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Would love some feedback help for our site!

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by AntonyWarnes, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. AntonyWarnes

    AntonyWarnes New Member

    We are trying to set up a family friendly event in Leeds called SMASHCON featuring live entertainment as well as Film & TV related guests and attractions.

    We chose wordpress for its ease of updating and picked a theme with an events page set up "the 7".

    We've been using a developer to implement the things we wanted in the site, which is at but feel the home page is a little lacking in something. We still have content to add to pages and will be adding ticket price information to the home page but other than that our developer says it's as good as it gets.
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Wow that took about 20 seconds to load, I'm hoping for your sake that my infinity connection is playing up.
  3. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Took a long time to load here too.

    The thing that jumps put to me when I landed on it is the amount of white space at the top where it says "get tickets" coupled with the white space below it around the count down.
    I'm all for negative space but it does look like something is missing.
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    too long to load... would have left before it loaded. Seriously why is it taking so long to load, is it on your home internet connection or something
  5. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    That background image is 650kb alone which isn't helping load speeds.
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    yeah but that's less than 1second to download for any decent broadband connection if the server is supplying enough bandwidth.
    Having a quick look at the source code and I'd say it's the 81, yes 81 javascript files it's loading....
    Then there's the 17 domains it's accessing, this forum is accessing 8 for reference and my site (and yours boss hog) which I'm building 3...
  7. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    That's impressive.

    Antony, i'd go back to your developer and mention the above issues.
  8. AntonyWarnes

    AntonyWarnes New Member

    Thank you everyone... I agree with everything!!!

    There's a couple of pages to add to the menu but it definitely needs something to fill that space below!

    why would any site need 81 javascript files? Other than the countdown it's pretty much a static page! I'm guessing it is something to do with the "visual composer" rubbish that was part of the theme i have been banging my head against!

    I have no idea about the 17 domains either-Is that something to do with this god-awful Godaddy hosting i'm using?
  9. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I'm no expert when it comes to webdesign especially wordpress, all I know is that it's got too much javascript going on lol.

    Boss Hog... I seem to have found a bug, if I copy text it doesn't appear in the text box when I paste it but it is there.
  10. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Why no "Get tickets" call to action at the bottom? I've got at the way down and you've just left me with a map but nowhere to go from here.
    Everything on your home page should be about peaking interest and enticing visitors to purchase a ticket. Think about how a user will read the site (keep it short because they'll skim read it). Predict what questions they will have and answer them.

    I'd probably get rid of the whole social media feed on the right as it doesn't really provide any worthwhile information to a user (there's a tweet about Terry Wogan passing away, not exactly comic-con material). Plus it takes up half the screen on my laptop, it's a waste of space. I'd also swap out the circular carousel in favour of a text list of highlights and features. It's not as flashy but it's much more user friendly as I don't have to wait ~20 seconds to read it all (remember, users skim!) or fiddle about clicking the corresponding icons.

    I also can't find any mention of the date, time or address other than the banner at the top, which is an image, meaning search engines and partially/none-sighted users who read via a screen-reader won't be able to get this information.

    Definitely drop the size of the main body font down too, 30px is WAY too big. 16 –18px should be enough. Also, why is all the styling done inline using !important tags to override the CSS? If the developer has done this I'd want a good reason why, though I suspect it's from the theme's composer.

    Most of the Javascript looks like it comes from plugins. This is my biggest gripe with Wordpress, it's easy to add functionality, but you get really messy mark-up and often end up loading libraries such as JQuery more than once because more than one plugin references it.

    My second biggest gripe with WP, specifically themes, is having to shoehorn your own content into design, when really the design should be built around the content. This is what you're feeling now, the design is lacking because it's not really a design, it's a theme with your content added.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  11. AntonyWarnes

    AntonyWarnes New Member

    Thanks again for the in depth explanations! I'm very impressed with this site/the community on here!

    This actually began with buying a html template that looked amazing but we didn't have the expertise to get it online. We were on a shoe string (we're not trying to broadcast it but I run a community group which puts on not for profit events with anything that comes out of them being re-invested into other projects!) so i purchased a theme that was for events, wanted to push the comic style slightly so went on a few sites and paid someone to make a few modifications...and this is where we are at, most of the budget blown and a half finished bloated site...of which the best bit is the design a mate of mine did for us...

    The Twitter thing was meant to be in the footer, with the FB feed ....and oddly the Terry Wogan tweet was deleted a few days after for that very reason but the feed seems to be stuck back then... We're quite active on social media and had intended to be blogging about the event on the web site but we can't really begin blogging until the site i finished so hoped the social media feeds would keep us up to date until we are in a position to begin adding content..

    If i can trouble you all for an opinion: Would I be better going back to a basic theme and deleting the plugins that I doubt are even being in used and then either living with what I have or is there another solution to our misery?
  12. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    What else are you doing to promote the site and event? Essentially you could get away with a page that's just a single screen that gives people enough info to want to buy tickets (complete with a huge link that just says "buy tickets") if you're driving enough traffic to the site through other means.

    You could even forego a bespoke site completely and use something like Eventbrite to handle ticket sales (they take a charge + % of ticket sales) but again, you need to be promoting the event to drive interest.
  13. AntonyWarnes

    AntonyWarnes New Member

    Ooops thought I had replied to this. The website is mainly where the store is so we can sell tickets, most of the advertising will be done using posters and flyers. We've had to wait for weeks after past events to have funds released from ticketing companies and suppliers usually want paying before the events so that's no good for cashflow.

    I went back to the developer with the expert questions raised and they have said you are all obviously "newbies" who haven't got a clue what you are talking about and they are blaming everyone but themselves (mainly me for buying cheap hosting at GoDaddy) - can't get direct answers to questions like where is the main page image being taken from as it's not on the page as it needs changing or can you help me follow the steps outlined by the theme builder support in regards making the site load more efficiently.

    I had to spend all yesterday evening trial and error trying to disable plugins but the basic problem is that the site loads a WYSIWYG plugin called Visual Composer which takes between 4-5 seconds to load up every time i run various speedtests.

    I think my only option is going to be to find another developer and see if the site can be re-worked without the visual composer.

    Thanks again for your replies everyone. It helped me realise we'd been conned by our developer.
  14. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Developers are notoriously slippery individual so I'd steer clear of them if you can.
    I neighbour of mine bought some pegs off one and ended up using them o re-tarmac her drive.
    When she refused to pay after they made a bad job of it they threatened to "Smash yer feckin' winders".
    They learned the hard way. :(
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I'd be going back to this 'expert' and telling him he needs to sort out the site because it's not loading fast enough and people are leaving the site. Simply put he has not fulfilled his side of the contract which is to supply you with a site which is suitable for the task at hand. If you need to wait 20 seconds for the page to laod then people are going to leave, let alone the impact on search rankings etc.
    Yeah most likely hence him saying we're 'newbies'.... even a non web designer knows a site shouldn't take that long to load
  16. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    this is your pingdom report:


    What the hell has he done to get your css file to 2.6MB!?!? You shouldn't be seeing MB for anything apart from images.

    As a comparison, here's a huge e-commerce / business directory site I've just finished developing but am yet to do any optimisation on:

    Paul Murray likes this.

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