SITE REVIEW: http://www.philapcrepair.com - Computer repair

  • Philadelphia_computer_rep
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've put a site together not too long ago :
Philadelphia Computer Repair

I'd like to see what other people think about it.

Thank you
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

First off there are 176 html 4.0 transitional errors in your html - click here to see - and you really should use a doctype. I also think you should be using divs instead of tables ... it's much cleaner and easy to use.

I'm not really sure about the colours ... they go fine together but I just don't like them personally.

You gove too much room to the ad and other things at the top of the page, these things should go somewhere else.

It does kinda look as though you've modified a template ... if so, I have one thing to say: "I hate templates".

Back to the ad thing; there's way too many ... it seems as though your content is just ads, which is never a good thing. If there's one thing I hate more than templates it's ads.

You should also have it so that the background on the nav bar doesn't repeat on the y-axis.

If I wanted my computer repaired, and I lived in Philadelphia, I don't think I'd use this website.

What's with all the clocks on the resources page, if you only serve eastern Pennsylvania ... ?

And one more thing ... it says that you repair computers, but there's no further explanation. There's links about web development and eBooks, but nothing on repair ...

I think you should really start from scratch with this.
  • Hob Bramble
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, let me start by saying that there is one thing I liked about your webiste - it looks exactly the same in every browser I opened it in (Netscape 9, Opera 9, IE 6, IE 7, Firefox 2, and Maxthon 2 - it even worked in Lynx). Sadly, that was pretty much the only thing I liked.

To start with, you have to many ads, and they are in all the wrong places. The advertisements on the very top of your site push everything else down and ruin the entire look by themselves. The skyscraper ads should be placed alongside the content, not inline with it - they push your content apart and make it extremely annoying to read. The list of link ads under your header are easily confused with navigation links, and stretch outside of your template. And the billion ads, buttons, and other nonsense in the footer are never going to be looked at by anyone in their right mind, because they don't fit in - they look like ads. In some pages, you have two side-by-side banner ads along the bottom, which just looks silly (though it's far better than the in-content skyscrapers).

To pack that whole paragraph into one sentence - your ad placement and choice is awful, and no one is going to stay on your website for more than a quarter of a second unless you fix it.

Secondly, your site search is broken. (Not the Google Search box on your main page, the search bar in for sidebar on all the others.) I get an error message every time a search, and I never get results. Sometimes I don't even get an error message from the search, I get a full blown 404 page. That's not good.

Your font choices don't match up - you have giant orange links on your main page that are larger than your section headers, making them look like big ugly section headers themselves. It's very confusing. Also, the smaller orange links are a little bit hard to read against the background colour, and the black font used to label the fields in your contact forum doesn't match the white font used everywhere else on your site.

The clocks on your resources page don't match your overall look, and simply serve to push the page content down even more without being useful in any way. Similarly, the date in the navigation bar is useless and looks out of place. The same goes for the rather ugly video box on your main page.

Your code isn't valid - there's a whopping 117 errors. You didn't specify a document type either.

Ok - now that I've torn your site to bits, let me offer some advice:
You site, at it's core, has hope. To demonstrate, take a look at this screenshot I took of your "Forensics" page with an AdBlock enabled and scrolled down so as not to show the "Post free classified ads" link:
http://alternative-internet.com/webmasterstuff/sectionc/philapcrepair.png

That looks good. Actually, that looks very good - I still might alter the orange link colour just a little, and I'd remove the date from the top of the navigation bar, but even so, that's a good page. It's clean, easy to navigate, has an easy to find search bar - even handy buttons for sharing or printing the page.

If you really can't lose the ads, that's fine too - you just need to cut back on them and place them better. For example:
http://alternative-internet.com/webmasterstuff/sectionc/philapcrepairads.png
That's another screenshot of the same page, but with ads placed in it the way the should be - noticeable, but not ugly or in the way.

Really, there isn't a whole lot you need to do to get your site from where it is now to there either.

Start by removing all of the ads - period. Even if you're going to put some back, cut all of them out first. Also cut out your search box (since it doesn't work), those silly clocks, the video box on the main page, and the date in your navigation bar.

Then re-validate your page so you can determine which errors are left, and fix them.

Once they are fixed, you can start putting ads back, but keep them in the template (i.e. not outside of your rather nifty design), and out of the content's way. Placing skyscrapers or boxes to the right of, or banners below your content are best. If you need to, you can place banners above your content, but keep them below your header. And remember - less is more. Not only do fewer ads looks better, but if you have fewer ads, visitors are more likely to click them (and to stay on your site instead of fleeing).

Once you've got all that done, you can worry about fixing your search. I noticed you had both a Google search on the main page, and an internal search on your other pages - don't do that. You only need one search, so pick either internal or Google powered. Also, if you go Google, keep in mind that there are different versions of Google's custom search box that let you tweak it - for example, remove the "search the web" link so it only searches your site. After all, visitors can search the web from Google itself - you want them to stay on your site.

Lastly, do the minor touch ups - such as getting the input box labels on your forums to match the rest of the text on your site. Also, consider removing or altering the "Bookmark this Page" star, as it currently only works in IE browsers (though that isn't too necessary).

I hope all of that helps, and I'm sorry for being so harsh to start out. As those screenshots show, you've got a really good site, you just need to let it show itself more!

Edit: it seems Breeze beat me to it. Darn. That's what you get when you write so much. He did, however, catch something I didn't - the tables. If at all possible, you should switch to divs. CSS is much easier to use, and most web designers/developers shun tables these days, so getting away from them is in your best interests. If you follow my recommendations above, I'd suggest converting your look from tables to divs after you've removed all the ads but before you start putting any back - and make sure you validate your div-based layout.
  • mrquotes
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Though you have got very a vey detailed & analytical view of your site, still woyld like to add my two cents.

I really dont like the open space it gives feeling of emptiness. try to add more stuff related to your websit content.
  • winterdude
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree with the opinions of the others. The first thing I saw when I visited your site was how much the ads stand out, I understand that's what most people want so that they get clicked on, but to me they are more of an annoyance. You should work the ads into your layout. It will look a lot better.
  • Philadelphia_computer_rep
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you all for your valuable reviews.
As I work on many different thing at once i barely have time to sit back and reflect on my own website. I will though, starting next week, when i'm finished with current project, start modifying my site, possiblly even start from scratch. I think I'll leave overall design as is, remove most ads and i'll use divs more agressively rather than tables, I'll add more computer repair content and than i'll go from there (I wish i had the time to do it right now :)).

to Breeze: What i have is very agressively modifyed template (very little from the original template is left though), i know how much you hate those, sorry :)


to Hob Bramble: Thanks for the screen shots, content does look cleaner there. I'll start with modifications as soon as i have some free time.

I'll keep you posted of the changes
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Philadelphia_computer_rep wrote:
What i have is very agressively modifyed template (very little from the original template is left though), i know how much you hate those, sorry :)


Well I suppose if you've modified it beyond belief then the majority of the work's yours, hehehe.

[breeze wages war against templates]
  • Markph
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's so aggressively modified, my fist thought is take a bunch of steps back and look at what you really want to accomplish. In fact, re-look at the design. If you would consider that.. then read on.. If not, i don't really have any good advice.

Tou might want to look into a content management system. For example, I run a software company. And although we have a bunch of programmers, they don't know about web development. It doesn't appear that Web Development is your strong point either, even though computer system's are.

Anyways, We have been looking into products such as Joomla because it will allow us to have professional writers doing what they do well, and leave the development up to a different team.
http://www.cafecartel.com

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