Topic: Website Critique

Updated Website: Better?

Posted by DrAnthonyRodriguez on 250 Points

Base on your suggestions, I made the following changes to


Added students.
Added a shield to the books (New logo)
Added external links for SEO rating.


Added other books from Amazon.


Uploaded an XML sitemap to the server and submitted it to Google.
Changed the background color to a very light blue.

Any other suggestions?

Thank you!

Dr. T
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  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    A modest improvement, but not there yet. On a 1-10 scale you've come from 2.0 to 2.5. You need to become 8.0 or better. Modest incremental changes won't get you there.

    Site still looks amateurish and the benefit promise is not clear/obvious ... and certainly not above the fold.

    Who are those people at the top of the page? Are they customers who got straight As because of your bargain-priced books? ("What does 'America's Best' mean? Best what?")

    Why are you avoiding Wordpress or some other web design platform/service? You are making this harder on yourself than you have to. Ditto with a professional designer.

    I don't mean to be unduly harsh. But I also don't want to put a false sugar-coating on my honest reaction. If others have a different view I'm sure they'll chime in. We'll even help you get to where you want to go.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Please, please, please: find examples of sites you like (or that are similar to the kinds of sites you like). Make a list of all the features and functions your site needs, and then, use ODesk or ELance and hire a web designer.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Another approach: contact local college students and ask them for feedback. Offer a Starbucks (or Amazon or...) card as a raffle prize to all that look at your website and complete a survey form. You'll learn a lot from them - most especially if they'd be likely to purchase the book from your website.
  • Posted by DrAnthonyRodriguez on Author

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

    Unfortunately, I discovered there is no “silver bullet.” I posted the same query in a publishers' forum and got opposing responses. For example, some suggested more images, other suggested more white space.

    While I make additional incremental changes to the website -sorry mgoodman- I am going to focus on directing potential customers to my's landing page:

    Dr. T
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Member
    It's important here to understand that publishing isn't marketing, and that website design is aimed at retaining and focusing attention. Please, please, please find and work with a designer who understands the importance of site architecture, navigation, and focus.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    I wouldn't go to a publishers' forum for marketing or design advice any more than I'd go to a professional marketers' forum for advice on orthodontia.

    I am both a marketer and a publisher, and I've seen first-hand how oblivious most publishers are to the fundamentals of marketing. Sure, book marketing has some unique peculiarities, but marketing basics still apply.

    And as for incremental improvements to your home-grown website, it is I who should be sorry. We obviously were not sufficiently persuasive in our advice to you. Our fault, not yours. Good luck.

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