Can you please review my new car sales website?

  murgle 18:53 12 Oct 2005


I have had a lot of help with my websites in the past from forum members, and kindly request you take a quick look over my new car sales website. I am hoping to have the site up and running in a couple of weeks. There is still quite a bit of tidying up to do but I think it is a good time for people to have a look around so alterations can be made.

I have built the website myself but have had some help with the database which lists the vehicles themselves (I don’t know enough about database's).

Not all the forms (order an mailing list) are working yet so I am aware of these problems.

I would really appreciate as much feedback as possible and will not be offended. The site has taken me about 8 weeks to build so far.

The site is located at click here

Many thanks for your help, and I hope to receive as much feedback as possible.

  PurplePenny 19:42 12 Oct 2005

Watch ou for the grocers' apostrophe! I've spotted a couple: on the home page you have "company's" but it should be "companies", and in the customer comments section you have "problem's" instead of "problems".

  murgle 20:03 12 Oct 2005

Thanks for that. What did you think of the site itself?

  sharkfin 20:13 12 Oct 2005

I dont really know much about webdesign but I think that the style of the site doesnt reflect the products. Your selling fast japanese import cars and I would expect maybe a more modern/futuristic/energised looking site. I think its the font that your using. It looks too traditional and regency. Like your selling classic cars.

  murgle 20:28 12 Oct 2005

Thanks for the info. It is more the 4x4 and people carriers that I sell. I understand that a sport car website need to be bright and energising but I wanted a relaxed easy on the eye website. Maybe I was wrong?

  Taran 21:28 12 Oct 2005

Though I hate to say it I think the layout is a bit too plain.

I'm a great preacher of white backgrounds, clean and simple designs and so on, so this is going to contradict most of what I normally bang on about, but...

At first glance it doesn't hit me as a car site of any description, and you have to get a few sentences into the Home page or read the text navigation links before you know what it is the site is all about.

I'm not sure if you plan on having the Order, Search Similar and other links active or whether you'll be ditching them, however, I'd like to draw your attention to something:

click here

Classified Listings Manager from DMXReady.

It's about £100, installs in no time and does pretty much everything your typical online car showroom might want to be able to do out of the box. OK, so it uses an Access database (nothing's perfect) but it can be upscaled to MS SQL or ported over to MySQL.

I've never used this product or anything else from the DMXReady team, but I am aware of the range of software they produce which mostly shares a common core but which allows them to cleverly market the products as individual when, in fact, many of them are just very slight variations on a theme.

A close friend uses Classified Listings Manager on several sites and after customisation and branding she has very good results with it.

Anyway, take a look. The pages from Classified Listings Manager look nice, they showcase the product(s) well and offer a pleasant interface along the way. Obviously the product isn't just intended for cars, but my friend uses two instances of the product to drive two car sites that I know of and things scoot along nicely using it. To be fair though, she has heavily modified the application, butt he core remains the same off the peg £100 script...

I quite like your site overall, but the background fades on TFT monitors to the point where it almost blurs the text sitting on top of it and I feel a graphic banner of some description on the head of every page would be a good addition.

It has lots in its favour but, in my opinion, it just isn't quite there and I'm blowed if I can pinpoint exactly why.

One thing I would like to see though is consistent navigation across the site. Your links to the individual manufacturers should be on every page, not just from the showroom page. It would help your home page no end if people could click ONCE to browse the manufacturer of their choice - it would also help search indexing for the future too...

A final word - images are everything for this kind of site and many of the photographs are overexposed. Do yourself and your product a favour and keep on top of this.

You've got the makings of a gem here - so much is right, but too much is also wrong, for the moment at least.

I'd really like to see where you go with this. I can remember your past efforts and how you started and I'd love to see how it evolves.

Good luck with it.


  murgle 18:26 13 Oct 2005

Many thanks for your input Taran. As always I appreciate your input.

I do intend to have a banner logo but have not appointed anyone to design one as yet. I wanted to get the site pretty much finished before doing this.

It sound as though I need to spend some time adding more graphics to the site so will work on this. Also I may completly redesign the home page to make it look more like a vehicle sales page as everyone has suggested out.

The text font looked ok on all the monitors I viewed on, but I obviously need to work on the backgroung and font. Can anyone recommend a font I should use?

I will spend some time adding a bit of colour and graphics to the site and will kindly request you take a look when the alterations are done.

I am also going to look at the Classified Listings Manager software as this looks like something that will be useful.

Many thanks

  Taran 18:48 13 Oct 2005

a good solution.

The font is not so much the issue here, but rather the background which, to my eyes anyway, washes out your links.

Verdana and Tahoma are my mainstay fonts for web design - I produce almost 100% of my web work in various sizes of Verdana. No other common font looks as nice or is as easy to read (very important if you want your visitors to take note of your text).

I piqued my own curiosity when I mentioned Classified Listings Manager and after having seen the results my friend gets using heavily modified versions of it I bought it this morning. It's a fairly simple but more than capable program and with some thought could be used as a good foundation from which to build. You will probably need to tweak the email settings - it failed miserably to respond to the information entered into the control panel on both of the Windows servers I tested it, but the script only took a few moments to modify and off it went.

Anyway, getting back to your site, I tried the page with a plain white background and black Verdana text and it looked pretty slick. Navy text also looked good, and a slightly stronger hyperlink text colour worked well too.

Don't go hell for leather in radical changes to your site - often a tweak here, a nip there, and a bit of polish is all that is required and the results of a seemingly minor change can be stunning.

  murgle 07:50 26 Oct 2005

Hi have started making changes the site click here . I will probably change the flash graphic as it appears on my other websites. I also have a company curently designing a logo.

One thing I'm having problems with is that the flash image appears perfect in internet explorer (to the far right of the page, but in Firefox it aligns to the left?. Any ideas on how to fix this.


  mco 08:58 26 Oct 2005

about the misplaced apostrophes, but Penny seems to have got there first (see post above) Also, warranty should be written with a y on the vehicle showroom page. There might be others too; I just scanned it. I always feel rather 'teachery' pointing such stuff out (well, I am a teacher!) but some people actually make decisions on using companies based on their ability to spell and puncutate. Sorry!

  mco 08:58 26 Oct 2005

I mean!

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