Web site ? Opinions Please

  GroupFC 09:33 02 Oct 2003

This is the first time I have posted to this forum, so please be gentle with me!

Very good friends of mine have recently moved to France with the intention of developing the property they purchased into a number of gites. They are fully aware of the need for a website for the success of the business and have had this site designed (not by me!) as a starter click here.

Last night they e-mailed me and asked me what I thought of it. I have told them my views but think I may be biased (in light of the potential for future holidays!).

So ? I turn to the very helpful forum members at PCA ? What do you think?

  Griffon 12:47 02 Oct 2003

I would normally be a little reluctant to express an opinion where a website designer has not themselves asked for comments. However, I quite like the site and think the atmosphere conveyed is right for the subject. I would suggest a couple of improvements. From a design point of view it might be better to use nicely designed buttons for the menu on the left hand rather than text. Secondly allow the surfer to access the pictures via thumbnails rather than having to scroll through them all. The latter point is very important because it is the pictures that will sell the property let to the customer. click here

  GroupFC 13:35 02 Oct 2003

Thank you for your comments.

I understand what you say about expressing comments where the web designer has not themselves asked for comments.

I would explain that this venture is in its very early days and the web site was put together by my friends brother in law, to show them what is possible! I have of course explained to them that I was going to post here and invite comments just to see what other people thought!

  anchor 13:56 02 Oct 2003

Hello GroupFC:

I though the site was very good and seemed quite professional to me; (but what do I know?).

I would comment that I thought some of the photographs could be improved with a little work in a photo programme. This I do know something about, but maybe I`m just being picky.

  Taran 17:03 02 Oct 2003

I like the overall layout a lot - simple yet quite elegant and certainly functional.

I've never been a fan of page transitions though, and despite the nice layout the colour scheme washes the text hyperlinks out a little which is a shame. This could just be me though - I'm colourblind so perhaps the hyperlinks are bold as brass to everyone else.

I also can't see any point at all in the 'back to top' links at the bottom right of the image pages. I tried viewing on 1024x768 and 800x600 and neither resolution requires a back to top link.

It has all the right ingredients though and some nice meta-tags are worked into the underlying code to assist in search rankings.

No site is perfect but this one does what it should and aside from some missing content it really doesn't need too much reworking.

Ask 100 web designers and expect at least as many variations on response...



  Forum Editor 17:14 02 Oct 2003

as far as it goes, although I agree about the navigation - the text links are insignificant, buttons of some sort would be better.Otherwise no problems - the images aren't perfect, but then I imagine they were taken by your friends, and they're probably not professional photographers.

I'm not quite sure what the point of the present site is - apart from being of general interest to their friends and family. It certainly doesn't have any commercial value in terms of advertising, although I don't suppose it's intended to be a sales aid - the work on the property has obviously got some way to go before it will be ready for letting.

No doubt at that stage they'll do a redesign, and perhaps we can see the site again.

  slowhand_1000 17:33 02 Oct 2003

Agrees with all other pointers.

For me the menu hyperlinks are to small and need to be more prominent (no it's not your colour blindness Taran). As I am starting to get long in the tooth and need all the help I can get.

On a lighter note and don't anyone shout but.... and I can't for the life of me know what drew my eyes to it. But having seen 2 places on the map which are close to the property - as well as close to my heart - (Rochefort and Cognac) I'm sure they will succeed with or without the website :-)

  GroupFC 17:37 02 Oct 2003

Thanks to you all for your comments.

It was, I think a first attempt to see what the finished product could possibly look like and to try and gather together a few comments for consideration in the future.

I think the only point of the present site, as the FE rightly says, is of general interest to friends and family. Its not yet intended as a sales aid, as there isn't anything to sell!! Having recently come back from a weeks visit I can definitely say that the property has some way to go before it will be ready for lettings!!

  Gaz 25 17:56 02 Oct 2003

I would agree, that buttons would make the site stand out more.

Good luck


  GroupFC 11:54 04 Oct 2003

I passed all your comments to my friends brother in law who designed the site (this was the first attempt by somebody who is strictly an amateur, he is an engineer in his day job!).

He was very encouraged by the comments and has taken on board all the comments about the navigation, quality of photos and content. He has especially taken on board the comments about the colour scheme washing the text links out, as his wife didn't like either!!

Once again, many thanks for the input.

If anyone else cares to make any comments, please feel free!

  GroupFC 22:41 05 Oct 2003

Thanks for all your comments and feedback
here is version two. click here

Could you kind people have look at this and let me know what you think? I would add that the person doing this site is aware of the comments about buttons but is having a bit of a problem with them at the moment!

At the moment from a personal point of view I am not very keen on the thumbnail idea as it has been done (sorry Griffon!).

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