I have my site up and running, but am interested in opinions from other wordpress users on how to improve it. How do I get people to read my blog and join my forum? Suggestions?
Thanks so much for looking and for the feedback.
Nice looking site with pleasant colors and simple layout.
Search Engine Optimization is critical, I think, to getting visitors to your site. Search engines have to be able to find your site otherwise no one will know you’re out there. I didn’t see an SEO plugin, that’s the first thing you want to get. I use All in One SEO Pack (do a search here on WordPress).
I haven’t figured out how to get people to join our forums either (http://hounddogsdrule.com/forum/). I think I have the SEO working (some test searches put us on page 1 or 2) and we’re getting decent traffic, just no takers yet. It’s one of those things I categorize as heard mentality…once someone joins and starts posting others will follow.
I noted you’re using Simple:Press for your forum. That’s what we use too. It is full featured and allows for lots of customization. Add posts yourself until you get some more members. All of the content in the forums end up helping with searches that will lead people to your site.
Best of Luck,
Nice looking site. It does look to me like an Artisteer site but you’ve done pretty well customising it.
I found Artisteer doesn’t provide any real freedom of design, so I’ve moved on to Child Themes 🙂
Website looks nice. Only thing these small pics in the candle shop have 1.2 MB each what takes real long till they load. For that purpose 50 KB per pic would be sufficient.
Nice looking and organized site.
One thing to consider is the colors… there’s a lot of purple/violet in there creating a monotone look. I had the same thing going on in my site with grays. When I added a third color to it (red), it made a big difference in the whole site.
My site still probably isn’t the best example of using colors but you can see just the small amount of red I added and where. http://www.alivemachine.com
One other thing is that there could be some more prominent images of candles on the home page. That would help with the color too.
Thank you to everyone for your feedback so far. 🙂
Roostertail, I set up SEO all in one, so thanks for the tip.
Thanks rainer23 for the tip about the images. I put them up there one day and didn’t even think about the size, and you are right!
And rtech I also appreciate the advice about the colors. I checked out your site and can see what a difference the splash of red makes for your site.
Thanks to everyone who has commented so far!
I’m somewhat visually challenged and find some of your site very difficult to read.
However changing the font size of my browser breaks the top navigation display.
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. I am definitely finding the suggestions useful.
randomgift: What advantages have you found with Child Themes?
I am working on some changes and very much appreciate the suggestions. I am trying to figure out how to get smaller versions of my photos (smaller file size). Any photoshop experts out there? How do I take a large, high resolution file and make it smaller but still good quality?
Thanks in advance for any help,
Does anyone think there is something missing from the site. Something you would come there looking for and don’t see? Anything that would be helpful to the novice? Just curious what would make the site more interesting for people to want to visit.
Thanks for the help and feedback!
To reduce your image size in Photoshop, once you have opened the image go to Image > Size, make sure Constrain Proportions is selected and reduce your image to around 800px width (I think this is a decent size for the image on the web)
Once you’ve reduced the initial size of the image, reduce it’s file size by going to File > Save for Web, muck around with the quality savings to get your image looking decent, then save the file.
After you have saved for the web, just close your image, but do not save the changes (it is better to keep the high resolution file in case you need the image for any print marketing)
Forgot to add, I would place your Featured Item above the Candle Tip of The Week, just because it will make the item more visible (no scroll) and will help break up the text on the page.
To mentalist3d and everyone who has graciously commented, thank you. I have already started to implement some changes based on your suggestions and have others in the works. I appreciate the feedback as sometimes you need another set of eyes to “see” things. Thanks again so much!
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