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Please critique Homeberries.com for over all flow

JenBJenB subscriber Posts: 2
edited March 2008 in Website Critique
Homeberries.com is my baby, where I design and sell my embroidery designs as a download file.
I am working in a niche market that still has a lot of growth possibilities. It`s kind of a craft revival of sorts.
I designed the site myself using Yahoo - Sitebuilder, Xara Xtreme for the graphics and a years worth of doing and redoing. I do not know how to code. I make all of my graphics myself and I`ve worked hard to keep it fresh and clean.
I`ve tried using a shopping cart and I didn`t like the limitations it allowed me for overall design. I use paypal now for transactions and e-junkie for the downloads.
I`m looking forward to suggestions and comments.
Jennie Baer


JenB7/10/2008 3:54 PM


  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member

    I think your graphics are very well suited to your sites topic. The thread/loop things ( sorry I`m ignorant on what they are called ) at the top that act as a menu are a neat idea.
    There are a couple of downsides.
    Your main page is nothing but images, which create longer load times and use more bandwidth.
    They do nothing for helping with SEO. Search engine spiders want to see text, they don`t "read" images.
    Some pages have the page background and trim images, some don`t. You will look more professional if they are all the same.
    Basically non existant.

  • barbhd34barbhd34 subscriber Posts: 1
    If you want to use images .... 
    and I`ll have to echo WebLine`s comment above .. all images are tough (impossible) for search engines (Google) to read ...
    So, if you really want to use all images please add Alt Tags to your images so search engines can "read/index" the site and consumers can pre-read what`s going on with your site before the images load.
    Your images have the code for Alt Tags already ... so just add an image description to the existing code: alt="" should be alt="image of Homeberries embroidery patterns featuring flowers" or something like that.
    BTW - love your idea, might just have to go download a pattern or two
    - barb
  • JenBJenB subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks so much for the tips. I am going to see if I can fix the Alt Tags tonight.
    Should I change it for all of my wording images or just my photos??
  • barbhd34barbhd34 subscriber Posts: 1
    all images
    Google will thank you.
    - barb
  • JenBJenB subscriber Posts: 2
    I added Alt tags to the homepage, could you check it for me please and let me know if I did it right?
    Also, Webline, I see what your saying about keeping all of the pages looking the same. I`ll make it a goal to update the out of date pages within the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the comments.
  • JenBJenB subscriber Posts: 2
    That`s a good suggestion, however I try to stay away from doing "crafts for sale" because it would make it harder to mass produce with my budget. However, having a person send me a drawing and making it into a finished pattern isn`t a bad idea. Computer work is always quicker than hand work. Thanks for the idea.
    P.S. still looking for feedback on my homepage Alt tags.
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member

    That will help, but adding standard text would be a lot more beneficial.
    Another thing is that there is so much code created by your site builder that the code to content ratio is only 1%. meaning that your main page is 99% code and 1% actual textual content. Not ideal for search engines.

  • JenBJenB subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks for all of the advice. I will have to adjust it in time though as I`m working on some more projects with tighter deadlines. It seems I won`t be able to fix all of the issues in one night. However, I am grateful for the list of "to do`s" and I will work on them when I get a design break.
    Thank you,
  • 1ExportJunky1ExportJunky subscriber Posts: 0
    I like your Site, if you place well, You will do well!
  • barbhd34barbhd34 subscriber Posts: 1
    Alt tags look great .. the font size on the Alt Tag visible on the site before the image loads is pretty small, but your images are now readable by search engine and text readers.
    If you can make the font size on the Alt Tags larger that would be even better.
    Great job
    - barb
  • JenBJenB subscriber Posts: 2
    LOL - you put a smile on my face.
    I agree, at this point I don`t really want to change the image heavy site. It`s who I am and the product is represented best with some pretties around it.
    I will keep working on "fixing" the issues. I may never get to the great SEO superstar status, but fortunately I am already ranked as #1 on Google for "primitive stitching". I also am going to work on getting more booklets published and advertise on different forums, so not all my apples are in one basket.
    I am really pleased with the positive feedback everyone has given me. I hope I am able to continue to please.
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