Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Isn't it ironic how some days you plan to post something. don't get around to it, then someone else posts something on their blog that is very relevant to what you were typing? Scary.

Well Joanna over at Ruffly Speaking is asking about website choices-fonts, set up, etc. And yesterday I was writing about the very same sort of thing, but never made it to the blog.

SOOOOO......I was surfing this last weekend, visiting some websites that I hadn't been to for a long time and people, people, people, it's just about as bad as my rant about spell and grammar check. Websites are now a mainstay. It's a first link to you for many people. What you put up or what other's design for you, says a lot. So for Joanna, sorry, no help on the font or the placement of the links but here's a few things that I found this weekend that might be of some help.

Layout and design. KISS--as in keep it simple stupid. Constantly changing your color, layout, graphics is annoying and gives the impression of indecision, uncertainty. Professional designers will say to keep the font simple with one of the well known ones. Colors-I go against the grain-black background with white lettering. Most say do a simple white back ground, black font. I think the cardigan photos look better against a black background, that's me. But the font is an easy to read color and font.

Layout-make sure that when you create the site, your sizes and pages will open up in a manner that allows it to be accessed on a variety of computers. Otherwise some people will open it to a mess of squished photos, overlapping links and odd looking pages.

Photos--here's my beef with websites promoting dogs. Collage photos with multi colored dogs of the same breed are hard on the eyes. Too much going on. Lots of random shots don't allow for your eyes and brain to follow the flow of the page. Again, KISS. Also, if you are displaying your dogs, have shots of all sides. Makes me wonder when I only see a head shot or shot of a dog standing in the grass, what are they trying to hide? Are they too long in the leg? Do they have a short neck, or do they have a crappy front? On that same note, if it's a big win, great, but if the photo is crappy, don't post it. Always show your dog in a good light, not just to brag about the win. I have many photos, including Frank's last major win and the brood bitch at the National Specialty, that won't see the light of the website--they might be big wins, but not ones that are the best of my dogs.

Links--when you are all finished, have someone else look over your site and make suggestions for changes, let you know about your spelling or grammar errors or where links don't work. The biggest turn off per website gurus is when visitors hit Error 404's or page doesn't exist. They tend to leave at that point, or make a judgement on the website based on that and the above items.

Text--make sure what you say is correct and appropriate. Little quips, quotes and sayings are fine but they can be taken out of context by someone who had no idea why it's on your page. Keep the personal vendettas off your site, heck put it on your blog ;0) Websites are public forums where you are promoting something-family, dogs, hobbies. If you prefer to have people think your mean, rude and inconsiderate of others, they will be more then happy to form that opinion based on a simple phrase on your website.

Remember the web remembers everything. You would be amazed at what you can find if you just know the right place to look.

Last pet peeve---update your site! Now I know that many sites are there purely for informational purposes. That's okay, but in the case of dog people, we put up show results, breeding information, puppies etc. If you announce that you are having a litter, keep the site updated. Heck I went on one site and it was still announcing a litter due last fall! And no the breeding didn't take, in the time being they have breed two additional litters and yet still state they are taking reservations for the fall litter. I don't always get on every day to change on little there here and there or reword something, but at least once a month I take the time to look through and see if there's anything that needs updating. That's tonight's project-new photos, announcements and yes Admin Asst, update the newsletter ;0)

I don't know if that will help out not, Joanna, but just a few things that irritate the heck out of me when surfing.

Later gators.....
Last pet peeve is

1 comment:

Winjammin' said...

I agree with everything you said, and have one more addition...

Make your site a reflection of YOU. When a web surfer stops by your site, they will instantly get a feel for who you are and what you are about. They will either be excited to contact you, or be turned off (and let's face it...we will never appeal to everyone). Our goal should be to appeal to the masses while reflecting a true image of ourselves.

Here's an example of what I mean. Our website is a reflection of us. It's bright and colorful, without being too over the top ( comments about those wild parties at the shows!! LOL). I strive for articulation in anything I write, which reflects our attention to detail and educational level. We have had many people compliment us on the site and said that it is just "us".

Our site isn't perfect, but then again, I may be an IT person, but I'm NOT a web developer.

Just my $.02...