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Selected for homepage redesign

cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
Thanks to a post I read regarding Design from Scratch, I`ve been selected for a homepage redesign by Brad Hunt of www.webdesignfromscratch.com</A>.  I just heard from them this morning and think this means my site will be featured in their book and pdf of 50 homepage redesigns!  As you might guess, this is huge!!  They are expecting half a million downloads of the pdf alone.
Now I have a few questions that will help me focus my new site.
I haven`t asked anyone to critique my site because, quite frankly, I don`t even like it.  I built it with ubuilder.com and had no previous experience in web design or even very much knowlegde about how the whole ebusiness process works.  I`m still learning that, as most of us are.  If you want to look at it, it`s The Anniversary Shop in my signature line below.
Anyway, I want to change the focus of my site from just selling gifts to providing resources for marriage and relationships.  I want to provide information to encourage and support marriage along with resources that married couples are looking for.  I will still provide gifts, but probaby through affiliates, though I don`t know that yet.
I have about 10 days to come up with information for my consultation with the design team.  So, I`ve said all this to ask for your help.
What have you searched for or might be interested in searching for in regards to marriage and relationships?
What features would you use in a site focused on marriage/relationships?
What kind of information would you want all in one site and not have to look at lots of different sites to find it?
Can you give me examples of sites you like and a few sites you don`t like, whether they are marriage/relationship related or not, and tell me why you like or don`t like that site?  Layout, navigation, availability of what you were looking for, etc.
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks in advance for all your input.


  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    Yes, Brian, it was your post that led me to WebDesignFromScratch.  It took me a while to track it down again.
    Thanks for the suggestion.  I put it on my list.
    Congrats on your new baby.  Kind of feels like we`re in the same boat!
  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    Great ideas to think about!
    Yes, I will definitely find out what I can do with the home page once I have it.  I certainly need to be able to add pages easily and make necessary changes.  Having specific questions to ask helps me.
    I am still trying to figure out the answers to Craig`s questions, though I`ve been thinking through them for a while.  I started out wanting couples to celebrate anniversaries, not to just see it as another day that has come and gone.  Marriage should be celebrated - snoring and all!  But celebrating also entails more than gifts.
    I like Craig`s statement "celebrate an ongoing enjoyment of each other`s company, friendship, intimacy, and so forth."  Which, to me, entails working through the rough spots to make it back to the place where couples can enjoy and celebrate together once again.
    Marriage counseling could be a resource that I would link to, but is definitely not the main focus.  While my husband is a counselor, I am not working toward making this a counseling site, and neither is he.
    I still want to focus on marriage, which includes celebrating anniversaries, but maybe not just celebrating anniversaries.  That`s partly why I`m here.  So all of you can ask the questions that will help me figure out the answers.
  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    Craig, thanks for helping me keep the main thing the main thing.  I am glad to hear that you came away from my site with the impression that I wanted to celebrate anniversaries, even with a less than stellar presentation.  I appreciate your feedback and do like the idea of continuing to focus on celebrating marriage and anniversaries and presenting ways to "get back to" the joy of marriage even though sometimes it is hard.
    Nikole, as for my husband, he`s not licensed yet as a therapist.  He has a master`s degree and is working toward licensure, but he`s not there yet.  In fact, he just graduated last June and started counseling in September.  While we may bring him and his multi-million dollar book deal into the equation at some point, we aren`t ready for that yet.  We`ll put that in the long-range planning side of things.
    Keep the ideas coming.  It is helping me stay focused and determine what I need to know before I work with the designers.
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    Sorry but marriage is antique thinking. It was invented in the dark ages when they treated a variety of ailments by bleeding people with leeches and when women were the property of their husbands! Now we have antibiotics and no fault divorce. Marriage needs an update. Rather than celebrating the ideals of marriage, which is pure marketing and actually feeds the problem of unsatisfactory marriages, why not run a campaign based on gratitude and satisfaction. [Or you could just run a campaign based on new thinking and old thinking. Modernize Your Marriage or something.]
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    p.s. The preceding post was written by a completely happy bachelor.
  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    My focus will remain marriage - and the celebration of it.  I know people who are happy being unmarried and many who are happy being married.  I don`t want to be "all things to all people."  I do, however, feel that marriage does not have to have anything to do with needing antibiotics or leeches or anyone being "owned" by anyone else.
    But this post is not about the merits or demerits of marriage.  It`s about the focus my particular site will take.
    There are plenty of sites out there catering to satisfaction in any and all forms.  My particular form happens to be marriage.
  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    Thanks for the votes of confidence.  No offense was taken by CookieMonster`s comment.
    Not everyone will be interested in a site devoted to celebrating marriage, but then again not everyone will be interested in a site devoted to happy bachelors either.  I guess that`s what keeps this thing we call the world wide web go around.
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    I have nothing against marriage! Just don`t want one for myself!
  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    I have nothing against marriage! Just don`t want one for myself!
    I don`t have anything against happy bachelors either.  I just don`t want to be one.
  • cjpeepscjpeeps subscriber Posts: 5
    Great food for thought, Craig.  Thanks!
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