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  #41  
Old 02-19-2003, 01:14 AM
jeaniesa's Avatar
jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Location: Colorado foothills
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Hi Kevin,

Sorry to chime in late here. I was away this weekend when you posted and had to catch up on lots of stuff when I returned.

First, I want to comment on how "professional" your site looks. I love the layout you've put together!

I did catch a brief glimpse of the initial version you posted and I really like the change you made to remove the splash page and send people directly to your "home" page.

One thing that seems a little inconsistent to me is having your contact info at the bottom of your home page and having a separate "Contact Us" navigation link. If it were me, I'd move the contact information that you have on your first page and move it to your "Contact Us" page. I do like your "feel free to contact Kevin 24 hours per day via e-mail..." I would leave that there, but make the word "contact" a link to your contact page.

Also, you might want to consider adding some sort of "encryption" scheme for your e-mail addresses or you will be setting yourself up for a deluge of spam. (That has been my experience at least.) See this thread for more info. About half-way down the first page of posts Leah posted some very helpful links!

I know that you've gotten a lot of feedback on your sub-menus already and that you've been working on them - and fighting with the lack of flexibility in Frontpage. That said, it did take me a couple of page loads before I realized that the Products sub-menus appeared across the top. (I used the links in the text of the main Products page for my navigation.) Once I did figure out that the sub-menu appeared horizontally above, I was frustrated that I couldn't get to either Manipulations or Archiving once I clicked on the "Basic Restoration" link. Once in the Restoration sub-menu, there's no way to get to Manipulations or Archiving without clicking on the main Products link in the rightside navigation bar. (At least, I couldn't find a way.) This is not good because someone might not think to look further than the "Advanced Restorations" link - esp. if they have a smaller browser window and didn't scroll down the main Products page to see that there was more than restorations. Does that make sense?

I'm interested in the comment you made about Paypal. Can you share a link for more info with me? I'm also in the process of putting my webpage together (and have been pulling my hair out trying to fix a defect in Javascript that wasn't actually a defect. ) So, I'm also following this thread with interest and hope to get some feedback on my own site in the not-to-distant future. Unlike you, I wasn't smart enough to start from a template, so I've had a huge learning curve. I know more about JavaScript now than I ever thought I wanted to.

Thanks for being brave enough to ask for feedback. This has been a great thread so far!

Jeanie
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  #42  
Old 02-19-2003, 01:20 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Forgot to mention... As for ideas about the gallery pages, I'm still working on that myself! I have lots of ideas, but haven't actually tried to implement anything. You might want to search the web for various sites with galleries and see how others have designed them. Then you'll get a feel for what works well for you and what doesn't - both in terms of navigation and implementation. I spent literally hours going through the websites of members here on RP taking notes on what I liked and what I would do differently. It was worth the time I spent doing it though - I learned a lot about how much difference a good presentation of information/images can make!

Jeanie
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  #43  
Old 02-19-2003, 06:02 PM
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KevinBE KevinBE is offline
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Location: Lake Charles, LA
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Hi Jeanie, thanks for your observations. I'm trying to figure out how I can best organize the links. More experience would help me a lot. I have several degrees from the University Of Hard knocks. I hate signing up for classes there but I keep going back for more for some reason.

I agree with you about the contact information. I need to do more research on the contact form. It doesn't produce the information in a very usable format. I guess I need to learn more about it. The Microsoft book I bought "Frontpage 2002 Step By Step" discusses creating the contact page but doesn't even mention how you get the data back. I found a slight mention about it in another book. This is frustrating to say the least, so now do I buy yet another book to learn how to manipulate the data collected with this form.

The information about Paypal is discussed in great detail on their site. That is where I learned about it. It seems to be a much better alternative to developing your own relationship with the credit card companies. They offer all the information about setting up their shopping cart system and supply everything you need to get it up and running. The only fee comes when they collect a payment for you. I'd like to talk to someone using their system to see if it is all they claim. Here is the link http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr.../index-outside
There are no fees to open a business account with them.

I am looking into add-in tools to help me with the Gallery. I don't think that Frontpage 2002 will do what I want. I hope to design a gallery page with all the thumbnails set up the way I want them, with the ability to add my comments to the page they will see when they are actually viewing the expanded version of the pictures. Frontpage doesn't allow you access to modify the viewing page at all. Microsoft loves to provide business opportunities for companies that offer aftermarket products that provide services Microsoft software fails to provide, that's a mouth full. I don't want to have to learn any additional software program to complete this project but it looks like I just night have to.
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  #44  
Old 02-19-2003, 06:56 PM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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Kevin, I stumbled across this or a similar forum a couple of months ago - when I was thinking of opening a paypay account for Christmas shopping. It opened my eyes.

I did a Google search just now for "paypal bad experience" and got thousands of hits.

I have no personal experience with them, but with that many people complaining, they can't all be making it up.

Margaret
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  #45  
Old 02-19-2003, 07:15 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Quote:
I have several degrees from the University Of Hard knocks. I hate signing up for classes there but I keep going back for more for some reason.
You too? I'm sure we've been in at least one class together!

Before you buy another book on Frontpage, try doing a web search on "forms". (Maybe "Frontpage forms"?) I've found tons of info on the web when I have a specific problem I'm trying to solve/implement.

I'm not using Frontpage, but have used it in the past and have the "Running Microsoft Frontpage 2000" book from MS Press. I assume the contact page is a form. My book mentions an "Options for Saving Results of Form" dialog box. This is accessed by right-clicking anywhere on the form and selecting "Form Properties" from the pop-up menu, then clicking on "Options." If it were me, I'd have the results mailed to me, which you can set up by then clicking on the "E-mail Results" tab. It looks pretty straight forward from there. (I would check the "include field names" box.) Perhaps you've already found this and are having problems beyond this. If not, this might help a little.

Thanks for the link to Paypal. I'll take a look at that.

I know how frustrating it is to have to learn one application after another just to do something that "should" be simple! I guess that's why web designers have jobs! If it were easy, they wouldn't be needed. (Same with photo restoration/retouching too!) Do you have any programming experience? I think you've probably mentioned this before, but I can't remember. I have to say that I'm really glad that I have a programming background. It has made it a lot easier to go in a tweak the HTML code to do exactly what I want - and to debug Javascripts, etc.

I took a look at your source code to get an idea for how your menus are designed. Did you create the gifs that make up your menu, or did Frontpage create them automatically from text that you typed in to a template? I'm thinking that you could modify the GIFs slightly to make them appear to "indent" a bit, then add more menu items to your menu on the right. Specifically, when you click on the Products menu item, it will bring you to the Products page and the menu on the right will include three indented items below Products: Restoration, Manipulation, Archiving. I think that you tried this and weren't able to get the sub-menu items to indent? What I'm suggesting is that you create the menu with Frontpage, then edit the GIFs that Frontpage uses in PS to make them appear to indent. Not sure if I'm explaining this well enough, so I've attached an example for what I'm talking about. Since I don't know exactly what limitations you ran into before, I'm not sure if this will help or not. But, it's what I would try (and have done something similar before.)

Good luck. Hang in there - you've got a great base to work from!

Jeanie
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  #46  
Old 02-19-2003, 07:17 PM
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themanda themanda is offline
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Kevin, very good site. Good template choice.

I've got a few comments that I hope will help you.

1. To second David, you need to add unique titles to each of your pages. Beyond being useful when someone bookmarks a page within your site, it will also help you in search engine optimization. Giving each page a unique title such as "Photo manipulation--remove unwanted features or people!" (only an example!!) you're hitting valuable keywords for the unique content on that page.

2. Keywords--they're really not too much of a help or a draw-back in the grand scheme of things, but you can include them on each subpage of your site. Also, the way the coding is handling them is slightly bulky to say the least. I don't know how FP handles raw code manipulation, but right now it's plugging each keyword you have chosen into a unique line in your HTML. This isn't going to hurt you at all with your human audience, but it's basically just junk code that'll slow down spiders and robots. You can consolidate all of your keywords into one tag, like this:


<meta name="keywords" content="geneology Louisiana Lake Charles picture CD photo archive restoration restore photograph">

Your current keywords on your homepage look like this:

<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="geneology">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="Louisiana">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="Lake Charles">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="picture CD">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="photo archive">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="restoration">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="photo restore">
<meta http-equiv="keywords" content="photograph restoration ">

By combining all of your keywords into one tag with no comma deliniation, you're essentially making all of your keywords one big interchangeable searchable phrase. For instance, the way I wrote it you're hitting keywords for "picture restoration", "photo restoration" and "photo restoration in Lake Charles" (just three examples) without gunking up the code.

3. Gallery pages--If you want to be able to manipulate your gallery pages a little more, you can write a basic HTML page in Notepad, and just save it to whatever file you're saving your site in on your computer. It would look something like this:

<html>
<title>INSERT TITLE HERE</title>
<body>
INSERT YOUR PHOTO OF CHOICE
<P>
NOW INSERT YOUR TEXT ABOUT THE PHOTO. "<P>" without the quotes will result in a blank line, while using "<BR>" will result in a line break with no space.
<P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

Be sure to save your file as .htm or .html and you've just built a basic, barebones html file.
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  #47  
Old 02-19-2003, 07:21 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Sigh...

Thanks for that additional link on Paypal Margaret. I know that some sellers on eBay refuse to work with Paypal, but I never knew why. This probably explains at least some of it.

Are there no easy answers any more??

Jeanie
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  #48  
Old 02-19-2003, 08:09 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Margaret -- thanks for the link to PayPal criticisms (and referrals to criticism-pages re: AMEX, United, Microsoft, Allstate).

I have no direct experience with them other than successful payment for a number of EBay purchases. A non-profit org that I volunteer with has considered signing with them, but has not due to some confusion with just how it would work out -- so now if we talk about signing up with them, I'll have a place to investigate potential problems.

Themanda -- your Keyword advice sounds like a really good idea - thanks for sharing.
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  #49  
Old 02-19-2003, 08:49 PM
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KevinBE KevinBE is offline
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Location: Lake Charles, LA
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Thanks Margaret for the information on Paypal. That information troubles me enough to re-think the notion that I might use them. I went to the BBB online and looked at their records. The BBB kind of danced around as far as an opinion about Paypal. Other members were given a rating in the reports about their business dealings.

For instance according to the BBB over the last 36 months there were 1991 complaints submitted to the BBB about Paypal. I checked on a site I do business with on a regular basis, BH Photo, who had only 37 complaints in the last 36 months. The BBB gave a detailed breakdown on what the complaints were about and how they were resolved. The BBB gave them a rating of "satisfactory". They did none of this for Paypal and failed to mention how they rated Paypal.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It looks fishy for the BBB to give inconsistant reports but this is what I get from this. Now I am losing respect for the BBB.

If Paypal had 1991 complaints turned in to the BBB how many other customers had problems but didn't want to complain? That's a big step to file a complaint with the BBB. I think that statistics say that only 1 in 3 people complain about poor customer service. The other 2 just go away quietly.

Jeanie, thanks again for the info. I'll look into doing more information surfing. Programming is always something I have done because I have had to, not because I enjoy it. I have forgotten a lot more about programming than I can remember. I used to do a lot with clipper, Dbase, and basic. Back in the good old days?

Wow, in the time I took to draft this message there have been three additional posts.

Thanks themanda, that looks like something I need to do. I am meta tag challenged so that is good information for me. I'll take the advice on the page names ( I assume that this is in the property of the page and not the file name?). Gee I 'm going to have to print this thread so I can remember to touch on all the advice.

Thanks again guys, Hi CJ.

Last edited by KevinBE; 02-20-2003 at 03:57 PM.
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  #50  
Old 02-20-2003, 02:12 PM
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KevinBE KevinBE is offline
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I'm going back and picking up on suggestions from all the previous posts. Jeanie thanks for reminding me about Leah's post on the encryption of the e-mail link. Thanks to you leah, the program worked great. I now have an encrypted e-mail link on my site. I will do more on the contacts form later.

I'm looking for a credit card service site. There are many to choose from with a wide range of cost . Haven't found a keeper yet but I'll keep fishing.
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