Let me know what you think can be done to improve this website: cwfashions.com
Key areas I would like feedback on are: navigation, accessibility, content, SEO related things and anything else you can think of. Thank you.
In short the website looks very good, I think you've hit the nail on the head with it. The side navigation is intuitive and easy to use, the links at the bottom are useful but discreet, and the whole site comes together very well. Its more useful to raise the few bad points but overall I like the site a lot.
The one thing I would mention is that there a lot of good "Calls to Action" (the current buzzword of web designers it seems) - Ask a decorator, learn more, call today, which are very good at getting users proactively involved in the site which is a big tick from the usability point of view as it makes it easy for user cases to achieve their goals.
General Design/Accessability Points from the Website:
- I run a 1280x1024 resolution and statistics show that most people run 1024x786 square or 1280 widescreens and the site triggers a horizontal scroll bar at this resolution.
- The scroll up-scroll down buttons - they fit the design perfectly and theres no problem with them working but I dont like them as I like to be able to scroll down. The issue is that scroll bars, even custom ones, often look tacky but personally I prefer to be able to scroll.
- The Ask A decorator has an under contruction label which looks very unprofessional (although as a designer I expect you have little control over this). A good compromise is to put something humerous here, have a look at some humerous 404 page galleries for inspiration.
- The 404 page is very unhelpful as it is plain text and just saying check you typed it in wrong. Why not have it designed like the rest of the site and apologise for not findinf the page and suggest things they may like to read.
- Also something you may not have control over is the email address at the bottom which is a free yahoo email which looks unprofessional. If they dont want to change it you could mask it by having a contact form instead.
- On some pages - like the Top Treatments->Accents and Trims the window for the text is very small and although there isnt a lot of copy there it still is difficult/annoying to read when you have to scroll through it with the buttons.
Specific Accessability and SEO points from the Code
- You are missing a DOCTYPE from top of the page, you probably want HTML 4.02. This is important as it tells browers which version of HTML they are rendering.
- You need H1-6 tags for headings as search engines look for these. You can use CSS image replacement techniques to replace them with images though
- The META description is the same on every page, Google will penalise for this, you need a unique description (and many search engines use this as the snippit for search results)
- Keywords are the same on every page, whilst you should include some general keywords on every page you want to page some pages more specific so people actually find what they are looking for in search engines. Additonally search engines will also look at page content and you want the keywords used in the titles, headings and text to match up with the keywords in the meta tags.
- The titles are good and include a lot of keywords but you may want to put in some punctuation (- , : |) as sometimes it doesnt make a lot of sence as 2 sentences are run together.
- In your ImageReady output you have left the comment in and more seriously you are using tables for layout. In semantic markup all positioning should be done though CSS as tables are for formatting tabular data. On one hand it may not display correctly and it will not be accessible to someone with a screen reader as it will think it is actual data content and read it out as a table.
- You have not put ALT tags in the images, this is necessary for accessability and for search engines which look at these.
- At a closer look you've used a lot of tables and spacer gifs elsewhere as well, as said about this is bad practice and is not how HTML should be written (that comes from the W3C which is headed by the guy who created HTML and the World Wide Web protocol). Saying this, if it works and you ignore the accessability and potential for future problems then theres no reason not to keep it as lots of sites run by major companies use tables and just code it so it works.
- You should put Title tags into all your Anchors/Links for SEO and Accessability reasons.
- I see a lot of your styling is done with inline CSS. Where possibile you should move this to an external style sheet as it makes it easier to edit, keeps the code cleaner and reduces the time it takes for a page to load.
- You need a meta language tag
- You should create a proper XML sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools
If you want to debug your code thoroughly the W3C produce a Validator which will check the HTML for you - This site produces 100 errors and 40 warnings.
Best of luck!
Comments on this post
Excellent Feedback Valleyman! Anyone else want to pipe in or has he covered most if not all the bases?
June 11th, 2009, 02:49 AM
Moderation: Thread title updated to fit in with the rules.
December 7th, 2009, 07:49 AM
I think it all looks good.
December 14th, 2009, 08:50 AM
Out of interest I just submitted the site to browsershots.org . Will let you know how that goes.
December 14th, 2009, 09:35 AM
Seems to fare pretty well on the common platforms. I too am getting the horizontal scroll bar on my default xp machine which is not ideal. The heavy use of images where css could sometimes have been used leads to an overall size of 2.9 mb (for the homepage) which is quite alot... this could affect load times / hosting costs etc..
Last edited by eddie21leeds; December 14th, 2009 at 09:40 AM.