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Suggestions on website....

robcoolrobcool subscriber Posts: 1
edited November 2008 in Website Critique
Hello, all!
I would appreciate a critical eye on http://www.wyandottewinery.com.  We are a small winery in Columbus, Ohio working to create a regional look-and-feel for our wines branded "Columbus Classics".  I would be interested in feedback on navigation, content, and other suggestions.
Thanks for the help!


  • toobizyladytoobizylady subscriber Posts: 1
    I like it. The clinking wine glasses are a nice touch.
  • redfishredfish subscriber Posts: 10
    Just a few quick notes, but I`ll come back and add more a little later:
    I like the look - it`s well designed...
    And the use of alt tags for the menu is very wise (although often overlooked)
    however there are a few things to worry about...
    1) flash: not everyone has flash installed but you don`t have a replacement image or text incase they don`t have it... also can you optimize the flash?  it takes a long time to load for what is in it
    2) size: even on a 1024x768 screen the page doesn`t fit (which probably means you`re using a big screen, a wide screen, or you like small icons because you`ve got your screen resolution maxed)
    Also, it might look a little neater if your menu buttons were touching each other
    There are some coding issues with the site -- but I`m not sure if you`ve coded it or are able to fix the code yourself.  The use of javascript for rollovers for example (instead of using CSS)...From a visual perspective it`s very appealing and well done... from a coding perspective it`s very good, but there are a few things you could improve.  The biggest concern would be the size of the page - you might want to turn it into one column, or make the right column narrower. 
    If you can too, edit the picture of the happy guy... his face is shaded out... since it`s your front page it`ll make it more appealing -- but it`s definitely not an issue (just an easy fix if you have the software).
  • robcoolrobcool subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for the comments! 
    Julie, I like the little intro too, it is kind of cool!
    1) Hum, good catch on the replacement thing.  Let me take a look at that.  As for optimizing the flash, I can try and figure it out, but it took me a long time to figure out how to customize that flash image to show my winery name.  I am new to flash.
    2) I am not sure I undertand the screen size thing.  Should I reset my screen to 800x600 so that I can see what you are commenting on?
    I will admit to you that I am using Frontpage, so some of the coding issues may come from that.  I do have the experiance to do some coding, so if you can guide me to where it needs some work I will see what I can figure out. 
    Thanks for your input!
  • krakkenseokrakkenseo subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi robcool,
    I like wine and wineries by the way.
    What`s the call to action do you want when someone hits your home page?
    I see your keywords in the meta tag; what`s the aggregate traffic you are currently getting from those keywords you are targeting? Are you happy with that amount of traffic?
    Is this an info site or a money-making site?
    What ways do you want visitors -- organic search engine traffic, pay per click, banner ads, social media traffic?
    You`ll want to take a look at your duplicate content issues.
    If you want this site to be a serious lead generation / sales site, let me know, and I can help you work through that.
  • robcoolrobcool subscriber Posts: 1
    Hello, Eve!

    I do not expect to have a lot of business directly from the website (as in e-commerce sales).  It is too hard to ship wine for a small organization like mine (the laws are terribly complicated).  I want the site to drive people to visit my winery. 
    I do seem to be getting a lot of hits from my tags, but I am not sure exactly how to answer your question.  In October we had about 3200 visits.  My stats show that about   10% of those came from search engines hitting tags.  Many visits come from redirects from websites of associations in Ohio that support the wine and grape industries here.  Does that help?
    As I said above, for now this is primarily an information site, not a money-making site, at least from the standpoint that I do not think making the investment in on-line commerce will help me right now.  Again, shipping wine is too complicated.
    Visitors?  Any way I can get them!   In the context of "who will visit" I think it would be prospective customers that are within a days drive or people who are visiting and looking for something to do.  I do not think I am interested in banner ads, pay per click, etc, right now, but it may be worth looking into if it will drive local traffic.  Social media?  Maybe, if again I can focus on my targets.
    Interested in the duplicate content comment.  You got me thinking with that one!
    Thanks so much!
    robcool11/7/2008 2:27 PM
  • redfishredfish subscriber Posts: 10
    Ya, try resizing your screen to 800x600 and revisiting your site.  You can get away with a slightly larger sized screen as monitor sizes are increasing (but there are still 800x600 users).  But some major websites have opted for websites that look best on 1024x768 so you wouldn`t be alone.  Because you`ve done it in FrontPage (I though you had used a CMS - Content Management System) I`d concentrate first on changing columns.  It`ll probably take some time because you`ll need to edit each page one at a time.
    I also agree with Eve in that you need to have a call to action on your main page.  Set aside some time to think about what you want your web site to accomplish or ideally what you want a visitor to your site to do.  And that can change over time too.  Very generally you want to make more money.  But be specific.  Are you wanting more customers outside your city?  Or are you wanting to get retailers to pick it up?  Or are you wanting to be used at more weddings?  And maybe this goal changes from time to time (but not too frequently!).  But you need to focus the traffic to accomplish what you want.
    Of course you probably do want ALL of these goals, and so your website should be able to assist anyone who might fall into it -- but if you find that a majority of your site visitors are from in-town, cater to them (and maybe provide a highly visible area for people living outside the area).  Or maybe you`re finding that because of an online advertising campaign you`re getting a lot of visitors from around the country -- then maybe the focus on the front page should be on them.
    While making changes to the columns, you might pare down the information on the front page and instead use it as a "gateway".  Think of it as a hallway with doors to other areas of the site.  You want to prominently display the areas that will make you money!redfish11/8/2008 12:10 PM
  • redfishredfish subscriber Posts: 10
    Often people forget that the internet is an advertising medium for businesses more than an information gateway.  Most people don`t really want to know more about your business out of curiosity.  You`d never put a radio ad that was 15 minutes describing all your services and products, changes in the industry, recent events at the store, the history of the company and all about your pets.  On the web, don`t expect that people will spend 15 minutes sifting through that information either.  Be quick and concise.  You can also offer that information, but don`t make them wade through it in order to make a buy.
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