on the screen:
"menus[0] = new menu(150, "vertical", 160, 190, -2, -2, etc..."
I don't know about javascript menus as I have never used one, but would
the positioning work better if you changed the horizontal position to a
% of the screen width?
Something like "vertical", 10%, 190, -2, -2, ?
>The text seems to put an emphasis on buying online rather that the site
offering reviews. I thought the text on the old site did better with
"find out about..." Okay, your interest is in people buying online
through the links on your site, but you have to give them a reason to
venture that far into the site.

Hmm. The stuff I've been reading since doing the first site said focus on
text not graphics, and to specifically focus on the one goal of the site,
which is to sell. I'm starting to think I've misunderstood all of that. My
interpretation just doesn't interest anyone. I'm starting to get an idea of
what I have to do on the opening page. It should be a 'Magazine Cover', and
use visually interesting content to do just that - interest people. Text and
cheesy sales pitches can wait.
The text is what is important to the search engines - the text together
with the visual appearance is what is important to the visitor. If the
text is too much aimed at search engines it will not be very friendly
for the human reader! You only have a few seconds to make a good
impression and make people feel they want to explore the site.
--
Martin Clark
Jan 15 '07 #22

P: n/a
Hi Martin,

"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
news:61**************@getta.life...
See http://www.auluk.freeserve.co.uk/pic...iewagadget.jpg to see
what I see at 800px width.

Why is the javascript navigation box not further to the left?
I see it is given a fixed position on the screen:
"menus[0] = new menu(150, "vertical", 160, 190, -2, -2, etc..."
I don't know about javascript menus as I have never used one, but would
the positioning work better if you changed the horizontal position to a
% of the screen width?
Something like "vertical", 10%, 190, -2, -2, ?
Gosh, thanks so much for going to all that trouble of uploading the
screenshot for me. I can see that there is definitely a problem. What
browser does this affect? Is it very popular?

You're right, the menu is initially located at a fixed position in a browser
running at 1024 x 768. The line that appears later in the script
menus[0].floatMenu(1024, 768, 10, 0); is supposed to reposition the menu at
a proportionate distance from the top and left of the window as the size of
the window changes. It seems that it's not going to do that for everyone by
the looks of it. Crumbs, that's a shame.

Someone sent me a super-duper link to a page that shows you how to do menus
in CSS. Here it is http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic/ If I can't get
this JavaScript menu to work right, then I'll take everybody's good advice
and get rid of the JavaScript in favour of some CSS. I might be able to lose
the amateurish site look, especially in the tables, if I can manage to pick
up a bit of this style sheet stuff as well.

Thanks again for uploading the screenshot Martin. I really appreciate it.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 15 '07 #23

P: n/a
Hi David,

"David E. Ross" <no****@nowhere.notwrote in message
news:yv******************************@iswest.net.. .
Create a Web page with content people want to see. Then you don't have
to bother with PageRank.
Yes, I think I'll give PageRank a rest for a while. A lot of people seem to
be saying the same thing. Just focus on providing good content and the rest
will follow.
You might want to read all of my
<http://www.rossde.com/internet/web_design.html>, not just the part
about "Counters and Other Scripts". Although the focus is on the design
of personal, non-commercial Web pages, some of the information might
also be appropriate for commercial pages.
Thanks for the link David. Hmm, I was just starting to think of resorting to
Flash animations to get peoples attention. Probably not a good idea. They
are distracting. You're article has many good tips for a website newby like
me.

Good luck with the gardening.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 15 '07 #24

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote...
>"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
>See http://www.auluk.freeserve.co.uk/pic...iewagadget.jpg to see
what I see at 800px width.

Why is the javascript navigation box not further to the left?
I see it is given a fixed position on the screen:
"menus[0] = new menu(150, "vertical", 160, 190, -2, -2, etc..."
I don't know about javascript menus as I have never used one, but would
the positioning work better if you changed the horizontal position to a
% of the screen width?
Something like "vertical", 10%, 190, -2, -2, ?

Gosh, thanks so much for going to all that trouble of uploading the
screenshot for me. I can see that there is definitely a problem. What
browser does this affect? Is it very popular?
Firefox, which is fairly popular. The same problem does not seem to
happen when I looked in IE6.
>Someone sent me a super-duper link to a page that shows you how to do menus
in CSS. Here it is http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic/ If I can't get
this JavaScript menu to work right, then I'll take everybody's good advice
and get rid of the JavaScript in favour of some CSS. I might be able to lose
the amateurish site look, especially in the tables, if I can manage to pick
up a bit of this style sheet stuff as well.
Well, I didn't like to say it before, but javascript menus are not
usually considered to be good things. You can probably create something
very similar to what you have got using CSS. Then you can place it
inside the empty <tdthat you have and it will always appear to the
left of the other text.
--
Martin Clark
Jan 15 '07 #25

P: n/a
Dan

Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Hmm. The stuff I've been reading since doing the first site said focus on
text not graphics, and to specifically focus on the one goal of the site,
which is to sell. I'm starting to think I've misunderstood all of that.
Stuff you read (whether online, in books, or anywhere else) needs to be
taken with a large grain of salt. Usually it will focus exclusively on
whatever the author happened to be obsessed with at the moment, and
following it in an overly literal way will cause a lack of balanced
priorities in what you do.

--
Dan

Jan 15 '07 #26

P: n/a
Hi Martin,

"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
news:WS**************@getta.life...
>What browser does this affect? Is it very popular?
Firefox, which is fairly popular. The same problem does not seem to
happen when I looked in IE6.
Oh no. That's just about everyone using Linux, plus a whole bunch of others.
This is embarassing. It probably accounts for a large percentage of those
visitors bailing out in under 3 seconds.
Well, I didn't like to say it before, but javascript menus are not
usually considered to be good things. You can probably create something
very similar to what you have got using CSS. Then you can place it
inside the empty <tdthat you have and it will always appear to the
left of the other text.
Yep, the JavaScript menu has to go. It seems that using HTML and CSS will be
the only way I'm going to get the site working properly for a large majority
of visitors.

Thanks very much for that Martin. I had it reported that it worked okay with
FireFox previously, But I guess that was only at 1024 x 768. Thanks for
going the extra step for me.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 15 '07 #27

P: n/a
Hi Dan,

"Dan" <da*@tobias.namewrote in message
news:11*********************@11g2000cwr.googlegrou ps.com...
Stuff you read (whether online, in books, or anywhere else) needs to be
taken with a large grain of salt. Usually it will focus exclusively on
whatever the author happened to be obsessed with at the moment, and
following it in an overly literal way will cause a lack of balanced
priorities in what you do.
Come to think of it, it was a very different type of product that the author
had most of his experience in selling. It was Ken Evoy's 'Make Your Site
Sell'. The text based sales pitch approach he outlined in his book had
worked very well for him in his efforts to sell a stock tracking software
program. He has a lot of very good advice to offer, but I think I have
actually mis-applied it in an overly literal way.

Never mind. I know where I went wrong now, and I think I'm back on track
now. I'm going to have to rethink the text on the opening page. It's still a
sales pitch. A quick look at the magazine rack at the local newsagent should
yield a few useful ideas I hope.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 15 '07 #28

P: n/a
Hi Martin,

"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
news:WS**************@getta.life...
Well, I didn't like to say it before, but javascript menus are not
usually considered to be good things. You can probably create something
very similar to what you have got using CSS. Then you can place it
inside the empty <tdthat you have and it will always appear to the
left of the other text.
You're right Martin. I found a cross browser CSS only, flyout menu template
that promises to do everything that the JavaScript version did, only as a
much smaller download. Hopefully that will be the 3 second bail-out problem
fully solved.

Thanks again everyone. Much appreciated.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 15 '07 #29

P: n/a
In article
<45***********************@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
"Murray R. Van Luyn" <va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:
Yep, the JavaScript menu has to go. It seems that using HTML and CSS will be
the only way I'm going to get the site working properly for a large majority
of visitors.
I've heard talks about web sites by Russ Weakley, whose CSS menus you
have already found at http://css.maxdesign.com.au/

If I can find the notes I took, I'll write some of them up.

He seems to be promoting the idea that first of all you get the text
content to be the right mix of information and promotion. If someone
comes to your site wanting information about a specific known item, they
want quick access to that item - however if they have that much
knowledge, a search engine probably sent them to the right page for that
item in the first place. So some of your pages need informative material
about the gadgets that interest you. Review a few for real, pointing to
strengths and weaknesses (sure, you may not sell a model with
weaknesses, but it might get people into your site). Become trusted by
buyers for real information, not just sales blurbs. Write about things
that interest you about what you are selling. The search engines will
love you. Especially if other people interested in the same gadgets link
to your site.

Then get the HTML right. All the obvious things folks here will tell you
about.

Like the right Doctype. On a new site, that just about has to be HTML
4.01 Strict. XHTML served correctly isn't handled well by IE6 or 7, so
there is no point (yet) in moving to XML.

Valid HTML, so the browsers know what you were trying to write. Don't
make it hard for browsers with badly written HTML.

Make sure you have a title in the head of your HTML (it is required by
HTML). Not only do some search engines like it, but when people save
bookmarks, the title is usually what shows in their bookmarks. Don't
waste a title on a company name, or something vague like "Introduction"
Use something very specific like "Gadget XYX use and specifications -
company name" Not too many words.

Semantic use of headings. Search engines love h1. If the title says
Gadget XYZ specifications, then the h1 should have something very
similar. A single h1 only per page, thank you. A paragraph after it with
a bit more about Gadget XYZ.

If you run to a h2, then make it a relevant sub-topic, and have some
text after it about the h2. Consider a couple of h2 headigs. For
example:

h2 Using Gadget XYZ
Gadget XYZ is used in farnargling practice, by level three apprentice
padawars.

h2 Gadget XYX Specifications
Gadget XYZ specifications now include an advanced self sealing snorkel
for river crossings, plus optional dragon dropping containers to confuse
tracker dogs.

If you want the name of your site in big letters, just style something
else to display your company name in big letters. An h2 or h3 is often
appropriate, and can be displayed larger than the h1 by CSS.

You might want to also look up semantic web. Here is a quick outline
from someone just discovering it.
http://fadtastic.net/2006/10/19/the-semantic-code/
It works. Google likes it. I think a lot of readers like it also.

--
http://www.ericlindsay.com
Jan 16 '07 #30

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
Hi,

Since I have made changes to my website it's been a complete flop. According
to the logs, as soon as visitors have downloaded the index page they are
off. I can't figure out why?

http://www.review-a-gadget.com/

Is there anything obvious that I am missing? Are there problems with some
browsers? Please let me know if you notice anything.

Thanks very much for any help you might be able to offer.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
Murray,

Hmmm, I just have to ask: are you sure your logs are accurate?

OK, I'll just look at the home page. Here's why I might leave without
going further:

- The domain name led me to think this would be a place where I could
review a gadget. Nothing on the home page shows me how I would do that.
If YOU are going to review the gadgets for me, then a better domain
name would be GadgetReviews.whatever.

- While everything in the navigation menu could be considered to be a
gadget (though I'm dubious about spy cameras), there are many types of
gadgets that are not present. All of the ones you have (again excepting
spy cameras) seem to qualify as Toys. Perhaps visitors were interested
in kitchen gadgets, or garden gadgets, or automotive gadgets...

- "FACT - you will save 30% to 50% by buying online." So? Assuming
this is true, why is it so prominent? My immediate response is, "This
isn't about gadgets or reviews, this guy is trying to sell me something,
not just inform me." Of course, looking at the rest of the page, I see
no evidence to support that impression (no cart, no 'Order here'), but
that just leaves me a bit puzzled.

- If many of your visitors are from the US, they may be confused by
'stockists'; 'merchants' would be better (unless that confuses Brits).

- The word 'Guaranteed!' is very prominent, but isn't a link to
anything. I'd expect it to link to your guarantee. I think most people
expect guarantee to mean some sort of contract, not just a warm
assurance. And what does a guarantee mean when applied to a review? "I
guarantee that the reviews on this site are my opinion and no one elses"?

- The navigation includes 'Bookmark'. I didn't click it. If it means
'Bookmark this site' it should say so. Or better, not be there at all.
If people want to bookmark your site, they know how to do it. If they
click here thinking it's something else, they won't be happy that you
messed with 'their' bookmarks.

- There's a big white space between the thumbnails and the 'site map'.
It looks like something was accidentally left out, hence unprofessional.

- The site map is just a list of currently-available reviews. What
would this page look like if you had 2000 of them? I'd move the site
map to its own page, with just a link on the home page.

- "This page visited xx times". That's of interest to YOU, but not
ME. Again, I view this as a sign of amateur work.

- If I increase the font size by one increment (FireFox), the
navigation text exceeds the size of the boxes it is in and gets clipped.
I seem to recall commenting on this in a prior review...

- You echo your URL (complete with http:) as part of your banner.
That seems redundant, since I won't see the page unless I already knew
the URL.

- I turned off JavaScript and loaded the page again. Oops, there's no
navigation at all! I could use the site map, I suppose, but that's at
the bottom of the page, below that big white space, so I won't see it
until I scroll. [Security folks often recommend that users turn off
JavaScript to avoid malicious scripts. Some users actually follow this
advice. On your site, such visitors will probably arrive at the home
page, see no way to navigate further, and leave. Hmmmm.]

And now some questions, on behalf of the group. You said, "Since I have
made changes to my website it's been a complete flop." What changes did
you make? Was the site a success before you made them? If so, why did
you change it? Have you tried removing the changes one at a time and
observing user response?

One problem here is that you've asked US to deduce why a bunch of OTHERS
don't stay on your site. It would be a bit of work, but you COULD put a
prominent box near the top of the home page that says something like:
"STOP! If you are leaving this site without looking into it further,
PLEASE take a moment and *let us know why*. We really want to do better."

The "let us know why" would, of course, link to a contact form, perhaps
tailored to repeat the same question and not requiring a user to provide
their email address. You might learn something that none of us will
ever catch.

Chris Beall
Jan 16 '07 #31

P: n/a
Hi Chris,

"Chris Beall" <Ch*********@prodigy.netwrote in message
news:vW*******************@newssvr25.news.prodigy. net...
Hmmm, I just have to ask: are you sure your logs are accurate?
Pretty sure. I had a reasonably good squiz and all I could find were search
engines looking at everything, and a few people who just downloaded the
index.
- The domain name led me to think this would be a place where I could
review a gadget. Nothing on the home page shows me how I would do that.
If YOU are going to review the gadgets for me, then a better domain name
would be GadgetReviews.whatever.
Yep, that was my first choice too. Unfortunately I was years too late.
'Review A Gadget' does sound more like somewhere you go to write a review.
Oh well, I'll think a little bit harder before I register the next domain
name.
- While everything in the navigation menu could be considered to be a
gadget (though I'm dubious about spy cameras), there are many types of
gadgets that are not present. All of the ones you have (again excepting
spy cameras) seem to qualify as Toys. Perhaps visitors were interested in
kitchen gadgets, or garden gadgets, or automotive gadgets...
Yep, all toys so far. I'm just warming up. Once I get the search engine, and
all the other site problems sorted out, then I hope to add some more
'gadgety' stuff. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I just love toys!
- "FACT - you will save 30% to 50% by buying online." So? Assuming this
is true, why is it so prominent? My immediate response is, "This isn't
about gadgets or reviews, this guy is trying to sell me something, not
just inform me." Of course, looking at the rest of the page, I see no
evidence to support that impression (no cart, no 'Order here'), but that
just leaves me a bit puzzled.
I few people have said the same thing. I'm definitely open to suggestions
about the opening text. Someone mentioned that the contents of the
description tag would be more appropriate. It reads "REVIEW A GADGET - Find
out about all the most popular and most highly recommended techno-toys,
gifts and gadgets, all in the one place." Yes, the sales pitch isn't going
to work here. Maybe I should save that for an 'about us' page.
- If many of your visitors are from the US, they may be confused by
'stockists'; 'merchants' would be better (unless that confuses Brits).
Yes, my main target viewer is an American female buying Christmas presents.
I have just no idea how to write for such a person, but I'm trying to
Americanise the spelling at least. Thanks for the tip. Merchants it will be
from now on.
- The navigation includes 'Bookmark'. I didn't click it. If it means
'Bookmark this site' it should say so. Or better, not be there at all. If
people want to bookmark your site, they know how to do it. If they click
here thinking it's something else, they won't be happy that you messed
with 'their' bookmarks.
Most sites with a bookmark link seem to call it something like 'bookmark us'
or 'bookmark site'. If it's a little clearer then I really should do the
same.
- There's a big white space between the thumbnails and the 'site map'. It
looks like something was accidentally left out, hence unprofessional.

- The site map is just a list of currently-available reviews. What would
this page look like if you had 2000 of them? I'd move the site map to its
own page, with just a link on the home page.
Oh, I wish that sitemap weren't necessary. It's just not pretty and I'm
really trying hard to hide it by putting it that far down the page. You're
right, it doesn't look so good like that. I'll fix it. All these horrible
sitemap and popular pages tables are there just to redistribute PageRank to
where it needs to be within the site. Make the links invisible or nearly
visible and the page drops off the search engine. I guess I'm stuck with
them, but as I get into CSS a little further, they should improve a little I
hope.
- "This page visited xx times". That's of interest to YOU, but not ME.
Again, I view this as a sign of amateur work.
Yes, the consensus seems to be to log the data, but not to display it. Not
even in the fine print.
- I turned off JavaScript and loaded the page again. Oops, there's no
navigation at all! I could use the site map, I suppose, but that's at the
bottom of the page, below that big white space, so I won't see it until I
scroll. [Security folks often recommend that users turn off JavaScript to
avoid malicious scripts. Some users actually follow this advice. On your
site, such visitors will probably arrive at the home page, see no way to
navigate further, and leave. Hmmmm.]
Yes, the JavaScript menu is scheduled for replacement with a pure CSS
version. I've just learnt that you could do that. That should fix the
problem with JavaScript security aware visitors not seeing a menu and
leaving, as well as 800 x 600 FireFox users getting the menu plonked square
in the middle of the homepage.
http://www.auluk.freeserve.co.uk/pic...iewagadget.jpg
And now some questions, on behalf of the group. You said, "Since I have
made changes to my website it's been a complete flop." What changes did
you make? Was the site a success before you made them? If so, why did
you change it? Have you tried removing the changes one at a time and
observing user response?
This was the old site.
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluyn.../index_old.php It was just
supposed to be a way for me to easily submit a bunch of disparate pages to a
search engine, and then to easily see how they were going. I really had no
intention of ever putting together any sort of website. It just sort of
dragged me down that path with each new discovery I made about search
engines and ranking.

Once I get all the problems that I'm just now discovering sorted out, then I
should be able to get a baseline site performance figure. Hopefully I will
then be in a much better position to accurately gauge the effect of
individual changes. That's an important point you're making and I'll keep it
in mind in future, but for just now chaos seems to want to reign.
One problem here is that you've asked US to deduce why a bunch of OTHERS
don't stay on your site. It would be a bit of work, but you COULD put a
prominent box near the top of the home page that says something like:
"STOP! If you are leaving this site without looking into it further,
PLEASE take a moment and *let us know why*. We really want to do better."

The "let us know why" would, of course, link to a contact form, perhaps
tailored to repeat the same question and not requiring a user to provide
their email address. You might learn something that none of us will ever
catch.
Yes, I've read of website owners popping up a survey form and offering small
rewards for just that sort of invaluable feedback when a customer leaves a
site without making a purchase. That's definitely who I need to speak to.
I'm not exactly sure how to go about such a feat, though. I've had some
really good feedback from this group so far. Perhaps if after I've fixed
some of the things that I need to do, and if the problems then persist, then
maybe I should give it some serious thought.

Thanks for all the effort you've put into your input Chris. It's very much
appreciated.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 16 '07 #32

P: n/a
Hi Eric,

"Eric Lindsay" <NO*************@ericlindsay.comwrote in message
I've heard talks about web sites by Russ Weakley, whose CSS menus you
have already found at http://css.maxdesign.com.au/

If I can find the notes I took, I'll write some of them up.

He seems to be promoting the idea that first of all you get the text
content to be the right mix of information and promotion. If someone
comes to your site wanting information about a specific known item, they
want quick access to that item - however if they have that much
knowledge, a search engine probably sent them to the right page for that
item in the first place. So some of your pages need informative material
about the gadgets that interest you. Review a few for real, pointing to
strengths and weaknesses (sure, you may not sell a model with
weaknesses, but it might get people into your site). Become trusted by
buyers for real information, not just sales blurbs. Write about things
that interest you about what you are selling. The search engines will
love you. Especially if other people interested in the same gadgets link
to your site.
Russ Weakley's perspective sounds interesting. It's clear that I need to get
a bit more input concerning the actual copy on the site. I'm supposed to be
writing for American ladies buying Christmas presents. I have just no idea
how to do that. All the stuff I've read so far was sales pitch oriented.

I agree, I need to position myself as the trusted expert making genuine
product endorsements. Sales blurbs just don't do that. Product feature and
benefit information might be closer to the mark.
Then get the HTML right. All the obvious things folks here will tell you
about.

Like the right Doctype. On a new site, that just about has to be HTML
4.01 Strict. XHTML served correctly isn't handled well by IE6 or 7, so
there is no point (yet) in moving to XML.

Valid HTML, so the browsers know what you were trying to write. Don't
make it hard for browsers with badly written HTML.

Make sure you have a title in the head of your HTML (it is required by
HTML). Not only do some search engines like it, but when people save
bookmarks, the title is usually what shows in their bookmarks. Don't
waste a title on a company name, or something vague like "Introduction"
Use something very specific like "Gadget XYX use and specifications -
company name" Not too many words.

Semantic use of headings. Search engines love h1. If the title says
Gadget XYZ specifications, then the h1 should have something very
similar. A single h1 only per page, thank you. A paragraph after it with
a bit more about Gadget XYZ.

If you run to a h2, then make it a relevant sub-topic, and have some
text after it about the h2. Consider a couple of h2 headigs. For
example:

h2 Using Gadget XYZ
Gadget XYZ is used in farnargling practice, by level three apprentice
padawars.

h2 Gadget XYX Specifications
Gadget XYZ specifications now include an advanced self sealing snorkel
for river crossings, plus optional dragon dropping containers to confuse
tracker dogs.

If you want the name of your site in big letters, just style something
else to display your company name in big letters. An h2 or h3 is often
appropriate, and can be displayed larger than the h1 by CSS.

You might want to also look up semantic web. Here is a quick outline
from someone just discovering it.
http://fadtastic.net/2006/10/19/the-semantic-code/
It works. Google likes it. I think a lot of readers like it also.

--
http://www.ericlindsay.com
Ah, this is all the stuff I've been going nuts with for the past month.
Trying to figure out the best use of things like titles, meta and heading
tags etc. It's really important for me personally to conquer the search
engine rankings challenge. I believe that doctypes are pretty important when
you start to incorporate CSS as I soon hope to, and then appropriately
validated HTML becomes a consideration as well. I've got a bit of work to do
on the HTML it seems. I'll leave that until I've got the CSS flyout menu
that is to replace the current JavaScript one working. By then I should know
better what doctype to validate the HTML against.

Thanks for your input Eric. I'll look forward very much to seeing the notes
you made from Russ Weakley's talks if you are able to locate and post some
of them.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 16 '07 #33

P: n/a
"Murray R. Van Luyn" <va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrites:
Hmm. The stuff I've been reading since doing the first site said focus on
text not graphics, and to specifically focus on the one goal of the site,
which is to sell.
Focusing on text does is not the same as providing no graphics at all. Some of
your most important early visitors are search engines, and they don't "see"
graphics at all, just your text. Whatever text content you provide is also what
blind visitors to your site will hear from their screen readers.

Some folks provide their "content" purely as images, and then try to compensate
for the lack of real text with keywords and other lame "SEO" techniques. That's
simply putting a band-aid on the symptom while ignoring the cause. If relevant
keywords don't appear in your site's textual content, you should ask yourself
why that is the case, instead of trying to "compensate" for that lack by adding
them back in via HTML meta elements.
I'm starting to think I've misunderstood all of that. My
interpretation just doesn't interest anyone. I'm starting to get an idea of
what I have to do on the opening page. It should be a 'Magazine Cover', and
use visually interesting content to do just that - interest people. Text and
cheesy sales pitches can wait.
You're acting as if this is an either/or situation, when it's really not. Text
*cannot* wait; it should come first. But, improving your site's appearance need
not imply replacing text with images either - generally it's a matter of adding
some images and/or styling your text with CSS.

It's a bit of a balancing act. We humans are very visual creatures, but search
engines are effectively blind and ignore layout and design in favor of indexing
pure HTML code. It's important to realize that providing good textual content
and a nice appearance are not mutually exclusive goals, and that you do need to
address both needs.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Jan 16 '07 #34

P: n/a
On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 23:17:41 -0800, "Murray R. Van Luyn"
<va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:

>Hmm. The stuff I've been reading since doing the first site said focus on
text not graphics, and to specifically focus on the one goal of the site,
which is to sell. I'm starting to think I've misunderstood all of that. My
interpretation just doesn't interest anyone. I'm starting to get an idea of
what I have to do on the opening page. It should be a 'Magazine Cover', and
use visually interesting content to do just that - interest people. Text and
cheesy sales pitches can wait.
No, that's most definitely *not* the way to go. Splash screens are
spawn of satan and drive people away never to return. You need to serve
some of the real content of the site on that first page. Just don't try
to overload it. Leave some nice white space like the first page. Have
a nice big heading. Use 100% font sizing and em's for any different
font sizes. Decide what your site is for and focus it on that.

Jan 16 '07 #35

P: n/a
Hi Everyone,

"K A Nuttall" <ke***@yammer.coedotyoukay.invalidwrote in message
news:Xn*************************@212.23.3.119...
Okay, I can see one reason why it may have done worse: no graphics.

Both layouts are too heavy on the links, but at least the old site had
a friendly face.

I'd suggest adding some stock clipart and/or images to the design, to
make it a bit friendlier.
SUCCESS! Well a much improved website performance at least. Since adding a
toy robot face and some tiny toy images to fill up the blank space on the
opening page, things have improved. There are still plenty of visitor still
bailing out at the first page, but it's not everyone like before. Most
people seem to be taking a bit of a look inside the site, and some are there
for quite a while. I couldn't be happier.

I've still got a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but thank you all
for the invaluable feedback and advice that has set me back on the right
course. Wonderful!

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.

--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 16 '07 #36

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote...
>SUCCESS! Well a much improved website performance at least. Since adding a
toy robot face and some tiny toy images to fill up the blank space on the
opening page, things have improved. There are still plenty of visitor still
bailing out at the first page, but it's not everyone like before. Most
people seem to be taking a bit of a look inside the site, and some are there
for quite a while. I couldn't be happier.
Have you considered that at least some of those visitors are readers of
these newsgroups, checking out your site to see what the discussion is
about?
--
Martin Clark
Jan 16 '07 #37

P: n/a
Hi Martin,

"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
news:eQ**************@getta.life...
Have you considered that at least some of those visitors are readers of
these newsgroups, checking out your site to see what the discussion is
about?
--
Martin Clark
Yes, thank you Martin. I'm not too upset about the many people that are
still taking a quick look at the opening page and then bailing, as I imagine
there will be a good number of readers from this newsgroup just popping in
the see what's going on. I still have to address the possibility that some
of these short duration visitors have JavaScript turned off, or are having
other problems with the JavaScript menu. The situation has much improved
over how it was early yesterday, though. I'm ecstatic.

Isn't CSS confusing at first? Never mind, I'm making headway.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 16 '07 #38

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote...
>"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
>Have you considered that at least some of those visitors are readers of
these newsgroups, checking out your site to see what the discussion is
about?

Yes, thank you Martin. I'm not too upset about the many people that are
still taking a quick look at the opening page and then bailing, as I imagine
there will be a good number of readers from this newsgroup just popping in
the see what's going on. I still have to address the possibility that some
of these short duration visitors have JavaScript turned off, or are having
other problems with the JavaScript menu. The situation has much improved
over how it was early yesterday, though. I'm ecstatic.
Glad to hear it! If only all website problems were so easy to solve and
produce ecstatic results!
>Isn't CSS confusing at first? Never mind, I'm making headway.
Confusing? I should say so! Now that you are seeing the possibilities,
I'm sure you'll be eager to ditch your table-based layout and use CSS
for that as well. That's when the fun really starts!
--
Martin Clark
Jan 16 '07 #39

P: n/a
Hi Martin,

"Martin Clark" <ma****@spl.atwrote in message
news:WS**************@getta.life...
>Which browser does the misaligned menu occur with?
Firefox, which is fairly popular. The same problem does not seem to
happen when I looked in IE6.
Good grief! FireFox appears to be used by nearly 30% of all websurfers. I
had no idea. Thank you so much for alerting me to the problem I was having
with FireFox. I would never have though to try the site out with FireFox. I
just didn't know it was so popular.

It seems you need 2 versions of anything you do in CSS. One for ie6, and one
for all the others. I'm busy downloading FireFox right now, and will be
testing the new CSS menu and everything else I do on both browsers from now
on.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 16 '07 #40

P: n/a
In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Murray R. Van Luyn wrote:
It seems you need 2 versions of anything you do in CSS. One for ie6,
and one for all the others.
Only if you do strange stuff (mostly involving precise positioning,
which normally is not necessary).
I'm busy downloading FireFox right now, and will be testing the new
CSS menu and everything else I do on both browsers from now on.
Add a couple of others while you're at it. Opera is a good choice, too.
http://www.opera.com/

And to see what your page looks like with no CSS or JavaScript, and in
which your page should be perfectly understandable. If not ... back to
the drawing board:
http://offbyone.com/

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Jan 16 '07 #41

P: n/a
In article <45***********************@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
Murray R. Van Luyn <va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:
>It seems you need 2 versions of anything you do in CSS. One for ie6, and one
for all the others.
And one for Opera. It's hard to tell the proportion of Opera users,
because that browser spoofs the IE User-Agent identification string.
I've noticed minor differences in the way Opera displays things,
plus one quirk in failing to set proper default coordinates for
hidden block elements.

-A
Jan 17 '07 #42

P: n/a
Murray R. Van Luyn wrote...
>It seems you need 2 versions of anything you do in CSS. One for ie6, and one
for all the others. I'm busy downloading FireFox right now, and will be
testing the new CSS menu and everything else I do on both browsers from now
on.
On the contrary, you should be able to do one version that will work
properly in all browsers, as long as the design is not too complicated.

You are better off getting it to work in something like Firefox, which
is standards compliant, and then doing any tweaks necessary to keep IE
happy, than the other way around.
--
Martin Clark
Jan 17 '07 #43

P: n/a
Hi Ed,

"Ed Seedhouse" <es********@shaw.cawrote in message
No, that's most definitely *not* the way to go. Splash screens are
spawn of satan and drive people away never to return. You need to serve
some of the real content of the site on that first page. Just don't try
to overload it. Leave some nice white space like the first page. Have
a nice big heading. Use 100% font sizing and em's for any different
font sizes. Decide what your site is for and focus it on that.
Aren't splash screens those awful opening pages, usually using Flash, that
can take 30 seconds or more to load, and that only have the one navigation
button 'enter'? Don't worry. I've come across enough of them to want to
avoid the whole concept. I agree - nasty.

I'm not sure what em's are just yet, but I agree that a bit of a taste of
what's inside the site would make good material for the opening page. I
haven't been able to come up with anything to replace my awful sales pitch
opener, but I'll keep at it until I come up with a reasonable looking and
compact foreshadowing of what's inside.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 17 '07 #44

P: n/a
Hi Sherm,

"Sherm Pendley" <sp******@dot-app.orgwrote in message
news:m2************@Sherm-Pendleys-Computer.local...
Focusing on text does is not the same as providing no graphics at all.
Some of
your most important early visitors are search engines, and they don't
"see"
graphics at all, just your text. Whatever text content you provide is also
what
blind visitors to your site will hear from their screen readers.
Some folks provide their "content" purely as images, and then try to
compensate
for the lack of real text with keywords and other lame "SEO" techniques.
That's
simply putting a band-aid on the symptom while ignoring the cause. If
relevant
keywords don't appear in your site's textual content, you should ask
yourself
why that is the case, instead of trying to "compensate" for that lack by
adding
them back in via HTML meta elements.
You're acting as if this is an either/or situation, when it's really not.
Text
*cannot* wait; it should come first. But, improving your site's appearance
need
not imply replacing text with images either - generally it's a matter of
adding
some images and/or styling your text with CSS.
It's a bit of a balancing act. We humans are very visual creatures, but
search
engines are effectively blind and ignore layout and design in favor of
indexing
pure HTML code. It's important to realize that providing good textual
content
and a nice appearance are not mutually exclusive goals, and that you do
need to
address both needs.
I've just gotten through telling my sister all about how important it is to
have keyword inclusive copy on the index page of her aquarists site for the
benefit of search engine rankings. And I've still got this silly sales pitch
that has no relevant keywords at all on my own site. Well it seems that
including some graphics on the opener has improved things considerable in
terms of reduced 3 second bail-outs. The next, and as equally important,
step I guess is to get the opening blurb sorted out. I just can't come up
with anything that either sounds or looks right just yet. I'll have to have
a look at a few more magazine covers, give it some more thought, and get
something up very soon for the search engines to digest.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 17 '07 #45

P: n/a
On Wed, 17 Jan 2007 10:58:20 -0800, "Murray R. Van Luyn"
<va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:
>I'm not sure what em's are just yet,
To perhaps oversimplify, an "em" is the size of the current default
font. Which if you haven't changed it will, for normal text, be the
size of the user's preferred font, or at least the one he doesn't hate
so much to have figured out how to change it. So if you don't redefine
the user's prefered font size you are least likely to offend him by
making your page hard to read.

Fonts other than the user's prefered default are best used sparingly and
for effect. It's common to use a serif font like Georgia for headings,
for example. Best to stay away from serif fonts for general use though,
because on the sucky resolution of most computer monitors the little
serifs, meant to make the text easy to read by guiding the eye, actually
confuse the eye instead.

Jan 17 '07 #46

P: n/a
Hi Ed,

"Ed Seedhouse" <es********@shaw.cawrote in message
news:ht********************************@4ax.com...
To perhaps oversimplify, an "em" is the size of the current default
font. Which if you haven't changed it will, for normal text, be the
size of the user's preferred font, or at least the one he doesn't hate
so much to have figured out how to change it. So if you don't redefine
the user's prefered font size you are least likely to offend him by
making your page hard to read.
Ah yes. I've just been reading a very condensed introduction to CSS. They
just start using em's without giving any sort of explanation as to what they
are, but thanks to your description I think I understand them much better.
Fonts other than the user's prefered default are best used sparingly and
for effect. It's common to use a serif font like Georgia for headings,
for example. Best to stay away from serif fonts for general use though,
because on the sucky resolution of most computer monitors the little
serifs, meant to make the text easy to read by guiding the eye, actually
confuse the eye instead.
I agree, sans-serif fonts do look a lot nicer when you have a whole block of
copy to read off a monitor. I hadn't thought to use the serif fonts for much
larger heading text, but I'll give it a go now and see what sort of results
I get.

Thanks again for the input Ed.

Regards,
Murray R. Van Luyn.
--
http://www.review-a-gadget.com/
http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanluynm/
Jan 17 '07 #47

P: n/a
On Thu, 18 Jan 2007 01:53:35 -0800, "Murray R. Van Luyn"
<va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:

>I agree, sans-serif fonts do look a lot nicer when you have a whole block of
copy to read off a monitor. I hadn't thought to use the serif fonts for much
larger heading text, but I'll give it a go now and see what sort of results
I get.
The serifs look OK on large enough text and they help distinguish a
headline from the normal content. I rather like Georgia, so I tend to
suggest that but just using straight "serif' is slightly less risky for
a flexible design approcah.

Jan 18 '07 #48

P: n/a
In article
<45***********************@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au>,
"Murray R. Van Luyn" <va******@NOSPAM.iinet.net.auwrote:
SUCCESS! Well a much improved website performance at least. Since adding a
toy robot face and some tiny toy images to fill up the blank space on the
opening page, things have improved.
As far as I can see, you don't actually mention that the site is about
toys?

Why not?

How about changing your title to:

Toys for young boys - review-a-gadget.com

You still don't have a h1 header to help search engines decide what your
site is about. Mention Airsoft toys.

Your left hand side menu doesn't work (actually doesn't even appear) in
any browser in which Javascript has been disabled. Some businesses block
javascript. Some people recommended switching it off when browsing
unknown sites. Some people switch it off to block annoying advertising.
Also, I am not sure search bots bother to follow Javascript only links.

--
http://www.ericlindsay.com
Jan 18 '07 #49

P: n/a
Eric Lindsay <NO*************@ericlindsay.comwrites:
Your left hand side menu doesn't work (actually doesn't even appear) in
any browser in which Javascript has been disabled. Some businesses block
javascript. Some people recommended switching it off when browsing
unknown sites. Some people switch it off to block annoying advertising.
Also, I am not sure search bots bother to follow Javascript only links.
Quite right, but the "site map" links at the bottom of the page lead to the
same pages. IMNSHO, this is a good example of using JavaScript correctly,
as an enhancement rather than as a requirement.

I would actually take it one step further, and in the JavaScript code add
a CSS attribute "display:none" to the div containing the site map. That would
leave the site map links visible for those who need them, while getting rid
of some unnecessary visual clutter for those who can use the menu.

sherm--

--
Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Jan 18 '07 #50

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