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Thread poster: Ali Al-Saqqa
My new website....Feedback welcomed :)

Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
Aug 28, 2011

Hi All,

So I have just finished my 10-hours free website. I know it is far from perfect, but
without feedback I may proceed in the wrong direction, so I would like you to kindly
visit it and tell me what you think...

http://ali-alsaqqa.weebly.com/index.html

Thanks !

Ali


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Marina M. Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to German
+ ...
It looks very professional, but ... Aug 28, 2011

... I have discovered something.

Shoudn't it be

So what is special about me?
No, I am not "just another Arabic translator"

instead of

So what is special about you?
No, I am not "just another Arabic translator" ?

Sincerely,

Marina


[Edited at 2011-08-28 15:32 GMT]


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Claudia Brauer  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nice website Aug 28, 2011

Very nice website, clear, easy to navigate, eye-catching. Hope you get many clients to it!

PS: Did you add all the keywords you need for it to be picked up by the search engines?


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Jürgen Werner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
English to German
Some thoughts concerning your website. Aug 28, 2011

Hi! Just some thoughts:
1.) Get a personalized e-mail address, it looks more professional.
2.) Save your samples to .pdf. The way it is right now, people can easily mess around with your samples. With Oo, you can directly export a file to .pdf.
3.) I agree with the "you" and would change it to "me", too.
4.) I think the only picture that works is the top one from your samples-page, as that has got a connection to language and translation. I'd probably get rid of the four pictures next to your samples, too.
5.) What is your connection to Sweden? Is Swedish one of your working languages?
6.) And I'm not sure about this one, either: "It does not make sense to see someone who provides Translation, Interpreting, Editing, Copy-Writing, Desktop Publishing, Subtitling, etc." Why not? Some knowledge in these fields might be of use for a translator and valuable for prospective clients. This is what you specialize in: "Rather, I am specialized in: Translation, proofreading and reviewing." (not sure about the colon) and all the rest of the page is dedicated to what you think makes no sense for a translator, like DTP, and then you offer DTP - that's a contradiction.
7.) This is your website's title: "Professional English / Arabic Translator...and a lot more". Well, what "more" is it, then? You don't offer "Interpreting, Editing, Copy-Writing, Desktop Publishing, Subtitling, etc.", as it makes no sense for a translator. What else do you do then? Clean houses? Mow the lawn? Or do you offer catering services?
8.) I think your landing page starts out pretty strong (apart from the picture). I would change the 2nd paragraph: 2) Qualified. Technically, I hold a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering and I am currently studying physics. With my vast knowledge in Mechanical Engineering, I can offer you exceedingly accurate technical translations.
9.) You should create an extra page for your customer reviews: so many positive reviews just need their dedicated reference-page.
10.) Don't you have a phone number?


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks... Aug 28, 2011

@Marina:

The idea was that the reader is reading and commenting by saying "what is special about you". What do you think ?

As for your site, I have some points / comments. Do you want me to post them here ? you may want to start a new topic so that you get more readers...

@Claudia:

No, not even a single keyword yet. I will do it later

@ Jürgen:

1) Personalized ? What do you mean?
2) Sure, thanks !
3) OK
4) So you are suggesting getting rid of all but that picture ? But who said that
a translation website should contain nothing but translation-related pictures? I reallly like the other pictures
5) No, I just went thier a couple of months ago for a business trip. What do you think?
6) Sure, that really needs a change.
7) Haha...no I do not clean houses. Will change it.
8) hmmm... not sure, will consider it.
9) That's true !
10) Oops !

Thank you so much !!


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Changes... Aug 28, 2011

#1 - You -> Me
#2 - samples : .doc -> .pdf
#3 - changed the "dose not make sense...." paragraph.
#4 - the new title: "Professional English / Arabic Translator...but not any translator"
#5 - phone number added.

So please tell me what you think...

Also, are the pictures really that bad or totally irrelevant ?

[Edited at 2011-08-28 07:39 GMT]


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Point # 8 Aug 28, 2011


Jürgen Werner wrote:

8.) I think your landing page starts out pretty strong (apart from the picture). I would change the 2nd paragraph: 2) Qualified. Technically, I hold a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering and I am currently studying physics. With my vast knowledge in Mechanical Engineering, I can offer you exceedingly accurate technical translations.


Done.


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Glenda Janssen  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:59
English to Italian
+ ...
Editing suggestions Aug 28, 2011

I tend to be a bit of a harsh critic, but this is not meant to tear you down. I hope this helps you create a better site. Overall, I like the simplicity, and I like how you put your specialization front and center.

Some things I noticed, in no particular order:

1) The English needs work, I will just give two examples. As an avid editor and proofreader, I'd be glad to give more feedback if you ask.

a) "Here are *some* of my sample translations. More samples could be provided upon request."

I wouldn't write *some*. Putting a word between asterisks is an internet shorthand, usually reserved for informal chats and email. It is meant to replace italics. If you mean to use italics, just do so. Your text editor for your webpage should allow you to. I also think you can do away with the emphasis altogether.

Also, "could" be provided upon request sounds wishy-washy. You could, but you may not. More samples "can" be provided is, I think, a better option. Of course you can provide them--just ask!

b) "I have a couple of softwares installed that allows"
First off, if "a couple" is plural, so you would have to say "allow" rather than "allows."

Also, I would use "which" rather than "that." Which vs That is a hairy topic, and, ultimately not the end of the world (i.e. many people get it wrong, so it doesn't make you look too bad if you get it wrong).

Another interesting thing here is that you mention "a couple" and then you list three, which would be more than a couple. I would simply change this whole set up to "I have the following software, which allows me to [...]" Or, maybe even better "If necessary, I have software to provide DTP for urgent jobs: [give the list]"

In any case, I don't really see the point of this whole paragraph. Maybe this reflects some experiences you had that I can't speak to, but why say you don't do something and then say you will do it in a pinch? I would say that in an urgent situation I'd rather not mess with something I'm not an expert in. Given sufficient time, I may go playing around with layout, but an expert would certainly do it quicker. Maybe, instead, you may want to say something like "although I do not provide DTP services as such, I have the necessary software to provide some basic layouts."

2)This is really important. Be clear about what services you provide. It isn't clear what your target and source languages are. Arabic>English, English>Arabic, both? What languages do you proof and/or edit? This, I would say, is the backbone of what you need to convey. You work with English and Arabic. That does not mean you work in both directions. It would be important to know, although, considering the English, my first hunch would be Arabic is your target language.

3)It may make sense to have your site in Arabic, too. That is an automatic sample, much easier to access than those samples you have put there to download (though those are also good to have). Also, it would provide an opportunity for Arabic clients to find you, too.

4) On the contact me you mention you are open to people just dropping you a line to say hello. This may just be me, it's a subjective thing, but why would a visitor to your site want to just swing by and say hello? This is a business, not a social encounter. I can see how a store would want you to just come in and take a look around--you never know who will buy. But why would a random visitor want to say hello? What is the point?

If you truly are looking for some social interaction, why not put in something more specific, say, "If you are a fellow translator, I'd love to hear from you!" Or something of that nature.

5)The images seem incongruous. Easter Island as a header on the first page makes me think of exotic tourism rather than Engineering and Arabic. The big metropolis on the "services" page seems much more appropriate, though still not quite there. The image used for "portfolio/samples" works well, though it doesn't say much besides "I do languages and one of them is Arabic."On "contact" the picture of a sunset (or sunrise) over the sea conveys romance, goodbyes, calm... Nothing to do with what you do, and certainly not a direct encouragement to contact you. Also the photo (why specify you took it?) of Goteborg seems to have nothing to do with anything. Do you work with Swedish? Live in Sweden? What's the point?

6) On the subject of images: they tend to dominate the page. On my laptop, they take up half the screen, making me scroll down for relevant information. Are they necessary? Can they be smaller? How about a company logo? Images that capture the essence of what you do?

7) The title of your site is "Professional English/Arabic Translator... and a lot more." Is "professional" necessary, here? One would assume you are a professional. Also, this appears to want to be a tagline. Maybe "English/Arabic Translator... Professionalism and a Lot More." Or "English/Arabic Translator. Professional... and a Lot More." I wouldn't trust myself to write copy in the middle of the night, but try brainstorming this, run it by a colleague. I would ask the question: is being a professional what you want to stress, or your specialization? "Engineering Translations" has a nice ring to it, though maybe the pun is a bit much. "Engineering Translations from English to Arabic" would carry a lot of meaning, and establish what you do right up front.

Gosh, this has become an epic poem. I think I just proved that I'm an English major! Hope this is helpful to you. Good luck!


EDIT: As I was writing this, Jurgen pointed out several things I did, too. I did not mean to duplicate.:)


[Edited at 2011-08-28 07:51 GMT]


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Glenda Janssen  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:59
English to Italian
+ ...
I just noticed something else Aug 28, 2011

This is quite important.

"Technically, I hold a degree in [...]" Technically , used in this way, implies there is something amiss. Usually, technically is used like so: "Well, technically, my degree is in English, but I actually specialized in translation." It is a sort of replacement for "actually." You see what I'm saying? I think I'm too tired to explain this in general terms, but I hope to make sense.

Your degree is in Electrical Engineering. 'Nuff said.

By the say, B.Sc looks odd to me. Maybe it's a British thing or something... But it seems weird there is a period after the first letter, and not one after the other. In the U.S. I see PhD (no periods) or B.A. (periods after both).

I need to sleep. I just noticed I wrote "noted" instead of "noticed"


[Edited at 2011-08-28 08:02 GMT]


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
@ Glenda Aug 28, 2011

@ Glenda:

Very helpful comments.

(1)
# Change: "*some*" to some.
# Change: "Could" to "can"
# Remove: Softwares list

(2)
Yes I translate into Arabic ONLY. So your comment makes sense. Done.

(3)
I will consider this in the near future, thank you.

(4)
Good point. Done!

(5)
OK people, seems all of you hate my pictures, I am going to change them all.

(6)
Yes will consider it.

(7)
Done.

Guys you are really wonderfull. Thank you all !!


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Jürgen Werner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
English to German
RE: Some thoughts concerning your website. Aug 28, 2011


Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:

@ Jürgen:

1) Personalized ? What do you mean?


Sth. like info(at)ali.al-saqqa(dot)net



Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:

4) So you are suggesting getting rid of all but that picture ? But who said that
a translation website should contain nothing but translation-related pictures? I reallly like the other pictures


There's nothing wrong with using pictures. But, in my humble opinion, they should have some connection to the rest of your website. To me, they scream "travelblog". If you think the pictures work fine, stick with them. Why don't you include a picture of yourself instead?


Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
5) No, I just went thier a couple of months ago for a business trip. What do you think?


It's nice to see that your business takes you on some nice trips. Again: A photo of London or New York would work much better for a website of an English translator. [/quote]


Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
Thank you so much !!


You're welcome.


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Jürgen Werner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
English to German
About the software... Aug 28, 2011

... do you use any translation-specific software? You know Trados et. al.? If you do, that is something you might want to put on the website, as many clients seem to think that you can only be a professional translator if you use professional software.

[Edited at 2011-08-28 08:36 GMT]


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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Now I see... Aug 28, 2011


Jürgen Werner wrote:


Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:

@ Jürgen:

1) Personalized ? What do you mean?


Sth. like info(at)ali.al-saqqa(dot)net



Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:

4) So you are suggesting getting rid of all but that picture ? But who said that
a translation website should contain nothing but translation-related pictures? I reallly like the other pictures


There's nothing wrong with using pictures. But, in my humble opinion, they should have some connection to the rest of your website. To me, they scream "travelblog". If you think the pictures work fine, stick with them. Why don't you include a picture of yourself instead?


Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
5) No, I just went thier a couple of months ago for a business trip. What do you think?


It's nice to see that your business takes you on some nice trips. Again: A photo of London or New York would work much better for a website of an English translator.



Ali Al-Saqqa wrote:
Thank you so much !!


You're welcome. [/quote]

This service is a free one, so personalized email is not available, unfortunately.

However, once everything is almost perfect, I will switch to paid service. It cost about 45 USD a year. I think this is resonable.

@ Jurgen: That is a very good idea indeed, thanks !

[Edited at 2011-08-28 10:48 GMT]


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Jürgen Werner  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
English to German
personal webspace Aug 28, 2011

I'm sure there are cheaper providers, even in your part of the world. I pay approx. $30 a year for 5GB Webspace and 5GB Mailspace, plus a one-time $5 registration fee.

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Ali Al-Saqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Yes but Aug 28, 2011


Jürgen Werner wrote:

I'm sure there are cheaper providers, even in your part of the world. I pay approx. $30 a year for 5GB Webspace and 5GB Mailspace, plus a one-time $5 registration fee.


This one provides easy means of designing a website. I know it is not that hard, but $10 a year for simplicity is not a bad deal.

Anyway, I have now changed all the pictures once and for all.

Please, everyone, have a look


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