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Staggs Construction
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've recently been working on some business cards and a website to kind of test the waters, and see what kind of jobs I can get on my own. I've worked for the same company for 6 years and have slowly built up my tools to the point now where I own as much if not more than my boss. I'm trying to make the site and cards short and to the point, but stand out from the plain white back, black text that everyone else has. Tell me what you think.

www.staggsconstruction.com

ps... the business card is the same as the left part of the header image.
 

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I've recently been working on some business cards and a website to kind of test the waters, and see what kind of jobs I can get on my own. I've worked for the same company for 6 years and have slowly built up my tools to the point now where I own as much if not more than my boss. I'm trying to make the site and cards short and to the point, but stand out from the plain white back, black text that everyone else has. Tell me what you think.

www .staggsconstruction.com

ps... the business card is the same as the left part of the header image.
I like the layout but you need to try to create more content especially in the home page, Talk about all your services, And why you are different
from other companies, Your home page needs to capture the visitors attention, so that they will click on other pages in your site.

also you don't have any meta keywords or alternate text in your images.

John
 

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I agree certainly needs much more content..

You know I just took a few minutes to try and find the article..not sure where it is right now but something that you should be aware of is that most people don't respond well to take back grounds...
I know that it's a personal thing and perhaps you like the dark look but according to this study subconsciously people equate dark colors with dreary days..more of a depressing feeling. Again completely up to you just wanted to let you know...
 

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Web Dude
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It's bad.

Now that I've rocked the boat a little, let me see if I can put a smile on that face! :)

First, you built it for 800x600 resolution. That's the way of the past my man. You're losing tons of valuable screen space for content. TONS. In January 2009, 4% of people using the internet were still using 800x600. Conversely, 93% of people are using resolutions equal to or higher than 1024x768, with 57% of people using a resolution higher than 1280x1024.

I personally use a 1440x900 resolution, but my girlfriend says I'm just compensating.

Anyways, that means that four in every one hundred people will thank you for optimizing it for them.
Or 96 of those people are seeing what I call the toilet paper effect. Skinny little trail of content centered between two voids. And that number is decreasing every year. It makes for unnecessary vertical scrolling, and the more people have to work to get info, the quicker they bail.

Not a knock against the dark scheme at all, because people tend to "think" a dark page loads faster. I personally like dark color schemes, especially when it fits the personality of the business.

But the contrast here is awful. The light grey background makes the white text almost unreadable. Again, a website has to be mega easy for the user to use.

There a thousands of contractor websites out there that the visitor can check out for free, so why would they invest their time in something difficult to use and read?

Big chunk of wasted space above the header. Again, just a poor use of screen real estate. I do have to say though that your pictures look really high quality in the header, and if they were better used (larger and placed in a rotating header or a gallery) I think they could be big points for your site.

Don't use your business card as your website header. It looks chunky and amateurish, but find a way to incorporate the style and gist of it into your site. Keeping branding consistent with every customer "touch" (letterhead, email, website, truck lettering, business card, trailers, job signs) is a great way to build brand recognition and trust.

Your avigation isn't prominent. I know the site obviously isn't done, but keep dead links off of it anyway. Poor contrast on the "down" nav buttons.

I both agree and disagree with the fellers above me, that you are lacking in content.

For the agree part, you are definitely barren of content. Absolutely no on page SEO, no real hook, no reason for anyone to stay on the page for longer than two seconds.

However. Your homepage is not the place to put as much information on it as possible. A good homepage does three things well.

1. Immediately tells the visitor where they are, and what the site is about.

2. Immediately tells a repeat visitor what is new, and what a new visitor should check out.

3. Makes crystal clear what action you want the visitor to take. Whether it's read some articles, check out a gallery of work, fill out a contact form, or sign up for a newsletter your site needs a clear goal, and clear path to action. Or it's a dead duck.


Your contact button just opens a default mailer (outlook for some, gmail for me), and isn't the best way to do it. You would do well with a contact form that was super easy to use, stayed on your site, and they would get a follow up email right away so they "feel" that human touch.

Oh, and it would capture their contact details which you could use to start a marketing campaign, thusly keeping your company top of mind so when they are ready to take the plunge and pay for some work, you've already established a relationship and positioned yourself as an expert. (sip of beer after that last sentence, can you tell I'm a huge fan of email marketing?)

If someone told you that having a keyword in the domain was key, you certainly took it to heart haha. You don't need such a long web address, and it's actually bad for your human viewers.

http://www.staggsconstruction.com/JAMES_STAGGS_CONSTRUCTION/staggsconstruction.com.html is a bit of a mouthful, no?

Think about what your page extensions are going to be if you go with a blog (which is great for SEO), or even just your other internal pages....WAY TOO LONG. Shorten it up to staggsconstruction.com/index.html

or .php :) but that's a wholllllllle nother discussion, and would involve much geek speak.

As far as SEO goes, it's not too hot either. Title Tag should contain the two keywords you want ranked the most separated by the pipe character ( | )

For the record, I know that looks like breasts or a butt, but the character you want is the cleave or crack, whatever you're into :)

Keyword tags don't mean anything to Big G, but that doesn't mean other sites don't or won't use them in the future. Basically just stick em in there for insurance, it's not gonna hurt.

Yeahhhh, other than that....you're good to go :)

As always I'm here to help, please respond with any questions or comments you have, and please don't throw any sharp objects haha
 

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Staggs Construction
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the critique, I am by no means a web designer and this is my first stab at a website since I was 15. I took a few of your suggestions and redesigned the whole site. Im only using iWeb so theres a few things I can't change.

First, you built it for 800x600 resolution. That's the way of the past my man. You're losing tons of valuable screen space for content. TONS. In January 2009, 4% of people using the internet were still using 800x600. Conversely, 93% of people are using resolutions equal to or higher than 1024x768, with 57% of people using a resolution higher than 1280x1024.
The resolution can't be changed in iWeb, although on my Macbook Air and Iphone I wouldn't want the resolution to be any different because they both display it perfectly.


I'm working on the content, trying to round up job site pictures.

I'm not worried about people browsing the internet and finding my site, I'm hoping people who I give business cards to, go to the site, like the work and hire me or recommend me to others. Im not looking for random internet business.

Thanks for the comments good and bad. (i'm not sure there were any good)

The new site is up so go and pick it apart!!!
 

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Web Dude
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153 Posts
Can't even tell you how much better that looks, and how much easier it is to use.

If you've been to my site, you know I love a big home page header. But I would make yours a little smaller, and change the formatting on the right so that every word isn't on it's own line. Your interior pages are still having low contrast with the background, which is making it hard to read the text. Go for a darker grey or black text.

Other than that, the only problem is still really just the resolution. If you're not going to have a lot of content, then don't worry about it. But I did notice you said it looks good on your computer and iPhone. I get this a lot from clients. It may look great on your stuff, but are you the one using the site as a customer?

All web sites need to be built with the visitor in mind, from design to content.

Just my $.02
 

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Non-conformist
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J, you did such a great job that I have very little to say. I agree about the text on the right, it makes the banner take up a lot of screen real estate. Your comment about building the site for the customer is excellent. On of the primary mistakes made is not spending enough effort trying to think like the customer when building a site. Find out what is important to them and address those needs. It will make a huge difference.
 
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