Hey Chris, what do you think?

Originally Posted By: khamilton
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Chris, you did such a great job critiquing another website, I was wondering if you’d have a look at mine.


Please be gentle...I have no clue what I'm doing and did it myself using Tripod's builder.

www.valleyviewhomeinspections.com

Thanks a million!

Kip


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Kip,


While you did not ask, I will render my opinion on your site. Overall I like the looks of it. Possibly get it more organized by seperating the readings into different pages.

I liked the addition of the weather bug at the bottom of the page.

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: cnordby
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Hi Kip…my name is not Chris either…but I like it too! icon_wink.gif



SafeHOME


Seattle, WA.


www.signsbycheryl.freeservers.com

Originally Posted By: Chris Morrell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kip,


Sorry about the delay. I'll post a critique tomorrow. (If I don't -- e-mail me. I'm very busy and have been visiting the message board less and less each week).


--
Chris Morrell
Director of Information Technology
http://www.nachi.org/

![](upload://hv9roULVn2xglvMzC2IuShqbYKp.html)

Originally Posted By: khamilton
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Hey Cheryl! Thanks, whatever your name is!


OK Chris.....

I remember this is how I felt right before my kids were born....

Kip


Originally Posted By: kleonard
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Hey Kip,


I like your website. I have a suggestion though. I need to do the same thing on my site as soon as I can figure out how to. When clicking on NACHI or any other Hotlink have it so it opens a new page/link rather than going to the new site in the same link. This way they won't go to a new link and forget about yours. It will still be open for them to go back to. Does this jumbolia make any sense ![icon_question.gif](upload://t2zemjDOQRADd4xSC3xOot86t0m.gif)

Also, How did you get that cool little weather channel do-dad on your website....I want one

Kevin Leonard
www.The-Home-Inspection-Company.com


Originally Posted By: rpalac
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Cheryl,


Can I use your picture in place of mine on my business cards? Your much better looking then me!

I'll split the 1,000nd's of new calls with you!

Anyone have any suggestions as to if it is worth trying to design my own web or pay some one...I've never done it, but I enjoy a challenge and am pretty MS savvy.

Bob


Originally Posted By: kleonard
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Mary or Joe looks at it they can’t tell the difference between mine and a super webmasters sight. It is a simple site but informative… icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif


Kevin Leonard
www.The-Home-Inspection-Company.com


Originally Posted By: Chris Morrell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kip,


Because you're using Tripod's Site Builder, I won't go too much into the underlying code. I will say that there's tons to excess code -- it looks like you also pasted your text from MS Word, which left even more excess code. Your home page is approximately 20 Kb, which translates to a 2 second download time on a solid 56k connection. It's probably more like 3 seconds to download on a 56k connection. With the NACHI logo and Weather.com image, your page probably downloads in 6 seconds on a 56k connection. Optimizing your images and code would probably get it down to 2 seconds or less. Internet users are very impatient, and though 6 seconds might seem like nothing to you, it's something to consider.

Ok, let's talk about design:

I would drop the big NACHI logo at the very top of your home page. If nothing else, make it smaller and not a direct link to nachi.org. You're just sending people away from your website, and towards ours. I don't know if you can edit the HTML of your pages, but to make a link open up in a new window, add the target property to your anchor tag:
Code:
<a href="location of your link" target="_blank">Link Text</a>


The look of your page is somewhat inconsistent throughout the different sections. For example, "Valley View Home Inspections" shows at the top of every page but your index page. Also, the fonts are different (some Comic Sans-Serif, some Arial, some Times New Roman, some bolded, some red, some black). I would try to keep things consistent. It's ok if you want to use both black and red text (two different reds), but make sure that the red has a consistent meaning throughout the site (ie. red means important). Also, you probably don't want to make all your text bold. Use strong text for emphasis. When you use it, it will have more meaning that way.

One little thing that bothers me -- your "HOME" link seems as though it's just floating out there. Why not add it to the group of links at the top of each page? You also might want to add the same group of links at the bottom of every page. While I'm at it, you might want to up the font size -- if I have trouble reading the small red text over the tan striped background, any client with less-than-perfect eyesight will have even more trouble.

I like the two columns on your index page. They work well, and are presented in easy-to-read lists. I don't like the placement of the weather.com block. Do you really need it to be there? How does that image help you convert a website user to a paying customer?

My biggest recommendation is to work on the consistency of the look of your site. It still feels homemade -- if you tighten up the look, you can make the site feel more professional. Constantly think about the purpose of your site, and put yourself in your web user's shoes. Just because something seems "cool" doesn't mean it should go on your site. What will help you convert users to clients? If you keep that in mind, you'll end up with a successful website.


--
Chris Morrell
Director of Information Technology
http://www.nachi.org/

![](upload://hv9roULVn2xglvMzC2IuShqbYKp.html)

Originally Posted By: khamilton
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Hey Kevin,


Thanks for your comments about the site. I remember reading something about what you mentioned about opening the link in your own broser window, ala "ask.com", but I don't know enough about how to make it happen. Believe me, I'm just happy that the site works!

About the weather thingy...sure, but I can't think why you would want PA weather out in Ohio????

(just kidding...) check it out:

http://www.w3.weather.com/services/oap.html

Thanks again!

Kip


Originally Posted By: Chris Morrell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kevin,


I know publisher makes things easy, but take a look at the file size of your homepage. 694 Kb will take approximately a minute and a half on a 56k connection. On my broadband connection it took about 8-10 seconds. If I were a typical web user, I would have just hit the back button before it loaded.

I agree completely that being able to edit the content of your site without going through a webmaster is almost a must now. That's why I specialize in content management systems -- websites that you can make immediate changes to online without any tech know-how (it's just like using Microsoft Word). NACHI's upcoming webhosting platform will use a similar system (coming within a month or two).

You may have saved a few hundred bucks by going with Publisher, but you almost certainly lost a client or two with your slow loading site. Those jobs would have easily paid for the extra money it would have taken to have a professionally designed site.


--
Chris Morrell
Director of Information Technology
http://www.nachi.org/

![](upload://hv9roULVn2xglvMzC2IuShqbYKp.html)

Originally Posted By: khamilton
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Hi Chris…


Thanks so much for your time. I know you have got to be busy.

I have access to the html code for each page. What do I need to get rid of inorder to shorten the download time...besides the logo and weather thing you already mentioned. I built a couple of the pages and the scheduling form using Front Page, so thats where the MS-looking code came from.

Is the code you included the code to make someone remain "anchored" to your site while visiting another, so that they'll return to you when they're done?

I knew about the different fonts.

Good suggestion about a consistent "color code" for the fonts...and the bold text.

The Home and other page tabs were created by Tripod's builder. I'm not sure if I can get to them to change the font/color, but I'll try.

The weather thing I thought was "cool", like you said, and it really doesn't do anything to convert a visitor to a paying customer, but I was hoping that a site visitor would remember "the site with the weather thing" ...you know....like printing a business card diagonally or on both sides...something to make you memorable...

Good suggestion about putting yourself in the visitor's place.

BUT, I won't have to worry about any of this when you get NACHI's hosted websites up and running!!!!!

Realistically, how far out do you think you are?

Thanks again!

Kip


Originally Posted By: kleonard
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Hi Chris,


Thanks for being so straight forward. When we talked about this issue many months ago I did buy the Dreamweaver MX Student version because I am a student, I downloaded their sample version first though as a test run and was pretty much blown away. ![icon_eek.gif](upload://yuxgmvDDEGIQPAyP9sRnK0D0CCY.gif) I figured I'd just keep what I've got for the time being. I still have the Dreamweaver in the box.
Maybe later we can talk about How many $ to do it right.

Kevin


Originally Posted By: Chris Morrell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kip,


I understand where you're coming from with the weather thing. The funny thing is, way too many sites use it. Many people will actually look at it and think, "oh, another site with a weather box at the bottom" (maybe not consiously, but at some level). That feeling is more pronounced with me because I design and look at websites for a living, but nonetheless it's there in many people.

As for the anchor code... the word anchor is the official term for the HTML code that makes a link. It starts with a <A and almost always has an "href" property. A typical link will look like (in HTML):
Code:
<A href="some-page.html">Link Text</A>

To make that link open up in a new window, you have to add a target property:
Code:
<A href="some-page.html" target="_blank">Link Text</A>

Look at the difference in the two codes and you'll see what I mean.

For an example more specific to your website, let's take a look at the code for the NACHI Logo and link to nachi.org:
Code:
<a href="http://nachi.org" target="_self">
<img src="http://vvhi.tripod.com//sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/logo.jpg" border="" alt="logo.jpg" vspace="0" hspace="0" width="180">
</a>

You can make the NACHI link to open up in a new window by changing "_self" to "_blank":
Code:
<a href="http://nachi.org" target="_blank">
<img src="http://vvhi.tripod.com//sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/logo.jpg" border="" alt="logo.jpg" vspace="0" hspace="0" width="180">
</a>


As for the webhosting platform. It's still a little ways away. I'd like to say by the end of this month. More likely by mid to late Feb.

Hope this helped,


--
Chris Morrell
Director of Information Technology
http://www.nachi.org/

![](upload://waNEAFnjSFHtiiMJNZXxvpPOJud.html)

Originally Posted By: Guest
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Hi Kevin,


Your site is smooth and professional. But it took 8 seconds to fully load on cable connected computer. Even I was starting to think something was wrong.
The only other thing that bugged me was that you have a link to your home page ON your home page. It's not a huge issue, but if someone like my Dad was browsing he'd keep clicking on "home" trying to get there.
Chad


Originally Posted By: kleonard
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Chad,


Thanks for the compliment and the feedback on the upload time. I know it takes longer than it should but right now I just have to live with it, & considering that 3 years ago all I could do was surf the web and send an email, I'm ok with it for now.. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Kip,

Thanks for the weather channel magnet. I have installed it on my website, although it probably made it a second slower than it already was..I still like it ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif) ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif) Hope all is well in Fairfield PA. as it is in Fairfield, Oh. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif) ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif) ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

www.The-Home-Inspection-Company.com

I'm kind of thinking about getting a local computer Geek/Guru who understands Dreamweaver to tech me the basics and get my site re-done so it's got the lightning speed required for todays "speed means everything" internet community.
Not sure what this would cost though, but like chris said, one lost sale would probably pay for it.

Kevin


Originally Posted By: Guest
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kevin,


It doesn’t cost too much, you should be able to find someone to take care of everything for a couple hundred bucks.


Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
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Kip,


When you are adding a link in the editting boxes on tripod, it gives you an option to have the link open in a new page, same page, etc. Easier than editting the html.


--
Erby Crofutt
B4U Close Home Inspections
Georgetown, Kentucky

www.b4uclose.com

Originally Posted By: khamilton
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kevin,


Cousin!!!!!


ecrofutt,

Doncha love these names???

Cool!! Which one do I want? Same or new??

Thanks, Guys!

Kip