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Review My Site Please


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26 replies to this topic

#1 ogormask

ogormask

    Shane O'Gorman

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:25 PM

My site is yourchippewavalleyhome.com

Please be kind but I can take it. I designed every aspect of my site so I am attached to it.



General

Is this site completed or under construction?
Complete but always improving and adding new content, features etc.

If completed:
How long has the site been up?
Domain was registered in Dec of 07 I believe. I have had about 3-4 different sites all with the same theme but of various design. The latest incarnation is using Joomla!

SEO
Do you have incoming links?
Yes. I blog a lot and have over 5000 incoming links to my site built up in the past 6 months.

What keywords are you targeting?
The site is real estate so variations of real estate, homes for sale, foreclosures, foreclosed, short sales, agent, realtor, agency, buyer, seller, and about anything in between.
My main target area for key words is the city of Eau Claire Wisconsin. I also serve a variety of smaller communities. One of the problems is trying to optimize for so many different areas. Either add more content, build a complete new site for each area and try to link build for each site or build pages optimized for each city but still have the major link building chore. Its something I would be interested in hearing different strategies or maybe if I am already on the right track?

Do you want your code reviewed for errors or improvements?
Yes. I actually have a new error that makes it impossible to close the page without an error. Its rather annoying. I know little if anything about php. Actually nothing. I can barely do html but I can do ok with Joomla in general. I know there are more errors beyond that. I actually fixed quite a few on my own but the rest I have no idea. They might be errors in some of the modules or components used as I know this is common to not always have completely compliant components.

Marketing
Who is your target audience? Think about:
Gender
Nationality
Age Range
Income/Education level
Likes/Dislikes

The more you tell us about your target audience, the better. We don't know them- you do!

My target market is home buyers and sellers in my area. I also attract a national audience for relocation services and have been successful at that as well. My site is not gender specific and I hope either sex will enjoy it or find it useful. We are mostly an English speaking community but we do have a large incoming population of Spanish speaking as well as hmong. I included Google translater in the hopes of making the site more accessible.
As far as age again I would hope any age finds the site easy to use. I use social networking in the effort to work on the younger audience but I find quite a few older people facebooking etc. All of my sites are interlinked with social networking aspects. I also try to keep the print larger for an older audience who I know finds small print hard to read. As far as a specific age range there is none other than typical first time home buyers are 25-35 and home sellers tend to be older. The average person moves 3-5 times and lives in the home around 3-5 years before moving.
Income/education
Our community is mostly middle class I would say. Some post secondary education. The largest employers are Menards, mayo, our University. There are some more highly educated people associated with these employers.

Why is your site different from sites selling/offering similar info/goods/services? Why will someone want to do business you?
My site is completely different than the other sites in my area intentionally. While I offer all the same tools associated with my trade I wanted a completely different look. All the other sites are stock template sites with a typical site structure. I tried keeping typical elements of a traditional site while looking and feeling different. I tried not making it difficult navigating and making it easy to find the most useful areas. The number one aspect of a real estate site is people want to search for houses and I think I did that btter than anyone in my area. Most sites you have to fumble around to even find where to look. I think its easy to find on my site.

How important is usability?

Usability is important. I think I offer enough tools. Site is loading slow and I dont know why other than maybe I have too much stuff. I dont know what I would cut because it is all useful. I have some ideas maybe to slim it down if thats the issue. I tried making it easy to navigate. I got a huge increase in page views by adding the easy to see link boxes. I wouldnt mind dressing them up more but am not that great with GD.

What is the purpose of the site? (inform, sell, online community, support B&M business, contact info only, etc)

Information. I am adding a lot of content and will probably never quit. Its easy for me to add more because I blog so much. I think I provide a lot of information right now without overdoing it. I try not to hold back like some sites do requiring you to register to read more and thngs I like that. I avoid those tactics. I try to offer easy ways to get more info as well.
Sell. I donít sell anything but myself hopefully and my services. I donít like sales and I donít try to come across as a salesperson. I hope I sell myself as in people find my site useful and find it informative and recognize me as an expert in my field.
I try to offer an online community. I think itís a new concept for my area. I offer to let people in the community use my site for advertising as well so they have a free website for what they need. I also am trying to make it a one stop shop for community info and offer weather and local news stories and links to popular information sites.
Contact info. I am actually working on expanding this page and its under construction. I offer many different ways and throughout my site is littered with my contact info. My contact page itself is under construction and my goal is to include all social networking sites I am a member to easily contact me and be my friend.

Design
Do you want design suggestions?

Yes. I am open to suggestion. I like what I have done with the site but I realize not everyone will. I am a one person operation but have spent a lot of time on my site. I am no programmer and fully admit that. In fact I have never designed sites up until my last few. I think I did a good job. I am not great with graphic design but am working on that as well so some things might not look as great as some other people are capable of. I am getting better though.
My biggest concerns are decreasing the loading time for pages. I realize I have a lot of moduels loaded and am not sure what I could cut out because I like the ones I have. If there is something I can do that would help I am all ears. Some might say I have too much stuff but I like how it looks different than other sites in my area. No other site can do what my site can and very few that I have seen across the country have as many useful tools. In fact I have combed hundreds of other RE sites to get ideas and I donít think I have missed anything.

One other thing I would add. I would put a header at the top of my site. I have some design ideas in mind but one issue I have is how it would look on different resolutions. Is there a way to make it stretch depending on the viewer? I dont know how to do this from a programming standpoint.

Thanks


#2 1dmf

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:17 AM

Sorry, but your site has one of my real bug bares!

A pop up as soon as you arrive offering to make your site my home page -> I leave ANY site who does that instantly.

Why on earth would I want your site as my home page? and why are you annoying people with pop-ups as soon as they arrive?

On top of that, when I tried to leave I was bombarded by JavaScript errors before the page would close.

Needs more work i'm afraid. sad.gif



#3 ogormask

ogormask

    Shane O'Gorman

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:08 AM

yes I cant fix the error. Something made it go off but I dont know what since its Joomla I cant just pin it down.

The popup is an experiment. It closes automatically. It also floats so its not there long. I guess its a bad idea. Actually it just asks to save it to favorites. I dont think it would make sense as a home page. It does ask that again on the right but I only left it as an option in case someone would.

#4 1dmf

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:11 AM

No probs, it's a pet peeve of mine, my current hosting does this everytime i go to login to my plesk / apache control panel, it drives me nuts!

I'm assuming you have something in the 'onunload' event causing the JS error, but it indicates the error is on line 0 ?? bit odd.


#5 ogormask

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:50 AM

It was something I installed but when I work on my site sometimes I do a lot of work and its hard to narrow things down sometimes. Plus with Joomla its not just in a single html document to read through. The main html file for the site is actually rather short and doesnt really have much code in it and when you try to debug the errors arent usually there.

#6 1dmf

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 09:26 AM

This Joomla sounds a nightmare then.

#7 ogormask

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:06 AM

Well the beauty of it is that you dont have to know how to design a site you just add modules or components that do certain functions. Most popular ones are coded well but some might not be but if its the only one that performs a certain function then you have to make some sacrafices. I think its probably the best CMS platform there is. I am sure in the hands of someone else it does even more but I am new to it.

#8 1dmf

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

These CMS products certainly can be a steep learning curve. Though I know many swear by them. Persoanlly I code everything by hand, but again, that was a very steep lurning curve, and i'm still learning!

I wish you luck and hope you master the system so you can achieve your goals.

#9 Jill

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:15 AM

ogormask, I wonder if those pop ups and errors could have something to do with your Google woes (in the other thread).

Google isn't a fan of pop ups.

#10 ogormask

ogormask

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:15 PM

Well its not a true popup at all. Its just a module that was in a position that you could see when you started. The module simply held an image in place and then removed it after 3 seconds. I actually took it down. But I had that in place long before I had issues with Google.

#11 ogormask

ogormask

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:12 AM

Does anyone have any more suggestions or would someone be able to offer a hand on what that Java error is? Its driving me nuts! I cant validate the document either it stops on line 600 something so I cant even debug.

Thanks!

#12 1dmf

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

Do you mean Java or JavaScript , they are not the same?

#13 ogormask

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

LOL sorry JS.

#14 1dmf

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:36 AM

well the line thats erroring is this
CODE
__flash__removeCallback(document.getElementById("flashXdComm"), "clearAllCache");


which is not a JS syntax i'm familar with, well I wouldn't start my function names with underscores!!

Do you have any flash on the site?

I've scanned the js in your html
CODE
  <script type="text/javascript" src="/plugins/system/jceutilities/js/mediaobject.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="/plugins/system/jceutilities/js/jquery-126.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="/plugins/system/jceutilities/js/jceutilities-217.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="/media/system/js/mootools.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="/media/system/js/caption.js"></script>


and found the only script with a reference to "callback" is the JQuery-126 script, does that help?

looking at the source it's a nasty compressed JS file, not readable at all.

it also contains the word "unload", which is the event usually used to call scripts when the browser window is closed, so it does look like it could be the culprit.

What do you use it for?

Edited by 1dmf, 11 March 2009 - 11:48 AM.


#15 ogormask

ogormask

    Shane O'Gorman

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:18 PM

Umm not sure. I dont know that I have any flash on my site period. What I can do is uninstall that JCE utilities it must be causing some sort of mess. Let me see what that does and I will get back to you.




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