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  1. #1
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    It is now official. I'm design impaired.

    The current nightmare makes the Texas Chainsaw Masacre look like a Browie Scout bake sale.

    If you have three or four days with nothing important to do, go over to templatemonster.com and take a peek.

    Once upon a time I read that if you were having trouble with a design issue, you should imagine that you were in your favorite hangout, or at your favorite eating place. Then make your design similar in color and feel.

    My favorite hangout would be...a dark, smokey poolroom where no one even notices when the geezer playing dominoes misses the spittoon. Peanut hulls and sawdust on the floor. Lots of ambiance.

    My favorite eating place...Joe's grill. Where you can still smell the burgers he fried in 1957. The mustard stain on his apron is likely from the same era. Four stools at the counter, one booth in sad disrepair. The jukebox only plays six records, but they are classics (no CD's here).

    If I did a site like that it would have to be called BoarsNest.com. It wouldn't ever sell anything, but the guys would love hanging there.

    So, now I've got knots in my knickers, twists in my pantyhose, a headache big as Dallas right between my eyes, and am no closer to my goal.

    I feel better now. Think I'll go check stats.

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  2. #2
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    Hey Frank,

    Excellent analogies. I visited your site, and it wasn't nearly as scary as you make it out to be.

    It does seem a little text heavy towards the top however. Perhaps making your featured products vertical, or streamlining the number of options found in your search tool (if that's possible.)

    I just ran into a local web design company last night at a networking event: http://www.spicore.com. I have not had a chance to really explore their work, but from an initial glance it seems like good stuff. Just don't go over the top!

  3. #3
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, Jason.

    Just to be clear here. That isn't a reference to my site. One could wish though.

    I was shopping there for a template for a new site I'm working on.

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

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  5. #5
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I've only used Template Monster once, and it was a *very* nice template - better than anything I could do.

    However, there's an old argument in affiliate marketing that simple sites sell. As long as the site isn't hideous, visitors won't really care what it looks like as most of them are just passing through quickly.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by frank3iii:
    Just to be clear here. That isn't a reference to my site. One could wish though. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ah, sorry about the mixup.

    Dynamoo raises an excellent point. Successful sites lie somewhere between flashiness and simplicity. It's tough to define a great template, but everyone knows it when they see it.

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> However, there's an old argument in affiliate marketing that simple sites sell. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've preached that gospel for years! It's been a while since design came up as a general issue, though...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Successful sites lie somewhere between flashiness and simplicity. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Some of my most successful sites have been ultra-simple. Plain text on white background, no border, just a couple of banners and my sales spin.

    Now it's not much different. The old way was losing its CR punch, so I made the "RADICAL" move of putting a border on, and that was enough.

    I'm not sure what I'd do differently now. There aren't too many elements that a sales page needs, really. All it takes is setting the components up so the viewer isn't confused and it's not ugly.

    Note: "Not ugly" isn't the same as "beautiful..."
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:

    Some of my most successful sites have been ultra-simple. Plain text on white background, no border, just a couple of banners and my sales spin.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I can't argue against your success, I agree about a sales page.

    What about your index page? Do you fancy it up somewhat more than the landing pages?

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  9. #9
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    What about your index page? Do you fancy it up somewhat more than the landing pages? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Personally speaking, *I* do.. a little. But probably most visitors will land on an inner page rather than your index page, so your index page is a bit of a second chance to get a sale.

    You *must* however remember to put at least some basic navigation on your inner pages so that customers can move around if they don't like the product they first see.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  10. #10
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dynamoo:
    You *must* however remember to put at least some basic navigation on your inner pages so that customers can move around if they don't like the product they first see. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yep. One of the first things I learned from you 'Old Hands'. I have extensive navigation on all of the inner pages. None could get lost or not see where else they could go.

    This site will be different from the others that I have put up. One reason that I am taking my time and asking some questions is that it will be special (for me).

    I believe that I will be able to get a lot of inbound links to my index page. For that reason, I would like it to be as nice and inviting as I am able to make it.

    Interior pages, or landing pages, or sales pages, or whatever you want to label them, aren't much of a problem for me. You folks have taught me how to apply on-page SEO the right way.

    I am in the first two pages at Google and Yahoo for most of my two word, and more, keywords. I am in the top five for quite a few of these searches. A fair number of no. 1's too. I love beating out a merchant for first place.

    My index pages get almost no action from the SE's and not a lot from inbound links. Hence the questions and comments up-thread.

    Off topic, but now would be a good time to say thanks to all who have posed questions, and those who have provided answers, about proper SEO techniques. It has begun to pay off for me.

    So, Thanks.

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    I feel that the best way to design a site is to use quality brouchure design techniques. It translates really easily to the web. Keep the site simple, simple, simple. But a good color scheme for a site is a good thing. I don't use flash and still get lots of compliments and return visitors.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

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