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Question Your views, please.

Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
I'm pretty much a Newbie ( despite being aged 73) to developing & managing a website - having started an ecommerce retirement business 18 months ago.
I had someone set up the basic structure. Since then I've been on the learning curve with Wordpress, Gimp etc etc.

What I would really appreciate is to have some of you have a look at my site and make a quick appraisal and provide a few quick suggestions on how to improve the SEO.

My site is trapbarn.com

Don't hold back. Any observation however brutal will be considered as constructive. :)

PS I added the Jokes ,ink to tray and lower the bounce rate on the home page
 
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Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Tom,

Well done on taking the plunge into something new, it's never easy.

Looking at your site, I think it could do with some refining somewhat, currently I personally find it very hard to navigate efficiently.

Lack of navigation, especially to "go home" seems to be lacking, no sense of direction for the user. Which I know you may think "but there is ways of getting around it"........but if its not obvious and the first thing i can see to move around the site then it's not going to be a great user experience.

I can see you've tried to keep it clean and lightweight, I'd just like to see it more structured, better navigation and more consistent, especially concerning font usage.

First impressions as an SEO, the keywords in the footer are incredibly spammy, get rid of them.

I see you've mainly relied on Fusion page builder ? are you primarily designing/constructing with a page builder or are you able to code ?
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Hi Tom,

Well done on taking the plunge into something new, it's never easy.

Looking at your site, I think it could do with some refining somewhat, currently I personally find it very hard to navigate efficiently.

Lack of navigation, especially to "go home" seems to be lacking, no sense of direction for the user. Which I know you may think "but there is ways of getting around it"........but if its not obvious and the first thing i can see to move around the site then it's not going to be a great user experience.

I can see you've tried to keep it clean and lightweight, I'd just like to see it more structured, better navigation and more consistent, especially concerning font usage.

First impressions as an SEO, the keywords in the footer are incredibly spammy, get rid of them.

I see you've mainly relied on Fusion page builder ? are you primarily designing/constructing with a page builder or are you able to code ?
Yes, I'm using Fusion Builder because I can't really code. However I have inserted various snippets of code that I have gleaned from the internet.

I did earlier have a horizontal main navigation along the top but I thought it over dominated the landscape image in the slider. If there was a way to lower the landscape image a little so that the main navigation sat above it the that, I agree, would be better.

OK, I will attend to the footer.

Your views, above are most welcome. Being a one man band it's been too easy for me to be blinded by subjectivity and so an external opinion is really worthwhile.
Tom
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Tom,

Yes the whole reason I asked whether you could code and if you relied on a builder is so I can get an idea of your ability.

If you are relying on a builder to get you by, I would recommend you setup a duplicate of your site on a staging area and go take a look at a builder called "Elementor". There are hundreds...maybe thousands of tutorial videos on youtube for it too.

I believe, looking at your site you may benefit from something more visual you can work with, yes it maybe a little learning curve again with a new system, but from my testing, if you must use a page builder, Elementor is the kindest for bloat and SEO friendliness for a non-coder.

Obviously play on a test site though until you are happy, not on your live site :)
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Hi Tom,

Yes the whole reason I asked whether you could code and if you relied on a builder is so I can get an idea of your ability.

If you are relying on a builder to get you by, I would recommend you setup a duplicate of your site on a staging area and go take a look at a builder called "Elementor". There are hundreds...maybe thousands of tutorial videos on youtube for it too.

I believe, looking at your site you may benefit from something more visual you can work with, yes it maybe a little learning curve again with a new system, but from my testing, if you must use a page builder, Elementor is the kindest for bloat and SEO friendliness for a non-coder.

Obviously play on a test site though until you are happy, not on your live site :)
OK, prior to receiving your latest post, I have been reworking things based on your input. As you can see, I have reworked the top graphic by moving the oval logo to the left so that the main navigation is now more prominent.
I have also tidied up the spam at the bottom.
I appreciate your latest input and will take a bit of time to follow that idea.
Tom
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Hi Tom,

Yes the whole reason I asked whether you could code and if you relied on a builder is so I can get an idea of your ability.

If you are relying on a builder to get you by, I would recommend you setup a duplicate of your site on a staging area and go take a look at a builder called "Elementor". There are hundreds...maybe thousands of tutorial videos on youtube for it too.

I believe, looking at your site you may benefit from something more visual you can work with, yes it maybe a little learning curve again with a new system, but from my testing, if you must use a page builder, Elementor is the kindest for bloat and SEO friendliness for a non-coder.

Obviously play on a test site though until you are happy, not on your live site :)
Excellent idea. I have asked my web hoster to create it as sandbox.trapbarn.com

Tom
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Hi,
I have implemented the modifications and am delighted with the result.

Any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Tom
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Great Tom,

I would still probably recommend a consistent font through out the site, Times New Roman is a horrible font to ready in the main body of text unless the rest of the site compliments it, I would use something clean such as Open Sans, maybe with Roboto as the headings if Open Sans was "too much" for the entire site.
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Excellent idea which I have just implemented. It looks a lot more modern. Thank you.
Any more ideas would be appreciated.
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
I would look at your sidebar currently, All the banners really don't need to be in a prime position, I would move all those below the side navigation.

Then maybe look to improve the graphical aspects , such as the banners and header to make it all a little more uniform.
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
On the single product pages, I would probably experiment with removing the "short description" so that the cart options and add to cart buttons are in prime positions next to the images. Instead of being pushed below the fold of the page.

Also making the "add to cart" button more obvious and more like a button that requires someone to take action.
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
As an expedient , I removed the text in the short description and that helps move up the "Add to Basket". It does look better and should minimise the risk of some users giving up.

I looked into buttons for the "Add to Basket" and downloaded MaxButtons plug in , only to find that it is virtually impossible to integrate them with Woocommerce.
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Have spent a lot of time on making trapbarn.com more professional looking. Got rid of the side bar and developed drop down menus plus 3D buttons that match the logo colours.
I am really eager to receive any further input on how to make it more user-friendly and intuitive.
 
Mr Lucky

Mr Lucky

New Member
Sorry to say this after you have done the 3D buttons, but they seem to me less professional in that too much seems to have been added as effects, ie gradient, border and shadow. I know we shouldn't be ruled by fashion, but this sort of overuse of CSS or Photoshop graphics FX is a bit outdated.

Some nav not happening:

  • The main nav products link is not doing anything
  • The Guides page is blank.
Maybe breadcrumbs would be useful. The dropdown current page doesn't actually let you know your current page as it is not there obviously once you are on the page.

I would also add some padding to the bordered boxes.

Oh yes, one more thing: page load seems a bit slow.

But as you are new to this, well done! better than my first sites.
 
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Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Many thanks for the input.

Allow me to respond starting with the biggest issue first.

1. Slow Loading: -The landscape image in the slider is big at 925x214 and this takes time. I agonised over this because I needed an image with a large area of white at the top because the main menu over-lies the landscape image. If it wasn't white at the top then the menu would have been obscured. I would like a main menu (sticky?) at the top lying above the slider image. That way I could crop the landscape.

2. Slow Loading. There are 15 product images on the home page. they are small at circa 151x135. Should I make them smaller?

3.Slow Loading. Would Lazy Loading below the fold be of any value here?

4. I agree about the buttons. Separate buttons are a bit "yesterday". What I would like is a full width menu bar like the one on fourteenacre.co.uk but sticky at the top of the page.

5. Bordered boxes. Would it be better without them?

6.I fixed the "Guides" button as far as content is concerned but it lost its formatting.

7. I enabled Yoast breadcrumbs in the Avada Theme but havnt seen any difference.

8. I'll have a go at the padding, after dinner.
 
Mr Lucky

Mr Lucky

New Member
It's not so much the dimensions of images as the file size. It's good practise to compress the file size (e.g. in Photoshop export for web or other image editing applications). So it's possible to reduce an image from 2 or 3 MB to less than 100KB without significantly loosing any perceived quality. And with a jpg, a large white area should not be adding anything significant to the file size anyway.

However even if uncompressed, I am not sure the images would cause the issue, it could well be server settings. I'm not expert on that, just pointing out that there may be other factors.

5. Box borders are fine if you want them, but look better when the text within has some padding as opposed to butting up against or being very close to the border.
 
Mr Lucky

Mr Lucky

New Member
7. I enabled Yoast breadcrumbs in the Avada Theme but havnt seen any difference.
Did you remember to also add the Yoast breadcrumb code to a template?

I'd also say the sticky menu needs a background, transparent background doesn't work as you still see the page text which interferes with the navigation text when you are scrolled down the page

Add this to child theme additional css

Code:
.fusion-header .fusion-row
{background:#fff}
 
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Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
You are right , I had overlooked the necessity of putting short code into every page. All done now and appears good. Many thanks.

Also, I have spent most of the last 2 days working on speeding up the loading times. I deleted all the images and stripped out all the dross with Image Cleaner then optimised all the images for the web using Gimp and then uploaded them.
I also have stripped out unused CSS using another plugin.
The end result is amazing with the home page loading in one third of the previous time. Backups are a fraction of the earlier size also.
Feeling delighted with the result and most grateful to you for your suggestions.

It's late now, so I will look at the background for the sticky header tomorrow but my first reaction is that I don't think I have a child theme.
 
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Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Hi,
I'm eternally grateful for your help to date and I'm wondering if I have cocked up or overlooked an issue because the main navigation is overlying the landscape image in the top slider and it is cropping of the top bit. This is noticeable on the left where the logo is. I have tried to reduced the height of the menu but it still overlaps.
Is there an easy fix?
 
Tomdhu

Tomdhu

New Member
Update!
I think I ay have found a workaround by reducing the menu bar size to zero.
 

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