SITE REVIEW: New Free Chat Site

  • sfraise
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  • sfraise
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Please take a look at http://www.oohya.net.

It's a free online chat site that I launched a few months ago using joomla for the site and a flash based chat applet powered by a java backend.

The site includes webcams, voice, image sharing directly to the chat rooms, & custom profiles with personal photo galleries and blogs. I've also integrated a private messaging system to allow members to send messages to each other from profiles. Things that I'm in the process of adding include a video sharing tab added to the profiles to allow members to share youtube style videos, the ability for users to create their own private or public rooms, and an easier to navigate catagorized room list.

Another thing I have planned for this site is a meebo style instant messenger, as well as an integration of flash games like chess, pool, and pong. I've also played around with an avatar style chat that I could include in addition to the current rooms but I haven't been it seems to lose it's "cool" factor after about 2 minutes so I haven't added it in.

Most of my time has been spent on functionality up to this point so the style of the site hasn't had much attention. This is what I plan on turning my attention to now. I know that a new custom template is a must here.

My main goal with this site was to create a clean, easy to use, free chat site with full functionality to give people that are unhappy with sites like yahoo chat an alternative. I've taken some measures to keep bots out of the chat rooms, however I currently have the email confirmation feature disabled on registration in order to maximize registration but will turn it back on when the site gets busier.

The site is currently drawing about 1,000 uniques per day with about 2,000 - 4,000 page views without any paid advertising which is really blowing me away for a site only 3 months old. It doesn't even rank in the first 10 pages of the search engines for any real keywords outside of the site name so it's growing almost solely by word of mouth. At last check we had just over 4,500 registered members, however I'm finding it hard to get a significant number of people to stay in chat since there isn't that many people in chat when people log in. It seems to consitantly get about a dozen "regulars" at any one time but I think I'm gonna have to push a lot more traffic to actually start filling the rooms.

I do have a few bugs in the site that I'm still working on. The main one being in the profile search feature, when you search a demographic with more than one page of results and you try to go to the next page it returns 0 results. To compensate this I currently have the search results show 150 results per page. I know this prolongs load time a bit but hopefully I'll have it fixed soon and will be able to set it back down to 50 per page.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • motionmountain
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Too many grey lines: they are confusing to the eye.

MM
  • celandine
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's a little busy - all the font is small and there is a lot of stuff on the first page and I had to think long and hard where I should go and what I should click on.

what is the 'random image' section meant to do? it's not clickable or interactive in any way...

I like the 'who's online' element...

The red outline around the banner font is a little too red in my opinion..... I'd tone it down a tiny bit.

Otherwise it's nice.....
  • sfraise
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  • sfraise
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  • Loc: Iowa

Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the review celandine, I agree that the front page isn't structured as well as it should be. I hope to replace it with a better custom template soon.

Unfortunately I don't have any control over the banners as they are pulled from AdBrite's rotation on each page view. We may actually be discontinuing the AdBrite campaign and replacing it with in house ad sales in a couple of months.
  • celandine
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  • Loc: Belgrade, Serbia

Post 3+ Months Ago

no, I meant the one that says 'Ooh Ya! Chat' in big red letters on a white background.... there is a pixel-thick stroke/ outline on those letters which is redder than red - in my opinion if you brought it down only a shade or two it would improve the look of the letters...

But the main issue is the organisation - you need to know within a second of opening the site exactly where you want to go.... one easy thing you could do is in the center part - the one that says 'welcome to ooh!ya' - put those two entries ('chat updated' and 'discover ooh!ya profiles') one under the other rather than side by side, and let them stretch out. I think this will immediately give a touch of clarity.

your main menu (the side nav) is really pretty though... understated but very neat. did you code that yourself or is it a template?
  • t4skater
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Post 3+ Months Ago

its pretty cool. the designes pretty neat. keep up the good work
  • sfraise
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  • sfraise
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  • Loc: Iowa

Post 3+ Months Ago

Ahh I gotcha, I might mess with the main banner later tonight. I've been meaning to resize it down just a little anyway.

I replaced the "welcome to oohya" bit with a graphic showing a Join Now at the bottom. It's not perfect but a temporary fix until I move the front page to a custom template.

The menues are all part of the default Joomla template.

You mentioned the "random image" module not being interactive also. I've been meaning to get to that as there's an extension I can use to change this to "featured members" and show basic profile info under it. This will also give people the option to click on it to go to their profile.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice!
  • Prime
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey,

It's alot of work you've undertaken - well done.

Quote:
The site is currently drawing about 1,000 uniques per day with about 2,000 - 4,000 page views


Are you sure :?:

Try creating some pretty URLs, at the moment they're a bit ugly. At the very least try some URL rewriting for some of the specific pages within your top menu (home, contact us, news, register, personals, chat).

Good luck.

Cheers, Prime ... :D
  • MysteryLeo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

there is too much going on initially.

I would have a big section on the top that tells everyone the gist of the site. Like web2.0 style :)
  • briteguy1227
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  • briteguy1227
  • Posts: 31
  • Loc: Seattle, USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

The Search box location on the page is OK, upper right corner. However, the "search..." default text is not necessary.

Everybody knows what a search box is for.
  • sfraise
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  • sfraise
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  • Loc: Iowa

Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks Prime, I verify my stats with both statcounter as well as AdBrite shows my page views pretty well as they show site wide.

I think a new front page template will solve alot of the issues with organization description.
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay, firstly the W3C validator found 44 errors on your "home" page ... you can click here to see them ... Also then please check and fix the other pages ...

First thing I'd change after that, is to make the link of the page the user is on unclickable, for instance if a user is on the "home" page, the "home" link should be unclickable (plain text) and in another colour (or rollover state), this way users won't redirect to the page that they are already on, and they'll always know which page they are on ...

When an incorrect username/password combination is given, I don't think the pop-up textbox is necessary ... because you already have the "error message" on the active page aswell ...

on the "contact" page, I found a strange thing ... try this: type something in all the fields and make the email address "rt@." then when you press submit, you'll get an error message, and then the form will say: "thank you for your email" as if the message was sent ... it's confusing ...

On the "news" page ... where's the news? ... there's only one link ... I think that needs some more content on that page ...

Okay yeah, that's enough reviewing for now ...
  • Cerebro
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Your logo in red was very unsettling to my eyes. Perhaps you can tone down several shades and incorporate a more unique image besides the smiley face. It seemed like there was also to many variations with other color schemes/font types/font sizes. I lost my attention fairly quickly. Best of luck, looks like a great idea though.
  • pwnd
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Please also have a look at the ToS for this site.

There are now popups and adverts all over the site. Te popups are inline. And if you read their ToS which here are a few following lines.

3.1 The Community may be accessed and used only with a webbrowser or software previously authorised by OohYa.

Meaning they are trying to dictate which browser you use.

3.6 The user must not take actions to automatically disable the advertisements being embodied in the website.

Meaning no popup blockers, spam filters, or things like Firefox's addon AdBlock and FlashBlock.

4.1 OohYa gratuitously provides the Community for the general public for the purpose of private information exchange and communication.

Although, they will publish any private (p2p) chats to another user in their site.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ummmm it's sort of a two year old review post pwnd.
  • ahmeTT
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think you need;
Better:
-Footer design
-Poll design
-Logo design
Less:
-Ads with girls
  • webdesignerrr
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well hey this site looks good. The photos of the member are large enough for people to see and get a decent understanding of. Well done, I think as a featured member type site this would do very well
  • sfraise
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  • sfraise
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  • Loc: Iowa

Post 3+ Months Ago

Lol I have a hunch pwnd was probably banned from the site for something.

But to reply to his post:
1. OohYa Chat is a FREE site, even though it's free it's not a charity, the server bill alone is $300/month so yes we need to have some ads to help pay for the thing.

2. Line 3.1 in the TOS does not say anywhere what browser you can use lol, obviously people use several different browsers including ie, firefox, chrome, and whatever else. This line is directed to people that would make a 3rd party chat client similar to yahelite and yazak for Yahoo.

3. The line 3.6 in the TOS about disabling advertisements is again more geared towards people creating 3rd party chat clients similar to what yahelite and yazak did for Yahoo. Pop-up blockers will not affect any of the ads on the site anyway.

4. I don't recall anyone ever logging a p2p chat and showing it to another member lol. Would you be referring more towards the fact that we have the right to show the chat logs to authorities in cases of child predators? I wonder why that would bother you?
  • mk27
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
ummmm it's sort of a two year old review post pwnd.


Yeah but it still looks quite active. Altho I am given to wonder if it is not a front for a prostitution ring :lol: I clicked on the one thread about "the top ten books of all time" and the one girl said, "Well, you can't go wrong with classics like Hemingway or Faulkner, but it looks like J.K. Rowling "is etching her way up there, though, as an influencial author" :lol: I guess that is sort of true, and I am just a snob.

No offence to anyone intended.
  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Altho I am given to wonder if it is not a front for a prostitution ring


I pick up that webcam girls vibe from it.

Logo could definitely use some work. Kind of funny that there's already merchandise. heh The search should use multiselects. Also I clicked on the left free chat person off the home page and got some sort of unauthorized message. Definitely a bug there.
  • varaprasad4
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice for chat ,improvement required for home page.

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