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OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?

 
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:53 PM   #1
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OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Hey all,

A little background first.

We are family owned and operated alarm company in the Midwest. I pretty much run the co and solicit assistance from the family as needed. I have always been the guy who goes on too much to be a good salesman, as I always want my customers to have the best protection available, and I still try to keep it in their budget or close to it. I take more time on installs and guarantee my work and install for three years (nut's in this business) and have pretty much been getting my customers through word of mouth for many years.

Times have changed as thefts have risen tremendously this year with the economic conditions - etc. It's now time for me to delegate a little more and try to advertise our business so we can expand to meet the needs.

As described above I have been doing most of this myself, and when you look at my site you will see this is true for sure. I chose frontpage for ease and wysiwyg pretty much and it felt like microsoft. My host supports it and I have it. I looked/tried some others and had issues with code (I do too much other "coding" in the security business) and I needed something else - hence frontpage. I would like to try maybe KompoZer or some other free-bee with similar interface for the update.

I know most of what is wrong with my site (overall homemade look, dark color issues, html issues, etc) especially the php problem. My intent was to have a main page that remains static (header, footer,left frame or whatever) with only the right area changing once a button/link is pressed. For updates to text etc this made the most sense as I didn't want to have to update all the pages if I wished to add a button to the main page, and it would be easier to just pull up a php template and add text - build a button - go from there.

The Home button does work like that (you just cant really tell as the text there is identical to the index page text).

The colors just don't work, but I have an issue with my logo (badge) as that cant change (lot of yard signs and door/window stickers in front of customer's homes) and I don't know what to "design" to make it fit but not ruin the overall effect.

The text needs updated and simplified (remember I talk to much) as it just isn't getting the right response - i think...

Overall I'm looking for an easy to access site that's informative "if you want more info" you can get it, but at first it needs to be easy and professional.

I have multiple urls going to it now (listed below) as the main one is so long and drawn out.

In the future I would like to finish the buttons that go nowhere (like the customer login when the other services are offered)

Let me know what you think or if you have any ideas that may help me make changes and do this update.

Be gentle if you must!

http://www.assuredsecurityagency.com
http://www.medic-call.com
http://www.sendthepolice.com

Thanks in advance for any guidance...
Jim
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:01 PM   #2
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


I love the color, very different, the homepage is a little wordy for me, all in all, i like it. i will look it over a little more seriously when i am not so full. G

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:23 PM   #3
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Quote:
I know most of what is wrong with my site (overall homemade look, dark color issues, html issues, etc) especially the php problem.
Okay then let's not beat a dead horse!

Quote:
The colors just don't work, but I have an issue with my logo (badge) as that cant change (lot of yard signs and door/window stickers in front of customer's homes) and I don't know what to "design" to make it fit but not ruin the overall effect.
Your color scheme isn't that bad actually and with some softer matching shades and a little blending here and there it could be a nice color scheme.

Quote:
My intent was to have a main page that remains static (header, footer,left frame or whatever) with only the right area changing once a button/link is pressed.
You do not want this... This is framing pages and would really suck for the search engines as they likely wouldn't be crawled efficiently. You are better of with a .css layout that will remain consistent throughout the entire site and every single page. Then you'll have individual pages setup properly.

Quote:
For updates to text etc this made the most sense as I didn't want to have to update all the pages if I wished to add a button to the main page, and it would be easier to just pull up a php template and add text - build a button - go from there.
You really need to look into a content management system... Solve all your problems right there. Even wordpress is a freebie and it kicks serious butt as a website builder and there are beautiful templates available and many "offshore" designers who will custom make themes for dirt cheap.

Wordpress is a perfect option for those who know enough to be dangerous!

Carl Sorensen

Last edited by carlsore; 11-27-2008 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:27 PM   #4
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


I should try wordpress.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:58 PM   #5
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Thanks for the input so far!

Quote:
Your color scheme isn't that bad actually and with some softer matching shades and a little blending here and there it could be a nice color scheme.
Hmmmm, I'm interested...

Quote:
You do not want this... This is framing pages
If I recall correctly I'm not using the dreaded "frames" (but maybe I am - cant recall - but I'll check)

Quote:
You are better of with a .css layout that will remain consistent throughout the entire site and every single page.
I hadn't tried that yet as I was told (from my host's forum) that the "php include" should do this, but .css was an option (never done it but could probably learn it) I just thought it was totally opposite from what I wanted the effect to be. I have never liked the entire page refreshing every time you hit a button/link and with the php include I could just bring in the text in that "frame" or space (cant remember the correct term - table??)

Quote:
You really need to look into a content management system... Solve all your problems right there.
Interesting, I will!

Quote:
those who know enough to be dangerous!
That's Me!!

This is an example of exactly what I'm looking for as far as function, when you click a link...
http://lakescouncil.org/


Thanks
Jim
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Last edited by Security101; 11-28-2008 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:37 PM   #6
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


carlsore,

Do you like Wordpress for actual website design? It looks more like it's for blogs, but I do see some website design stuff also.

What do you think about Joomla?

Man there are a lot of themes (WP) out there, hard to choose! You are suggesting I acquire a different theme, correct? Or will this help redesign my current site's homemade theme?

Thanks for your continued pro responses!

Jim
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Quote:
Do you like Wordpress for actual website design? It looks more like it's for blogs, but I do see some website design stuff also.
It's not so much for the design it's the ease of use and control you have... You won't be designing as the themes come ready built and you can change them on the fly. It's a blogging platform but you have the ability to add static pages as well as dynamic content like a blog etc... Great for keeping your site updated and your content fresh.

Here is a wordpress site of mine that is totally unrelated to contracting bchuntingblog.com with a theme called "Talio" I paid $25 for it and the designer had many more really nice themes suitable for a wordpress "website".

Quote:
What do you think about Joomla?
I have never personally used Joomla. So maybe somebody else who has can comment.

Quote:
Man there are a lot of themes (WP) out there, hard to choose! You are suggesting I acquire a different theme, correct? Or will this help redesign my current site's homemade theme?
Wordpress would be replacing your entire site. You can find a theme that has similar navigation (if that's what you want) and then have a designer customize it for you to match your colors etc... Probably cost you less then $50 on elance or scriptlance. Wordpress itself is free.

Carl
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


You got me working Carl, currently I'm messing with the old site as I had an issue with my host re the database (but I'm working on it)

I would like to design my "new site" with either wordpress or joomla just can decide yet which one.

Is there a way to download the software to just my computer to prototype the new site or will I have to "get it (the program) up and running" on my servers?

You know what I mean right? I just want to play with the new one before actually changing the way my current site is expecting to be adjusted. When I set up for joomla at the server (host) it changed my current site - don't want to do that yet as at least it's up there...

Thanks for your thoughts - all!

Jim
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Keep going like you seem to be going. Already a pr2 if that means anything. Site is easy to navigate. Add meta tags on all pages.
Keywords and content look good.

Take my advice with a grain of salt. I use FP too. And fluctuate between pr 2 and 3. I don't think anybody here likes my site. Clients do.

I'm also tyring CoffeeCup but We seem to have issues with each other. ( On another site)
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Too, too wordy. There's way too much white print, which makes the page look cluttered. Consider what you can do to differentiate it and make the page look more organized and easier to scan. For instance, bolding some of the headings/making them a different size/make them a different color, adding some graphic elements, etc. Also, what is it that you want to people to do on this site? e.g.- If you want people to fill out a quote form, then you need to make that element particularly prominent on the page- up to putting it in it's own box and adding a great, big button along with it. Whatever it is that you want people to do, you need to guide them to it with your wording and your page design. Those are the two most important things that I can see.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:07 PM   #11
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Someone doing a search for burglar alarm systems or service in Michigan will be sent to your site because the search engines do not know the difference…..You have increased your calls and hits on your page by people you do not want by making that statement…

“We're sorry, we do not offer our "Burglar alarm systems or service" , in Michigan,”

The search engine sees burglar alarm systems service Michigan and does not relate to we do not offer
Change it to we offer our services only in (state the city or county)

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Old 12-01-2008, 05:47 PM   #12
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Re: OK, It's Time To Get Serious About My Site - Critique?


Robin and Woodmagman Thanks,

You've both made great recommendations, I will try them out - makes sense!

Jim

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