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Continental - Redone

ContinentalPrintingSuppliesContinentalPrintingSupplies subscriber Posts: 7
edited January 2007 in Website Critique
Good morning SUN community.
After taking your advice I have redone most of my website.  It now has online ordering and we now accept credit cards.  If you agree, the site is done and ready to go.  I like the background.  I like the nav bar.  I like my list of customers.  I like the site in general.  However, I have been told by some that the wording could be more professional.
That being said, I am coming to you with my breastplate on and ready for some real hard criticism.  Please take your time and click around.  The click thru to my product line is located in two places, once on the home page and once on the product page.  For a reason.  Once you click thru, I am not 100% responsible for design, as this is a 24/7 shopping cart I have chosen to use.  I hope everything is user friendly and looks and acts professionally.  I may not be abe to change everything you think should be changed, but tell me anyway.
English is not my 2nd language, it is my first and I do not like to see it abused, so feel free to let me know how my wording could be tweaked.  I feel this is my only down side right now.
Thanking you in advance and ready for some serious critiquing.
Respectfully yours.


  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14

    ... I agree the writing could be improved. The font style (visually) and verbiage could be more engaging.In respect to the font style, I would suggest only bolding the main points rather than the entire paragraph. It feels a bit stuffy as I read.Functionality seemed good, but there really wasn`t a lot of content for me to become involved.All in all, I was not turned off by the look and feel. But I would likely not, return because it really wasn`t clear  to me what you have to offer.
  • vincent.
    thank you for your input. but, again. . . how to fix the problem??  how do i make the writing more clear?  what is wrong, exactly?  stuffy, how??
    ElidS . . thank you.  the background stays, that was made clear in the beginning.  as for hiring a web designer, it is not an option.  unless you are offering services pro quo.
    the only personal information the visitor asks for is your zip code, and that is only to verify if you have to pay sales tax.  as also previously mentioned i have no control over this option.  however, i have made it perfectly clear that i do not like it and do agree with you.  hopefully this will be able to be bypassed in the future.
    thank you both for pointing out that it is not clear what i do.  seeing that i sell office products, i did not see the dilemma.  i don`t know what my customers will feel about it, seeing that they already know what i do.  however, i am also trying to reach others (prospective customers) as well.
    if the wording sucks and someone can tell me exactly why, maybe i`ll try to fix that as well.
    thank you very much for your time.  if you can be a bit more explicit i`d love to fix the problems you have mentioned.
    regards.ContinentalPrintingSupplies2007-1-12 14:40:25
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    The copywriting definitely needs work. Here`s a link to some information on copywriting.
    If you`re interested in learning more about copywriting and writing marketing communications, look at some of my other posts.
     CookieMonster2007-1-13 0:29:51
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14

    ... It is difficult for me to describe what is wrong with the copy content. I am not an accomplished enough writer to give suggestions. I just didn`t feel motivated to continue reading... I have been doing all kinds of reading about, "how to write effectively." I still don`t get it. I leave much of it in the hands of my writer. I hope she`s doing her job.
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    What`s wrong with the copywriting? There is no "copywriting" on the page. The writing on the page is standard-issue, amateur quality, right from the "welcome" onward. [You wanted some honest feedback.] If hiring a web designer is not an option, and you`re doing the work yourself, at least find a nice template design ... purchase one or find something free.
    Unfortunately the copywriting is a more difficult problem to solve. Thing is, writing marketing communications takes real experience. It also takes a fair amount of time to get it right. This goes back to the concept of "offer -vs- do". If you`re selling printing/office supplies then that`s what you "do". What is it that you offer? Convenience? Pricing? Something? I really can`t go on and on about this because I`ve written a dozen or more posts about "offer -vs- do". The key to good copywriting, besides experience, practice, understanding words, and the "eye", is understanding that no one cares what a business "does". What a business "offers" is much more interesting. If you`re handling your own copywriting duties then write about what you *offer*. Forget about what you do.
    On the bottom paragraph of the frontpage, you talk about what you "do". Besides talking about what you "do", which is always a mistake unless it`s on the "about" page, you`re stating several different positions. This is a bad idea. Most visitors cannot and will not bother to try and figure out if you`re local or long distance. Does it matter? How about a single page web site that says "Low cost office supplies and friendly service. No matter where you live." Don`t forget your phone number!
    Using "Low cost office supplies and friendly service. No matter where you live." is a perfect example of what you "offer". Using clear, concise, plainspoken language ensures that the customer instantly understands and positions your business/product/service in their mind.
    I hope this all helps!!
  • hey!  You guys are wonderful!  thanks so much.
    frndchps, you have taken me from where i was to where i am and have shown me the error of redundace.  thanks so much.  2 things ppl are not aware of. 
    #1 this is a templated website, i can adjust the copy, the color and some of the look and feel, but not all.#2 the product shopping cart has mostly NO changing allowed.  it to is a template
    I chose this shopping cart company based on price, but mainly on customer service.  there were 2 or 3 companies in my price range that dealt with my catalog, and all i had to do was pay them and they attach their cart to my existing site with a click thru.  however, it was this company who were willing to answer most of my ??`s thru email and then when that became overwhelming, they simply picked up the phone and called me.  unlike others who said `call so and so, she can help you.`  i like e-mail and they impressed me thru their willingness to use it.
    anyway . . . you have brought me a long way, and i appreciate it.  you may be a novicce, but not all of us are professionals, and we need critiquing from all view points.  i can`t thank you enough.
    victor . . . same goes for you.  your advice is truthful, and honest.  gentle and not condemning.  thank you.  when you state you were not interested in reading on, i have to say i got sick of reading it myself, but thought that it was because i had read it like a million times.  now i know it is not so.  go figure.  i truly appreciate the honesty of saying that you don`t get it either.  now i don`t feel so all alone.
    cookiemonster . . . ah ha!!  now i get what you don`t like!!  maybe the same lies true for the rest of us.  yes.  it all helps.  i will look at your ideas and if it`s ok, i`ll just borrow your tag line `low cost office supplies and friendly service, no matter where you live.`  i like that.  being somewhat of a `professional` i don`t want ppl to think that i am an idiot because my sentences end in prepositions or something else as lame as glaring grammer mistakes.  will the average person appreciate that i am down to earth??  maybe, but what about the purchasing agent of a large corporation??  i NEED them to think i have somewhat of an idea about properly putting a sentence together. (or `how to properly format a sentence`)
    please throw out more ways to go from boring to exciting.  i want this site to pay for itself.  then maybe i can afford to ditch the templates and make a dynamic site where i pay thousands of dollars in website design and layout, and make the images large enough for the user to view intricately.
    i will make the changes to the best of my limited ability and we`ll see how it goes.
    thanks so much.  i will look at the sites and posts you have mentioned and keep working on it.  thanks again!!!!
  • OK Ladies and Gents, I have taken another stab at thecopywriting on the home page on my website.  Not a very good stab, but wanted to see if i was on the right track at all, or still way off base.  either way, it`ll probably stay for a while, as i have to finish getting my paper catalogs out in the hands of my customers.
    Still and all, if you could . . . I`d appreciate it.
    Also, I think I fixed my links to take you from the home page into the shopping cart.  I think you`ll like the way it works now.
    I have put together an instruction booklet to give to my customers, for reference.
    Frndchps:  I tried to get the click thru for `products` to cick straight thru to the shopping cart, but it is templated there and only allows the menu to be used to navigate to another page in the site.  thanks for the thought though.
    I am terribly interested in seeing if i have made any headway at all.
    thanks in advance, once again to all.
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    An improvement.
    The "low cost office supplies, no matter where you live" part needs to be in large, bold typeface. Get rid of the "welcome" and "thank you" part and use the low cost line instead.
    The problem with "welcome" and "thanks" is that they do not communicate anything about what you offer. You can say thanks after someone orders.
    There is still too much text on the front page.
    Here`s another article on copywriting that I wrote recently:
  • thanks cookiemonster,
    glad to see i`ve made an improvement!!
    OK, so i broke down and took out the thank you and welcome, but left the excess wording, will look at that closer later.  thanks again.
  • Dadministrator.
    Thank you for your input.
    Please read above.  as i mentioned a few time these ARE TEMPLATES.  i cannot stress this enough.  i pay for the patriotic pages thru earthlink for $19.95 p/m, it is included in an email program i pay for.  as for the other pages, i need all to understand that the pages you are viewing would cost me thousands and thousands of dollars to create if i chose to go ANY other way.  unless you are offering your services pro quo, please be specific as to your thoughts on what is wrong and how it can be corrected.  i have researched this and there are litterally 35000+ items that are listed in this site and are constantly updated as pricing changes and items are added and deleted.  i do not do a thing.  it costs me less than $200 p/m.  the only pages i can adjust are the ones that have the flag on them.  so please be specific as to your complaints/suggestions.  i am willing to change what can be changed, if i feel that the complaint is merited.
    again.  thank you for your input, please provide details as to what you feel is so dreadful, so i can better adjust.
  • 337design337design subscriber Posts: 3
    Two cents from 337 Design - The Website Company1.  Clarity.  In the split second that most new viewers will take a look at this site, they will think it`s either an American Flag company, or a place to Eagles printed on stuff.  Get some product images into that wild montage, some binders, filing supplies, copiers, printers, etc.2.  Try and get product images into your shopping cart.  The text link look pretty amateur hour.Don`t mean no harm... just trying to make you some extra cash!
  • Thank you Ben.
    Definitely didn`t see the patriotic theme as a hazard.  didn`t look at it your way, hmmm.  the shopping cart does in fact have images once you narrow down the particular item you want to see.  personally, i like to see a lot of pictures, but have been told by many that they would just like to get where they are going and not have to wait for images to load.  still having a tough time with that one.  as for `the text link`, i`m not sure i know which you mean.  not sure i`m following you.
    thank you for the feedback.  would appreciate more.
    boy and i really like my flag page.  ;o)  (however, willing to lose it to make money)  (  ;o)ContinentalPrintingSupplies2007-2-5 16:39:7
  • Ben,  I`ve been thinking.  Most all of my letterhead and correspondence has a picture in the uper left hand corner of the page that has a ship mast with a large US flag flying in the wind.  My flyers and all my advertising has the same picture in use on them.  I have taken this to the fullest with the red white and blue theme.  My next set of promotional pens will have the flag on them, stripes on one end and stars on the other.  I`m sure you`ve seen them.  As much as I see your view point on being a flag manufacturer, or flag printer, or the like, I think I am definitely going to keep the flag background, as mentioned previously.
    I have put together an instruction book for my current and prospective customers to help them as they surf thru the website, explaining that the `back and forth` browser button does not work on my site.  So that will help with that issue, and yes, I know it doesn`t help with people that `find` my site, and surf without my contacting them to begin with, but it will make life a little easier for those that have been contacted.
    So for now, I guess the site will stay as is, unless someone is willing to write my copywright pro quo better than what I have.  I have ordered some type of professional website tool that earthlink is offering.  So once that gets here and I have time to look it over and see what it has to say, I will be happy to show you my new and updated site once again for more critiquing. 
    I thank all of my critiques.  I think my site will do for now.  I have to move on to other projects demanding my time.  Please feel free to continue to tell me how you think the site would work best, and why, along with EXACTLY what I should do to change.  I will continue to look them over and let you know how I feel.  Yes, I know that you can`t please everyone.  So you`ve got to please yourself.  But, I do want the site to pay for itself, and your input would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks again.ContinentalPrintingSupplies2007-2-12 10:25:8
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