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  1. #1
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    "hand coded" Blog w/ FB Comment system added to ecommerce store

    The blog I am asking for reviews on is "hand made". It's not a Wordpress blog. Partly because I didn't want to learn WP, and partly because I wanted to use Facebook's commenting system to aid the social media aspect.

    In hopes of lessening our dependency on Google, we want to start getting some visitors through social media. The blog posts are more meaty than most because we really want them to be shared. I added this blog to a folder of my ecommerce store with the understanding that doing so helps satisfy the SEO hunger for fresh content.

    Here are the first two posts:
    http://www.easydigging.com/blog/plow...tric-mule.html
    http://www.easydigging.com/blog/pota...arvesting.html

    I'm also real curious to hear opinions on the brown social media box and the Facebook commenting system. Both are at the bottom of the individual post pages.

    I spent a TON of time figuring out the three tagging systems (schema for search engines, OpenGraph for FaceBook, and TwitterCards) to get the "shares" to look nice. If you notice anything that is preventing you from transmitting a good looking Like, Share, Tweet, Plus, or whatever, please tell me about that too.

    Thanks!

    Greg

  2. #2
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    Come on group, it's been a couple of days now. I'm counting on you for some insights.

    I really want to make sure there are no big problems, and that I haven't set myself up for failure, before I start promoting this blog...

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member GaWebDev's Avatar
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    Greg, I just wanted to say that even prior to you reaching out to me via PM to review the blog I had visited it. My impressions were great. I guess I should have posted that rather than assume I should only post when I see something I feel can be improved. I need to get in the habit of that. I just looked at it again and dude I don't think i could have done any better with it. i don't think anyone else could for that matter. Seriously you have done a great job with the css on "the brown social media container". It is simply yet beautifully integrated into the pages and layout. It's obvious you took the time to painstakingly get that "aesthetic" and I I think you've definitely succeeded.

    Continue to promote and encourage the facebook engagement with your audience. I think the niche that you serve there will respond favorably and feel comfortable engaging in dialogues. Keep up the great work.

  4. #4
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    Honestly are you sure you won't reconsider using WP? It is incredibly easy to find a good theme and the plugins mean that you can create a very sophisticated site with little effort. You could use something like woocommerce to create the store, and a simple blog theme for the blog. Its a lot easier than you think.

    Your site is coded OK but it doesn't look very professional. The share box is not immediately obvious and you would increase social shares by having it directly at the end of the article. It also doesn't need all that explanation - just a single button for facebook, twitter, pinterest and G+ will do.

    You clearly have a good following and lots of good information to share, but using a proper template will make it much more accessible to more people. It will also save you time in the long run vs doing all the coding yourself!

  5. #5
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    Thanks GaWebDev and Van24, I appreciate the feedback.

    I'll have to decline on the Wordpress suggestion. Nothing wrong with WP, but I already spent all the time and effort to make my site responsive using Twitter Bootstrap and I don't want to spend that time switching.

    I will look into adding a simplifed strip of social sharing icons higher up the page like Van suggested. But I'll also leave the bigger brown box. One reason is that as my number of Likes and such grow it gives customers a reassurance that we are trusted. Another reason is that many of my customers are older, and the descriptions in the brown box make the whole social thing easier for them to understand.

    Please keep the reviews coming folks!

  6. #6
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    System Used
    ===========
    Resolution 1366 x 768
    System Type: Laptop
    CPU: Intel Core i7
    Ram: 8 Gb
    Browser: Chrome 28.0.1500.95 m
    Language: Dutch
    Cable: 50 Mbit

    Review
    ======
    Loading: Website loading was oke.

    The Share Box
    =============
    First off all I must say I like the idea of integrating your websites comments with social media. Looking at the brown box it feels a bit unorganised (a bit messy). I would suggest having the buttons in a row (maybe put every service on a different line (facebook row 1, google row 2, etc.). This will leave you with a smaller box but you could (as you are focussing on reducing google dependency) add a graph (hmm how do i explain what i envision) showing the time at the bottom and total number of tweets, shares, etc above that giving a nice timeline.

    As for the text behind and in front of the buttons in my browser the buttons do not line up with the text nicely (the center of the button is above the center of the text).

    You didn't ask to review the box to the left of the share box but I did notice a small thing. When leaving a comment I am unable to post as my twitter account or google account although they are in the box to the right. Would be nice to add this 2.


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