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Would Like Your Critiques


CandleGuys

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First impression - not a fan.  Crits:

 

1. Your header image.  Your 'Ecco Lights' font is blurry and hard to read.  Further, your image doesn't stretch, so on any reasonably modern monitor, it ends abruptly.  If you're going for a fluid layout, your header needs to be fluid, too.

 

2. Typography blunders abound.  First, italics are supposed to be used for emphasis.  Having all of your text italic is overkill.  It also makes it hard to read.  Second, you use center justify for your text, which only exacerbates the problem.  Readability is key, and you're forcing your potential users' eyes to jump around, negating any sense of flow.  Finally, text should be black.  High contrast makes it easier for people with vision problems to read what you write.

 

3. There's no real sense of structure.  You have a huge gap between your navigation and your content.  Your center justified text only adds to the chaos.  Your padding or margins also appear to be uneven.  Your mailing list box is closer to your main content than your main content is to the left side of the browser window.

 

4. Your footer is all but impossible to read.  Gray text on a gray background does not work.

 

I'm not trying to be harsh for the sake of it.  It looks like it was built using a free service, which it was, and I just expect more from a site which is, ultimately, asking for someone's hard earned money.  You need to put at least as much work into this as the products you sell.  Do your homework.  Look at other small business e-commerce sites.  Look at how they structure their pages.  You don't need complicated graphics, but you do need to provide structure, clarity, and an overall sense of familiarity to your potential users.  They need to be able to navigate and, more importantly for you, order products without having to think about it.  Thought = a user who likely won't be coming back.

 

I'm not sure how flexible Weebly is, but you should really try to address the problems as best you can within its framework.

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Honestly, that's exactly what we needed to hear.  We can see what your saying about the centering and italic as well and will make some corrections there.  The layout was one of my main concerns but you pointed out a few more that I will focus on now =)

 

Thanks you so much for your time in checking it out for us =)

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If Weebly won't cut it for you, you should look into a more robust system.  You can get great open source hosting for cheap ($5-$7 a month), and there are a host of quality content management systems out there that are also free. 

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Funny you mention that =)  We are thinking of changing over to a "better" host.  Just the functionality of Weebly isn't what we are needing/looking for.  A shopping cart feature would be so much nicer and search function....I could go on with what would be nice. 

 

Anyways, could you suggest anyone?  Not sure if that's allowed in the forums but thought we would ask =) 

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We have a list of web hosts in this thread: http://www.phpfreaks.com/forums/index.php?topic=117475.0  I use ICDSoft: http://www.icdsoft.com/  Very affordable, and a great, no nonsense control panel.

 

For content management systems, Joomla is probably the biggest, but there are others.  You can test some out for free here: http://php.opensourcecms.com/scripts/show.php?pagenumber=1  The list is ordered according to popularity.  I've used Joomla and PHP-Fusion, but not for e-commerce, so I can't comment on how they perform there.

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