My website - feedback needed
Thread poster: Anca Maria Marin

Anca Maria Marin
Romania
Local time: 04:25
Romanian to Italian
+ ...
Sep 6, 2013

Hello,

I would greatly appreciate if you could provide me with some feedback on my website: http://www.traducerioltenia.ro (for the moment, in Romanian and Italian …. English, German and Spanish versions yet to come)

Thank you in advance for taking the time to visit my website!

Have a great week-end!


 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 03:25
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
A few points to think about Sep 6, 2013

Firstly, thanks for sharing! I hope you get lots of feedbackicon_smile.gif

Well, I can't comment on the content, but the layout has some really good points and some not so good points. I like the layout of the top of your site, and it looks great on my screen. The navigation is also simple and obvious. The map is an interesting touch, although you might want to write "zoom in for greater detail" because I didn't know I could do that at first.

I would suggest making your background static - as in, it shouldn't move or repeat itself like it does now. Probably not an issue on regular screens but on large screens it looks quite obvious. I can send a screenshot if you would like. The background also sometimes makes the text hard to read, e.g. www.traducerioltenia.ro/index.htm
The background itself is nice, but if you can, fade it out a bit. If you'd like help with that, please drop me a private message - I can do this for you quite easily.


 

Anca Maria Marin
Romania
Local time: 04:25
Romanian to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot Sep 6, 2013

" The map is an interesting touch, although you might want to write "zoom in for greater detail" because I didn't know I could do that at first."

Good pointicon_smile.gif


"I would suggest making your background static" - as in, it shouldn't move or repeat itself like it does now. Probably not an issue on regular screens but on large screens it looks quite obvious. I can send a screenshot if you would like. "

It appears static on my screen (and so it should be) , as far as I know, but I will ask again about that.

"The background also sometimes makes the text hard to read, e.g. www.traducerioltenia.ro/index.htm"

I thought soicon_frown.gif ... I will work on that, too.


The background itself is nice, but if you can, fade it out a bit. If you'd like help with that, please drop me a private message - I can do this for you quite easily.

Thank you so much for your feedback and for your availability. I really appreciate it. I will try to solve all these as soon as possibileicon_smile.gif. Have a nice week-end!


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:25
English to Polish
+ ...
... Sep 7, 2013

Static means 'background-attachment:fixed;', by which the background stays where it is. Then you'd need 'background-repeat:no-repeat;' to make it not repeat. Also, define a matching (i.e. light blue) background colour to avoid the screen going white when your background ends.

You could also define (in the .css file) the blue bitmap as the background for your html element, and create a small semi-transparent white png picture to use as the background for your body element. Doing so would soften the clouds and give them a decidedly milkier shade for under your text without losing the congruity of the composition of the big blue picture (and without covering up the puzzly thingy with a globe and dudes).

Also, the edges of your logo, which was created with a white background in mind, as a I believe, would now behave in a more elegant way.

Finally, it's possible that the menu buttons will look better with a milky blue thing under them. Otherwise, I'd change them.

But, you can't do it on your own, you need to contact your designer, as the site uses a dated and convoluted method of coding, which wouldn't be easy enough for you to dabble with on your own. If you can't contact your designer, then I guess I can tell you some ancient ways of fixing those things. But you'll be in for some nerdy fun with me no doubt.

... Unless you just edit the blue picture to put a semi-transparent white rectangle through the middle, which is always an option, and possibly a better one.

So, recap: Edit the blue file in Photoshop, GIMP or some other editor. Put a 900-pixel wide semi-transparent (semi-opaque) vertical white bar through the middle (450 to the left and 450 to the right from the centre, full height). See what stuff looks like. Experiment with various levels of transparency, from 20% to 80% (which is, respectively, 80% and 20% opacity) until you like the result.

And if you want the fixed background, open your index.html file, locate the body tag and just before the end of it (i.e. the ">" sign) insert the following code:

style="background-attachment:fixed;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:center-top;"

... after which, obviously, close the tag.

(This will avoid editing the .css file.)

[Edited at 2013-09-07 12:52 GMT]


 

Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 22:25
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
I'm gonna be the bad guy here... Sep 9, 2013

(sorry, don't kill the messenger!), and tell you upfront that the website is awful.

I could be more tactful and say that the background is too heavy, tiles awkwardly and affects readability, or that the pixelated transparency of the logo needs to be redone; all fair criticisms that are true. Or I could get technical and tell you that, under the hood, we don't know what doctype you're using, and that you don't have any metatags or any other kind of SEO work done there (let's not even mention browser compatibility or mobile device display).

But the brutal truth? When I opened it up, it felt like I was back in the 90's in Geocities when everyone tried to code their own site, buttons and all (we're only missing an animated hasmter gif!). It looks amateur, and I wouldn't hire a translator that doesn't invest in their business (either you can do a decent job yourself or you should hire someone who can - there's not halfway about it).

I can't judge the content, but I see you work on websites; simply put, I would never *ever* hire you to work on a website judging from your own site. Sorry! (I much rather be honest and tell you you'll loose business rather than earn it with this site, than point out the worst issues and let you happily carry on thinking you have a great site).

But do not despair! The hard part about websites is the content; if you have the text copy already, why not just hire a designer or (if your budget is really limited) purchase a cheap design that -at least- looks from this century? (you can check out http://themeforest.net/ and pay the princely sum of USD 20 for a great design; this one for example is just USD 12 and looks, feels and *is* web 2.0, and I chose it at random just because it was corporate and blue) and it will look a hell of a lot better than what you actually have.

Mind you, I still think hiring a designer with SEO knowledge is better, but I understand budget constrains (you can always redesign the website later if you feel it's attracting too little business).


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:25
Danish to English
+ ...
Me bad guy, too Sep 9, 2013

I chickened out yesterday after I visited your website, but my reaction was somewhat similar to Rossana's.

If you want to make it as a professional, do everything possible to look professional. As they say: 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression'.

I am about to have my own website revamped and as I have the graphic talents of a donkey, very little sense of which colours go well together and very little insight into website creation, I would probably end up with something very amateurish if I tried to do this on my own. That's the last thing I want as I continue to work on appearing as the professional that I am. My website has to reflect that professionalism.

If you want to use your website as your calling card or business card, make sure it speaks subtle volumes about the work that you can present for potential clients.

Good luck to you, and don't lose heart now. Rossana has done you a great favour by daring to be honest and giving you some clear hints as to what you need to do. As she says, you appear to have the texts ready, which is a good start, but the rest really doesn't work.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Needs work Sep 9, 2013

Anca Maria Marin wrote:
http://www.traducerioltenia.ro


1. SEO:
1.1 The fact that the name of your company is an image and is not repeated as text means that a search engine will not match your front page to the name of your company.
1.2 Also, your web site's title (currently "Traduceri craiova - oltenia") does not contain your company name, which is not optimal. The title is the first thing that Google users will see of your site (in many/most cases), so it has to be good.
1.3 And, if it isn't normal in Romanian to write the place names with lowercase letters, then I would suggest that you don't do it in the web site's title.
1.4 Also, your site has no "Description" meta tag, which means that search engines will create their own descriptions based on the first 200 characters of so of your page, which in your case is "Str. Maria Tanase, nr. 16A, bl.d3 sc. 1, ap. 2, Craiova, C.P. 200216 Phone: +40 720 006 594 E-mail: ancatrad@gmail.com DESPRE NOI Suntem o echipa de traducatori profesionisti.Agentia de Traduceri".
1.5 Every page on your site has exactly the same "title". This is typically considered an SEO blunder.

2. Images:
2.1 The logo has a pixelated border, which makes it look amateurish. I suspect your logo was designed for a white background, not a coloured one.
2.2 The image in the middle of the text near the bottom makes it very difficult to read that text. Don't overlap text with images unless the image is very faded.
2.3 Why is the globe turned so that the USA and South America is shown, instead of Europe and Africa?
2.4 I had no problems with the map -- my first reaction was to click it. That may be because web sites in my current country of residence all tend to have a Google Maps map embedded in the site -- I realise that not all countries have that habit and that some users might not realise the map is clickable. I would not (as someone had suggested) add an instruction to the user that the map is clickable, though. A web site should not contain instructions on how to use it.
2.5 I had no problem with your background image.

3. Layout:
3.1 Why is there such a large piece of blank space at the bottom of the page? The scroll bar only disappears if I view the site full-screen at 1080 pixels (vertical) with the task bar hidden. Not all pages have this problem, but some of them do (particularly the ones with few text on them).
3.2 If I click the first button (Despre Noi) nothing discernable happens. Oh, wait, could it be because I'm already on that page? But if I click that button and nothing happens, I might (as a web site user) think that the buttons don't work, and not try any of the other buttons either.
3.3 For some reason (I'm not a CSS layout expert) the header of your site isn't the same on all pages. On the second page, for example, the logo is a little more to the right than on the first page, which means that the map is a little smaller and the flags are a little closer to each other. This doesn't bother me but it can be a visual disturbance for people who click the buttons and find that the elements of the page that should be "fixed" (i.e. "stay in one place") are not fixed.
3.4 I come from a culture in which it is normal to include the company name as part of the company address, so it looks "odd" to me that the company contact details on the right-hand side does not also contain the company name.


 

Anca Maria Marin
Romania
Local time: 04:25
Romanian to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My website - feedback needed Sep 9, 2013

First of all, excuse my English (it's not my working language).

Thank you all for the opinions so far (even though you were the "bad guys") and I am being honest when saying that.
Actually, you were only the sincere ones. Most people are afraid of being sincere. There's a saying : "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I think that it is better to know where you went wrong, so that you can fix/change it.

I won't lose heart. I want the site to reflect professionalism. I will bring it to the 21st century, thanks to all your suggestions. I will have it redone.

Have a nice day everyone!


PS: Don't hesitate to express your opinions.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:25
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Since you invited... Sep 9, 2013

Anca Maria Marin wrote:

PS: Don't hesitate to express your opinions.


As the English pages aren't ready, I read it in Italian. No need to worry, io lo capisco bene. My first wife spoke Romanian with her parents and, after so many years, I could understand most of it, but that ended more than twenty years ago.

Anyway, that drawing on the background on the "Chi siamo" page makes reading really difficult. The main logo GIF doesn't look good at all. These two items cause a bad impression at first sight. Also the small type on a 19" monitor, against a congested background detracts from the desire to read.

I don't know whether you are doing it yourself, or if you hired someone to build your site. My web site is certainly not the best, but it's close to the best I can do, without knowing any HTML, Java, PHP, whatever: my only concern there is content, and choosing graphic options that are not overly bizarre.

If you like the idea, maybe WebSiteX5 would be worth a try.
General link: http://www.websitex5.com
Italian link: http://www.websitex5.com/it/index.php
(none found in Romanian)

They have a free version, and the three others are in the EUR 20~70 range. You can actually build your site with the free version. However my personal experience from a few years/versions ago was that if you eventually buy it, simply discard whatever you built with the free version and start over.

Good luck!


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:25
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Other options Sep 10, 2013

Yes, I too felt like I was back in the early '90sicon_smile.gif

Anca, please take a look at Wordpress, Weebly and Wix. These platforms are easy to use and there's no need to know HTML. Use a clean, modern theme. There are so many translator websites that you can also visit and draw ideas from.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2013-09-10 09:08 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Hotmail, Wordpress Sep 10, 2013

Diana Coada, BA RPSI wrote:
Anca, please take a look at Wordpress, Weebly and Wix. These platforms are easy to use and there's no need to know HTML.


In the same way that some people believe a Hotmail address is the mark of an amateur, so some people believe that a Wordpress web site (or similar) is the mark of an amateur. After you've seen a couple of them, you can spot them a mile away.


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:25
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not true, Samuel Sep 10, 2013

The themes are highly customisable and it's up to the user how many of their elements they want to keep. But as an extra step, the logo, banner and the graphic elements should be done by a professional.

I am working on updating my website right now - the only thing that will remain of my theme is the ''skeleton'' so to speak, not its colours and not its fonts.

[Edited at 2013-09-10 12:16 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:25
English to Polish
+ ...
... Sep 10, 2013

Diana Coada, BA RPSI wrote:

The themes are highly customisable and it's up to the user how many of their elements they want to keep.


Let's set the record straight! Some are, some are not. Perhaps that was confusing.icon_smile.gif

But as an extra step, the logo, banner and the graphic elements should be done by a professional.


Yes, though if you have a high-quality picture and a set of good filters, then you can Google up some DIY guides and eventually do a job on par with the less brilliant pros, given time, at least regarding the banner and perhaps some graphical elements. A logo will be harder to get right if it's not text-only.


 

Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 22:25
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
A lesson for us all... Sep 10, 2013

Anca, you've taken my caterwauling criticism with far more grace than my harsh words deserved... I had foregone sleep for a long time before posting (always a bad idea!) and I was frankly afraid that if I sugarcoated the issue you'd ignore the advice to go for a complete redesign.

In retrospect, I should have written the same post *but* send it as a private message; I know how much work the current website must have taken you, and to have it so publicly belittled... umh, my bad! (honesty is paramount, but tact should always run a close second). However, you took the criticism like a champ, and I felt humbled by your words (even after years in the industry, I know I would not have taken it so well considering the tone).

All in all, regardless if you now choose a popular CMS (Wordpress, etc.), a static site or anything in between, I'm sure it'll be a knockout and rest assured I'll atone by giving you a fair criticism the second you post iticon_smile.gif


 


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