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  1. #1
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    Price Listing Website for Aftermarket Car Parts

    I have a site that I have been working for months changing it several times and finally settling on a main universal design. The site is meant for people looking for car parts to add to their car, to get the best prices, and buy the best part. We take several companies and list all the places where you would get the part.

    The main domain is: http://www.autovendors.net/

    But there are several customized entrance domains that have a custom graphic and some products listed:

    Ex.
    http://www.SRTVendors.com/
    http://www.CivicVendors.com/
    http://www.rsxvendors.com/

    More listed on the affiliates page at the bottom.

    I would appreciate it if you would look a page or two deep into the site to get a feel for it.. and all comments are welcome!

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Hello:

    While reviewing your site I gave myself a list of questions (as outlined by Don't make me think by Steve Krug)
    1) What site is this?
    2) What page am I on?
    3) What are the major sections of the site?
    4) What are my options?

    The site passed all of the above ...
    1) your site ID "AutoVendors.net" was easy to locate and linked back to index
    2) bread crumbs and page titles
    3) Navigation at the top of the page (sidebar on secondary pages)
    4) There isn't a "drop menu" with more options but as your content builds you may want to consider

    I do have a few suggestions that you may/may not be interested in.
    - Consider making the titles in your "News" selection bold and shorten the text with a link for more>> that takes the visitor to the primary site. You might also want to downsize the images so that they do not overpower the content on the page. Flush right or left so that the layout is consistent.

    - Consider moving your "Shopping Menu" to the top of the page with the rest of the navigation. Here you could have a drop menu or multi-tiered menu. Dynamic Drive has some nice "FREE" samples go to http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/.

    - Consider moving the links on your "Resources" page to a drop menu...it will give this page a cleaner layout.

    - The "Garage" page is very nice, and I like the fact the the featured vehicle moves to the top of the left menu bar with rating.

    - The "Account Page" is fine, again I think the layout would look cleaner with the "Shopping Menu" moved to the top with the rest of the navigation.

    Other Considerations:

    Highlight key words, phrases and links. It will draw attention to the "key elements" on the page.
    1) Boldface what is important.
    2) Turn any series into a bulleted or numbered list
    3) Make links emphatic

    Before:
    Recently Ford stopped by to give us a ride in the company's new second-in-command super car, the 500-horsepower Shelby GT500. We say second-in-command because if anything bad were to befall Ford's fastest product, the 550-horsepower Ford GT, well, the GT500 could assume command as the Blue Oval's flagship super car just fine.

    After:
    Insert Picture (flush left/right)
    Here's a great article about the Shelby GT500, the 550-horsepower Ford GT is the company's second in command super car...more>> (links to site with full content)

    For details about highlighting text elements, check out Hot Text Web Writing That Works, by Jonathan and Lisa Price.

    Final comments:
    I tested your site in IE 6 and Firefox 1.5.0.4.
    The screen display and accessibility were fine.
    The side bar text size gets tiny on a few pages...consider upsizing the text (for those of us who already need glasses).
    Most of my comments center around navigation and auditing content (it's your site, let the visitors know why you chose the articles that are posted)
    The contact information should be on every page...consider adding to footer

    Hope that this was helpful.
    crobinson14
    Last edited by crobinson14; Jul 26, 2006 at 11:25.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    Excellent site. Very professionally laid out with lots of information for site visitors. Great pictures of the cars, by the way.

    Sunny

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crobinson14
    Consider making the titles in your "News" selection bold and shorten the text with a link for more>> that takes the visitor to the primary site. You might also want to downsize the images so that they do not overpower the content on the page. Flush right or left so that the layout is consistent.
    I will highly consider this. Unfortunately for me the news is RSS from another site (as you may have noticed). They do not have a very standard method of coding their pages to look the same. So sometimes its hit or miss as to how the news is displayed on our site.

    I do think shortening some of these huge news articles would be a good idea, and I know how to do that in PHP.. so I think I will.

    I usually use Justify on all of the text instead of centering or putting to the left or right. Do you feel aligning to left or right would be best for the entire site? Or just news? I would align to the left most likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by crobinson14
    Consider moving your "Shopping Menu" to the top of the page with the rest of the navigation. Here you could have a drop menu or multi-tiered menu. Dynamic Drive has some nice "FREE" samples go to http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/
    Thanks for the link. I've always tried to stay away incorporating a menu like that because it is so (advanced?) like I feel like it would be hard to get it to display right on everyones computer out there. But heck..

    Quote Originally Posted by crobinson14
    Consider moving the links on your "Resources" page to a drop menu...it will give this page a cleaner layout.
    Do you feel like elimitating the main page of the resources page would be good? I still haven't come up with something good to put on the lower half of the main resources page.

    Quote Originally Posted by crobinson14
    The "Garage" page is very nice, and I like the fact the the featured vehicle moves to the top of the left menu bar with rating.
    I always throught the main Garage page felt very out of place.. kinda like something on it just didn't belong. Are you referring to the main pages, or one of the pages that has more info about a particular car?

    Quote Originally Posted by crobinson14
    The "Account Page" is fine, again I think the layout would look cleaner with the "Shopping Menu" moved to the top with the rest of the navigation.
    Did you create an account and log in? Or just looking at the "Login" page??



    As for the bolding and other things. Yes.. I feel this is good for SEO as well as drawing the eye. Unfortunately, I do not have any control over the news pages or how they are displayed. (unless I write more code that forces certain things to be changed).

    The main concerns I have, is with how things are actually displayed.

    I have problems just putting text somewhere, I tend to put it in a table and put some kind of border on it. Very... late 90's style unfortunately. I haven't really evolved my skills as I'm more of a programmer.

    Thanks for the tips, and let me know if you have anything else to say.

  5. #5
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    Hi:

    To clarify...
    I usually use Justify on all of the text instead of centering or putting to the left or right. Do you feel aligning to left or right would be best for the entire site? Or just news? I would align to the left most likely.

    What I meant to say, was to "left/right align" the image so that the text would flow around it.

    Do you feel like elimitating the main page of the resources page would be good? I still haven't come up with something good to put on the lower half of the main resources page.

    The page I was referring to is http://www.autovendors.net/resources/. I like the "secondary navigation" on the left, so that the main area is there for text. If you're going to keep the links in the text area, I suggest listing them. I know this is a personal preference so don't feel as though its necessary. But forsure I wouldn't kill this section just yet.

    I always throught the main Garage page felt very out of place.. kinda like something on it just didn't belong. Are you referring to the main pages, or one of the pages that has more info about a particular car?
    I was on http://www.autovendors.net/garage/view/23/. But I do see what you mean about the main page. Not sure if I have anything helpful to add...I'll think on it and get back to you.

    Did you create an account and log in? Or just looking at the "Login" page??
    I did not create a login...I can at a later time.

    I think that your concepts are great. We're tweaking here...so keep up the good work. As I said before, if I come up with any good ideas I'll get back to you.

    Take care -
    crobinson14

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the clairification.

    I updated the top menu with expandable menus.. and am working to change a few small things here and there.

  7. #7
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    Overall it looks like a clean layout, easy to navigate.

    I didn't like the expanding menus - just regular dropdowns without the expanding part would be better, IMO.

    The image popups (click to enlarge) under the products didn't fully expand the window to be large enough to see the entire image in IE or FF, from what I could tell. Not by much, but just a little off (maybe 20 pixels on bottom and right). I only tested a couple though.

    Google maps error (API key error) on Dyno Locator page (heading is slightly inconsist on this page - Locate a Dyno vs Dyno Locator in menu). Also on this page, the Account link does not work (looks like it needs a ../ in front of the url or an absolute link - this is not just from the Dyno page, but from most subpages actually.)

    On the garage page, neither of the links work (acura/chevy).

    Very heavily table based layout, but I notice you said something about that above, so I won't comment much on it.

    May be just me, but a link for web hosting on a car parts site just doesn't seem to belong - I doubt I would want to purchase my hosting through that even if I was a regular customer. It may be better to setup a seperate site and just link to it if you want to offer that.


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