SITE REVIEW: Garden Stew

  • gardenstew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok guys and gals,

I have a gardening and home improvement forum up and running at http://www.gardenstew.com Can you please have a look at it and give me your comments.

Note: I apologize in advance for the 'splash page'. It is for technical reasons I assure you :)

Much appreciated.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • rebellious
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting name. is the site designed primarily around cooking from products out of your own garden?

Layout is great. a lot of work has gone into the forum.

Splash page ?
I dont see why you are apologising I saw nothing to worry about

All in all a great job

You may want to break the garden diary down into seasons rather than months. that way what is written will be more relevant to non irish visitors

Its summer here in Australia, but in Ireland its bloody cold so I guess the advice would be different.
  • gardenstew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well the name means nothing in particular really, I was just knew I wanted the word 'garden' to be in the domain name and I also wanted it to be catchy (and short). I suppose 'stew' means a melting pot of gardening and home improvement ideas.

Yeah I agree with you about the seasonal aspect. I am currently thinking about how to incorporate the southern hemisphere into the diary.

Thanks for the advice.
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Your welcome guest and login fonts are different sizes.
The banner seems to be inconsistent, maybe you could center the bottom nav?
The jump box seems out of place, its distracting.
  • mr_darek
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think asside from a few minor changes neksus pointed out, this site is well on its way. I think it is successful in that in look and feel, it reaches the concept behind the site which is important.
  • gardenstew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for suggestions guys. This forum is slow to take off because of the nature of the subject I think. Does anyone have any suggestions for immediate changes to the design that could increase sign-up rate?
  • SB
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  • Loc: Aberdeen, Scotland

Post 3+ Months Ago

First of all, well done on creating a pretty good site.

Obviously, if you can get your site further up to the top if Google or search engines alike then you will start to see new members join more often.

Very good site though, nice colour scheme
  • tobiesidders
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  • Loc: United Kingdom

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello There..

Very Intresting... Have not seen many gardning websites...

I like the layout.. and like the way you have the forum in place to help boost consistant members...

" I like it "

Hope its a great success for you... What are your plans for the site?

Regards

Tobie Sidders
  • madmonk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

looks cool man. Cant seem to get any new idea for yr site.

maybe you will get more ideas in features and designs from other garden sites. they are pretty good.
heres an aussie one :-) havent seen the site though.. gd luck.

http://www.betterhomesandgardens.com.au/
  • delmea
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very nice site, well thought out. I prefer the months calender than seasons but I would like to be able to access other months to find out what I have missed or what I would need to prepare for.
The forum is excellent and a very nice touch, well done.
http://www.freesoftware4all.co.uk
Image
  • 613flavah
  • battlestar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the logo but I'm not sure if the name is fitting? Like it was mentioned, it gives the impression that the things you find in your garden you could cook with. You should think about what message you're trying to convey to your viewers with that title straight off the bat.

The two shades of green on the splash page clash.

Careful with the background image you're using on your splash page. I'm running a reso of 1600 x 1200 and the bottom wave is getting in the way of the text so it makes it hard to read until I resize my browser window

Why are you using this? "<td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td>" ?
  • gardenstew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm happy that you guys like the design - I am not a designer but that design evolved a lot. Believe me there was a lot of trial and error with it.

About the background image flavah, I knew I would one day get that complaint, it's just I didn't expect it so soon :) Yep it needs to be fixed. As for the use of "<td>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</td>" I don't really know for sure but I suspect it is a subconcious thing I do after having trouble with setting table cell widths in the past. I must have got burned by this sometime. Using non-breaking spaces does bulk up the code but there is no way those guys are getting squashed :)

As for the future, well grow the forum for a start. delmea made the point about not being able to access the other months on the garden diary, this is because they have not be written yet. My brother is a garden designer and he is writing the weeks as they arrive.
  • Jemdam.com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the look and layout, very clear and clean. Nice and easy to navigate the forums.

I guess the thing you are missing is the traffic to fill them up. I have a forum on a site. It's like chat rooms also where you need a critical mass to get things moving.

Best of luck and keep the promotion up and I'm sure it will take off.

Cheers,

David - http://www.jemdam.com
  • gardenstew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Guys,

It has been a while since the last post in this review but in this time I have redesigned the site completely so I would be grateful if you could have another look at it. http://www.gardenstew.com/

The main problem I seem to be having at the moment is losing visitors as soon as they come onto the site. Now I understand that it is a new forum and that the lack of activity may be what is the problem but do you guys see anything that I may have missed? How would you make it more appealing?

Thanks a lot guys.
  • razsports
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Post 3+ Months Ago

gardenstew,

I like your graphics sporting the flowers; excellent job. The colors are well put together. Over all I like the site. I would not change a thing :)
  • davidaus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I got one suggestion, if you change the google ads layout to be the same as your site layout would be much nicer.
  • farmer_Tom
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Jeepers...this site is asthetic and useful (a rare combination on the web). I like the design and the content is very good....I might show it to ma so she can get some new recipes for supper...
  • Lord Kai
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  • Loc: Chicago, IL, USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

I think its seems a bit congested. Is it possible that u gave a little more room for each section. If you did that it would be easier for a user's eyes to read each section rather than lossing focus because there is so much other stuff so close together.
  • madmonk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I find that the categories are badly arranged in there gardenstew..

it looks kinda cramp in the web site.
some colours dont match as well. You need a theme! :-)
  • tbrothers
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice site. Colors, navigation, content. What I didn't see though is a Contact Us page or link.

Terry
  • neuro
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Post 3+ Months Ago

gardenstew wrote:
Ok guys and gals,

I have a gardening and home improvement forum up and running at http://www.gardenstew.com Can you please have a look at it and give me your comments.

Note: I apologize in advance for the 'splash page'. It is for technical reasons I assure you :)

Much appreciated.


I liked your site
Due you have to have the google ads on every page?
I would use a softer backgrould color.
  • gardenstew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Redesigned again. Added blog functionality for each member. Any comments appreciated :)

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