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  1. #1
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    Please review backpacker site

    Please review my new backpacker information/classifieds site:



    I would appreciate any and all suggestions on content, structure and design, including tips on how to make it appear the same in all browsers.

    Thankyou!http://www.kookaburraclassifieds.com
    Last edited by kfkur1; Jan 24, 2008 at 18:39.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict Troy1960's Avatar
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    A link my friend?
    Gunwallet.com- Digitally backup vital gun information.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    May want to try some CSS for your site
    Try a different type of menu - across the top
    also try a text menu at the bottom of the page
    Get some graphics or pictures (in your case scenic pictures of where you live
    and where some of the jobs are (if you can - even pictures of the job site)
    May want to validate your site (ie for code - spelling - display in different browsers - etc ' this site will do it - it is an online check with browser thumbnails
    http://www.totalvalidator.com/
    (Online Validator and web Page Checker)
    Total Validator is a free one-stop all-in-one validator comprising a HTML validator, an accessibility validator, a spelling validator, a broken links validator, and the ability to take screenshots with different browsers to see what your web pages really look like.
    Note: Validation can mean different things - this was also put there for people of different languages to check their English.
    Also Browser shots will check for different browsers and screen resolutions
    http://browsershots.org/
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  4. #4
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    Although I like the simplicity of the homepage there was nothing that would capture my attention.

    I would suggest to use more contrast between the background and the text. I think the lack of contrast makes it too flat.

    I hope I wasn't too harsh on you. Just trying to help.

  5. #5
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    It works like it ment to in safari.

    In my opinion its too basic, and in places looks a little lazy ie the pixelated bullet points.

    I would maybe go on a few css gallaries for some inspriation!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot Paella's Avatar
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    I like the color scheme but the whole site seems a bit messy. Actually it's a bit difficult to understand the structure of your site like what are the main menus and what are the submenus. At least the home page should have a top navigation (or top and left) in order to give the visitor a glimpse of what is available within your website.

  7. #7
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    I do think maybe I could improve the home page - just not sure what I would put in the middle if all the links were moved to a top or left menu. How could I entice users to click through to other pages? Any ideas anyone?

    As for the other pages i think i have made the menu structure pretty clear, no? It is the same from page to page which makes it easy to use i think.

    Definitely agree that I should use more CSS on the whole site, especially if it will help with the cross-browser compatability thing.

    Has anyone looked at the online store selling travelling accessories - this uses Actinic software (trial), I am trying to decide if I should purchase the software and continue to run the store - i have made no sales yet.

    Also does anyone have any ideas on how to automate the classified listing process. At the moment I screen each classified as it is emailed to me, then put it on the site manually. I don't want to do this too much longer as it is very time consuming.

    I would like people to be responsible for the appropriateness of their own classifieds (I will still check listings from time to time). At the moment I am not worried about a payment gateway as classifieds are free, but this will change in the future with some categories becoming paid listings.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Just some suggestions:
    Have the menu across the top (important item)
    Put pictures of items in the middle for content (more important item)
    Have item menu, left side, so they can find individual items
    Have some articles on backpacking
    Software for maintaining or running the site - may be some free, search the internet - or some shareware (try before buy) or try some site forums to ask.
    -
    an example of another similar site
    http://www.rei.com/camphike?cm_mmc=p...FQyPYAodWkudHA
    Note: notice menu at the top - also pictures of gear plus articles on selecting gear.
    another site but with some pictures to the top
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...questid=103011
    -
    To attract visitors and keep them, you must use pictures (the internet is a graphic media)
    -
    Also your meta tags (title, description and keywords) need some work. Search engines use your description in their listings and people use this to determine if they want to look at it. The page layout, pictutes, menu and content determine if they stay, and the presentation, display, ease of purchasing, price, discription etc. determine if they buy. This is where articles, with links to the items with pictures and comments help. Make it easy for them to want to purchase.
    Another site - notice the pictures
    http://www.protravelgear.com/
    also they have pagerank
    At the bottom they have a text menu and at the top they have a menu plus a search function
    Of the three sites, only one has pagerank. Look at them and see how you can improve your site. You do need to change your site to be competitive. Pictures is a big item, of the merchandise and the scenery in the area to entice them to want to go, and why they want your items (to make the experience more pleasure and less work).
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  9. #9
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    The site comes off as being very amateur. The colors do not provide enough contrast, and the scheme itself needs improvement (I suggest checking out http://kuler.adobe.com for some ideas).

    Depending on how experienced you are, you may want to grab a hold of a free design template, and base your design off of the template. I think that would get you on the right track in learning about how to create proper HTML structures, how to use CSS more, and general "design" tips. (Of course, that all depends if you find the right template).

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member AlienFarmer's Avatar
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    I really like the layout, I just find the colors and header rather boring. Things look good down under, you should incorporate that into your design. More pictures couldn't hurt the wow factor.

    Good luck!
    www.PVgeek.com is so hot!

  11. #11
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    Here's my take:

    - Respectfully speaking, the overall design needs a complete overhaul. It doesn't look professional, hence, the current look is fighting against your credibility. With a better design, the likelihood of someone using the site will be increased.

    I see that you SEO tactics are sorely lacking. With any venture that requires big time traffic, you must come up in the SE's organically. Learn about SEO or hire a firm that can help you.

  12. #12
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    decent keywording, but needs some work

    You might want to think about taking advantage of CSS and XML. The site looks very blocky, the copy doesn't offer direction for the eye. Cut up your grid content a little more to make it a little more aesthetic (I recommend paying real attention to your favorite magazines, and how they layout the text columns).

    I don't think you are taking advantage of your title. Instead of the name of the url, which I don't think you need in your title, since you will always come up if they search your domain name. Use target keywording and titling (ie: Australia Hiking classifieds).

    Last thing I would say is add some kind of imagery, either a couple of targeted banners, or even a rotating image/ad that directs to a random classified?

  13. #13
    SitePoint Evangelist asprookie's Avatar
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    You have content, that's a plus.

    But think of the competition, you got to impress and you have only one shot, think of your site as it is as an unfinished project.

    Follow NavyFalson's advice religiously and don't launch before at least 75 percent of Sitepointers give you the thumbs up.

  14. #14
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    Thanks everyone for the tips, I will definitely be implementing some of these asap. Anyone got any ideas for automating the classified listing process? Any good scripts you could suggest? Would need to be php and pref free or low cost.

    The way I see it, is that there is not too much point in promoting the site heavily and having a super design that attracts people, if I then can't cope with the workload of people wanting to put content/classifieds on my site. I want these visitors obviously, but I need to be prepared for them.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kfkur1 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the tips, I will definitely be implementing some of these asap. Anyone got any ideas for automating the classified listing process? Any good scripts you could suggest? Would need to be php and pref free or low cost.

    The way I see it, is that there is not too much point in promoting the site heavily and having a super design that attracts people, if I then can't cope with the workload of people wanting to put content/classifieds on my site. I want these visitors obviously, but I need to be prepared for them.
    Look at this, I'm not sure if it is what you need
    http://www.e-classifieds.net/
    This lists several free and shareware
    http://www.programurl.com/software/f...sified-ads.htm
    here is some scripts
    http://www.4u2ges.com/classified_software_scripts.asp
    You will have to evaluate as I don't know anything about these
    Here are some website scripts for ads - again don't know about them
    http://www.website-scripts.net/php/classified_ads.html
    More shareware and freeware ads software
    http://www.sharewareconnection.com/t...sified-ads.htm
    This should be enough to get you started - there is more but you need to check and evaluate these first
    Let us know how they are - I was looking for free software for your purpose. Will continue if you find these not to function for your purpose.
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  16. #16
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    Overall, a little too much blue for my liking.
    The list graphics look really fuzzy.
    The thick and multiple borders around a lot of objects looks somewhat dated.
    The code you used to make it definitely isn't up to today's standards, like other people have mentioned, have a look around for some CSS tutorials.
    The logo icon is nice and unique, but looks somewhat disconnected from the logo text.
    Maybe try having some standardized navigation?

  17. #17
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    I like the frame of the site but not the color. I think some css could be added to the site.

  18. #18
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    looks like a decent idea for a site. not sure I like the domain name or the site navigation.

    But other than that I like the niche of backpackers and the idea for the site.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by navyfalcon View Post
    Look at this, I'm not sure if it is what you need
    http://www.e-classifieds.net/
    This lists several free and shareware
    http://www.programurl.com/software/f...sified-ads.htm
    here is some scripts
    http://www.4u2ges.com/classified_software_scripts.asp
    You will have to evaluate as I don't know anything about these
    Here are some website scripts for ads - again don't know about them
    http://www.website-scripts.net/php/classified_ads.html
    More shareware and freeware ads software
    http://www.sharewareconnection.com/t...sified-ads.htm
    This should be enough to get you started - there is more but you need to check and evaluate these first
    Let us know how they are - I was looking for free software for your purpose. Will continue if you find these not to function for your purpose.
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Thanks navyFalcon, for the links. There's a lot available isn't there! Almost too much to choose from. Will definitely let you know if I find something suitable for my site.

    Would still love to hear from anyone who has used a php classified script in their own site, and been happy with it. Sometimes hearing about others' experiences really does help narrow the field when comparing such a large range of products.

    Please no posts/emails from people promoting their own scripts. I want unbiased reviews only.

  20. #20
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    Just my 2 cents.

    I believe that some good graphics (banner or background image - whatever) can drastically improve the impression that your visitors get when visit your website.
    Also you can think of the changing either back color of front color in order to make it more readable. Give some contrast ..

    Good Luck!!!

  21. #21
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    Very good indeed. Fantastic name/domain. You've got alliteration there, it means what it says, you've got an identity/logo in the Kookaburra. Really good.

    You need to order your categories better, in line, they are currently scattered. Alphabetical order would also be worth considering.

    I like the link to post an ad at the top. Very clear, very obvious. Your design is beautifully clear and to the point, no clutter!! Well done!

    You need to do some work on your form. As it stands you will have a mess of information all over the place. Present the categories in a list rather than asking the user to free type it. Use more inputs on the form to structure the listings you will receive rather than again relying on the visitor to free type everything.

    Present select lists (drop downs), checkboxes etc. It's much easier for the user to click than type.

    I would have navigation on every page. I didn't see it on your form page. I would lose the footer links, they are superfluous. I'm an experienced user but it wasn't obvious to me that the kookaburra image was the link to home. I would provide a text link also.

    This is the best site I have seen on here today. I think it has very good potential. Concentrate now on the mechanics of it, forget the fluff. Concentrate on getting people using it. Do a press release etc.

    Best wishes.
    Charles Sweeney
    FormToEmail.com

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by navyfalcon View Post
    To attract visitors and keep them, you must use pictures (the internet is a graphic media)
    Like Google and CraigsList?

    To attract visitors and keep them you must supply a demand.
    Charles Sweeney
    FormToEmail.com

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Sweeney View Post
    Very good indeed. Fantastic name/domain. You've got alliteration there, it means what it says, you've got an identity/logo in the Kookaburra. Really good.

    You need to order your categories better, in line, they are currently scattered. Alphabetical order would also be worth considering.

    I like the link to post an ad at the top. Very clear, very obvious. Your design is beautifully clear and to the point, no clutter!! Well done!

    You need to do some work on your form. As it stands you will have a mess of information all over the place. Present the categories in a list rather than asking the user to free type it. Use more inputs on the form to structure the listings you will receive rather than again relying on the visitor to free type everything.

    Present select lists (drop downs), checkboxes etc. It's much easier for the user to click than type.

    I would have navigation on every page. I didn't see it on your form page. I would lose the footer links, they are superfluous. I'm an experienced user but it wasn't obvious to me that the kookaburra image was the link to home. I would provide a text link also.

    This is the best site I have seen on here today. I think it has very good potential. Concentrate now on the mechanics of it, forget the fluff. Concentrate on getting people using it. Do a press release etc.

    Best wishes.

    Thanks Charles. Very encouraging, positive and useful feedback. I have a lot of ideas for promoting the site, including doing a press release, but like I said earlier I want to implement a script first which will allow the classified posting process to be automated.

  24. #24
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    The design is out of date. If you want to improve the visitor experience, you should change the font color to make it easier to read.


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