A fellow member of a forum I have been a member of since 2005, asked the community for a website critique. I checked out her site and found it interesting, in that I could look at it with a critical eye and see, in my opinion, what works and what doesn’t. Although I hope my post helps her and her wife, maybe even some other blogger who stumbles upon the reply to her DigitalPoint.com thread, I thought it would be good exercise for me and help me to get inspired to work harder on my own blog.
Looking for any feedback! I’m always looking to improve this site. It’s my baby. 😀 (Jerlene)
I can understand that. I have a few “babies” and have discovered I am quite the procrastinator. Because of that, I’ve never asked anyone for a website critique. This is one of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kinda posts, but try to take my comments more as suggestions from a rambling old man with nothing better to do tonight. 😉 Let’s take this in alphabetical order (image file names).
All Website Critiques Have To Start Somewhere
I know times have changed since I first logged onto Compuserve in 1992, but I still think it’s good advice: never, ever show your email address online. Unless you like collecting spam, that is. And even though I also use what I like to call “throw-away” email addresses (yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc.) for certain things, I think it’s more professional to use a dedicated email address, like firstname.lastname@example.org. Many people disagree with that last point, but humor an old man why dontcha.
This Is a H3 Heading Tag
I don’t care what anyone says, heading tags (h1, h2, h3 especially) are good SEO and help guide search crawlers to your most important content. That’s not what’s happening here though. Your home page says the most important content is the center column title, “Recent Posts.” If you want that to have some SEO power, as well as grab the attention of your visitor, then give it a bit more snazzy title, like “Our Most Recent, Senseless Articles.”
Then your theme indicates your second most important content is all of your widget titles. Say wha??? Yeah, and worse yet, it thinks the actual titles of all your great articles in the center column are worth no more than an h3. You would think the theme designer should know getting the search engine to pay closer attention to your post titles than your widget titles is kinda important. Sometimes I wish theme designers would ask for a website critique. I’d give it to ’em.
No screengrab here, but I also noted that your single post pages don’t harness the value of heading tags either – I mean except for the title of the post. In a post that is more than 300 words (all your posts should be at least 300 words), you should be able to squeeze in an h2, or maybe an h3 (you can skip h2 and go from h1 to one or more h3s in an article, like I did in this post). Be sure to use a keyword in one or more of your heading tags.
Bottom line, I would try to find a way to eliminate all widget title heading tags. You can still style the text so it looks the same, but save heading tags for actual content.
Not So Much About the Menu, But About About
Your About page has precious little content. Your Staff page doesn’t have much more. But they are both pretty much about the same thing. Why not make your About page include all the content of both pages. If, later on, you take on more staff, then you can make a sub-menu item for staff. If you’re worried the menu would begin to look a little barren, create an actual Contact page with a form that uses some kind of security from spammers. The most popular WordPress contact form is Contact Form 7, which I use on some of my sites, but prefer the simplicity of WPForms on others.
All Website Critiques Should Denigrate the Lowly Meta Widget
I have always hated that Meta widget in WP, especially because it links to wordpress.org, which is irrelevant to 95% of what I post about. And I don’t really want people to register, I just want them to read. If they can’t register, then they don’t need the log in link either – my browser has a bookmark to the admin side anyway. There are plugins that can take the place of the Meta widget, or just don’t use anything. The links you do want, you can put in your footer.
Ya Gotta Advertise, But…
I know that’s supposed to be an ad, but for some reason, Google Adsense decided not to put one there while I was browsing. Instead, they left behind a big ugly yellow block of nuthin’. It doesn’t match your theme’s color scheme even. But you can ferget about teaching Adsense a thing or 3; b’lieve me, I’ve tried. But… the plugin I use for my Adsense ads is Advanced Ads and one of the settings eliminates that ugly block when an ad doesn’t appear. I wish it would collapse the block so the content flows smoother, but it doesn’t. I think you can also tell Adsense to place a dummy or non-paying ad there when there’s no other ad available.
So, Jerlene, that’s just some of the stuff that I thought might help you or some other blogger. I hope you don’t mind that I took advantage of your invitation for a website critique. Granted, some of the stuff I mentioned is also wrong with my own site. I could excuse it away by saying I just installed my theme a couple days ago and haven’t got to any of those yet, but that’s only true if you’re visiting sometime in mid-January 2019 – after that, it’s anyone’s guess, but prob’ly just my latent procrastination-itus kicking in. I hope you can use one or two of my ideas. Take what you like and leave the rest, as they say in my AA meetings. All the best of luck toward your success as a blogger, even if it is rather senseless.
Oh, PS: Create a site icon/favicon. It adds flavor and function.