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Another website feedback
Thread poster: Flora Iacoponi, MCIL

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:32
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 21, 2013

Dear colleagues,

I just finished setting up a little website with Wordpress and would really appreciate your opinion.
Here's the link: http://lablingua.wordpress.com/
I'm thinking of using this website when I contact direct clients and as an extension of my social media profiles. I still have to figure out how to redirect the URL to www.lablingua.com, so bear with me on that. I'm thinking of leaving the gmail address though, as it's more convenient.
In a nutshell my main question to you is, can I use this website (clearly using a free Wordpress template) or could it do more harm than good?icon_smile.gif

Thanks for any answers
Flora


[Edited at 2013-07-21 18:53 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:32
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
It's great, Flora! Jul 21, 2013

I don't see why you shouldn't use WordPress. It's not like you're a multinational.

I didn't read it really carefully but I found the italics for the professions you cited rather strange. I thought perhaps it was to show you could click on them for a definition or for more info but no.


 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some comments Jul 21, 2013

I'm not at all savy about websites, so I couldn't comment. But I would say that the English is good but there is room for improvement.

 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:32
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
comments Jul 21, 2013

Many thanks Tatty, I'll definitely have it proofread by a native speaker asap, I didn't have anyone available today icon_smile.gif
Even though English is my source language and I'm clearly not a native speaker, the English text has to be flawless because that's what my perspective clients will judge me by.
Any other comments?
cheers


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:32
English to Polish
+ ...
My two cents Jul 21, 2013

Here are my suggestions:

– Decapitalise 'language' in 'the Italian Language'. Emphasis through capitalisation is passé.

– You definitely need to make your capitalisation consistent. You have '[o]n-time delivery' (probably capitalised only because it introduces a list item) but 'Experience & Competence'.

– Liberal use of capitalisation and the use of the ampersand produces an old-fashioned feel, which you probably want to avoid in the light of your branding.

– '[W]ho use the latest technology and methods,' sounds a little strange to me when it comes to the 'latest methods'.

– Drop the 'competitive rates'. This is by no means intended to be a criticism of you, but I believe the use of that phrase is one of the factors driving the rates into the ground. Instead, rely on providing value to match or exceed the price you claim for your services (and that'd better be core, substantive value rather than added value that's supposed to patch up whatever's lacking from the core). Competing on rates, especially in an open way, does not benefit you, nor does it inspire respect in your client. If you do keep rates low, I'd instead go for 'affordable rates' (which is a self-respectful way to describe low rates) or 'value pricing' (in newspeak) or: 'rates well within the value we provide,' (more descriptively).

– There is a slight inconsistency betwee the corporate 'we' and 'Lab Lingua is' on the home page on the one hand and the 'my name is' that introduces your About section on the other hand. You may want to achieve some uniformity there or at least a more fluent transition.

– At the end of the first paragraph of About, the comma before 'to' shouldn't be there.

– There are some commas here and there that I believe to be missing, but the established rules for their use seem to be at variance with patterns practically found in modern writing, so I'll limit myself to a suggestion that you might want to study conventions for a while and decide what you like.

– In the second paragraph of About, you use 'i.e.' instead of 'e.g.'.

– You may wish to connect phrases like 'non language related' with hyphens in British English (as the multiple words combine to form one adjective), just like you did with 'up-to-date' (which did not actually require those hyphens as much).

– The last sentence, one that begins with, 'Among the latest training courses:,' I would replace with a normal sentence that contains a verb, in line with the style you followed everywhere above and with the added effect of slightly more elegant writing.

– In Translation/Localisation, you spelt all the relevant nouns the -ize way, unlike 'localisation' in the title (and everywhere else on the site).

– 'We work to clients instructions,' needs a possessive apostrophe.

– In: 'We commit ourselves to always deliver the best quality, on-time, and in a professional and polite manner,' 'on-time' does not need a hypen. Also, you may want to rephrase for clarity.

– In Other Services, the use of 'additional services' is potentially confusing. It sounds a bit like services you provide on top of your basic service in a bundled deal, rather that services you provide besides your core services. I would rephrase.

– Typography is very good, but I'd probably want more margin or padding under the grey headers on the right.

Overall, however, the language and style is very convincing. After making the -ise/ize choice and the capitalisation consistent, it will cast a very strong professional impression. The rest are minor issues.

Edit: One more thing. In the navbar, you may wish to use different colours for a:hover than for the active tab, as long as your Wordpress theme lets you. For example, you could pick a less saturated off-black or something to do with green or purple. You could also play around a bit with borders and shadows to achieve a cool highlight effect, at least in more modern browsers, though that would probably require more advanced editing.

[Edited at 2013-07-21 20:02 GMT]


 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:32
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks! Jul 22, 2013

That's great feedback Łukasz, thanks for taking the time to list all the improvements I could make, I have already fixed most things! I also like your suggestion about changing the colour of the tabs in the navbar but for that I have to buy a template upgrade as now I can't access the CSS code. Same issue with the padding, I could fix it for the text widget but not for the blogs oneicon_frown.gif I might get the upgrade though.
I also removed the "competitive rates" as it doesn't really reflect my approach. Believe me, I have already lost a few opportunities because my rates were not "competitive" enough!

As for using the we/I/LabLingua, I'd like to use a more personal style so I'll see if I can drop the "we".

Thanks also to Text Style, I have removed the italics, I used them because there was too much text on the page and I wanted to highlight some of it, I may use more "bold" instead.

I would also like to add some testimonials but that's tricky, I'll check how others do it.

Thanks again guys, all your comments are very valuable.

Flora


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:32
Danish to English
+ ...
Two comments on presentation Jul 22, 2013

Hi Flora

Congratulations on actually building your own website. icon_smile.gif

Just two things to add to what has already been said:

1. I find the choice of font (is it Times Roman?) very old-fashioned and not in keeping with the modern graphics at the top. It is also more difficult to read fonts like that. I'd opt for a non-serif font if I were you.

2. The amount of space and colour emphasis that you give to mentioning your blogging interests immediately made me wonder how you had time to do any work at all. In my view, it gives the impression that you are more keen to draw attention to the blogs than to your own business. I'd give the blogging list a much more inferior position on the site, and not have it as a major feature on every page the reader turns to.

Hope the website brings you lots of business. icon_smile.gif

Gitte


 

Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:32
Member (2010)
English to French
Hi, a few ideas: Jul 22, 2013

It looks good, but you should mention in big since the beginning that you are an English to Italian translator, even if you have a lot of other skills.

I like the first font, because you have some classical art background.

The front page text is not enough structured (result: people don't read).

Good luck to you

Madeleine


 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:32
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
font Jul 22, 2013

Thanks Gitte for your very valid contribution. I agree with you regarding the font but that's the default font of the free template and I can only change it if I buy an upgrade. At this stage it looks like I'll have to buy it! I can't complain really, because so far this website cost me only 15 US dollars.
I find also your observation on the blogs interesting. I wanted to have something on the right hand side and among the options offered by this template I chose the blogs I follow because I thought they'd show that I'm keeping up-to-date with any news and with the standards in the industry. The Italian blogs I included, for example, are important points of reference for translators. But I have already trimmed them down a bit icon_smile.gif

Thanks Madeleine, I highlighted even more that the only language I offer is Italian after all.

Cheers

[Edited at 2013-07-22 09:48 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:32
English to Polish
+ ...
Moar Jul 22, 2013

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL wrote:

That's great feedback Łukasz, thanks for taking the time to list all the improvements I could make, I have already fixed most things! I also like your suggestion about changing the colour of the tabs in the navbar but for that I have to buy a template upgrade as now I can't access the CSS code. Same issue with the padding, I could fix it for the text widget but not for the blogs oneicon_frown.gif I might get the upgrade though.


Hi again, Flora. That sounds like a bother, yeah. I'd probably look for a different theme instead. Those made by the Wordpress team itself have the benefit of great compatibility and good testing due to their crowds of users compared to other themes. Some are quite customisable, while all look good out of the box. Since your design is pretty straightforward, I believe that one of the core themes might serve you better (especially the 2011 one IIRC). While choosing the theme, I'd also each time check what it looks like on a mobile device. Already plenty of people look for translators on the phone (e.g. a lawyer stuck in the cab somewhere, a travelling PM/translation salesman, a gadget-minded techie with a thousand-quid toy etc.).

I also removed the "competitive rates" as it doesn't really reflect my approach. Believe me, I have already lost a few opportunities because my rates were not "competitive" enough!


Good!icon_biggrin.gif

As for using the we/I/LabLingua, I'd like to use a more personal style so I'll see if I can drop the "we".


Yeah, in that case you could still use the third person where appropriate.

I would also like to add some testimonials but that's tricky, I'll check how others do it.


Seperate tab with a whole wall of them, select few (one or two, more like) on the main page or a string at the bottom of a thematically related page.


 

AnnaSCHTR  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:32
English to Czech
+ ...
Looks nice Jul 23, 2013

I like it, it is clear, simple and to the point. I wouldn't worry about the fonts, the size and spacing make the text very readable. Just one tiny little note: in the How do we do it? section, the second bulleted paragraph needs a period for consistency. Sorry, I have a bit of punctuation fetishicon_smile.gif
Also, in my experience, the e-mail address posted like this is an invitation for massive spam. The spiders can easily pick it up. It might be better to make it just a bit more difficult for them, like adding space and putting at instead of @. Just a thought.


 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:32
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Update Aug 31, 2013

Hello again,

after some holidays to enjoy and urgent projects to deal with I found some time to put some of your invaluable suggestions in practice and "revamped" my website lablingua.com.

I removed "wordpress" from the URL and changed template in order to get a more modern look and better fonts. I didn't change the text. This template (Wordpress twenty twelve) is nicer but doesn't offer many widgets so the next step is to look for some nice plugins to fill the empty space in the right sidebar. Maybe I'll add a link to my Facebook page (if I open one).
Managing your web presence definitely requires a lot of work if you do it yourself! icon_smile.gif

Thanks again
Flora


[Edited at 2013-08-31 11:29 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:32
English to Polish
+ ...
... Aug 31, 2013

Hi, Flora. Looks neat. Actually, the books and the laptop in the top graphic are perhaps a bit too neat, though the impression could perhaps be avoided if you had a picture showing the laptop in full length. Otherwise, perhaps some kind of a transition effect would be in order, in addition to something, well, anything to liven it up. Also, the list of services looks like a navigation menu with clickable links. You need to change that, and use wider letter spacing for legibility.

Since you need just one picture, really, I'd visit the popular stock directory sites to find something which is good but isn't a popular download (all the better if you can purchase exclusive rights). Truth be told, though, any self-made panoramic shot of the rooftops of an old Italian city will probably do better, especially if you rescale from a 12MP original size and perhaps use automatic colour adjustment or a nice looking filter. As an alternative to rooftops, you can always go for a cafeteria table overlooking a nice piazza, with a half-emptied capuccino or espresso cup for a little vanitas theme. You just can't beat that.

Finding something that goes well with the 'LAB' in your name may be slightly more difficult, but Italian architecture and wealth of landscapes (urban or not) is an inexhaustible treasure trove, anyway.

In fact, I almost used Rome shots on my own website, even though I don't do Italian.icon_wink.gif (At least not officially.)

[Edited at 2013-08-31 20:24 GMT]


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:32
Danish to English
+ ...
Nice and crisp Sep 1, 2013

Hi Flora

I really like what you've done to your website! In fact, you have inspired me to jump in at the deep end and try to revamp my own website, or rather create an entirely new one, as the one I have was designed by someone else and I have no access to editing it, which is a bit of a nuisance, as websites quickly grow 'tired', I think. Mine certainly has.

I will venture into website creation with some trepidation, though, as I have the graphic skills of a donkey! Are you happy working with Wordpress? And did you have to buy a more advanced version to be able to implement the changes?

I also found the link to Vizualize.me on your profile really helpful. I don't like to keep a formal CV online, but Vizualize.me is a fun alternative.

Thanks for the inspiration icon_smile.gif

Gitte


 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:32
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A website with Wordpress Sep 2, 2013

Hi Gitte,

glad that you got some ideas from my website! You're right in saying that nowadays things become old very quickly and that's certainly the case of websites. That's why Wordpress is great, as it allows anybody to develop and update their own website. However, it's not exactly a stroll in the park, even if you use the basic features you need at least a tiny bit of knowledge about websites and web code.
What I got is very simple and definitely improvable, here is a little summary of what I did in case it can be useful:

I bought a domain and hosting space and installed Wordpress. If you don't know how to do this, seek help as this is the trickiest part. You also sort out your website URL at this stage.

Once you're in Wordpress you choose a template and start creating the website. I chose one of the templates that come freely with Wordpress (twenty twelve) but you could look for another free template and download that one. There are many commercial Wordpress templates that offer a basic version for free and an update for around 30 dollars if you want more features.

In the template of your choice, you create as many pages as you want. Each page will be a menu item and will appear as a tab in the navigation menu.
Make your home page static in Appearance > Customize and if you want a blog you choose another of your pages as blog. This page will update with any posts you write.

Usually you need to create just one image for the header using some graphics program. It doesn't have to be Photoshop but probably Paint won't do. I used Paint Shop Pro (cost 29 dollars) which offers enough tools.

Once you have your basic website you can consider adding nice little features to it, for example a calendar, a link to your facebook/twitter page, etc. This is done by adding plugins and widgets, usually on the right sidebar, depending on your layout. The widgets are in Appearance > Widgets. If you want new widgets you download new plug-ins that usually install a widget part.

Not everything can go completely smoothly. For any of the steps above sometimes you may have to edit the php code to achieve the exactly desired result (for example, I had to comment a line of code to get rid of the Comments box). For this, search the web for advice and don't do anything without the supervision of some IT person if you have someone handy.

Total cost: 15 dollars for the domain for one year, the rest was free including the template.
By no means is the above the only route, this is just what I did to get a very simple, brochure style website but with the option of adding dynamic information in the right sidebar.

Cheers,
Flora

ps for Łukasz: Thanks for the suggestion about the image, the idea of using a cup of coffee is very nice but it's already been done icon_smile.gif I fixed the image somehow, hope it's better now.



[Edited at 2013-09-02 08:12 GMT]


 
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