Needing new website feedback

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Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Hello, Ladies & Gents!

We are almost done with revisions on our new website.  There are a number of things that I'm not thrilled about, but with 5 opinions going into it, I'm ok with letting some things slide.  And if you compare to our old website, Holy Cow this is Beautiful!  cool

We're done with major restyling, but I am looking for any tweak recommendations or areas that are not clear or may be confusing for the guests. 

 

Thank you!!

NEW: https://www.blueridgeinnbandb.com/index22.html

OLD: http://www.blueridgeinnbandb.com/index.html

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Something else I noticed is all of your pages are pretty much titled 'something' and your B&B name. That is a really big waste of prime SEO space.

Your 'things to do' page could be titled 'Things to do in (your town, area, state)' with some specific examples:

Things to do in Wayout, State - hiking, canoeing, antiquing and more

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Madeleine's picture
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I've been on vacation and it's very hard to type in this text box using my tablet. So, here goes, first thing...

No info on the home page for how to get in touch with you. No 'contact us' link. No phone. No address. (Never mind I found it at the bottom of the page.)

No prices. I am not going to call for that info. And I didn't see where it says to 'click here for prices'.

I won't go look at every room on a separate page. I want them all on the same page with a link to the separate pages.

Breakfast? I don't see that anywhere. I am doing the slash and burn viewing the guest does. I am not 'looking' thru the whole site. If I don't see it immediately, it is not there. (You know this is how the guests think.)

 

You know I just did my own site and I know how hard this is if the person who is doing the site is brand new at it. That doesn't excuse what I've read here that s/he is 'done' and you are 'nitpicky'. If that is the attitude right now it ain't getting better once that person is paid.

 

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05/30/2008

I agree, Maddie, I forgot to mention that it was pretty time consuming looking for the room info.  If I was a prospective guest, I think I would have moved on because it did take a fairly long time....

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Proud Texan's picture
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Are you using Flash? I ask this because your home page photos don't show up on my iPad.

You my want to consider using javascript or you will be losing visitors using Mac products.

 

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05/22/2008

Yes she is using flash. FYI: I already commented about getting rid of it in a previous post

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05/30/2008

Well, I hardly think that you're being nit picking if you want the site to attract customers!  That IS the ultimate goal...

Much better than the old site for sure though!

I agree about the front porch photo which shows the chain link fence and car next door.  We want to be honest about our locations, etc., but we also have to put our best foot forward so I'd crop that photo a bit or put up a shot from a slightly different angle.

I also agree that you need the address and phone on each page.  I didn't think to hover over the contact area and then saw it there.  Why not just have an email link pop up to contact you instead of some kind of form?  That's what I had and it worked quite well. 

For me, as part of the over 55 crowd, the font is too small on the entire site.  Sorry...but that's a lot of the B&B crowd.  Eye-wink

Work with it until it's right for YOU, not for whomever is doing your website work!  Good luck!

 

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02/18/2012

I agree.  Site updates look  pretty darn good. 

-Increase the font size.

-I like to know about breakfast , maybe in the faq tell when it's served and what to expect.

-I like the multiple links you've put for activities - good idea. I should take a page out of your book there.

- As someone that would be visiting your site, I would find an overview accommodation page helpful to rapidly compare rooms: prices, beds, max capacity, etc..   I do like each individual page though-and being able to see the calandar-nice.

-In the faq, rather than start out why chose a B&B, maybe start out with Why us? and roll in the ideas that make a B&B stand out as well.  I'm at your site, I've drilled down to the FAQ page, I'm ready to be sold - on you.

-I really like the font used in your logo. Nice.

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02/18/2012

One more tip, not sure if it's common knowledge.  When  I was working on my site, I was using a woo theme,  and they recommended using a firefox extension called firebug...now I use it relentlessly when looking at a website's design. 

You install it, you visit any website - yours, someone else's and you can select an item on the site-like the header, a table, a picture, and it tells you the styles that are currently applied to that item (background color, font, font size, etc...). 

You can then dynamically play with the page, type in a new font size to see what it looks like, type in a new line spacing, see what your page looks like with a new background color.  Nothing is saved, it just lets you visualize the page.  I was playing with your site, seeing what it looked like with a different font size, alignment, and background color. 

On my site, it helps me rapidly play with a bunch of different changes, than identify the ones I want to make.

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05/22/2008

Firebug is a wonderful tool to use. It really teaches you alot.

But...if you have no idea about doing a website, much less css styles you won't have a clue what it is showing you. She obviously doesn't know how to or she would not have hired a person to do the site. And, her site is not wordpress.

Yes it works with any page, but...big difference in how to edit. And sounds like her designer isn't having a good time accepting her wishes...bad bad.

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Yes, the designer's attitude not professional!  No argument there.  I was just playing around with firebug, and thinking, hey is this what everyone else is doing too?

It is great for learning, but I'm a determined button pusher.  Woo themes has an intro video if there are those who want to check it out (they say for WP themes, but it could be any page.).    

 

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05/22/2008

Yes, I think I posted the link to that same video a long time ago. Very good.

Arks's picture
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I love the old front door with the stained glass and old hardware. I think all of you who still have the great old front doors should combine them into a montage, like one I saw in Ireland of their beautiful doors.

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01/19/2012

I want to move to Ireland just for the doors ... j/k ... I like their style.

Kay Nein's picture
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You all have valid points.  Thanks for your feedback.  

We spent 3 hours this morning going over the site and sending more changes to the webguy.  His response:

You’re being way to nitpicking.  We definitely need to talk about this.  This site looks great and needs to get on with it. I don’t think if I worked on this thing for 10 years I could ever get it to satisfy you.

Holy S*^%!  Now I'm super duper upset...

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Hummm, if this person thinks it looks great as it is, I would be consulting another web designer. 

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K9 wrote:

You all have valid points.  Thanks for your feedback.  

We spent 3 hours this morning going over the site and sending more changes to the webguy.  His response:

You’re being way to nitpicking.  We definitely need to talk about this.  This site looks great and needs to get on with it. I don’t think if I worked on this thing for 10 years I could ever get it to satisfy you.

Holy S*^%!  Now I'm super duper upset...

K9 is this a family friend or relative? The answer makes me think so, and this is what we always say, they don't get it. They do not understand ANY of the whole B&B image. I hope you are not paying good money for this, I am upset too!

 

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WHAT the ???? You are paying this dude. When I do work, it isn't done until my client LOVES it!!! And many times, I won't even charge for extra clean up etc...anything to make my client happy!!! A website is your baby...you want it to be the best it can..and sorry to say, you still have a way to go.

Arks's picture
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K9 wrote:

You all have valid points.  Thanks for your feedback.  

We spent 3 hours this morning going over the site and sending more changes to the webguy.  His response:

You’re being way to nitpicking.  We definitely need to talk about this.  This site looks great and needs to get on with it. I don’t think if I worked on this thing for 10 years I could ever get it to satisfy you.

Holy S*^%!  Now I'm super duper upset...

Wow! Time to look for a new webmaster! Nitpicking?? It's your business, your livelihood! You'd better nitpick!!

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Ok.here goes...you all know me...tell it like it is..

Why did you go with such dark colors?  Are you a Buckeye? If so that would be great. Does not give me a great first impression. Not very inviting

Why have you stuck with such limited space for your text? It looks so OLD SCHOOL. You should be using WORDPRESS...not an old html code. REALLY! You are not moving forward and you have to do that. This just looks like it is based on your old site width etc etc. Same for images/ headers..you can blow folks out of the water today...these just look so so.

Never center justify text. It confuses the eye. It should be left justified and use bullet points where possible they draw attention to the text.

I don't see any Google Analytics code, nor verification

Sorry this is only the first page.

OH NO...you are using FLASH for the slideshows for your rooms. AN ABSOLUTE NO NO these days!  Will not show up on any apple Iphones or I pads!!!! Major issue!

EDIT: the home page header is flash too. Who does this anymore?  No decent web designer for sure.

Why are there no rates on each of the rooms pages?  They should be seen right then and there. People shouldn't have to mouse over the rates button to see them. An extra not needed step.  And, if some people turn off pop ups, those windows may not show.  

Font size too small. Yes I know everyone can regulate the font size, but they shouldn't have to.

POLICIES...not POLICY

I will stop now ...Sorry

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05/22/2008

Before I look why is one https?  you don't need a secure site for a B & B

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Just wanted to say I see that the same font text style is on your sign, and all. Don't feel you need to keep it and work with the same, when you can do better. The sign is the sign out front, don't let it cloud the issue for you. Get a nice header font for the website. Smiling

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06/24/2008

Very nice site, love the larger pictures and the drop down for the accommodations. 

I used FF and it did come up rather quickly. 

The fontof your Inn name should be the same and in large the inn name, reduce B&B. 

Don't make me hunt to find your phone number or booking link.  - both should be visible on every page  I did see the contact info tab at the bottom (after skimming page) but you should give it a more prominent location on your page.  

I also think having your complete address on each page is important, in the bottom box would be fine but have it there.   And also have it before your directions on the location page.  People with GPS want that first. 

Photos should be easy to straighten through most any  photo shop software.  And while you are straightening, try to photo shop out the power cords to give a cleaner look.  We all know TV's, lamps etc. have to be plugged in wink but seeing the cords in the picture moves my eyes straight to the cords.    I agree with JB about the pic of the front porch as well.  A beautiful front porch so try taking another angle or put a large potted plant at that end of the porch to camouflage the view. 

And one last thing BREAKFAST - you need to devote real estate to your second B!!!

 

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10/07/2008

Congrats on the new site! What a huge improvement. They should LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU k9, you do your homework!

My immediate intuition has kicked in on this and I have a few things, do you want them here or in an email? I don't want to be "pedantic" as another innkeeper here likes to say. But I thought I could use that in a sentence for once! I will drop some here for your perusal: indecision

Examples: The porch photo - photos draw the eye to the furthest point and I see a chain link fence and a car. This is something so teensy that would make a huge impact on the viewer.

I know for some reason someone there has said to keep the room photos for the room pages? As there are common area photos only on the header, which to me is not good. People are booking a room, so yes those areas are important, but you need to SHOW THEM THE MONEY! Show them a room, if not there, add it onto the HOME PAGE somewhere.  You don't need to have such a short homepage. Am I correct in thinking it is not a new site, but a reworked site? Which is why the size (website resolution) is so small?

 

The advice these days is:

Optimize for 1024x768. For most sites this will cover most visitors. Most logs show that 92-99% of your visits will be over 1024 wide. While 1280 is increasingly common, there are still lots at 1024 and some below that. Optimize for this but don't ignore the others.

1024 = ~960. Accounting for scrollbars, window edges, etc means the real width of a 1024x768 screen is about 960 pixels. Some tools are based on a slightly smaller size, about 940

Larger Photos

You have to get larger images, better compression on the images to make them clear. This is the #1 important aspect of your new website, #1. The rest is gravy, as they say.

I love that you have main level floors and suites etc shown that way on the menu as that is always a question!

Things to do page is nice - the links on the things to do is eveyr nice! Consider making the images CLICKABLE to those sites of interest. Of course, again, larger, cleaner images would be preferred.

Header font

Why two fonts? and why is bed and breakfast clearer and appearing larger font size than the inn name? You want the inn name to be biggest and baddest! 

Love the FAQs page - but do you hand out glasses with it? Why is the font so much smaller than other pages? Smiling

Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

I didn't see the reservation calendar. 

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Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Each page has a large "Reserve Now" button and there is a calendar on every room page itself that shows availability.  You have to scroll a little.  

gillumhouse's picture
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I opened it in both Chrome and IE. It was a tad slow with the photos. Otherwise nice.

Generic's picture
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So much better. Can I ask a "weird" question? Is this a ship? Because all the pictures in the slides on the front page seem to be as if the floor is slanted to the left... or that just my screen? 

Are you intentionally not leaving them a way to leave you a note? There is no way to contact you other than copy down the email address. Not a form, nothing clickable.

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Arks's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Are you intentionally not leaving them a way to leave you a note? There is no way to contact you other than copy down the email address.

Copy down is right! The way it's set up, you can't even highlight it and copy it to paste into an e-mail. You can highlight the e-mail address but as soon as you release the mouse to do the copy, the contact info window disappears. You literally have to copy it down with pen and paper then manually type it into an e-mail. Not good.

Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Wow, that's funny about the slant.  I never noticed that.  It's obvious now...  Maybe I can get him to rotate a few to make them straight.  It was not intentional.

Good Point about a contact form!  Thanks!

Generic's picture
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Otherwise, have him use the distort function on PS to skew the picture into what resembles a straight line. You should be able to fix the focus in such a way that they look even. (Isn't it weird, now that I mentioned it, you won't be able to unsee it, either.)

If you use a contact form, captcha is nice to prevent the bots from filling it out.

Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Yes, I see it on all the pages now.  In my email I asked him not to make our guests seasick!

I believe most of those shots are zoomed in and the original pic can be rotated.  I've asked him to fix that.  it's driving me crazy.  Thanks alot! indecision

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