SITE REVIEW: green businesses

  • doogers
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Please take a moment to review my new site that a friend and I are working on. This site will be a place where green businesses, organizations, people, can come together and adviertise in the directory. There is also a forum, news section, product section, and a few other things. Thanks for your input:
Green Businesses
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very nicely done. I can't find a single bad thing to say about it.
I particularly like the Map API and also how you narrowed down my location on my home page. The city listed is no more than half a mile from where I am right now. And the site definitely has a "green" feel. Nice job!
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Opera/9.63 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; en) Presto/2.1.1

Might be worth getting someone to check it in Safari, Safari and Opera usually render fairly close to eachother.

Attachments:
green.jpg


On an aside, it's nice to see someone working with coldfusion for a change.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That might be your Ubuntu again Joebert. Opera 9.51 on Windows XP displays it perfectly. I think it may be the Microsoft Maps Live Search API that's throwing it off for you in Linux. The API also uses a KML file which you need to enable the Mime type for in Opera. Opera does not support KML by default. In fact, to the OP - that is something you need to be aware of. If someone is using opera, by default, they won't see the map. I added the KML mime type months ago, so it worked for me in Opera right off the bat.

Mime type info located at bottom of this link
http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documen ... kml_server
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Aha. Well in that case there needs to be some sort of fall-back message for people who don't browse with Flash or Plugins enabled by default so they know they're missing something. That affects all browsers equally. :)

Here's what I get with Flash enabled.
Navbar is still fuzzled.
Are you sure the navbar is fine in Opera for you ATNO ?

Attachments:
green.jpg


Site note: I might come home with a new Vista computer this afternoon...
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

looks fine on mine
Attachments:
green.jpg

Opera 9.51 XP Pro SP3 Flash 10

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What about Opera 9.63 ?
Maybe it's the version difference.
  • twalters84
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey there,

I am actually doogers business partner for Green Watch.

At first glance, it looks like flash was not installed. I guess I can create some sort of placeholder when flash is not installed.

I also know of a problem with IE6 where the header is not placed correctly. Other than that, it looked fine in the latest browsers. It all comes back to W3C compliance code which IE6 does not render perfectly.

One thing that gets me though is Google AdSense relevance. The ads on the home page, find green businesses, find green organization, etc could be more relevant. Anybody have any suggestions how that could be done? The site is not about selling watches unfortunately :)

Thanks for the great review ATNO/TW. Joebert, thanks for pointing out the flash issue. I will look into that more. Nice display picture by the way. Great show.

Sincerely,
Travis Walters
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just did the upgrade and it's still fine. I did an upgrade rather than a separate install. But 9.63 looks identical to my screenshot. Basically displays perfectly - which surprises me a bit considering the menu is an unordered list. I've never seen a horizontal menu done with an unordered list. Impressive.

Joebert, could the menu problem be some sort of custom style thing you have going on in Opera?

Nice coding Travis. It's a very tidy website.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Google loves to use the URL and <h#> elements for determining relevant content for a site. They're definately picking up on the "watch" in your URL and <h1> element.
Since your URL is pretty much set in wet concrete at the moment, you can try taking the word "watch" out of your <h#> elements and replacing it with more business/energy related words.

I'm having a similar problem with a domain I have parked using Googles domain parking, I want to build up links for one sublect while I develop the site, but Google is picking up on the last half of my domain name which is "ipaq" and serving irrelevant ads for the topic I want to use the domain for later.

I also just noticed you're using jQuery and I don't know if you're aware of this, but Google code hosts a copy of the jQuery library that's linkable.
http://code.google.com/p/jqueryjs/
I quit hosting the library myself and now link to Googles copy.
Works like a charm and anyone who's visited a site doing the same need not redownload it for my applications. :)
Code: [ Select ]
<script src="http://jqueryjs.googlecode.com/files/jquery-1.2.6.pack.js" type="text/javascript">/*-*/</script>


ATNO: Definately not a user.css issue, I make full use of the per-site css/js files and don't use the global version.
  • twalters84
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey there,

Thanks for the JavaScript idea. The only bad part about hosting external JavaScript files is that you have to rely on another server to keep things the same.

It is bad enough I have to link the external AdSense JavaScript file. A few days ago Google had a JavaScript error in that imported file. I guess they were tweaking their code without testing it somewhere else first. It caused the rest of the JavaScript not to work on the site. It was hard for me to believe Google would do that. I thought I was the only person that tweaked a live site :)

Speaking of AdSense, if anybody has any ideas how to blend Ads better on the site, I would love to hear some suggestions. I just tweaked the news section.

http://www.green-watch.org/view-news-article.cfm?news=Solar%20Vs%20Wind%20Energy

Notice how the ad floats to the right. I tweaked the colors to resemble normal links on the site.

AdSense will be the site's main income once I get some traffic coming to the site. It will be nice if I have ads positioned in places where people are likely to click them, but not be annoyed by them. I think as long as they are relevant and not all over the place it will be alright. Suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
Travis Walters
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There's not much to say - Joe and ATNO took all the fun out of it :P Only other thing I can add is maybe some rollover effects on those three links in the header ... nothing too grand, maybe a slight shift in colour or a dotted underline or something ... I'm really over solid underlines.

I would throw the AdSense in a div resembling your header: dark green background, light green titles and a light grey text for the rest. I don't know why but I love #d8d8d8 for some reason :D
  • twalters84
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey there Breeze,

Where would you place that DIV you described though?

I wish Google AdSense had link units with 3 text ads in a row. I could have placed that by the search box at the top when the user is not logged in. Their smallest is 4 text ads in a row at least that I know of. I even tried to fit it to the right of the breadcrumbs on certain pages but its a tad too big.

Sincerely,
Travis Walters
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I suppose you could keep it at the bottom, but it's a bit out of the way ... not many users'll go that far down. You could also put it within the content at certain points but not many users like that :( Oh the woes of ads.
  • AnyDemo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

The homepage loads very slowly. This may be the problem of my Internet connectivity.

There is no logo in the header section, only a thin white vertical line at the left top. I refreshed the browser for a few times, it was the same. I am using Opera 9.62

Best regards
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was just looking at this site again after reading this thread and everything appears to be in place in my version of Opera now. :)
Attachments:
green-watch.jpg
  • magstudios
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi ,

nice site color combination is very good but loading problem there is taking much time .
  • twalters84
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey there,

Sorry I have not checked this thread in awhile.

I use maxmind's IP location service to retrieve the city, state, latitude, and longitude from the user's IP address. Once I have that, I can do all sorts of neat stuff to make the site seem local to the user.

For example, I just added a new feature - dynamic driving directions.

http://www.green-watch.org/eco-business-profile.cfm?business=Earth%20Class%20Mail&locationID=148
http://www.green-watch.org/eco-business-profile.cfm?business=Organic%20Bouquet,%20Inc.&locationID=127
http://www.green-watch.org/eco-business-profile.cfm?business=JustNatural%20Organic%20Skincare&locationID=155

Since I knew the user's location via the maxmind service and the business's location, I was able to query mapQuest using their API to retrieve driving directions.

What do you guys think?

Sincerely,
Travis Walters
  • Merlyn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think it's a great idea for a website with the Green Fever that has swept the Economy and world.

A place for businesses and people to come to find Environmentally friendly businesses is a great idea for a quickly growing community of the Eco Conscious.

Actually the first thing that I saw (other than the Hillsboro, OR front page post - which is where I'm located) was the Green Clock in your flash presentation. To me it looks slightly pixelated as you're moving it from the center to the corner during the screen and IMHO I think that small detail detracts from the site because it is front and center when you load the page.

The products page was quite helpful with different self sustaining home improvement products. Personally I think these will be one of the fastest growing industries in upcoming years and your products page is very detailed and informative with a range of items unlike many of the other green product sites out there.

I was slightly confused at first by your community section. First of all because there weren't photos but also because I didn't understand immediately how the community area worked with the subcategories and main posts. A little explanation or something would be helpful.

Other than those 2 things I think you have a nice color scheme and site layout and it's a great idea.

Keep up the good work!
  • twalters84
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey Merlyn,

Thanks for the nice review.

I do agree that the initial flash image is a bit pixelated. I might do a fade in with my new logo when I get to it.

I am actually currently working on the community section. I purchased a $200 dollar database full of facts about cities, states, counties, and zip codes. I am going to make the area information section very dynamic so it will be a better resource than what I currently have.

I may redesign the green forum section eventually. That is a bit down on my list though.

So much work, so little time :)

Thanks for the nice review though and good suggestions.

Sincerely,
Travis walters

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