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Round two with this site


jason32835

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Hi gang,

 

This is actually a repost of my website. I'm hoping this will be ok as I have completely redone my site. I am now using a modified theme. In fact another fellow has been posting recently with the same theme, so it should look familiar.

 

As with everyone posting here, I am looking for advice on making my site better. I would love to get feedback on professionalism, usability, technical & seo quality... stuff like that.

 

I'm completely live, so only purchase what you want to pay for :thumbsup:

 

Thank you!

 

www.probilia.net

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The first thing I would do if I was you would be to check your layout in firefox because its a bit screwed!

 

Mark

 

 

Hi Mark,

 

I installed FF and I'm seeing that my price layout in the product info is off to the right and I need to fix that.

 

Can you let me know what else you saw that was off?

 

Thanks!

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Hi Jason,

 

When I view your site in ff your search box and shop by price boxes are broken and also the navigation box above the banner is broken where the search box impedes on it.

 

Mark

Lifes a bitch, then you marry one, then you die!

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Looks like a good clean site... the eader reminds me of a template i once saw.. is it template based?

 

the product images could do with a decent pop up contribution and the footer area, column right when it appears and the space at the foot of column left all sem too 'blank'

 

good luck

Upon receiving fixes and advice, too many people don't bother to post updates informing the forum of how it went. Until of course they need help again on other issues and they come running back!

 

Why receive the information you require in good faith for free, only to then have the attitude to ignore the people who gave it to you?

 

There's no harm in saying, 'Thanks, it worked'. On the contrary, it creates a better atmosphere.

 

CHOOCH

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Hi Jason,

 

When I view your site in ff your search box and shop by price boxes are broken and also the navigation box above the banner is broken where the search box impedes on it.

 

Mark

 

Hey Mark,

 

I'm not able to recreate that problem. Which version of FF are you using?

 

Thanks!

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Looks like a good clean site... the eader reminds me of a template i once saw.. is it template based?

 

the product images could do with a decent pop up contribution and the footer area, column right when it appears and the space at the foot of column left all sem too 'blank'

 

good luck

 

Hi chooch! Thanks for the feedback.

 

Yes I'm using a template.. There is actually another person using the same format in this forum so you probably saw it there. I've been doing a lot of modifications to clean it up.

 

I'm trying to completely get rid of the right column so if you wouldn't mind letting me know which page you saw it on, I'd be mucho appreciative.

 

I'm going to add a gift cert contrib and advertise that along the left column, as well as a few other tidbits.

 

I'm going to work on that image pop up contrib.

 

Thanks again..!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have you tried using stock osc and working your way up from there in design, because there is another site requesting feedback for the same template.

 

Any e-stores unique identity will contribute towards sales, surely.

Upon receiving fixes and advice, too many people don't bother to post updates informing the forum of how it went. Until of course they need help again on other issues and they come running back!

 

Why receive the information you require in good faith for free, only to then have the attitude to ignore the people who gave it to you?

 

There's no harm in saying, 'Thanks, it worked'. On the contrary, it creates a better atmosphere.

 

CHOOCH

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Have you tried using stock osc and working your way up from there in design, because there is another site requesting feedback for the same template.

 

Any e-stores unique identity will contribute towards sales, surely.

 

 

Yeah, I did do that initially. I wasn't as happy with the end result.

 

My feeling is that although we tend to see a lot of oscommerce sites here on this forum. The internet is a big place and most causal surfers won't run into both of our sites. ;)

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Hi Jason,

 

Great site! Pretty pictures, aesthetic design, looks trustworthy. The only weak point of your site, as far as I can see, is the checkout.

 

My first recommendation would be to better signal to customers that this is a secure checkout. A lot of people aren’t savvy enough to see that it says https:// in the browser. In my experience, the most paranoid shoppers are also the most computer illiterate. A simple change you could make is at the end of the first page, to the left of the ‘continue’ button, insert a graphic such as this:

 

padlock.gif

Your order is safe and secure

 

I think this is the most important change you could make.

 

Some other finer points are 1) below the email address form, put a note saying "we value your privacy." 2) delete the * required fields disclosure and all the asterisks. Whats the point of having that if virtually every field is required? 3) Put your phone number at the top of the checkout page to give people another ordering option. Is there a reason you don’t have it underneath your logo? 4) possibly change the background color of all the forms. Maybe to a slight yellow/white. 5) remove the ‘choose country’ forum since you only ship to the USA

 

I just went to the last page of your checkout and realize that you are using paypal. To be honest, I was a little confused as to how I could ‘complete my order’ without having entered my credit card information. Imagine how confusing this would be to an unsavvy computer user. I HIGHLY recommend ditching paypal. For one, having your own checkout looks more professional. 2) Statistically, using paypal as a checkout always loses you business. ALWAYS! (well, 99%) 3) paypal is evil 4) You can still offer paypal as a purchasing option.

 

If you want to take the easy route, I would recommend using Google Checkout instead of paypal. Google checkout is much better than paypal (and I’m not just saying this because I don’t like paypal)

 

 

Aside from the checkout, there is another design element of your website that caught my eye. I’m not sure if making the changes I am going to talk about below will improve your conversion rate ( though I know they won’t hurt it). Never the less, I thought it worthwhile to discuss.

 

Lets look at the page http://www.probilia.net/football-memorabilia-c-27.html

You should remove the ‘details’ button. There is no need for this huge button, replace it with the hyperlink view details. Also, I would make the ‘add to cart’ button on these pages much smaller. If you were selling a simpler product, such as Tupperware, I would keep the button the same size – after all, people would just browse your site and start buying. However, with your site, I think that most people need to visit your product page first, thus making the ‘add to cart’ button less important on the previous page. On that note, the ‘add to cart’ button on your product page looks great.

Best Regards,

 

 

Victor Wise

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Victor,

 

Thanks for the feedback!! I really appreciate your effort, you can look at these websites so long that you miss the little things.

 

I will work on all the issues you point out.

 

I have a love hate relationship with paypal. They make it possible to take credit cards online without a monthly fee, but they make my site look cheesey. My plan was to get a real merchant account once I am selling at least enough product to cover the $20.00 a month. :blush:

 

I started messing with Google, but found it to feel even less intergrated into my site then Pay Pal. Maybe I was doing something wrong.

 

Thanks again for your insight! I will be making those changes.

 

Jason

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3) Put your phone number at the top of the checkout page to give people another ordering option. Is there a reason you don’t have it underneath your logo?

 

 

I'm not planning on getting an 800 number until sales pick up. Do you think it is better to put a "non 800" number in my logo, or leave it on the contact page??

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Hi Jason,

 

I know what its like when you have a website – you get tunnel vision. I’m glad to assist you in any way.

 

I would still include your contact number below your logo, even if its not an 800 number. More importantly, I would include your phone number at various parts during the checkout process with the text ‘rather order by phone, call 1-213-etc. This might be an easy way to increase your business. Also, you should include your hours that you are open anywhere you include your phone number.

 

People shopping online aren’t necessarily looking for big corporations so I don’t think an 800 number is a must have. But you should have an ‘about us’ page so people will have some idea of who you are. If I were you, I would show a picture of yourself, explain how you started your company (i.e. you have a passion for sports), and be honest and transparent with your customers. Put a face behind your business, even if it tips people off that you are a cottage industry. That way, if someone is put off by your lack of an 800 number, your about us page will put them at ease.

 

Here is a great article on ‘about us’ pages : http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3623058

 

About the checkout, I myself don’t have much experience with google checkout. But I saw the two page checkout they use and I think it is much much much much better than paypal. Do you need people to create an account? Why not just make the checkout button the link to google checkout? Again, I am not experienced with google checkout and I am not a tech guy.

 

Does anyone with google checkout experience wish to chime in here?

 

 

I have a questions about your industry. Do people ever purchase things from you as an investment? I mean, do people ever buy your products in the hope that they will go up in value?

 

I keep on thinking of those monex gold commercials that used to play on CNN (this is when the stock market sucked). In those commercials, gold was advertised as a safe investment that would go up in value. I am sure monex made lots of money because the commercials were on the air forever.

 

Have you ever read a Clive Cussler book? The character Dirk Pitt did not have any investments in the stock market, equities, gold etc. Instead, he invested all his money in antique cars and valuable collectibles – he probably had a couple of valuable baseball in his collection to.

 

What I am getting at, is, maybe there is an opportunity to market your site as a way to invest your money. This would involve a lot of keyword research, what the competition for those keywords is, and the creation of custom landing pages to match those keywords. Its just an idea I thought I would throw out.

Best Regards,

 

 

Victor Wise

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Hi Jason,

 

I am using ff version 1.0.6

 

Mark

 

Mark

 

Get FF version 2.0.0.1. You will not be disappointed. The spell checker alone is worth the download.

 

Jason.

 

Really nice looking site.

Backup before making changes. Backup before making changes! Backup before making changes!!

 

You did do a backup? eh?

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Victor,

 

Thanks again for your insight. I like the idea of collectibles as an investment opportunity. I will need to look into that!

 

I think I'm going to break down and sign up with a mechant account. I know you hate paypal, but I may just do Pay Pal pro. It is $20 a month and I can just process credit cards manually online and it will be invisible to the customer. At least as a temporary option. Google really dosen't want people using checkout as the only payment method, although I know people are doing it.

 

Thanks for that article, that is really good information. I've been browsing that website and I really like it.

 

J

 

 

Hi Jason,

 

I know what its like when you have a website – you get tunnel vision. I’m glad to assist you in any way.

 

I would still include your contact number below your logo, even if its not an 800 number. More importantly, I would include your phone number at various parts during the checkout process with the text ‘rather order by phone, call 1-213-etc. This might be an easy way to increase your business. Also, you should include your hours that you are open anywhere you include your phone number.

 

People shopping online aren’t necessarily looking for big corporations so I don’t think an 800 number is a must have. But you should have an ‘about us’ page so people will have some idea of who you are. If I were you, I would show a picture of yourself, explain how you started your company (i.e. you have a passion for sports), and be honest and transparent with your customers. Put a face behind your business, even if it tips people off that you are a cottage industry. That way, if someone is put off by your lack of an 800 number, your about us page will put them at ease.

 

Here is a great article on ‘about us’ pages : http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3623058

 

About the checkout, I myself don’t have much experience with google checkout. But I saw the two page checkout they use and I think it is much much much much better than paypal. Do you need people to create an account? Why not just make the checkout button the link to google checkout? Again, I am not experienced with google checkout and I am not a tech guy.

 

Does anyone with google checkout experience wish to chime in here?

I have a questions about your industry. Do people ever purchase things from you as an investment? I mean, do people ever buy your products in the hope that they will go up in value?

 

I keep on thinking of those monex gold commercials that used to play on CNN (this is when the stock market sucked). In those commercials, gold was advertised as a safe investment that would go up in value. I am sure monex made lots of money because the commercials were on the air forever.

 

Have you ever read a Clive Cussler book? The character Dirk Pitt did not have any investments in the stock market, equities, gold etc. Instead, he invested all his money in antique cars and valuable collectibles – he probably had a couple of valuable baseball in his collection to.

 

What I am getting at, is, maybe there is an opportunity to market your site as a way to invest your money. This would involve a lot of keyword research, what the competition for those keywords is, and the creation of custom landing pages to match those keywords. Its just an idea I thought I would throw out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is a very minor and nitpicky point I would like to point out to the Oscommerce community. This is a usability tip.

 

On Jason’s website, there is a link at the top labeled ‘HOME’. This is good, Google wants you to have a link to the homepage from every page of your website. You get points for this. However, the best practice is to NOT have a link labeled ‘HOME’, but to make your logo at the top of every page link to your homepage. As far as I can see, the only benefit of this is it makes your page look less cluttered.

 

Also, I have read before (but I do not assert this is true) that you should not have a link to your homepage when you are on your homepage. I don’t know what effect this has. Maybe an SEO guru can chime in here.

Best Regards,

 

 

Victor Wise

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I agree with you on one point, the way I have it set up with the home button as part of the menu looks off somehow and I think I will change it.

 

My wife was the one who actually suggested I put a home button on my site. She is a little less internet savy then most of the folks here on the OsC forum, so I like to get her opionion. She had actually pointed out that victoriasecret.com had a "home" button on their site. (go figure)

 

On Probilia I think I will move it back to the logo. I am still curious if it is a SEO no-no to have a home button on the home page, so if anyone has any info on that it would be great.

 

Not that I would know how to remove it. An IF - ELSE code I suppose.

 

 

 

There is a very minor and nitpicky point I would like to point out to the Oscommerce community. This is a usability tip.

 

On Jason’s website, there is a link at the top labeled ‘HOME’. This is good, Google wants you to have a link to the homepage from every page of your website. You get points for this. However, the best practice is to NOT have a link labeled ‘HOME’, but to make your logo at the top of every page link to your homepage. As far as I can see, the only benefit of this is it makes your page look less cluttered.

 

Also, I have read before (but I do not assert this is true) that you should not have a link to your homepage when you are on your homepage. I don’t know what effect this has. Maybe an SEO guru can chime in here.

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  • 2 months later...
Hi gang,

 

This is actually a repost of my website. I'm hoping this will be ok as I have completely redone my site. I am now using a modified theme. In fact another fellow has been posting recently with the same theme, so it should look familiar.

 

As with everyone posting here, I am looking for advice on making my site better. I would love to get feedback on professionalism, usability, technical & seo quality... stuff like that.

 

I'm completely live, so only purchase what you want to pay for :thumbsup:

 

Thank you!

 

www.probilia.net

There are free and paid solutions. This is a paid one but you should consider they are professionals.

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Jason,

 

I think you are right about the 'home' link being okay. But for an e-commerce site, I think using the logo is better anyways since it is just one less link to look at. But with sites like myspace, you are pressing home quite often so there it is important.

 

I have heard before though that you should never link a page to itself. So maybe you should make sure that your homepage doesn't link to itself.

 

I really don't know if this is superstition or a minor point. But I make it a point to keep a healthy dose of fear for google.

Best Regards,

 

 

Victor Wise

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Jason,

 

I think you are right about the 'home' link being okay. But for an e-commerce site, I think using the logo is better anyways since it is just one less link to look at. But with sites like myspace, you are pressing home quite often so there it is important.

 

I have heard before though that you should never link a page to itself. So maybe you should make sure that your homepage doesn't link to itself.

 

I really don't know if this is superstition or a minor point. But I make it a point to keep a healthy dose of fear for google.

From an SEO standpoint, there's nothing wrong with linking a page to itself. If you worry about that for the 'home' page, you'd need to worry about all the other pages on your site as well.

 

The only thing that you should worry about, Jason, is that your 'home' link points to http://www.probilia.net/index.php, and your logo link points to http://www.probilia.net/. To Google, these 2 URLs are different. It could be construed as duplicate content since the 2 URLs point to the exact same content. That's a minor point, but it also makes a difference to your inbound links and PR -- so keep them consistent.

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