The logo is a little plain and not very professional looking,
The drop shadow effect around the page looks a little tacky and a bit old really.
The nav links on the left are ok, maybe a mouse-over effect would be cool to turn them blue or something.
The yellow is not too bright but might be better if you introduced another colour as well ( blue looks cool with yellow ).
Im not really sure about the SEO but you have some top 100 links etc at the bottom which never hurt, maybe try encouraging visitors to vote for you would be good.
Logo: Yes very plain. I'm deciding what I should do with that, I already explained to the owner our logo needs stepped up a bit. He doesn't want to spend $$$ on it, and I have no $$$ to spend... so I'll just have to redesign myself. MS Paint to my rescue.
Drop Shadow: Some people like it, some don't. I agree, after staring at it for so long, perhaps it's overkill. I'm thinking of a way to change that... maybe a less prominent shadow or just a solid black line...
Nav links: Mouseovers would be good. I never seem to get around to that. I'm going to just redo the whole menu though, make most of the buttons just text links but use graphics to categorize them.
Yellow: Some visitors declare they've been blinded by it. I think it depends what monitor you happen to have... Blue would look nice. My dilemma is always been that yellow/black/white/ and some red are the company colors. But if people are leaving the site because of it then I'm just going to have to tell the owner, hey, we want returning visitors, we're just going to have to throw some better colors into the mix.
Encourage them to vote for me... yea, I guess that would help!
It may not have the blazing sleek corporate look, but frankly it's got character.
And you make sure you hit the surfer straight away with the deals - which is what you want. Too many people take away from what they're offering by spreading viewer focus across the entire site - timing is esential on the net - those deals must be noticed quickly before the surfer thinks to leave.
It exudes a sense of a small family run business - which frankly is a marketing plus - yet you don't seem to back up that impression with any background info - is there a physical shop involved?
Also, I sort of figure that fishermen will want to see more about the owner's fishing exploits - something about where they like to fish, what range of species and weights are aimed for, etc.
Yes - the website could be designed better, but for what it's doing it doesn't actually require much, if anything - because you have a working design concept.
The yellow isn't an ideal colour, but it does maintain contrast with the text over it, which is completely necessary.
And considering the target market - I think the site works really well. Let's face it, the owner doesn't want to spend money on developing a professional website, probably because he knows that his target market - fishermen like him - simply don't give a bass ass about it.
One thing I would definitely recommend changing is adding some info on the security for the cart - oh, yes - and again, personalise it a little more for extra character - maybe some photos - person, and favourite fishing places - maybe even some best catches. Get Pictures of owner with son, and you've got the targeted user hooked, as it's a real dad/son relationship builder - and judging by comments on the first deal, that is what is actually being sold.
I, Brian, thanks for the review! Glad you like the site.
There's no real physical shop. The company is a manufacturer... the owner has agencies that wholesale the products out to other vendors. Since most of our vendors are in PA and Canada, we want to offer the products online to those who don't have a local vendor carrying our products.. this helps with exposure.
Last night I spent awhile trying to adjust the yellow.. and I came to a conclusion... I can't. If I move it closer to the red, just slightly, it's not really a darker yellow, it more like an orange. If I move it closer to the black, then it looks dirty, not darker.
So, I'm just gonna stick with the color I've got. I originally put a lot of testing into it to match the packaging we've got... maybe I should stick with my gut instinct on it. But I'm going to reduce the shadow, and find ways to use more Blues and maybe greens in with the yellow so it isn't solid all the way around.
I do want to create an About page, but he hasn't seemed to get back on me about that...
So I guess my priority now is to get a better logo. I think I've gotten more comments about the logo than I've gotten about the color.
Is there a rule for matching colors? I've seen color wheels and grids for this... what would be the ideal blue to match with my current yellow...
Okay…if I were to make a website for that company, I’d personally…
Have a simple template with a narrow header, with table of similar just underneath [sub-header]. Then divide the rest of the page into three sections – nav bar, main, about.
The header would have a light blue background and simple black text in verdana font – to make it a logo, maybe have a curved fishing line to the left of the text, curving from the top of it around the left of the title to underneath, with a happy looking cartoon orange fish on the end [no hook!].
The sub-header would contain a series of *small* photo graphics, which from left to right would show: 1/ an idyllic forested lakeside view; 2/ A pop standing with his boy and a fishing rod; 3/ A solitary man with rod sat peacefully by a pond/lake; 4/ A man posing with a large fish in hands, surrounded by other men, all with approving gazes.
The reason for this isn’t simply to be pretty – the brain will subconsciously try to associate the images, and thus form a story of sorts – there was a beautiful lake, where the man [the customer] and his son [small boy] went fishing. There were other fishermen nearby [also! presents empathic setting for lone fisherman to associate with!]. The man caught a big fish and he was happy and gained praise from his peers.
Now – the nav bar – light green, with nav buttons carefully contrasted – black text in arial/verdana font – maybe needs shadowing for each button to help stand out more [and make each a little larger than you’re currently using].
For the main part of the template you place the special deals, as you’ve done already – these should load pretty quick.
And in the about section, simply a little about this home grown small town man’s business about catching fish.
Anyway – I suggest that simply to get you thinking. Your call.
The suggestion for the site is great. What I've been considering, is to actually create a SECOND site, which is made as the "sticky" site - articles, news, chat rooms, photo galleries, etc. Which FEATURES hawgbuster as it's SPONSOR - instead of me trying to incorporate this into the company site.
And if I were to do that, then I could make a THIRD site, which is the online retail outlet - instead of trying to incorporate the store into what should be the company informational site.
So then I would have 3 seperate sites, 3 seperate domains, 3 seperate themes, all cross referencing each other, all being listed in search engines.
Because your idea of listing our vendors is what I've wanted for quite some time, the owner has even said this would be a good idea... unfortunately him being busy with his full time career and fishing tournaments he forgets about this stuff... hard to get ahold of him sometimes... One of fears is that since we sell our stuff on our site, some vendors won't care about reselling it for us since we're already offering it ourselves... this would take care of that...