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Zoomba Media Website

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by darren, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. darren

    darren Member

  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Honestly the top looks like it was designed with kids in mind to me, the bottom just looks squashed into a small space.

    I'd say you can do better if comparing with the work that you've done. A website for a web design company needs to showcase their talents and I don't that yours does sorry

    Also atleast one of the standard expectations (well I expect it there and so do some of the sites I've been looking at for seo) of a site aren't there - your zoomba logo should link to your home page.
     
  3. berry

    berry Active Member

    Oh God! I'm now having now having to agree with Levi ( my hero)
    I guess I'll just crawl into a small cave in Wales and evaporate into forum fog....bye.....
     
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Berry I'm just turning into the mini hulk :)
     
  5. darren

    darren Member

    True about linking logo's, but then why does yours not link then?
     
  6. tim

    tim Senior Member

    man it looks okay, but as levi said there's much space to be improved upon- especially from looking at your portfolio and comparing.

    btw we're all trying to help, not just dig at you for no reason :)
     
  7. darren

    darren Member

    Thanks Tim,

    I am looking for advice from guys that know what they are doing and that's why i posted.

    Anything critical will be evaluated and acted upon, believe me. This is a side project (we work freelance but have full time jobs also) but will take it very seriously.

    Thanks for your feedback guys
     
  8. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    1) I'm not a web designer, my main area of expertise is CAD
    2) Its an old site before I knew better, try clicking the smiley for my in progress one
     
  9. Aarlev

    Aarlev Member

    Hi Darren,

    I think it's a good start but there's a lot of room for improvement. Why the massive picture of flowers on the front page? What relevance does it have to you as a company? Perhaps you could use this space to show your most recent project instead. This would also remove the need for an extra click to get to see your work.

    The same with the pictures on the subsequent pages. Perhaps add a tagline on the pictures using some nice typography that sells your company to prospective clients. Otherwise I don't see the point in those pictures.

    The typography throughout the site leaves a lot to be desired. The logo should be smaller (and perhaps another font than VAG rounded. That font says "friendly" "family" "kids" "healthcare" to me). I guess it could be made to work but it doesn't in this case imo. Increase the space around the logo as well. The site needs more white space in general. The navigation font shouldn't be the same as the tagline Imo. Perhaps just use HTML text on the menu and introduce some sort of hover effect as well. The tracking/kerning on the tagline and nav is not very good and the text looks slightly unsharp.

    I'd introduce some headings as well instead of just making the first word bold. That will help you create more of a hierachy and lead the eye more.

    The bevel and emboss effect on the red sidebars on the right looks horrible and dated (particularly on the contact form). A more subtle gradient would work better (in the header as well).

    I'm not sure about the colour scheme either. I love the background gradient. Perhaps just stick to this and add a few complimentary colours. I just feel that the red clashes a bit with the background. I actually think the whole site would look better, cleaner and more professional if you got rid of the red and all the boxes, and used the background gradient as the base. The white logo would look nice on the blue.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps in some way!

    Thanks,
    Soren
     
  10. darren

    darren Member

    Thanks for that Soren! I have quite a lot to look at now
     
  11. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Hay Darren I'll bring my expertise to the table as you have over 50 odd posts now, that being mainly code, SEO, Accessibility and page performance.

    But I do agree with the others, the top section, especially the links are way to big dude and IMO at that size shouldn't be bolded, and your tag line needs improving TBH IMO. Also the bottom section with your talents for some reason to me resembles navigation, and I actually moved my mouse over it without thinking, on the first time I looked and today, and I totally agree with Soren about splitting it up with headers as that would help a lot.

    But code wise change your html tag to ~
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en" dir="ltr">
    As that tells user agents that the page is read from left to right and that the page is in English.

    I would up your doctype to strict as your more than capable as your code is separated and clean

    This needs to be changed.
    <title>Zoomba Media, Web Design & Development, Identity, Branding, Dundee, Edinburgh, Scotland</title>

    Your title element is the most important aspect of any web page, due to the fact that you hope most will come through the search engines to see your site, this needs to ~
    1. Read well,
    2. Be 63 characters or less, as that is all that is shown in the SERP's,
    3. Give users a understanding of the page they are going to visit.
    4. Include the right keywords in for the search engines.
    5. Minamlise useless words to keep it's keyword density close to 100% of what ppl will search to find you.

    So go with something closer to ~
    <title>Zoomba Media, Web design based in Scotland</title>
    As that 1 reads better, 2 is less than 63 characters, 3 tells users what the page is about, 4 includes the right keywords. However you may want to go for Dundee or Edinburgh as they will more than likely have less competition, keeps it to the right kind of words. Again it's obviously give and take because well worded titles get a higher click through rate.

    Your keywords meta, can be removed as the only search engine reportedly still using it is Yahoo!, and they will be using Bing to bring in their search results soon so...and I say reportedly even if they do it it will be so minimal it's really not worth it TBH.

    <meta name="abstract" content="Straight forward, web development & hosting from Zoomba Media."/>
    <meta name="copyright" content="&copy; 2009 Zoomba Media"/>
    <meta name="web site design by" content="Zoomba Media - http://www.zoomba.co.uk/"/>
    <meta name="robots" content="index, all, follow"/>
    <meta name="language" content="en"/>


    Not a 100% sure on why you have the abstract meta, as that is not used by any of the main search engines TBH, this is just adding extra bytes to download.

    The copyright, no offence but if someone's going to steal your work they are not going to bother looking for a copyright the'll just take it, again it's just adding bytes to the page which don't need to be there.

    Also the website design by is also just adding bytes to the download of the page and is not doing you any favours.

    The robots meta, is again pointless as that is what search engine bots do unless you specify them not to and it wont harm your rankings in anyway if it's not there so is safe to be removed, again just adding bytes to the page.

    And as we've added the language attribute to the html tag, you can reduce bytes even further by deleting the meta setting the language of the page.

    That will remove a large section of code serious cutting your page bloat down TBH, which should improve performance slightly and cut bandwidth a bit as well.

    I would change your http-equiv to UTF-8 format, as the ISO-8859-1 or Latin 1 format is a sub division of the UTF-8 format, so it's better to add that as that allows more character encodings.

    So change it to this ~
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

    You don't have a H1 tag and this has value to the search engines, in this tag you want it to be your main keyword for that page, as this is your home page it should be your site name and around your logo, but as that is added via CSS that's a pain.

    Okay how about we add it to the section of text about you I personally would add a header above it as Soren suggested have it say <h1>About Zoomba.</h1>

    Then place another 1 above what you offer, saying something like ~ <h2>What Zoomba. offers you.</h2>

    Then via CSS make the H1 and H2 the same visually.

    That way you've just got your main keyword for this page, that being Zoomba. in your title element, your main heading(H1) and a sub heading(H2). All of which will have by far greater impact on your rankings than the keyword meta.

    Now onto your links.
    Your image links all have Alt text, which is spot on fella, so many sites don't but your trying to hard.

    Alt text is used by screen readers, and search engines more than anything else, therefore you want to make sure it's perfect for them.

    Now if the image says home so should the Alt text, as TBH if the image contain text it needs to match. If you add more text to the Alt than what the image says this is technically in SEO terms known as a bad technique known as cloaking, where you hide text that site visitors cant see but search engines can and as a result can get you penalized, you haven't done that on purpose and what you have got more than likly wont get you penalized but it techically is, also blind users are not going to thank you especially as you have the title attribute on each link as they will get every word in the title attibute, and alt text read to them, so change them just to match what the image says, and remove the title attribute.

    Check out my thread on accessible web coding here on DF for why title attributes on links are bad. Pay attention to sections 1 and 1A inparticular.

    Now your welcome message i would re-word slightly so something like ~
    <b>Zoomba is a fresh, forward-thinking web design company</b>, specialising in straight-forward on-line solutions for small-to-medium size businesses.
    Zoomba will always endeavour to produce for you high quality, professional web-sites and provide you with an excellent level of service <b>at a budget to suit your needs.</b>
    Unlike other web design companies, we never take on too much work at one time. This allows us to focus completely on you and your web site during development
    to provide a level of design that we are proud of. If you would like to know more, just ask us today.

    The changes make it sound like you are speaking to some1 rather than at someone, big difference, especially how users read on-line. Also in parts you are making it sound like they have already decided that you are right for them, which helps ppl to contact you more often and the call to action, that being the just ask link is now more persuasive as you are giving users a command, over asking them to do it when ever, which also makes it more likely for them to click it. Some psychology for you, also the budget suited for your needs or whatever is bolded for skimmers, most of us skim on-line hardly anyone reads every word, so bolding certain texts, in this case that line is good to make the whole section a lot more readable

    But it also adds more of your secondary keywords for the page, web design, to it and in more correct tags this case being the bold tag, which again will benefit you more than the keywords meta, and variations of those words, but also makes it sounds like it should, as in it's been written for your users but enhanced for the search engines.

    This also gives you slightly more quality content.

    I change the strong tag to a b tag due to the fact that the b tag will give you the same effect but means the server has to deliver less bytes to show the page.

    Hope some or all of it helps.
    Jaz :)

    Key:
    Purple ~ XHTML
     
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    Haha I never realised that :lol:

    On topic: very blatant shadows and gradients are bad, mkay?
     
  13. darren

    darren Member

    Great post Jazajay, thanks a lot for your input. I will read carefully and start to integrate these changes over the next few weeks.

    For the points on design.. This is our initial site and I will pass all of the points you guys have made to my partner who will take them on board for the next one. But I fear that this may be a while! Will see what I can do.

    Thanks!

    Darren
     
  14. darren

    darren Member

    Well I took a look at these points you made and it took me all of 10 minutes to work through the lot. Cheers :up:
     
  15. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    No worries, small changes can go a long way.
     

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