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Thread: Need opinions on my new business website

  1. #1

    Need opinions on my new business website

    I think I've got it done up pretty good, I've put a lot of hours into writing it, it was not easy as I'm not a very good writer, not one of my strong points. Its a very limited layout as far as e shop business sites go because it is a very inexpensive one at only $9.95 per month. I think they try to make things harder and limiting to try and bump you up to the more expensive site layouts. I ended up going with the picture of the spaceman on the right as it was a template picture, any other picture I tried to download looked stretched and there was not a thing I could do about it as its just the way the software is. So I kinda figured the spaceman was cute and gave the feeling like if your so far away you'd better trust my temperature monitor. Believe it or not they dont give you an option of a bigger product picture on the main page, hence the tiny little thumbnail, the good news is when you got to Items you can expand it and I say to do that on the bottom of the page.

    Hopefully everyone is in a agreement the Spaceman was a good idea, it may seem kinda strange for my product, but its really the only thing I could seem to make work short of going with a more expensive site layout. I did have a picture of a frozen house there before, but it looked all stretched and not good. I think I did do a good job of my description of the product and making people see why I designed the product as I did.

    Heres the site www.freezewarn.com at this point I'm ready to really start marketing this site and plan to really cruise around the web and spread the word around about my product. I'm also thinking about doing some radio and a add in AARP magazine and stuff like that.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  2. #2
    Well I guess it must be ok, 54 people have looked at this thread, so I guess no news is good news.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  3. #3
    I took a look at the site Curt, but I have to say I found it a bit too much like hard work to understand exactly what you were offering. I realize you need a fair bit of text to explain the product, but I think it would help to have a much bigger image of the product, perhaps in situ, so that the homepage immediately draws your eye to it (and maybe a photo of a flooded house to show what disaster could be avoided). While the astronaut is a nice image (the far-from-home idea) it also does confuse a bit and make me think that the product is very hi-tech and therefore not easy to use. Maybe that's just me being put off too easily.
    If I were you I would spend a bit more on setting up the site in a format that gives you a bit more freedom to play around with the graphics and visuals. I bet the product is really useful for many but I don't think this layout now would encourage sales.
    By the way, when I opened the site I got a blank page first with SKIP on it - is that supposed to happen. It would be nice if it opened straight to the homepage.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    I think they try to make things harder and limiting to try and bump you up to the more expensive site layouts. I ended up going with the picture of the spaceman on the right as it was a template picture, any other picture I tried to download looked stretched and there was not a thing I could do about it as its just the way the software is. So I kinda figured the spaceman was cute and gave the feeling like if your so far away you'd better trust my temperature monitor. Believe it or not they dont give you an option of a bigger product picture on the main page, hence the tiny little thumbnail, the good news is when you got to Items you can expand it and I say to do that on the bottom of the page.
    There are actually workarounds for manipulating just about anything on a webpage. The problem is I don't know how the webpages are being served. Did you install an ECommerce software package such as Zen Cart or osCommerce? Or is this software provided by your host for a cost of $9.95/month?
    Last edited by cvelusc; 11-12-2008 at 04:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the help Carbar, no the first page should be a flash image saying "Is your house frozen" Maybe you dont have a flash program loaded on your computer so it cant do the first page? But you could be right and it might be worthwhile for me to spend a little more money (like $5.00) each month for a upgraded website structure with better pictures, more pictures and more freedom to change things around rather than just a standard format. I'm concerned if the website is not right and I spend all kinds of money marketing the product and sending people to the website and then I'm not able to close sales I could end up being out a lot of money. Your feedback is appreciated. I'm going to really think about a website upgrade, maybe even get a professional involved to help me as I dont have much experience in website creation. Marketing this product right is important and it could me the difference between staying in business or being done.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cvelusc View Post
    There are actually workarounds for manipulating just about anything on a webpage. The problem is I don't know how the webpages are being served. Did you install an ECommerce software package such as Zen Cart or osCommerce? Or is this software provided by your host for a cost of $9.95/month?

    I understand what you're trying to signify with Spaceperson, although
    For the cart I'm just using paypal, there is a option when people click on the buy icon on the mainpage to just use CC cards via paypal without having to be a paypal member or they can log into paypal and draw the funds direct from their bank account.

    I actually do kinda like the Spaceman. Just about every other website selling similiar product to my mine are the same and kinda boring. They always just show frozen houses. I kinda thought the spaceman was kind of a humorous approach and making one feel far away from home and out of control as to what happens with their home unless they have my product and can monitor their house to get someone to correct things for them if there was a problem. Heck even the spaceman could call his home via houston mission control to make sure everything was ok I guess why I asked for input was I was nervous that maybe my head was too much in the engineering clouds and I might be confusing the average person with what my product really does. I tried to make things as clear as I could in my intro, I spent a real lot of time writing and re-writing it. Writing is not one of my strong points. I'm really not having much interest in my product yet, then again the website is kinda sitting and the only real place I have it advertised on is ebay and most people dont go to ebay to buy a product like mine.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  7. #7
    The other thing too is when you go into "Items" you can get side by side pictures front and backside of the unit. I'm just a little nervous that maybe its a mistake not having them right there on the front page as people can tend to not navigate around much on sites and then just go to the next site. Just really debating on upgrading the site, I'm just trying to keep my costs low. In the summer months I'll be stuck with that higher monthly cost and not be selling much product as this thing mainly sells in the winter, just not sure I can live with the site the way it currently is. I think they do that intentially, give you that little tiny product picture so you are more apt to jump up to the more expensive site. $9.95 per month is about as cheap as they get for e commerce site. A lot of sites are $30 or $40.00 per month including Yahoo.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    For the cart I'm just using paypal, there is a option when people click on the buy icon on the mainpage to just use CC cards via paypal without having to be a paypal member or they can log into paypal and draw the funds direct from their bank account.
    Ahh, I was confused by the shopping cart software because when I clicked on the cart link I saw that pages were being transferred from Perfora.net. Do you mind me asking what you're getting for the $9.95/month? Is this a hosting fee? Does it include the site's current template?
    I actually do kinda like the Spaceman. Just about every other website selling similiar product to my mine are the same and kinda boring. They always just show frozen houses. I kinda thought the spaceman was kind of a humorous approach and making one feel far away from home and out of control as to what happens with their home unless they have my product and can monitor their house to get someone to correct things for them if there was a problem. Heck even the spaceman could call his home via houston mission control to make sure everything was ok I guess why I asked for input was I was nervous that maybe my head was too much in the engineering clouds and I might be confusing the average person with what my product really does. I tried to make things as clear as I could in my intro, I spent a real lot of time writing and re-writing it. Writing is not one of my strong points. I'm really not having much interest in my product yet, then again the website is kinda sitting and the only real place I have it advertised on is ebay and most people dont go to ebay to buy a product like mine.
    Only a portion of my comment was left because it appears that vBulletin forces posts if you simply leave them at the "Edit Message" page. The only comment I have about the graphics is that I wonder if potential customers will make the connection between the product and spaceperson within a reasonable amount of time.

    Here's a website that I hacked together a few summers ago for my father: http://www.oregonwildmushrooms.com/ . The business never materialized, but I still enjoyed putting together the site as I learned a lot about ECommerce software packages. The site runs off of osCommerce (free) and a Linux host. I present this to you as simply an idea of what you can get with osCommerce, $9.95/month hosting, a $50 template, and a $50 dollar graphic.

    The graphic is what really made the site and I'm very pleased how it turned out. I had a family member (who's a graphic artist) smash together the graphic for $50. If you're interested in a graphic for yourself then let me know and I'll turn you onto my contact. She's great and provides excellent service in a timely manner. This goes for anyone looking for graphics as well. Let me know and I'll turn you onto this person.

    I think a lot could be done with the text to make the pages appear cleaner by possibly changing the formatting of the text. Separating/adding sentences so that paragraphs are formed will make it a little easier to read. However, this may not even be necessary considering your potential customer base. If these customers are in fact "snowbirds," then you'll be far better off with larger text. There are a lot of guides on presenting text to a particular customer base and I think it would pay off to conduct some additional research.

    Overall, I think the product is solid and will sell if presented correctly. Add some focused marketing and you may be able to turn a profit. I'm wishing you the very best of luck.
    Last edited by cvelusc; 11-12-2008 at 05:00 PM.

  9. #9
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    I agree with cvelusc I think you need to change your text, it seems like there is to much or it is all bunched together. I think the spaceman's gotta go, you need a picture of a flooded basement, or something of that nature. Maybe not so much writing about the product, maybe you could put in a page about us, or something. Just ideas you asked..........

  10. #10
    Its frusterating because I wish I could just add pictures of snowy houses on the right column, that would be perfect. I dunno, though, I still kinda like the spaceman. Yes the $9.95 is for hosting and the templates set up the whole sha bang, its really not a bad deal, I cant complain. But to put a extra 100 bucks or so into the project at this point might be well worth my while. I'll keep that web designer idea in mind, still trying to figure out if to go forward and make any changes, I'm getting kind of tired of messing with site as I've tried so many different things and idea all ready.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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