Can You Have Too Much Content On Your Site?

    June 30, 2003

This is a peer review of by Mary, of

I do believe this site has too much content. It makes for a messy web site. Simple is better and makes for easier navigation.

Creating content that sells, searches well, and reads well for visitors is one of the challenges we face. Some body text for each page is search engine specific, but other pages are quite heavy on what should be visitor reading material. What are others thoughts on providing visitors with detailed content as opposed to simplified images that break down content?

I do believe this site has too much content. It makes for a messy web site. Simple is better and makes for easier navigation. My recommendation is to put the highlights on each page with a “synopsis of information” and the bulk of the content in a link “for more detailed information” or in the FAQ section. Consistency is important too. I recommend keeping the look and feel consistent (i.e. with PHP includes and CSS style). I also recommend a maximum of two font styles.

Ease of navigation: while being inclined to use expandable DHTML navigation menus; we have seen it have a negative impact in regards to search engine bots (spiders). (Obviously for both visitors & and search engines) Considering the site navigation as a whole, what recommendations can people provide?

Plain and simple: I do not like the navigation on this site at all. The navigation is not easy and some messages and links are not clear. Links to information seem to be everywhere. This site seems to offer so many services (maybe too many), that a “search” feature is recommended. The site is not consistent from page to page. What is your “one” specialty? Stress that. Offer all other services as an added plus. If the prospective client cannot find it, then the information is not there (in their mind).

Why should I choose you? (recommended page addition)
Testimonials (recommended page addition)
Search (recommended page addition)
Privacy Policy (recommended page addition)

Some sites to look at that show easy navigation and consistency (not my own): (not easy on the eyes, but consistent and easy navigation) (easy navigation – all the info I need) (great portfolio page) (might be over simplified, but a simple, straight forward and “to the point” site) (consistent, alot of information, easy to navigate) (simple, consistent)

Most well designed hosting/design site layouts I have seen use fixed width body content, which is far easier to plan and maintain when much of that contents presentation is reliant on flashy images. Our content was designed to be variable, which can be troublesome at times for content positioning. Recommendations to improve the general layout of body content would help greatly.

I personally stray away from fixed width. However, with a site such as yours, fixed width might be a good idea, especially if your main navigation buttons are at the top of the page. Should you do a “sidebar” type of navigation systems, then I would suggest not having a fixed width. With the feedback I’ve gotten from various sources, the “sidebar” navigation seems to be the easiest for surfers. Right now, you have a right-handed sidebar with so little there. I recommend using that space for your links – a tree of links would be most appropriate. With links being at the right, rather than top or left, it will make your content show up first when being spidered by the search engines. I recommend changing your links and using that sidebar space to the right as a “tree” of links.

Also, the graphics you have in the right-hand “sidebar” space don’t match the “look and feel” of your site.

On any hosting/design site, what things do you expect to see first or have catch your attention first, that we may be lacking or could use improvement.

The first thing I expect to see is “professional & affordable web hosting solutions” or your main service and possibly pricing, (i.e. “Professional web hosting solutions starting at just $6.00!”), with a testimonial directly under. Your logo should be more impressive as well. When I went to your web site, “Business Solutions” stood out, which made me wonder what exactly you offer. Yes, you have “web design, hosting & e-commerce” above that, but it doesn’t stand out.

The Support area will eventually be a major focus, but for now it is rather empty. We could use suggestions on support content to utilize at least until we can invest more time in this area. The support area actually has a dual focus, A) providing support for our current clientele and B) providing an area for potential clients to answer to presales questions and resources.

In my opinion, your support area should be your main focus. This is where all your detailed information should be. Many people browse through FAQ’s before contacting a company for services.

The PHPBB message board is a good idea. However, it does not match the “look and feel” of your site. It looks like a PHPBB message board was simply copied and pasted into the page.

While we are proud of our accomplishments in gaining numerous top 10 search engine rankings (in our chosen well targeted niches) and benefit from a good amount of traffic, we still struggle in retaining visitors and converting them to clients (sales). Any input provided by your readership would be greatly appreciated.

  1. The keywords in the meta tags have so much repetition and many words could be added. The content on the site might make up for that. Alot of text content is good, but can get overwhelming to the prospective client surfing your site.
  2. I recommend removing the meta description.
  3. The toll free number on each page is great.
  4. I see on the message board a reference to a “control panel” yet I didn’t see that in your hosting plan. If you have a control panel, this should be stressed throughout your site and a demo should be available.
  5. The last link on the portfolio page is a dead link
  6. I’m assuming the link “maintenance” under the “web design – other” link is under construction. Also, the word “maintenance” on that page is spelled wrong.
  7. The “contact us link” at the top takes you to a form. You do have your toll free number on there, however a company name and address should be added as well, along with an email address.
  8. Web site hosting page has (*) with no footnotes on the page to refer to.
  9. Web site hosting page should contain a “visible” link to compare plans. I finally found the link… Do you offer Real audio/video streaming? I don’t see that on the list of services.
  10. It seems that some of your links on the “portfolio” page list the same sites as links that show what your clients made with your web site design tool. It makes it a little confusing. Did you actually do the website design for the sites in your portfolio or did your clients do their own design with your software? Your portfolio page should contain information on exactly what you did for your clients. Separate them into categories of services offered. If I want you to do a logo for me – I only want to see samples of logos you have done and not have to sift through to figure out what your portfolio means.
  11. It says you offer web design/redesign, flash design and logo/graphic design – yet there are no samples. On your “flash design page” there is nothing listed under “What flash services do you provide that can benefit me?”
  12. An online demo of your site studio would be a plus.
  13. On your website redesign page, I would remove the “A) B)” at the bottom. You have bolded “Change is good” with a space, then a semi-colon (typo). Again, samples would be good.
  14. I recommend some re-wording to make the reader feel as though you are talking to them and offering them some economic value.

All and all, this site seems “messy” to me. Information does not seem to be organized and consistent. It is difficult to navigate and, on some pages, there is too much information – on other pages, not enough information is provided.

Web Design & Administration
Twin Cities, Minnesota

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