Web Site Advise Wanted!!!

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stripes

Member
As some of you may have heard I had closed my web site and reorganised due to the ultra high cost of the site. $52.00 a month, and sales were not even paying for that! That site was based on simple templates and point and click!
The new site I am developing is based on html, and I was one heck of a plumber, BUT, web development is new to me!.

So, I know that many of you are more comfortable with sites than I am, and I am here to ask your advise!

Here is the new site as it is, as of today! www.modelrailstructures.com

I still need to add the products and create a check out system! (nightmare :eek: )

What I would like to know is:

1) How is this showing up on your moniters? ( Mine is huge.) and it looks like there is a lot of space on the right hand side.

2) The font is Franklin Gothic, the program says not all systems can read this text? How does it look?

3) I have imbeded audio in the pages, is that a distraction or is it ok?

Anyway, I am trying and any advice will be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks so much!

David
 

CP9302

Member
Hi David,
For a site in this format, I would use a frames system. That way the navigation bar on the left won't scrole off the screen and you can set the text on the right to be centered on the space between the navigation bar and the edge of the screen.
I usually leave my sound of when on line, cause I don't like being scared half-to-death by loud sounds from pop-ups and other unexpected things. Personnally I don't like embedded sounds.
I couldn't tell ya if the font was Franklin Gothic, but it showed up and was readable.
The biggest suggestion I can give is to include pictures of the products when you add them to the site. I hate shopping online when all you get is a name, part number and a price.

Good luck with the new site.
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
Lose the sound. I too have been scared when dropping into a site that blasts away unexpectedly. It doesn't do anything for this (or any site), and is just a distraction.

Also loose the commas after your listings - it's a list, not a paragraph.

Text works OK with me, Windows XP.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Yeah, Sound got me!

Besides that, you can run a pretty cheep, html based store with paypal purchase links, OR CCnow.com...
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Looks good to me too, the overall layout is simple and easy to follow. I echo what the others have said about getting rid of the sound. As for frames, I've heard mixed reports about them; as webmaster of the B&O Historical Society website, I've had a few complaints about malfunctioning frames over the past 5 years (mostly from Mac users), and certain free hosting services - such as trainweb.org - don't allow them. But our online catalog is highly dependent on them, and I definitely don't have the time to re-engineer that whole system <LOL>!

One more suggestion: Take the quotes off the category descriptions in your list, plus the commas (as Bob B. already mentioned).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

stripes

Member
I have got rid of the sound, the quotes and comas!
Josh, one of the problems I had with the other site and PayPal was that in checkout, an invoice would be generated before I could add shipping costs. So I had to cancel the original order and send the customer a second invoice.
That caused me to lose some sales and Canada Post is almost imposible to set up a shipping calculator without knowing the size, weight and destination of the order in advance????

David
 

modelbob

Administrator
Under web 2.0 you can create a site that looks a lot like it uses frames without actually using them. That seems to be the best approach.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Oh, yeah, I forgot, you all got that screwed up shipping up there...

I guess use a manual ordering system? I.E. The buyer emails you with the item they want, amount they want, & their address; you reply with the Invoice (can then be linked to Paypal...); they pay; you ship... http://www.preownedtrains.com works that way. You can even have a page on your site that describes how it works, and tell potential buyers that you plan to do it this way because it lowers your cost (and the cost to the buy in the end!), & avoids shipping screw-ups. Its the most basic & simple ordering system.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Under web 2.0 you can create a site that looks a lot like it uses frames without actually using them. That seems to be the best approach.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)... Have fun, if you're an HTML newbie this'll rack your brain!
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
I downloaded at least a dozen trial software packages and looked at at least 20 different hosting services before I finally settled on what I'm using now. I'm using Bluehost for hosting (www.bluehost.com) and heavily modified X-Cart (www.x-cart.com) for the cart.

My site still has some quirks to work out, and needs some updating that I haven't had time to do lately, but the overall functionality works pretty well (at least from my end).

I don't know about using frames. I do like having a permanent/stationary menu, but it sometimes can clutter a site too. If you can do it without having a secondary scroll bar for your menu, it really isn't bad. But when you end up with extra scroll bars and arrows all over, the site tends to look messy. A lot of that depends on your browser and screen size/resolution though too. Right now I'm on a little laptop, so frame sites are more difficult to navigate now than when I'm using my 20.1" widescreen at home.

CSS and php seems to be future of web publishing. I'm planning to try Dreamweaver for a new site this year, but I don't have any experience with it yet. I just know I can't stand FrontPage. WYSIWYG editors (especially FrontPage) write extremely bloated and redundant code. I just end up using Notepad for simple HTML documents. If I'm not exactly sure how to do something in HTML, I'll use FrontPage to get the correct tags, and then write the page myself.
 

modelbob

Administrator
Dreamweaver is excellent and it makes CSS reasonably simple.

Of course the downside is that Dreamweaver isn't cheap.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I'm in with Nate there, I like the WYSIWYG editors, but they add too much. I have a simple borderless table layout for most of my sites, Front Page uses about 8 Div's & 6 Tables to get it, when all it requires is two tables.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
Dreamweaver is excellent and it makes CSS reasonably simple.
That's the kind of feedback that made me look into it in the first place. I only know one person who prefers FrontPage over Dreamweaver, and he's only doing simple html pages.

Of course the downside is that Dreamweaver isn't cheap.
It's not bad when you qualify for academic pricing :).
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
I'm in with Nate there, I like the WYSIWYG editors, but they add too much. I have a simple borderless table layout for most of my sites, Front Page uses about 8 Div's & 6 Tables to get it, when all it requires is two tables.
X-Cart is extremely table intensive. It's basically one giant table template, with dozens of smaller tables nested within. It's nice for organization, but it can be a pain to find the area you want to modify, since every template is a separate file.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
X-Cart is extremely table intensive. It's basically one giant table template, with dozens of smaller tables nested within. It's nice for organization, but it can be a pain to find the area you want to modify, since every template is a separate file.
Sounds good, I might invest in that to rebuild my e-stores.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Already have osCommerce David, I want to drop it to shorten the checkout time, unless I can get one of the short checkout mods to work right.
The links page is done!! and of course ModelRailRoad Forums is in there!
Anything I missed guys??
Model Railroad Tips!! (kidding...)
 




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