Rooty Toot Toot

By
Home Inspector with Square One Home Inspection

I don't usually come here to toot my own horn. I usually save that for at home. But I just might this morning. During the winter is our slowest time of the year. That being said, I have done a little website tweaking.

I made quite a few changes to the overall look of the site, and a few minor changes as well.

I really like how it has turned out, but that does not always mean anything. So, I am looking for some constructive criticism to let me know what the public thinks of my new look. Don't hold back folks. Now is your chance to laugh, giggle, point, gang up on the kid, whatever you need to do. I can handle the scrutiny.

In all seriousness, the thing I am most concerned about is the load time of the first page. If anyone could take the time to take a glance, I would appreciate it very much. And if you see something I could do differently, let me know.

Thanks so much.

http://www.squareonehomeinspection.com/

Posted by

 

Ian A Niquette

 www.squareonehomeinspection.com

 Square One Home Inspection proudly serves Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Dodge, Marquette, Columbia, Winnebago, and Waushara Counties. Complete home inspections and Radon testing available.

 

 

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Rainmaker
1,988,132
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

I like the images on what you do. Too many sites have volumes of copy and you feel like you have to whisper when you enter the site, parked in a library. And the emphasis is not about a cheesy lifesize cut out of you either. That is good. The viewer wants quick, helpful information. But the one quick tweak I would do is to concentrate on the colors of the site and how they reinforce or fight with each other. The red font clashes and hard to beat white, light gray, black to read. And the green is different clashing tones. I would decide on three primary colors tied to the same ones in your logo so they al reinforce each other. This activerain page is mauve next to a red orange. You have 144 crayons but I would concentrate on just the primary eight set. I'm just saying, with all due respect. I think if you get a lot of response, the finished website you pimp and improve is going to be killer. You and I only have so much creativity, but this brave exercise is tapping in to a major brain trust here at AR University. See you around campus and will come back to see your new look size.

Feb 07, 2010 01:21 AM #1
Ambassador
1,220,286
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I really like the use of the color green.

Then only thing is the home page is a little busy.

Try to make it clean and simple, and then you can use a menu system depending on which information or which direction each visitor wants to go in.

If it's confusing at first, they may just turn away and go to the next vendor's page.

I was a web designer for 10 years before I became an agent.

Feb 07, 2010 01:23 AM #2
Rainmaker
189,486
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

Just a few quick observatios :

Page loaded quickly for me ( Less than 5 seconds, might be my fast computer)

I was on the site for at least 15 seconds before I figured out what it was about. ( Home Inspection)

Title was to small and I do not remember seeing a photo of you, or contact information. I am sure it must be there I just do not remember seeing it.

Congrats on your award for best web site. However You had it center of page and it distracts the eye which is why it took me so long to find out what the site was about. Suggestion : If you want to keep the award move it to the right. Seeings how it is a rectangle move it to the right at the bottom below the circle images for your certifications.

Red text is a wall of words. Too much text no links or higlights to break it up. I read the first sentance ( actually scanned the first sentance ) and Skipped the rest.

The whole web page is broken up with horizontal bars, seems a little distracting. Perhaps because my minds eye is used to seeing the center of the page consistant with vertical side bars.

Finally the Preview pane of photo's of inspections is of little or no use as you have it below the fold. This is what should be either front and center or at least above the fold. Photo.'s of you performing an inspection or with your truck could tell a quick story as well. You could use something lkie that as a static photo with your contact info below.

Good luck.  

Feb 07, 2010 01:28 AM #3
Rainer
48,055
Ian Niquette
Square One Home Inspection - Markesan, WI

Thanks for the ideas guys. I will try to implement some of this into my site. As always AR come sthrough.

Feb 07, 2010 02:01 AM #4
Rainmaker
56,681
Kevin Pierce
Cascade Builder Services - Tacoma, WA
New Construction Warranty Management

I agree with some of the comments already made.  Most importantly, too busy and clashing colors.  Streamline and color coordinate would be my best advice.

Feb 07, 2010 04:21 AM #5
Rainmaker
56,681
Kevin Pierce
Cascade Builder Services - Tacoma, WA
New Construction Warranty Management

Also, on a 1024x768 screen, I have to scroll right to see the whole page.

Feb 07, 2010 04:25 AM #6
Rainer
48,055
Ian Niquette
Square One Home Inspection - Markesan, WI

Hey Kevin, haven't heard from you in a while. Thanks for the tips. How things going for you?

Feb 07, 2010 04:33 AM #7
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Just stopping by to invite you, and anyone reading this, to the ActiveRain Super Bowl Party. Stop by if you get a chance. Geaux Saints!

Feb 07, 2010 06:41 AM #8
Rainer
43,293
doug diller
Goal Line Inspections - Portland, OR

Web sites (as I'm finding out) seem to be a balance between your personality, making it an SEO tool, and keeping people interested beyond 5 seconds. 

Yours looks good as far as an SEO.  Personality maybe a bit more.  Keeping people beyond 5 seconds...maybe. 

When I look at compaired with other HI sites there is nothing that stands out different.  You have pictures on the top typical associations on the side etc...  Maybe doing something like having one picture on the top that really grabs attention, or maybe some kind of cartoon (like a one framer) that relates to home inspecting, home ownership, home maintance etc...  If I were the average Joe and looked at those 4 pictures they would mean nothing to me.  But seeing a carton would be different, relative and keep my attention. 

I'm still trying to find the balance on my site between SEO and personality.

Oh, congrats on the kids....it's a blast.

 

Feb 10, 2010 08:02 AM #9
Rainmaker
986,118
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

The colors are great, but this line is not displaying properly on my monitor: "Great Home Inspector for Buyers, Home Inspections for Sellers, Home Warranty Inspections, Inspections for Home Maintenance." It looks like it's supposed to sit in a box above it, but that box looks too wide for the column, and the text is down about a line and a half.

Feb 10, 2010 08:34 PM #10
Rainer
120,617
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

It loaded quickly for me, but I found it cluttered.  White space is important, and it makes what information is there really pop out.  

I'm also on a widescreen laptop, and it looked like things in the header didn't line up quite perfectly.  I've noticed things look different on this laptop than on my desktop. 

Feb 11, 2010 05:14 AM #11
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Left-justify your text. Stay away from centered text except in headlines and titles. It's too difficult to read.

Also increase the line height so that the text in any individual line doesn't run into lines above and below it:'

Increase line height

I find yellow on black to be somewhat garish. Are you trying to scare people into getting a home inspection or not buying the home to begin with? You can never go wrong with dark text on a light color.

Be consistent in your use of font sizes, especially on the same page. Here's another section from your home page that is simply unreadable due to the black background and the small font size:

Font size too small

When you have a long line of text followed by a short line of text, insert a forced line break to even out the lines. For example, this:

Berlin, Princeton, Green Lake, Marquette, Markesan, Kingston, Dalton, Manchester, Fairburn, Forest Glen Beach, Green Lake Terrace.

should become this:

Berlin, Princeton, Green Lake, Marquette, Markesan, Kingston, Dalton,
Manchester, Fairburn, Forest Glen Beach, Green Lake Terrace.

I would change "Welcome to my home inspection web site" to "Welcome to Square One Home Inspection." Everyone knows they are at a web site, but they don't know which one. You can't go wrong mentioning your name at every opportunity.

Feb 17, 2010 09:00 PM #12
Rainer
48,055
Ian Niquette
Square One Home Inspection - Markesan, WI

Thanks Russel, it's a work in progress, and I am still working on suggestions from everyone here and a few other message boards.

Feb 17, 2010 10:04 PM #13
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