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Your Website - best features

Discussion in 'Website Design' started by 5acrefarmer, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. 5acrefarmer

    5acrefarmer Member

    Apr 29, 2008

    I'm in the process of building myself a website.
    Wondering if there is anything about your website that you consider a good feature. Any ideas that you think are worth considering.
    What do the visitors to your site want to see or find out about as opposed to what we think they should be told.

    Please post your wonderful ideas and links here !
  2. cgsigns_jamie

    cgsigns_jamie Very Active Member

    On my "Contact Us" page I have the Google Maps "thingy" that allows my customers to get directions to my office very quickly. I just hate giving directions over the phone...

    www.cgsigns.net/contact.htm [Still a work in progress]
  3. SignTech

    SignTech Guest

    pictures - contact info - who you are - testimonials

    Visitors rarely read anything.

  4. Jon Aston

    Jon Aston Very Active Member

    Mar 4, 2004
  5. trakers

    trakers Very Active Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    You want to ask yourself "Would someone under 30 say "Ah, that's cool!", if so then don't include it on a business website."

    The purpose of an effective business website is to offer information to the visitor that is quick and easy to find and as brief as possible. And no friggin Flash.

    Here is an example of one of the worst websites I've ever visited:

    - Loud, abnoxious music forced upon the user. Sure you can turn it OFF but the user should have to turn it ON not OFF
    - Spinning, twirling thingamajig in the lower right corner. Very distracting and useless.
    - Very annoying "animated" menu structure.
    - Built entirely in Flash. Search engine suicide.
    - Huge. That friggin home page is almost 600,000 bytes big. About 2 minutes on a typical dialup connection.

    So you say, "Why do you go there then?"

    Because you can signup for the E-Club as many times as you want and get a free appetizer whenever you go there to eat. Combine that with their cheapo menu and you and your date (or wife) can have more of a meal than you want for less than $20 with tip.
  6. Jon Aston

    Jon Aston Very Active Member

    Mar 4, 2004
  7. Former member

    Former member Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    Content management systems are really great to build into your site. I've got it on mine. It allows you update and create pages without having to use dreamweaver or write code.
  8. animenick65

    animenick65 Very Active Member

    May 18, 2005
    Boston, MA
    If you haven't noticed, TGIF Friday's advertising focus is on BIG and BOLD. I wouldn't expect their website to be any different. Their website is very much like their restaurants. Search engine suicide? It's TGIF Friday's, not Bubba's All You Can Eat, people know what it is, its brand awareness. You type it in and go. Building a big and bold website for a dialup connection is a futile thing. Only thing I agree with you on is they could streamline it a tad and make it less of a resource hog.

    As for trying to build your own website. Go for what fits you, your business and how you want people to see you. In many instances, your website will be the first interaction a potential customer has with your company. Make it an informative and good experience.
  9. peavey123

    peavey123 Active Member

    Jul 25, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    The coolest feature i've seen is from a print shop here in town where you can go on their website and actually print your documents yourself 24 hours a day.

    and to Tracker..what is wrong with a little flash? Most sites nowadays aren't built for dial up users anyways. I say leave em in the dust. if they don't have cash for high speed they don't have cash for big signs..lol
  10. Lunatic Taskbar

    Lunatic Taskbar Very Active Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Nova Scotia
    Hay Jon, I see your a Seth Godin fan, I personally like the Purple Cow, read it many many times.
  11. killergraphics

    killergraphics Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Samples and catalog

    I think with the attention span of most web suffers its important to show some of your work and just what they can get from you.
    I get thousands of hits a week on my killergraphics site and many tell me that the make your own price quoter helps them deciede just how many colors they (want) to get.
    My us army site is a little more focused on just what I can do for them and (price) because that is what I do for my part for what they do for us.
  12. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    For sign makers…. the gallery is the number one best feature, above anything and everything. It makes me chuckle when I see sign folks spend time or possibly money on a website and then leave off examples of their work. What’s the point? People don’t go on a sign company’s site to just read about the company’s history, who cares? They want to see what you can do. In fact, if we didn’t have to worry about ranking well on search engines, I would have hardly any text if any at all. I would keep it as clean as possible and to the point. Unfortunately our company needs to rank well and we have implemented many strategies so that we do. And the reason our particular company needs to rank well has little to do with the sign services we offer and more to do with the web design and logo design. In fact, very few of the sales leads we get from our site are from people shopping for signs using search engines. Is this because our site isn’t set up well for SEO? Absolutely not, it’s actually the opposite. We are on the first page, if not number one, on the majority of the search terms that we are targeting. I think the reason why, is because not every industry is a hot searchable topic. I think for the sign industry, people rather just go to the local sign shop and talk to a person.

    So even though our site ranks well, its main purpose for the sign services we offer, is to act as virtual portfolio. When client calls inquiring about a job, or when we approach them, they often want to see examples of our work, so we send them to our site. That is how our site is mainly being used. That being said, it depends on the company. Not every business is the same, and so not every site needs to be searchable, not every site needs to be scaled back for dial up users, not every site needs to be static. Build your site based on your target audience.

    The TGIF site is a perfect example. Some people like Trakers might look at their site and think it’s atrocious. To others it’s appealing. Most likely younger browsers, the audience I’m assuming TGIF is targeting with this site. This younger audience is accustomed to flash sites; in fact they actually respond surprisingly well to sites like this. I’m betting that in the near future with the increase in internet connection speeds, faster computers, and the possibility of searchable flash content, flash sites will be the norm.

    Our site was designed and built a certain way to appeal to certain people. I know it won’t appeal to everyone. I know all of the features we added to our site aren’t one hundred percent necessary. In fact, a few things on our site have less to do with necessity and more to do with showcasing our abilities as web builders. These features are used as a whole to create a certain feel and image that we want to portray to the clients that we are targeting. So when building your site, do your research. Do what’s right for your business not what every one else is doing.
  13. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    My website's best feature is that it came free with my GoDaddy domain name.
    My worst feature is that I did it myself and it looks like crap!
    One day maybe I can afford a real site.
  14. Service Sign Co

    Service Sign Co Very Active Member

    Nov 9, 2006
    That's a good feature,the free one with go daddy. do you have to pay to be on a google search? anyone know how that works
  15. wetgravy

    wetgravy Guest

    images images images. no one reads anymore and if you don't have an image to show them what you are saying they don't care ... think picture book without the words. Also don't overload your site with so many things on one page its WAY too long to load or you have to overly scroll for. check out template monster for good use of templates with graphics, always good for an idea or two if your stuck.
  16. slappy

    slappy Very Active Member

    May 31, 2005
  17. imagep

    imagep Active Member

    Dec 1, 2006

    Jill, your best feature is your before and after. That is awsome and convincing. I may have to steal the idea from you. And the site really does not look bad at all, just girly.
  18. b2413

    b2413 New Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Well Balanced

    There is some truth to the fact that images will greatly increase your visitors attention span, However you need to make sure that you have a well balanced website with images and content. If your site is just full of images that is great if the only people that you want to come to your site is people that heard about your site through word of mouth. This cuts back on a lot of your potential traffic. Technology is great but there isn't a search engine out there that will look at your images and base your website ranking based upon your pretty images. You need to make sure that you cover as many keywords as you can on your website, also make sure that all of your images have "alt keywords."

    Search engines find your website by using what are called "keyword spiders" when your website is uploaded and submitted to various search engines spiders crawl your sites pages link by link ranking your site by the keywords listed. The most effective keywords are listed "above the fold" on your website. Above the fold is web development slang meaning located on the top half of your webpages, many of these being headings.

    Another way to generate a lot of traffic to your site and improve your ranking is through link building with other websites; Online directories are a great way to build link backs to your website. When you start getting a high volume of link backs to your site you will see your site rise in the search engine rankings.

    And last but not least it is imperative that you have a site map on your website. These may not mean much to you or your visitors but "search engine spiders" love site maps and will literally explode your web traffic of targeted visitors.

    If anyone has specific questions you can pm me!:thumb:
  19. Edserv

    Edserv Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    You really only need to think about 2 things: Traffic and Conversion.
    You can use Google Analytics to learn about your traffic and conversion. It's free.
    If you're serious about web commerce, research "StomperNet." If you're serious about conversion, try split testing. It really works!
    Good luck,
  20. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    The best on mine is the home page picture of a vacation beach scene, then I guess maybe the pictures of my work, some are blurry though, next might be if proof read would be the down to earth copy.

    But since I've put the whole thing together and not a very good job at that, to me the best thing is I managed to get this far building one, even though from a website builder lol that the host supplies.... http://www.592sign.com

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