Yellow Cat Design Website Critique

YellowCatDesign

New Member
Hi all, I've just joined the forum and found this post. I would like to invite you to give me some feedback on my own site or any work therein: Yellow Cat Design

I would also welcome any web experts input on how I can get the site to perform better on the Core Web Vitals, specifically Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
 

fisicx

Active Member
If you want your site to perform better don't use Divi and all those google fonts.

How do you plan to market the business. Your marketing plan will determine the content and from there the layout.

One thing I did notice is the complete lack of any calls to action. For example: https://www.yellowcatdesign.co.uk/project/ipsum-consulting/ If I wanted a site like that how do I contact you? Because you don't have a visible manu I can't even see a link to a contact page.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
First off, I moved the post to what I feel is a better forum location so you will hopefully get more feedback.

As to the website, honestly, felt like a template and turns out to be one.... which considering you sell web design is not exactly a great image for the business because it basically says 'I can't make my own website' yet here I am saying I can do one for a client.....

The 'typing' on the homepage header image is done to death

The text, actually a lot of the site, just feels too 'small'.

End result.... it's forgettable and in all honesty would put me off using you.
 

YellowCatDesign

New Member
First off, I moved the post to what I feel is a better forum location so you will hopefully get more feedback.

As to the website, honestly, felt like a template and turns out to be one.... which considering you sell web design is not exactly a great image for the business because it basically says 'I can't make my own website' yet here I am saying I can do one for a client.....

The 'typing' on the homepage header image is done to death

The text, actually a lot of the site, just feels too 'small'.

End result.... it's forgettable and in all honesty would put me off using you.
Thanks Levi, I appreciate your input.

Whilst Divi is technically a theme/template I use it because it's far more than that. I start every site with a blank canvas (no pre-designed layouts) and, as a designer, Divi allows me to create any layout I want. I often start with wireframes and prototypes and for most small to medium sites Divi is fine. For more bespoke or complex sites I wouldn't use Divi.

I'm not entirely sure many prospective clients go to the trouble of inspecting the code to see whether I use a theme or not. You and I do that, most prospective clients I suspect do not.

An interesting point on the 'smallness'. It's not something I've considered but I will look into that a bit further.

You say it's forgettable, that's fine. What makes it forgettable though? Is it the work itself? Should I have fewer projects but instead focus on some of the key ones? I feel that the fact that I'm a designer and use a "theme" seems to your main problem but something constructive would be helpful.
 

YellowCatDesign

New Member
If you want your site to perform better don't use Divi and all those google fonts.

How do you plan to market the business. Your marketing plan will determine the content and from there the layout.

One thing I did notice is the complete lack of any calls to action. For example: https://www.yellowcatdesign.co.uk/project/ipsum-consulting/ If I wanted a site like that how do I contact you? Because you don't have a visible manu I can't even see a link to a contact page.
Thanks for the advice, I have been thinking about ditching the Google fonts but it should only use 2 (Karla and Rubik). I will look into this a bit more but in all of my speed tests fonts aren't really proving to be much of an issue. Do you mean from a design perspective though?

I mostly get leads by word of mouth so the website acts as a reassurance that the recommendation is warranted. However, more recently I have been looking at some local SEO and tapping into local businesses to supplement some of my larger clients. So, to that end, I need to website to work for lead generation too.

The lack of CTA on the projects is a good point, I may look to add these in the future. I have also made the menu more prominent by changing it from a yellow hamburger menu to orange as the contrast of yellow on white wasn't great. Hopefully, this will help until I can look at CTAs on the projects.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not entirely sure many prospective clients go to the trouble of inspecting the code to see whether I use a theme or not. You and I do that, most prospective clients I suspect do not.
Maybe not but it LOOKED like a template, I didn't even need to look at the code to get that feeling.

You say it's forgettable, that's fine. What makes it forgettable though? Is it the work itself? Should I have fewer projects but instead focus on some of the key ones? I feel that the fact that I'm a designer and use a "theme" seems to your main problem but something constructive would be helpful.
It's not so much being forgettable but there's nothing there that I remembered or stands out, essentially it needs 'something' to make you go 'wow' if you get me.

From a personal perspective a site selling 'websites' should be better than just rehashing a template if you get me, hell I'm not even trying to sell websites and my site doesn't use a template and the update I'm (eventually) working on will be the same. As a designer it should be 'personal' to you or your company to help sell 'you'.
 

YellowCatDesign

New Member
Maybe not but it LOOKED like a template, I didn't even need to look at the code to get that feeling.


It's not so much being forgettable but there's nothing there that I remembered or stands out, essentially it needs 'something' to make you go 'wow' if you get me.

From a personal perspective a site selling 'websites' should be better than just rehashing a template if you get me, hell I'm not even trying to sell websites and my site doesn't use a template and the update I'm (eventually) working on will be the same. As a designer it should be 'personal' to you or your company to help sell 'you'.
Thanks Levi, I get what you're saying. I've thought for a while the homepage needs a bit more impact, it's all a bit functional at the moment so I get the template comment. I actually put a lot more effort into my client's sites than my own and that shows I think.

The thing about Divi is that I'm not rehashing a template. You can do that with Divi and many people do use their pre-designed layouts but I don't. I view Divi more as a framework than a template, I use the builder to construct each page and can pretty much build anything using a combination of sections, rows, columns, existing modules (contact forms, buttons etc), and custom code and CSS. I appreciate it's not the ideal way to build websites but then I'm a designer, not a developer. I understand HTML & CSS but I don't have the sufficient skills or time to build my sites from scratch. In fact, many of my clients love the fact that I use Divi too as it allows them to use a visual editor to edit their own content. Out of interest, what is your preferred system? You must use a CMS of some sort for your sites?
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Levi, I get what you're saying. I've thought for a while the homepage needs a bit more impact, it's all a bit functional at the moment so I get the template comment. I actually put a lot more effort into my client's sites than my own and that shows I think.

The thing about Divi is that I'm not rehashing a template. You can do that with Divi and many people do use their pre-designed layouts but I don't. I view Divi more as a framework than a template, I use the builder to construct each page and can pretty much build anything using a combination of sections, rows, columns, existing modules (contact forms, buttons etc), and custom code and CSS. I appreciate it's not the ideal way to build websites but then I'm a designer, not a developer. I understand HTML & CSS but I don't have the sufficient skills or time to build my sites from scratch. In fact, many of my clients love the fact that I use Divi too as it allows them to use a visual editor to edit their own content. Out of interest, what is your preferred system? You must use a CMS of some sort for your sites?
I'll be honest then, imo, you might want to be careful with how things are worded on your site, it does come across as though you're able to build a 'bespoke' site and I wouldn't class using something like divi as a base for it as 'bespoke'


Personally I don't use a cms with my site, I don't see the point in adding in the extra bloat I'd be adding by using things like wordpress with the type of site I'm currently using (and my future update).
Having said that I did just come across textpattern which looks interesting (need to look at it more still), although not sure I'd use it still.
 

YellowCatDesign

New Member
I'll be honest then, imo, you might want to be careful with how things are worded on your site, it does come across as though you're able to build a 'bespoke' site and I wouldn't class using something like divi as a base for it as 'bespoke'


Personally I don't use a cms with my site, I don't see the point in adding in the extra bloat I'd be adding by using things like wordpress with the type of site I'm currently using (and my future update).
Having said that I did just come across textpattern which looks interesting (need to look at it more still), although not sure I'd use it still.
I have built bespoke sites that go above and beyond what is possible with Divi and worked with my full-stack dev on these projects to deliver them so I am perfectly comfortable with the wording. I know my limitations and those of Divi so I would never attempt to build anything too complex that way. I also work for a couple of big clients where I provide UX and UI work for their in-house dev team to implement but, as you suggested, my own site doesn't quite reflect that skillset so I really do appreciate the feedback.

However, the vast majority of clients want a simple website with standard functionality for which I find Divi to be perfect. Is Divi or WordPress the perfect solution? Hell no. Do they suit 95% of my client base? Yes. Divi have also just announced a raft of performance updates too that will, for example, only serve the JS and CSS that you actually use amongst other things so this should help reduce some of the bloat associated with using page builders.

Textpattern does look interesting but I've dabbled with a few 'bolt-on' CMS systems and ultimately the experience for the client isn't great. For all of its faults, I've had several clients insist on WordPress as they've used it before and understand how it works so I'm currently spending a fair bit of time working on optimisation techniques for Wordpress and Divi. I know they will always come with a lot of bloat but I can live with that as long as they're quick enough to not affect the user experience or get penalised by Google.
 

kristian

New Member
As others have said, you're never going to ace the Core Web Vitals using Divi. I've seen better results reported https://prefacestudios.com/insights/elementor-vs-divi-builder/ using Elementor instead but ultimately the less you rely on third party page builders and other plugins the more control you have over your load demands and page speeds.

Really like your logo though! Did you design that yourself?
 
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YellowCatDesign

New Member
As others have said, you're never going to ace the Core Web Vitals using Divi. I've seen better results reported using Elementor instead but ultimately the less you rely on third party page builders and other plugins the more control you have over your load demands and page speeds.

Really like your logo though! Did you design that yourself?
Hi Kristian, thanks for the input on Divi. It's an issue I'm well aware of and I'm waiting on a range of performance improvements that Divi announced such as dynamic module framework and dynamic assets that will supposedly strip out a lot of the unused code. They are also migrating away from shortcodes in favour of Gutenberg’s new HTML format which should see a big improvement too.

Until then, I have to accept that a page builder leads to a bloated site and will always do so even after the improvements. However, for smaller less business-critical sites is does tick a lot of boxes for me and it enables me to produce what I believe to be high-quality sites in fairly short turnaround times for competitive prices. I've actually got my site to an acceptable level of performance for now considering it's on Divi and it does act as a decent lead generator in the local area.

Yes, the logo was one I created...I love a negative space logo! I'm not a big fan of the name these days but I came up with it 15 years ago based on something my daughter said and I have now built up a decent amount of brand recognition so I'm reluctant to change it.
 

kristian

New Member
Nice one. Sounds like Divi do put a lot of work in to be fair.

Nothing wrong with the company name either. I love it. Big fan of memorable and fun names like that for a creative business.

Incidentally, you could possibly offer logo design as a service offering on your website. I can't be the only one who likes the void space kitty!
 
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