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01/12/2013

Hi All,

I hate to ask for your time when you've probably never seen me post on here before Smiling  I was active on here a couple years ago, but just stopped coming around, for no particular reason.  I realized when I started redesigning my website a week ago that this was a great place to come for ideas, advice and input.  So I've been lurking a bit, and now would like your opinion on a new site I've just finished.  I'm still playing a bit, but for the most part, it's 95% done.  I welcome all ideas and helpful hints. 

I was referred to Weebly by Heather at Forfeng Designs, and it was every bit as easy as she said it would be.  It took a bit of time - I had not touched my website in eight years, it was long past due, and I had a lot to learn.  I simply could not afford a professional site at this point.  So here it is, please tell me your thoughts.  And THANKS! 

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WOW, just went out an looked at it again.  Love the new header and the photos look so much better  (kudos to EmptyNest).

Looked at the Rez button and using FF it is teal with white letters, hovering over text turns yellow.  I checked on IE and it is Teal on Teal. 

I do understand how frustrating it can be, walk away for a few days and then try again.  This is your call to action and needs to stand out!!!

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I removed my website link - I think I remember from last time I was active on here that it was kindof a "no-no"?  I'd love to nose around everyone's sites in those rare times I get a few minutes to do nothing.  Is there a way to send a private message on this board, so y'all could send me a link?

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05/22/2008

Just click on the featured inn image in the upper right corner and you can see many of the member's sites. Just hit reload to bring up a new one if you've seen one before. Some have GREAT sites and others, well let's say we can all use some improvements sometime.

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01/12/2013

Very cool!  Thanks Smiling

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08/04/2008

This is my first time looking at it and the Reservations/Avail button is the same color blue as the background with black lettering that is shadowed in gray. I can barely read it at all. Does it look like that on anyone else's computer?

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01/12/2013

Hi Penelope ~ Can you tell me what page you are seeing it in black lettering?  I'm seeing them all in green with white lettering?

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BananaE29 wrote:

Hi Penelope ~ Can you tell me what page you are seeing it in black lettering?  I'm seeing them all in green with white lettering?

I don't see the reservation button with white lettering, either. The button is teal and the lettering is darker teal. That's on IE and on FF.

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BananaE29 wrote:

Hi Penelope ~ Can you tell me what page you are seeing it in black lettering?  I'm seeing them all in green with white lettering?

I use FF and it's all the pages.

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For me on FF, every Reservations/Availability button is green (or teal) with white lettering.  If you mouse over it, the text turns yellow.  I have no pages with black lettering inside that box.  that's very strange.

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BananaE29 wrote:

For me on FF, every Reservations/Availability button is green (or teal) with white lettering.  If you mouse over it, the text turns yellow.  I have no pages with black lettering inside that box.  that's very strange.

Yes, mouseover is yellow.

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I  just looked with FF and the text is dark color. I have no clue on a way to change it with this set template. The text is white in other browsers. Mouseover color used to be a dark burgundy...now it is golden yellow. No way to make the button darker because of the theme and limited access to graphics to change. 

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01/12/2013

I don't get why the same browser is seeing different colors. I'm done messing with it. I think it's obvious what it is and it's legible to me.  I did move every page reservation button to the same location, put it all in caps, and made the button a bit bigger.  Good enough.  I'm sick of looking at it Smiling

 

Madeleine's picture
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Boy, do I know that feeling!

Innkeep's picture
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Wow!  After just a week it looks better!  I love what you've done with the photos.  Congrats to all who are helping you out.  The one other thing, now that you have the reservation link in a visible part of your web page, perhaps you could make more of a color difference

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01/12/2013

Thanks Innkeep!  The pictures were lightened up by EmptyNest and suggested to do so by several Smiling   The Reservations button will have to remain the color it is until I figure out more about HTML code.  Thanks for your input!

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10/07/2008

This forum is worth it's weight in gold. If you ask you will receive useful comments and feedback. Unfortunately, many of us find useful comments about "our babies" tough to take and go away. But there is no better resource!

The new header ROCKS! It is the first thing, the most valuable real estate on your website, and now it is inviting and fun. That is what I was talkin' bout, well done, CL.

Oh and the whole home page is much improved, the font, the whole visual impact. I wanted to let you know, all the hard work is not in vain. Looks great!

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heart

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heart Right back atcha!

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A HUGE shout out to Empty Nest for all her help and guidance, patiently explaining why things should be a different way than what makes sense to me Smiling  Thank you so much for your help!!! 

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05/30/2008

Empty Nest designed my website when I had the biz.  I got GREAT compliments on the site and she was absolutely wonderful to me.  I sooooooooooo appreciated her! 

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Ah shucks folks, you are embarrassing mewink Just doing what I love to do.

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BananaE29 wrote:

A HUGE shout out to Empty Nest for all her help and guidance, patiently explaining why things should be a different way than what makes sense to me Smiling  Thank you so much for your help!!! 

Isn't she a sweetheart? I've got a brand new header for my page as well. Website still under construction, but a sharp new header to start me off!

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02/13/2012

Hi, BananaE29!  Welcome back.

I went through your website last night and had some recommendations.  But, I accidently hit the back button & lost them all frown

Here are a few I remember off the top of my head:

  • On Mediterranean page, "Comphy" is spelled wrong as "Compny"
  • I agree with others that you should replace the bacon picture.  It's not very inviting.
  • At the bottom of each room page, you should add links for each of the other rooms.  It's not a huge deal, but I had to go back to the main Rooms page in order to get to the next one.  You can expect that most people will be browsing from one room to the next, so this will make it easier for them. 
  • One of your pages has three pics at the top - two room pics & a middle rose vase pic
    • The rose pic is very washed out/bright and looks odd next to the other brighter pics
    • The one on the right would look better if you cropped out some of that white wall and white tablecloth.
  • On your Specials page, the first package "Celebration" should be on it's own line.  Right now it looks like it's part of that first paragraph and it should be like the others on it's own line.
  • Your Trip Advisor widget is on your Policies page.  This should (must) be on your first page.  That's your first opportunity to grab people, not everyone will even look at the Policies page.

I'm glad you asked for opinions, because I have plenty wink  I know you said the site wasn't done yet, but it always helps to have another set of eyes nit-picking.  Hope this was helpful.

Overall it's a pretty website - you did good!

 

 

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All excellent ideas and good eye!  This is the input I really welcome. I've done all that you recommended (yes, the bacon pic is gone Smiling )except the rose pic and the cheese one.  I'll get that done later.  The only thing I don't agree with is the other rooms links on each room. To me, they can see the other rooms by moving their mouse back to the guest rooms button and select from the drop down.
 

Thanks so much Smiling

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05/30/2008

I agree with most of the other comments here.  Biggest thing for me is that your property name doesn't catch my eye at all.  You need to increase the font, change up the type of font, or do something to make it really POP!

Food photos:  Remember that a photo of a bunch of rolls isn't as appealing as setting one or two on a pretty plate, with a fork, and really zooming in on the drippy gooey cinnamon or sugar.  Smiling   Pretty much applies to any kind of "brown" food.

Good start! 

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10/07/2008

Great to see you here again Coastal Dreams! You've been hard at work on your website.  smiley

I just clicked and my first instinct was too many images in the slideshow, and when I went WOW to see the table setting I then went ICKY when I saw a couple of the food photos, especially the close up of the greasy bacon.  You are better to have ONE GOOD food photo than all the rest combined. For the header and the Breakfast page.

Also you need a HEADER image of some kind, not just smallish test, that needs to be your BING BANG BOOM!

I went no further, I see plenty of other input here. 

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Thank you Smiling  I appreciate you taking the time.  The food pics are a work in progress, and maybe I should just hide that page until I'm completely done with it.  I will at least remove the bacon pic - several of you have commented on this, but dang...it looked good to me! LOL. 

When you say HEADER image, you are referring to the top portion of each page with my name and phone number, no?  You're saying another picture up there in addition to the pictures down below?  I'm thinking like a beach picture, or something to do with the area...versus more inn pictures.  Is this what you're saying?

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BananaE29 wrote:

Thank you Smiling  I appreciate you taking the time.  The food pics are a work in progress, and maybe I should just hide that page until I'm completely done with it.  I will at least remove the bacon pic - several of you have commented on this, but dang...it looked good to me! LOL. 

When you say HEADER image, you are referring to the top portion of each page with my name and phone number, no?  You're saying another picture up there in addition to the pictures down below?  I'm thinking like a beach picture, or something to do with the area...versus more inn pictures.  Is this what you're saying?

Be careful not to put a beach photo up there, as that would tell people you are beach front. Are you? If so, sure add the beach.  That area is called the HEADER, so that needs to have a static image or logo and your inn name but in a nice design that means B&B and a slogan or catch phrase is also nifty. Look at this as an example.

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05/22/2008

At very first look, it doesn't wow me. You need your B & B name much larger with the location smaller below it.

Will the theme let you put in larger slider photos?  I would like to see bigger and more WOW pics on the home page.

I agree the photos are too dark and some of the food photos...too close and not staged well and dark shadows. I like the melon one the best for the staging and the oven souffle one is ok as well. Did you resize all your thumbnails and food photos to the same size before posting?  It took the thumbnails way too long to load. You have to relook at some of those photos because most of them need some help. Know any photographers you can barter with?

Have you looked at some of the blog postings from the inn photographers?

 Though I did a pagespeed test and your score is a good one 94/100.

Anyway to make that blue background only show up as the background with the text area being white so that then you can have your text black or a dark shade of grey. I find the bolding of all the text in white too strong and not easy on the eyes.

You need to change the reservation css style sheet to match the colors of your site. If you don't know how to edit css to create your own. John will help you.

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I believe the slide show can be larger, but I need to ensure my "reservations" button can go in the header before I do that, or the larger slide show will force the user to scroll to get to the button.  I'm still waiting to hear about adding to the header.  And also about having two different size fonts in that area.  I'm sure it can be done in the code, but I can't find it - it's not obvious to me. So I'm dependent on them responding to my emailed questions Sad

The food photos are all done with an iPhone.  I completely agree I need better food photos, but it's difficult to do by yourself.  This is something I will work on in the coming months, but is not a high priority for me.  Staging will definitely be part of the program when I get to it. 

The reservation program style can be changed, and that's on the "to do" list also. 

Great info, thanks!

 

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05/22/2008

Rather than putting your phone number so large in the right header, why don't you have the reservation button there. It should appear at the top of every page. You can always put the phone number elsewhere. Looking at the css, you can edit it to make the header area larger to accommodate everything you need up top.   I used Firebug to edit the site live and I put this in for the header. It doesn't have to be that large, but you can adjust.

Did you just type in your B & B Name? Or is it a graphic?

 #header {
width: 100%;
height: 220px;
}

I tried this code in the header and it works. Though I am not fond of that font. It doesn't remind me of anything to do with the coast. It seems like a military style font. Not appealing to a B & B goer.

#wsite-title {
font-family: 'Capture it' !important;
font-size: 30px !important;
}

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Right now when I hover the mouse over Guest Rooms, only the Comphy choice displays, which makes it look like that's all that's available under that topic. It's not necessarily "intuitive" for people to know they have to click on "Guest Rooms" to see the rooms, when the Comphy dropdown appears as soon as you hover. I'd add a link to the rooms page on the dropdown, along with the Comphy page.

I agree that the slideshow moves a little too fast. You have to remember that YOU know all those photos very well, but someone who is new to your website and to your B&B will want a little more time to study the photos before they change. Right now I count 2 seconds before they change. That's not enough, IMHO.

Also, I find the white text on the other pages easier to read than the black text on the Comphy page.

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I did originally have all the guest rooms as a drop down, but felt it was overbearing?  No?  I read somewhere that the navigation buttons should be simple, and you should "hide" pages from the navigation to keep it clean.  Mmmmm...not sure what to do here.  So you're saying to add all four rooms under the Guest Rooms, each individually,and remove buttons on the Guest Rooms page itself (under the picture)?  Comphy will need to be added elsewhere then.

Since that's two of you now that said slideshow is too fast, I'll change it back to 5 seconds.  This is why I ask for opinions, so thank you again Smiling Oh, and thanks for checking out the text colors.

Man, it's a b*#ch being OCD sometimes.

 

Edited to add:  Changed the slideshow to 4 seconds. Compromise Smiling

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BananaE29 wrote:

I read somewhere that the navigation buttons should be simple, and you should "hide" pages from the navigation to keep it clean. 

Edited to add:  Changed the slideshow to 4 seconds. Compromise Smiling

I think the way it was, it was hiding the room pages from some guests, which you do not want! I would say either have NO dropdown, and they will know to click "Guest Rooms" to get to the room pages and Comphy page, OR put them all in the dropdown under Guest Rooms.

What you want to avoid is a mix of both ways, having a dropdown that only shows the Comphy page, plus requiring a click on Guest Rooms to find the rooms. I found that confusing.

Yes, I think 4 seconds is perfect for the slide show. Let's people linger a while and look at the photo, but it changes in time for them to see there are other photos to enjoy!

You're gettin' there!

But I must say, some of the best and most experienced website folks have not chimed in on this yet. Joey Bloggs must be on one of her mountain getaways or something. She might have lots of suggestions when she gets back.

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Back to the dropdown under Guest Rooms, and I'll figure out where to put Comphy later.  Perhaps just a button on each room page, even though I have a link through the word "Comphy" when describing the room amenities.  You can't tell that I really like to sell these sheets, can you? LOL

Invaluable advice.  Thanks again!

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Hello! Have you had a chance to look at your site with an IPhone?

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I did it just now. I do not get the slide show photos, but the text is black on white background (looks good and easy to read). The reserve/Ability button is right on top where it need to be. Up in the right corner of the screen is a MENU that when I tapped it showed her pages. When I tapped rooms the drop-down was there and as I chose the rooms the photos showed up crisp and clear and big. Looks great on an iPhone.

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I did not think to do that - thank you for the idea.  I don't like that no pictures shows up on the first page - doesn't make it very enticing, does it?  I assume the slide show is the reason why.  Will look into that also.  Thank you!

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People these days are using phones right up there with computers. When I looked at your site from my phone it almost reminded me of a blog feed. I did not see any pics until clicking on another page. It is an easy read. It just did not jump out at me. I do think you are on the right track and doing fine. It's a tuff thing taking everyone's advice. But remember, it's yours and not ours! So you need to be happy with it.

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I did a quick look at the We eb ly site and there is an option...probably at another cost to have i phone compatibility.  You do not  want to use flash. You need a a jquery slider script so I phones and I pads can see this site right now.

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I am not in the least bit impressed with their customer service.  Contact is by email only, and they've not responded to two of my emails, sent over 48 hours ago.  So when I email again to inquire of this, I just need to say that I need a jquery slider script?  Is that correct? (totally foreign language to me!)

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I remember Banana too. Regarding the website (it's nice) my thought is that most of your photos seem too dark. I took some of yours and brightened them with some simple free software I have and I think they look more inviting, and show more of the details guests will want to see. See below.

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06/24/2008

Hi Banana - I remember you (now that I looked at the website that is), welcome back!

Just did a quick scan and these few things popped out at me:

- The reservation button -  I like how you have Reservations/Availability on your home page and think this would be a better wording for all the pages.  ( I do not know why but some people think if they hit the reservation button they are required to book indecision

- Speaking about the reservation button, it needs to be added to every page, don't miss an opportunity!  Can you move it to be included in your header under your phone number?  This would be the best way to have it appear on every page, consistency!  (just recently had an innmate point out I missed a page myself!)

-Food pic.  Personally I would change the bacon picture on the first page to the Stuffed French Toast or the Quiche... Crop the quiche pic to take out the cord etc in the back ground.   I know that bacon was perfectly cooked but it looks burnt in the pic.  Food pictures are the most difficult to take, you have to take lots and lots of them in different lighting, angles etc in hopes to get 1-2 decent ones.  Read an article just this week that states the best lighting for food pics is natural lighting.  That is what seemed to work the best for me as well.  Either place your table next to a nice sunny window OR take the photos outside on a nice bright day.  Take bunches and bunches of pictures at different angles.   Best of luck!!!

 

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It's funny you mention the Reservation button because I've been adding one to each page in the last hour or so.  And I think you are correct in the words - I will add Availability to it.  I'm waiting to hear back about how to add it to the top of the page, under the phone number, as this is HTML code, and I'm not that savvy yet. Both very good points, thank you Copperhead.

The food pics are almost all iPhone pictures.  I know I need some better shots of food, but that's going to have to wait until I have someone to help me with it. 

Anyone have any thoughts on the white versus black text?  I'm torn....

Thank you all for taking the time!  I really appreciate it Smiling

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05/22/2008

On your welcome page you say you have central air - just as important to potential guests and should be here is FREE WiFi. Do not make them guess or look for it on other pages. It may be the missing item that makes them say - NEXT.....

I am not a techie, but the header photos should be your WOW! Make them bigger if you can.

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01/12/2013

Good catch!  Added the free wifi - thank you!  I can make that slideshow bigger, but I want to get my "reservations" button up higher first (so they don't have to scroll to see it).  Waiting on word on that, then bigger she goes.  Thanks!

 

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BananaE29 wrote:

...I want to get my "reservations" button up higher first (so they don't have to scroll to see it).  

Why not put it on the menu along with Welcome, Guest Rooms, Breakfast, etc.? That's where I have "Reserve/Availability" on my website. It's as important as anything else on the menu. Just have that menu choice send them to your ResKey page.

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I'm limited to how many "primary" buttons go across the top.  I can have as many pages as I want, but unless I want it in a drop down, I'm limited to how many will fit across the top of that header picture.  So my thinking was that as long as it's visible, I don't need to take up that precious space.  I'm really hoping to get it under the phone number right at the top, but I'm not getting a response from Weebly on changing that code.

I'm also experiencing times where I load it fresh, linking from a directory, or from here, for instance...and a lot of changes aren't showing.  It's as though it reverts back to how it was before I published it.  Not all the time, but a few times.  That's frustrating. They're not expensive, but I did upgrade to the Pro version instead of free, so I wouldn't expect the site to revert back to how it was prior to making changes.  Anyone else out there have a Weebly site and experience this? 

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05/30/2008

Make the Reservations/Availability button really stand out - put it in a brighter color!  Still checking everything else out...

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I use Internet Explorer and it takes a very long time for your home page to load.  Perhaps decreasing the number of photos in the slide show or compressing the photos a bit would help.  Personally, I would like a little longer interval between changes (says she who has not recently updated her website).  Looks good otherwise.

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