Topic: Website Critique

New Website

Posted by DrAnthonyRodriguez on 125 Points
Please give me your opinion of my new website —

Thank you!

Dr. T.
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  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Looks very bare-bones and amateurish, but that may be OK for your target audience. There certainly is no emotional appeal or warmth, no hint of humans using or monitoring the site, and no depiction of the target audience. Usually those are kisses of death, but perhaps you know the target audience well enough to be able to get away with it.

    Side note: How many site visitors will know what "zetetic" means, or make the effort/take the time to look it up? (In typing the word for this response, the MarketingProfs spell-checker flagged it!)
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    (Aside: I suggest you incorporate some analytics, such as Google Analytics, to measure web traffic)

    While being functional, it's not likely to convince the casual visitor that what you're selling is worth it.
  • Posted by jstiles on Accepted
    I'm guessing you built this based on some previous experience with HTML coding (I still use Dreamweaver once in a while too). The setup and structure are a bit dated. Typically most newer sites utilize a CMS of some sort to facilitate easier content changes. Moreover even purchased templates allow for the ability to customize a site to your needs without extensive coding knowledge.

    - See if your current web host (Bluehost?) has quick install of Wordpress, it is easy to develop a site with that, even for a novice. Help forums are scattered all over the web too.

    - Sitemap should be an XML file, the html version is OK but the crawlers look for the XML.

    - Aesthetic issues can be easliy cleaned up with the use of a free or low cost ($50) template for WP. There are many ready made themes and shortcuts that will improve the usability and look of your site.

    - Your form security is smart in that it uses a math based challenge, however, it is the same problem all the time. It should be a rotated problem. There are both free or low cost solutions for this as snippets or plugins.

    Users will vacate a stale site quickly, you need to capture attention and present your purpose and benefits within 2-3 seconds of a user landing on your site.

    Best of luck!

  • Posted by DrAnthonyRodriguez on Author

    Thank you all for your prompt replies. I truly appreciate your responses.


    (1) How do I make the website less “barebones” and more “meaty”?

    (2) How do I make the website less “amateurish” and more “professional”?

    (3) How do I add “emotion” and “warmth” to the website?

    (4) What do you mean by “no hint of humans using or monitoring the site”?

    (5) What do you mean by depicting the target audience?


    (1) How would you improve the sales pitch?

    “Do you want to get an A+ in Statistics 101? This book will show you how! … Unlike today's textbooks, the book displays no superfluous glitz, just useful information. And, for the examples, the book includes calculations by hand.”


    (1) How using WP or another website builder -rather than HTML/CSS- improve the contents of my website?

    (2) I'll Find out about XML.

    Dr. T
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Improve your sales pitch with proof. Do you have lots of people who have read the book and without any additional coaching, received an A+ in Statistics 101? If so, identify them and their schools to prove your claim.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Items (1) through (5) can all be addressed through use of relevant images, graphics and color/layout. You need to show images of satisfied and successful students in your target audience. More pictures, fewer words. And focus on the core benefit -- in both words and pictures. Give people a single benefit idea to engage them.

    There is a reason professional advertising agencies develop ads using a creative TEAM -- a copywriter and an art director. The words and pictures need to go together to reinforce a strong benefit for the prospective consumer/customer. If either the copy (i.e., the words) or the graphics (i.e., the visual message and imagery) is wrong or absent, the communications objective gets lost.

    Using a Wordpress theme will "force" this discipline on you. Of course you can hire a graphic designer with web design skills, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort, you can probably do an adequate job on your own using Wordpress.

    Trying to be a web designer, copywriter and website architect all by yourself is a guarantee that some or all of these functions will be sub-standard. If you are serious about your online business get the help you need, whether that's with people or Wordpress.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    (1) How do I make the website less “barebones” and more “meaty”?

    Add relevant images and graphic support. Have an overarching theme that communicates the benefit for your target audience. (Do you have a Positioning Statement? If so, ask if each page on the site supports the Positioning Statement. If not, go back to square one and create one.)

    (2) How do I make the website less “amateurish” and more “professional”?

    A good start would be a professional design or theme, including relevant pictures/images. How about a guarantee of some kind? Testimonials from satisfied customers. Do you have a Creative Brief that spells out the goal of the site? If not, you need that too.

    (3) How do I add “emotion” and “warmth” to the website?

    Show PEOPLE. Use words that your target audience uses. Testimonials.

    (4) What do you mean by “no hint of humans using or monitoring the site”?

    I didn't see one picture of a human being on the site. Did I miss it? Or is the site run by a computer?

    (5) What do you mean by depicting the target audience?

    Show a happy, satisfied customer benefiting from whatever it is you sell. Let a prospective customer see how he/she will feel after dealing with you.

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