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Suggestions or advice regards website

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hello everyone!

I have not been on a while due to "getting my head straight" after what seems like losing everyone within the last 3 years, no wonder i like the blues! But time is a good healer and everyone has been so nice...Thank you.

A couple of years ago I said I was going to open up a website selling vintage musical instruments, I was let down by one designer whom had £250 deposit from me, and never got anywhere, the site remained dormant with no work being done for nearly one year. I decided to look around and found a rather budget designer whom could make me a website in a few weeks, taking this into consideration, would anyone like to have a look, please~ don't tell me it is awful, I don't think I could handle that!

However, I really could do with your advice, recommendations, what do you think, and so forth. the site is still under construction as I just have so much to add to it yet.

18 months ago I had 14 alto's for repair, they have started to come back quite quickly after being ripped off by one repairer in the south west shiny winds ;} I don't wish to be liable! And one other from up north, both of these sax's came back unplayable. One which I sent to Ray Colomb, and he had never seen anything quite like it, no felts, most corks missing, no regulation, he had to charge me a basic service to put it right, that was after spending £300 with those in the south.

Anyway, you know the story, I have now hinted at whom one is, but I shall give anyone the info if you e-mail me, only I think you have to be really careful whom you trust your sax with, regardless that they are Namir members, means absolutely hoot I can tell you, this whole journey has been incredibly expensive~ especially for a budding student level player... I have been that for 3 years now! However, I have been running a farm. I am now giving all of this up so I can spend the deserved time with my sax and really work hard with playing.

Plus, If I do not become reasonable, how am I ever going to get to play aside of you all hehe!- a dream would to play alongside those masters like Conal Fowkes~ and of course, the great Pete Thomas :thumb: ~ oops, dreaming again!

Merry Christmas to you all by the way.
Love
Melissa xx.

oh, the site. Click here ~ is it ok to put that link there?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,960
Hi Melissa

It's not awful - - - but it's not great. (Sorry)

The worst thing for me at first is the background hover for the left hand navigation links. I kind of wonder why you got a designer when there are Shopping Cart site softwares available off the shelf that can be customised easily.

Sorry to say that after it seems you've already spent money, but it's best to be honest.

(PS: I did go through the process of adding a couple of items to the cart and following through to the checkout with bank transfer to see how it works, please don't get excited if you think a sale was actually made!)
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hi Pete,

Thank you for your input,it is appreciated, I do prefer honesty, and Thank you too for trying it out, did it work ok?! I did have problems with all the others.

Regards the left hand side and the hover,it does look dark, what would you suggest, take the entire hover out and be plain?

To be honest, I have looked at other methods regards carts etc, but I just do not know what,where and so forth and I am a bit of a technophobe.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,960
Hi Pete,

Thank you for your input,it is appreciated, I do prefer honesty, and Thank you too for trying it out, did it work ok?! I did have problems with all the others.

Regards the left hand side and the hover,it does look dark, what would you suggest, take the entire hover out and be plain?

To be honest, I have looked at other methods regards carts etc, but I just do not know what,where and so forth and I am a bit of a technophobe.
I would forget the hover background, just a different text colour for hover.

I found Cubecart 5 to be very very good (that is what I use for the Musicstore) I customised it slightly but there are many nice skins available.

It's very easy to add content pages, items, categories, keep track of orders, customers, gift certificates, and other stuff all for £96

What I don't know is if they have the other payment methods, e.g. bank transfer. But I would advise against that anyway - I don't think you'd lose any sales by not having it. Paypal and/or a direct credit/debit card processing should be all you need. And/or telephone sales.
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
I would forget the hover background, just a different text colour for hover.

I found Cubecart 5 to be very very good (that is what I use for the Musicstore) I customised it slightly but there are many nice skins available.

It's very easy to add content pages, items, categories, keep track of orders, customers, gift certificates, and other stuff all for £96 Thank you, I shall have a look!

What I don't know is if they have the other payment methods, e.g. bank transfer. But I would advise against that anyway - I don't think you'd lose any sales by not having it. Paypal and/or a direct credit/debit card processing should be all you need. And/or telephone sales.
I have done this now.

Thank you Pete!
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Hi Melissa, just tried your website and the hover is still there..... maybe you haven't refreshed it yet?
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,898
Hi Melissa

I quite like the home page especially the header but when I hover over the buttons on the left they become too dark to read, is this what you changed?

I too followed through to purchasing and it seemed quite straightforward.

Not everyone has a paypal account so may be worth taking credit cards direct, you could use worldpay or sage pay for this I think?

Jx
 
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Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
The site was developed within a programme? called joomla.
I can't make heads nor tails of it, I still can't find how to change that-I have asked the designer where it is but I guess he is busy. I wish these things were easy!
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hi J,

I have the paperwork here which arrived today to use streamline, though it is a £75.00 set up fee plus £19.99 per month plus 1.2% on credit cards and less on debit cards, not that I do not mind paying it, but I really am quite naive to all of these, and I don't even like computers!
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
If you decide you ever want to take control of your own web design and build, I use weebly.com for mine. Admittedly nothing to do with Sax and not a shopfront although that functionality is available and it is free or relatively cheap if you want more advanced features.

Take a look at what this amateur has achieved.... You can host your own domain name there for a 'nominal' charge. I own mpl1.co. but decided not to pay anything for my site :) so left it with the weebly suffix.

www.mpl1.weebly.com
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,898
Hi J,

I have the paperwork here which arrived today to use streamline, though it is a £75.00 set up fee plus £19.99 per month plus 1.2% on credit cards and less on debit cards, not that I do not mind paying it, but I really am quite naive to all of these, and I don't even like computers!
Expensive I'd get some other quotes too.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,960
The site was developed within a programme? called joomla.
I can't make heads nor tails of it, I still can't find how to change that-I have asked the designer where it is but I guess he is busy. I wish these things were easy!
Then I think you have a problem if you are going to rely on a developer always to change things. I would (again) recommend Cubecart. But for all of these types of site you do need some basic knowledge of how your site hosting works, ie FTP file transfers and basic knowledge of how to set up a mysql database. I'm happy to help you with that, and I'm sure there are other people here who can help.

I have the paperwork here which arrived today to use streamline, though it is a £75.00 set up fee plus £19.99 per month plus 1.2% on credit cards and less on debit cards, not that I do not mind paying it, but I really am quite naive to all of these, and I don't even like computers!
You just have to think "might there be, on average, a person every month who would spend more than £20.00 but doesn't because they don't/can't use Paypal."

I started off just using Paypal, and some people did contact me asking if I'd take cards directly instead.

I think it's worth having both. Paypal also do a gateway so you can take cards direct, but I think that's about the same price. Worldpay do have a very helpful telephone support.
 

Pauline

Senior Member
Subscriber
Messages
467
Melissa, forgive me for being pedantic but I've read your home page and it should be 'manufacturers who' not 'manufacturers whom'. Hope you don't mind, I'm just trying to be helpful.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I took a good look. In general I agree with Pete, but it's servicable, doesn't look bad. Has a slightly amateur feel about it. One thing I'd change, is that under every sale item is a price - but the word each following it is irritating. Especially when you're clearly selling individual items.

Another point is that when you click on an item, it brings it up in another window, click on a pic to enlarge and you gett he whole window opening again, not an enlarged pic. (At least it did with the Hawkes Predominant). Wording for that is messy as well - One link for view/sell and part of the description.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
The whole site looks very amateurish, basic and not very well though out. I'd be inclined to sack the developer and scrap the site, a site like that can be more damaging to a small business than anything else. Imagine your a prospective client, look at your site, what do you think?
Find a professional developer who has links to other sites they have done from their own site, so you can see just what you are going to be paying for, another thing to avoid are seo companies, these guys are like leaches, charge lots of money and achieve little, apart from lining their own pockets.
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Plus, If I do not become reasonable, how am I ever going to get to play aside of you all hehe!- a dream would to play alongside those masters like Conal Fowkes~ and of course, the great Pete Thomas :thumb: ~ oops, dreaming again!
There is an old American Indian saying "Follow your dreams for they are the hope for the future" which I have in a large cross stitch on my bedroom wall.

A lot of magical things have happened and been created by people by following their dreams. So keep up the dreaming Melissa , so long as you are also taking action towards them as well (which you clearly are), then there is always the possibility that you WILL play alongside our very own Mr Pete Thomas at some point, and anyone else you could wish for who is still adorning this mortal coil. Correction, with today's technology this 'mortal coil' doesn't apply does it ..... after all Natalie Cole sang with her dad, Morecombe and Wise appears with Chris Moyles via hologram recently ................

Mel
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,960
Find a professional developer who has links to other sites they have done from their own site, so you can see just what you are going to be paying for,
Yres, but only if you need someone like that to do the actual installation of a shopping cart site. As I said above, something simple for the user to update themselves is best, even if you pay somebody to configure the initial setup (database etc.) which should cost no more than £50-£100.

Once you have that, updating new products, descriptions and prices is as easy as using this forum, ie making posts, links, uploading images, profile etc.

A developer you have to keep going back to to change little things is asking for trouble, even if they are cheap one day they aren't available and you then have to find somebody else.
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
911
Melissa, if you want more comments:
1) I agree with some previous posters, it's not terrible but it doesn't look polished for a commercial site, but this is down to the designer.
2) I don't like the wording "each" after every item (I know a minor point!)
3) The Home page title is too dark and difficult to see the "WestMusic" logo from the background.
4) I know this is only a minor point, but all the photos were too dark, try to use a neutral background that doesn't create shades.
5) The font on the Home page is different from the font on other pages, also could be bigger on the Home page

an finally, best of luck with your venture: this is something I would've liked to do, but for different reasons never got off the ground! I admire your perseverance!

Cheers,
M.
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
I took a good look. In general I agree with Pete, but it's servicable, doesn't look bad. Has a slightly amateur feel about it. One thing I'd change, is that under every sale item is a price - but the word each following it is irritating. Especially when you're clearly selling individual items.
" I am told by the designer that the word each is unable to be removed- that annoys me too!"

Another point is that when you click on an item, it brings it up in another window, click on a pic to enlarge and you gett he whole window opening again, not an enlarged pic. (At least it did with the Hawkes Predominant). Wording for that is messy as well - One link for view/sell and part of the description.
I have changed the photo's to larger without using jpegbay- which obviously does not work on joomla.
Please have a look at the predominant now and see if that is any better.

I appreciate your input!
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Melissa, if you want more comments:
1) I agree with some previous posters, it's not terrible but it doesn't look polished for a commercial site, but this is down to the designer. 2 I could not agree more, the software Joomla is actually used by ebay and other companies, so it is designer error.
2) I don't like the wording "each" after every item (I know a minor point!)" me too, I loathe it"
3) The Home page title is too dark and difficult to see the "WestMusic" logo from the background." Again, I agree"
4) I know this is only a minor point, but all the photos were too dark, try to use a neutral background that doesn't create shades.
" I have placed larger photo's on the Predominant, please have a look to see if this is any better?"
5) The font on the Home page is different from the font on other pages, also could be bigger on the Home page, £Thanks for that, I shall have a look and change it.

an finally, best of luck with your venture: this is something I would've liked to do, but for different reasons never got off the ground! I admire your perseverance! " I am not sure about perseverance, I am now some £500 lighter and still do not have what I would really like."

Cheers,
M.
Lastly, Thank you for your input!
 
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