Take a look ...

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At my new first picture of the house.  Please comment.  (first pix in the slide)

www(dot)boisehillsidesuites(dot)com 

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When I load your page this is what loads.

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03/21/2012

 Sorry.  I was updating the site.  My bad.

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I still think you need some more cool photos highlighting the architecture of this house.  Now that you've added the photo with everything lit up, we can see just how interesting it is.  There are lots of people that like to stay in B&Bs because they are unique - not cookie-cutter hotels! 

I would skinny up your green border at the top of your page so that you can see that photo slide show without scrolling.  I'm on a decent sized laptop but I had to scroll down.  Remember there are a lot of ADD people out there that want to hit your site and be drawn in. 

Pictures are worth a thousand words....

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04/21/2010

I like it. The photo is amazing and the page looks cleaner.

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03/21/2012

 Better??

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05/22/2008

 Better. Though I still don't know why you want the "TOUR of Grounds" and AMenties on the home page and now with all those icons.  I thought I could click on something on your tour of grounds and it would take me somewhere....it didn't...misleading.

Why is your ABout page, the home page???  http://www.boisehillsidesuites.com/about/  The home page should be http://www.boisehillsidesuites.com

Don't like the hot tub photo. I think you should narrow down the slide show to no more than 4 slides.

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03/21/2012

 The about page issue is fixed.  Had a hard crash that took 4-5 hours to recover.  It's back the way it should be now.

Hot tub photo will be changed to showcase people IN it and not just a plain hot tub.

I agree about the icons, it is misleading.  The idea behind the front page is to showcase the pictures, give a little bit of history in written form, and then in a BRIEF summary knowing that people don't read give them the goods of the place.  I figure if they have to dig through all of that around the site, I'll lose them.  The homepage, to me, is a summation of ALL the highlightable things about the house and why you should stay there.  The details are buried in the menus.  At least that's my view.  

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05/30/2008

You're definitely getting there....   You'll continue to tweak your site, I'm sure.

I also agree with some of the others that you don't need to apologize for what you're offering for breakfast on your breakfast page, just explain what you are offering and make it sound fantastic!   

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05/30/2008

Keith, forgot to add - take some photos ASAP of what YOUR breakfast basket will look like & how you'll present it to your guests so that you can get it on your breakfast page.  If you can show it set up on the table in your guest room, that would be great, too.  The photo that you have now of cheese & crackers (?) is not what folks will expect when they get there.  Breakfast IS the other "B" in B&B! 

 

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Much better! love the illuminated house picture it is amazing!

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05/30/2008

Keith...that photo is fantastic!  I would take it out of the slideshow & make it your header photo on your home page.  Draw them in with the unique architecture of your place!

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06/26/2008

 You have a beautiful place and there is nothing wrong with your website. It shows very well and is easy not navigate and that is all you need. Save your money - in my opinion there is no need to spend $7000 or anywere close to that. As the time goes you can always make some improvements - now you just concentrate on doing good business. Good luck and all the best.

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There was a b&b that opened 1/2 hour from me. The website was a self-made one and the innkeepers here gave a lot of input, but this innkeeper didn't listen. That b&b is now closed because low and behold, she didn't have enough business. Her property was beautiful, in a beautiful location and in a tourist area. It just doesn't matter that you have a decent website. If it's not built with the right SEO/ internet marketing who the heck is going to find it online. Especially now, with the decline of b&b directories and Google organic listings out producing all the directories put together, an effective website can make or break a business.

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April wrote:

 You have a beautiful place and there is nothing wrong with your website. It shows very well and is easy not navigate and that is all you need. Save your money - in my opinion there is no need to spend $7000 or anywere close to that. As the time goes you can always make some improvements - now you just concentrate on doing good business. Good luck and all the best.

April, I am not being snarky but I do have to ask this since you see no reason to spend money on a professional web site as has been suggested by INNKEEPERS who have gone from did my own to getting it done and attesting to the INCREASE in business and by people who actually DESIGN web site and create them but have not even suggested to be hired - mainly because they do not want to do this one. The question is  this - do you have an inn with a web site and if so how much traffic and bookings does it bring you? I have seen this group give actuall coding to fix problems, take their valuable time to analyze a web site problem and make suggestions to fix the problem - all without compensation.

This to any lurking newbies: The innkeepers on this Forum, WHEN ASKED, will give blunt advice. Sometimes conflicting, but with explanations of why it is their opinion. They (and I) want any B & B to present the best face possible to the world and be the best they can be as innkeepers because each of us is a reflection on the entire industry.

If a guest stays at a hellhole hotel or motel, he will turn around and go to another hotel or motel and not even think about it. However, if said guest stays at a B & B that HE considers less than what it should be, ALL B & Bs are considered a no go. THAT is why it is so important to be the best possible and why we take the time to try to help a newbie and each other when something comes up that we ask about.

MY web site was designed by an excellent B & B designer but I was doing the photography. I did not hesitate - I posted my photos here to be shredded so I would have the best possible on my site. I took and retook until I was told they were OK (or as good as I was going to get). On techie issues, I shut my mouth because I know NOTHING - I leave it to the experts and the experts have taken the time to speak.

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Hello! I'm going to get to the point. Many of us have been in business for a long time. So we know a little about what we are doing. "We have been there, done that!" This is the front door to your business. From what I can tell, your property is unique. That said, your website does not excite me. You have spent 100,s of thousands on your property. Your website does not portray that. I know you think you can save money and do this part yourself. I thought that with our Bed and Breakfast. For years I did my own. 2 years ago I spent almost $7000 on a professional built site. It was the best business investment I ever made. I increased our business by at least 36% each month. I'm still upset that I didn't do this sooner. I'm not trying to upset you. Just trying to help you not make the same mistakes I did.

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Bob wrote:
Hello! I'm going to get to the point. Many of us have been in business for a long time. So we know a little about what we are doing. "We have been there, done that!" This is the front door to your business. From what I can tell, your property is unique. That said, your website does not excite me. You have spent 100,s of thousands on your property. Your website does not portray that. I know you think you can save money and do this part yourself. I thought that with our Bed and Breakfast. For years I did my own. 2 years ago I spent almost $7000 on a professional built site. It was the best business investment I ever made. I increased our business by at least 36% each month. I'm still upset that I didn't do this sooner. I'm not trying to upset you. Just trying to help you not make the same mistakes I did.

I totally agree. I know it's a big investment, but believe me when I say that it will pay for itself. Not only will the site look better, but the SEO will be built into the site and you will get far more people actually seeing your site and booking than you would by doing it yourself. Frankly, I went to your site to look at the updates you've done and I got so frustrated by the pictures taking so long on your rooms page (all those circling arrows!), I just left the site.

In 2010 our business took a 10% dip in revenue for the first time. We had a professionally done website, but it was getting dated. We tightened our belts in other areas, then we had our site re-done and it launched Jan 2011. Guess what happened..we increased revenue by 23% !!! It was definitely worth the money to get our site updated.

Your website is the single most important investment you'll make. Please consider a professional website done by a b&b web designer.

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10/07/2008

I just had an inquiry from Scotland.

I was discussing this topic with a pro in the "rebranding" field last week.  There is just no way to convince this town, or this county (where all the money goes) to build a tourism based website, nonewhatsoever. The more the schools scream and march around school because they want raises, the further on the backburner tourism is put.  Just like you said Bob and BD, it is investment, the sooner you do it the sooner you revamp the $. Or to put it harshly - the less likely chance of you to go under the first year. That is a bold statement but true.  If this county would only consider far reaching effects of tourism dollar as economic impact on this community...they have no clue, they don't get it and they don't want to get it.  They don't want to be on the map, I guess.

We have a major movie coming out in august, major, nothing, no one cares.  It is a GOLD NUGGET sitting there ready to be revealed...I will have to really focus on that these next couple months.

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 Our county just got a grant for $50,000 to promote tourism and the biggest chunk of that is going to a new website.  The old one which is 10 years old...I have cobbled together to keep it going from the original one but I could only do so much without redoing the entire thing and unfortunately, I don't do membership database stuff  and not a graphic designer...and was a much bigger task than I personally could handle. I may however still be the "updater" for the new site when it gets on line. I believe JB knows the designer / company ..from her neck of the woods: -)  I am anxiously waiting to see what they come up with.

 

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catlady wrote:

 Our county just got a grant for $50,000 to promote tourism and the biggest chunk of that is going to a new website.  The old one which is 10 years old...I have cobbled together to keep it going from the original one but I could only do so much without redoing the entire thing and unfortunately, I don't do membership database stuff  and not a graphic designer...and was a much bigger task than I personally could handle. I may however still be the "updater" for the new site when it gets on line. I believe JB knows the designer / company ..from her neck of the woods: -)  I am anxiously waiting to see what they come up with.

 

Yes one and the same. I gave him your name. Specifically when he mentioned your county coming up as his next project. Told him about your work in the area. I see towns and communities that he had rebranded all over the place now, like Botetourt with Concerts, Wine Trails, Recreation - such style and makes you want to jump in the car and go there!  

That is what I want and what I like, make someone want to jump in the car and go...got to bait the hook, and as my Dad always says "Can't catch no fish without your line in the water!"

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Bob wrote:
Hello! I'm going to get to the point. Many of us have been in business for a long time. So we know a little about what we are doing. "We have been there, done that!" This is the front door to your business. From what I can tell, your property is unique. That said, your website does not excite me. You have spent 100,s of thousands on your property. Your website does not portray that. I know you think you can save money and do this part yourself. I thought that with our Bed and Breakfast. For years I did my own. 2 years ago I spent almost $7000 on a professional built site. It was the best business investment I ever made. I increased our business by at least 36% each month. I'm still upset that I didn't do this sooner. I'm not trying to upset you. Just trying to help you not make the same mistakes I did.

 

Amen to that!  (thanks to the good people here they know )

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Bob wrote:
Hello! I'm going to get to the point. Many of us have been in business for a long time. So we know a little about what we are doing. "We have been there, done that!" This is the front door to your business. From what I can tell, your property is unique. That said, your website does not excite me. You have spent 100,s of thousands on your property. Your website does not portray that. I know you think you can save money and do this part yourself. I thought that with our Bed and Breakfast. For years I did my own. 2 years ago I spent almost $7000 on a professional built site. It was the best business investment I ever made. I increased our business by at least 36% each month. I'm still upset that I didn't do this sooner. I'm not trying to upset you. Just trying to help you not make the same mistakes I did.

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02/18/2012

Looking good!

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05/22/2008

 Just noticed this :

JOAN’S SWEET 

Is that supposed to be SUITE?  Confused me for sure.

 

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03/21/2012

 It's a play on words.  Joan, who is the daughter of the Fairchilds (the ones who built the house) -- Joan's Sweet was supposed to represent the smaller more 'teenage' style room.  It fits well if you see the property, but could see why it confuses.

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Sorry, but I wouldnt consider that room a 'suite'. To me, a suite is larger and has a living area with at least a sofa/love seat. You may get guests that are disappointed, even though you state on the description that it's smaller.

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08/04/2008

I love the new photo!! I would suggest, in my opinion, to remove the photos from the home page of all the miscellaneous packages (chocolate boxes, wine/glasses). Save those for a different page- a package page.

I found that when I got to the fourth photo on your homepage, I was itching to get to the rest of the site to look around. But I didn't want to miss any of the photos. I'd pick the top 5 and go with those on the homepage.

The rest of it looks great, though!

 

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04/02/2010

I agree about the book now's people need really spoon feeding about what they are meant to do its a nightmare.

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04/21/2010

Love the photo. Love the photos. maybe a few less and more time with each but that is a style issue.

I would not take people to the article. Open it in a new window. You don't a guest to wonder off into the internet without booking.

I love the "book now" all over the place. No reason for those to be hard to find and yours are easy to see.

My critic remarks and sorry to do these but I hope it is viewed as helpful like it is meant. The green at the top and bottom are too big in my opinion. The page feels huge and when it loads on my screen, i only get part of your photo and that big green top space. And when I looked for contact info I get the same at the bottom.

I think you will do fine with it as it is as the house is amazing and you show that but those two things might distract some people.

Oops! I forgot to say congrats on opening and good luck! Smiling

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05/22/2008

 That's a great shot. You might want to limit your slider on the home page to say no more than 4. It loads slowly for me. And it is not necessary to show the whole place in that location. The home page is just way too cluttered for my taste and I still hate the CAPS stuff at the bottom...sorry. You don't need that on the home page in my opinion.  As for the pdf file. It is unreadable so don't show it from the home page. Use it somewhere else if you must when you tell about the home history etc. Wasting valuable space on the home page.

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06/04/2008

That's a wonderful photo.  RE the article you have us click on, perhaps it would be better to quote the copy if allowed because it's difficult to read, or at least crop out the parts that are not part of the article.  "most complicated house in the world" still night not be the best first impression for a B&B, although I'm sure it would get the attention of architects, builders and general audiences.  Might be the header on a secondary page if you're still in love with the phrase.

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02/13/2012

 WOW!  That picture is beautiful!  Great job with the lighting on the house and capturing the depth of the background landscaping with the shades of sunlight.  Very nice indeed!

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