10 Tips On Creating A More Professional Looking Site

    June 5, 2003

Hi Garrett:
I have redesigned my home page almost 27 times, and I am still not happy. (o.k., I exagerated, but you know what I mean). The link is in my signature below: www.porteronlinepublishing.com. Please let me know what I need to do to make it look “professional”.

Thanks, Elke

Hi Elke,

I just stopped by porter online publishing and wanted to give you my first impressions.

1) Left justify your content — centered looks too… “centery.”

2) Left justification leads us to columns (I like mine on the left if they contain navigation buttons, and right for related, but not-as-important information…). Some people cry “column blindness!” but I think they’re necessary and people tend to look for them if they’re getting a feel for what your site’s about.

3) You’re squeezing too much on to your front page. What is your key message? If I only saw your front page, what message would you want me to take away from it?

4) Your bottom “About Us” link reads “About POP .” Change that back to “About Us.” I thought you were referring to POP mailers at first.

5) Typo on your “About Us” page: “fulfil” should read “fulfill”

6) I like your logo.

7) I’m not crazy about the “squarishness” of your links. Have you tried rounding things out some, smoothing over those rough edges? What about a little dimension to the links?

8) On your “services and help” page I need to see some more contact links. Your email address is at the bottom, but I want to see your phone number and address at least once.

9) If you have specific articles that you’ve written for your newsletter regarding these topics, send your visitors to these articles from your “services and help” page.

10) Kill the classifieds… unless they’re popular in your newsletter, and actually serve to boost reader interest in your newsletter. Ask your readers if you like them. To me, it distracts from the point of your site.

11) Also, your links page seems to be for DIY webmasters. Is this really your target audience?

Let me know what you think of these suggestions, and tell me if you think

Best Wishes,

Hi Garrett,
The only real issue I took is with the word “fulfil”, since it is actually “Canadian”. Yes, there are a few words that we fellow countries can’t agree on: centre vs. center, humorous vs. humourous etc. But everything else sounds about right. My logo was designed by a friend who is a graphic artist; that is why it looks good. As you can probably tell, design is not my strong suit.

The other thing was that I have read a newsletter (ezine, actually), that suggests that instead of writing: About us, you should be more specific and write “About your company product”; so that is why I wrote that. (About POP; since Porter Online Publishing is just too long) But I can easily change it back.

I am away this weekend, so I will not be able to work on my site until next week. I am really excited about some positive change. Thank you so much for your time.


Hi Elke,

lol! I didn’t know that about “fulfil!”

You’re right too about making your text links specific… hm… that was a bogus suggestion on my part. You might want to actually go with the longer name just to get the added link benefit. That will be a big button though… :)

Let me know when you’ve made changes and we can publish your “after” look.

Best Wishes,

Would you like to submit your site to Garrett for a “Quick Fix?” Send your requests to GFrench@iEntry.com.

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.