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WillZilla

The Doors are Finally Open!!!

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Well - it took a little longer then expected but I finally got everything up and running with my pet supply store. I have the SSL installed - I have the products entered (well a portion of the pet supplies as there are still a few thousand more to add - yuck) and I have the merchant account tied into the processing.

 

The store name is A Plus Pet Goods and hopefully I did a decent enough job that I will get picked up by the search engines. Primarily we ar targetting pet owners that wish to buy pet supplies online for 4 categories: dogs, cats, birds, and fish.

 

If you can critique the site for layout - appeal - seo etc etc... that would be great.

 

If you find things wrong.. please don't hold back.. I can take the abuse as it will only help to hear from the experts like yourself that have gone down this road before!

 

Thanks in advance!!!

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Well - it took a little longer then expected but I finally got everything up and running with my pet supply store.  I have the SSL installed - I have the products entered (well a portion of the pet supplies as there are still a few thousand more to add - yuck) and I have the merchant account tied into the processing.

 

The store name is A Plus Pet Goods and hopefully I did a decent enough job that I will get picked up by the search engines.  Primarily we ar targetting pet owners that wish to buy pet supplies online for 4 categories: dogs, cats, birds, and fish.

 

If you can critique the site for layout - appeal - seo etc etc... that would be great.

 

If you find things wrong.. please don't hold back.. I can take the abuse as it will only help to hear from the experts like yourself that have gone down this road before!

 

Thanks in advance!!!

 

I think it looks nice. The images are loading slower than I'd expect (DSL) but could be a fluke.

Appeal is good. I'd lean a little more toward immediately telling me what to do, if you know what I mean.

 

;)

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There is a mix of .bmp images in there - change to .jpg or .gif.

 

You need a thumbnail image contribution for product images.

 

The links like Check out all our great [pet] supplies., need to be more prominent - you almost don't know where to go or what to do next.

 

 

Sorry, I'm taking Peter's job here ... I'll get back to coding :rolleyes:

 

Nice header/footer combo :thumbsup:


Ack Ack!

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Sorry, I'm taking Peter's job here ... I'll get back to coding? :rolleyes:

 

:D :D :D :D :D

 

Stop slacking Peter !!


Your online success is Paramount.

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:blush:

Tell me more about a thumbnail image contribution for product images.

What is it.. what does it do.. how is it used..

 

Thanks for the feedback thus far gang.. I really appreciate it.

 

I will be making some changes tonight and uploading so continued feedback would be great!

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Right now, your product images are, say 50K each.

osCommerce (out of the box) resizes these images to render thumbnail images (like 100 X 120).

 

The full file size is loaded to display a thumbnail hence slower page load time.

 

With a seperate thumb (say, 5K) for each product, the pages will load faster.

 

There are 2 types of thumbnail contributions:

1 - Auto generates a smaller image from the uploaded product image.

2 - You upload a thumb AND and large image for each product.

 

I use the latter:

 

Big Images

 

It makes a new browse/upload box for a thumb in your admin when you add/edit products.


Ack Ack!

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Okay, this is the real post; :P

1) /www.apluspetgoods.com/ is a nice page, www.apluspetgoods.com/catalog/index.php is not so nice. I would do something special and different with it or incorporate your main page into it. But right now it is the weakest link ... goodbye.

2) I don't like that their is such a difference in the sizes of your product pics. They look way out of place because they are so big 80 x 255) or don't really register with me at all because they are so small (80 x 40).

3) catalog/images/table_background_cart.gif I prefer the original gif. I don't like the grey background.

4) Why do you need the Gender and DOB of your customers????

5) What is the brown background with the horizontal lines that keeps loading with every page. If it doesn't show then get rid of it.

6) catalog/images/HBH_logo1[1].gif This logo messes up your manufactuers box an w i d e n s your right column.

7) You should put a quantity box on your product pages.

8) images/cats.jpg my cat is cuter. :P

9) On your shipping page you have ** relating to free shipping but it also relates to additional shipping charges.

10) Privacy notices (I love these, they are soo funny :P ). "or release any of your information what so ever." If you don't release the customers CC info does your merchant account provider quess what the correct CC number is. Ditto for the shipping company. You must have a lot of lost packages with a policy like that.

11) "All information that you submit when becoming a member of our family is protected and maintained soley by A Plus Pet Goods". Are you sure your merchant account provider does not maintain any information about your customers. When you log into your merchant account on your providers site does it give you a blank screen. I hope it does because that is what you are telling your customers.

12) I have been through most of your site and I can't find out what country you are located, your address, your phone number or anything that tells me you actually exist.

13) images/birds.jpg makes your left column w i d e.

14) "Any bird brain can go to their local pet supply store and pay full retail, but see why all the smart birds are flocking to A Plus Pet Goods for all their bird supply needs.

We feature a full array of bird feed, bird cage accessories, bird treats, and bird feeders at great prices. We are constantly adding new bird supply products so be sure to check back often. Each week we will feature a special price on a particular bird item. The prices will be hard to beat.

So if you are a bird lover or know someone who is really into birds, be sure to let them know about our fabulous bird supply store.

Shop A Plus Pet Goods and you?ll see why birds and their owners just can't keep from flocking to us.

Check out all our great bird supplies."

The word "bird" is written 14 times on that page, I am sure Google has gotten the clue after reading that, but I am not sure the customer will.

15) "A Plus Pet Goods welcomes dogs of all sizes and their human companions to the best darn online dog store. Dog lovers can find lots of ways to enjoy their visits from joining our newsletter to finding that special dog gift for their best friend. Your dogs will be wagging their tails when you show them how much you care by getting their dog supplies from us.

This is a fabulous time to be a dog lover since we cater to dogs! Our store has a complete line of dog products from dog beds to dog toys, training aids for your dog, dog crates, and really yummy dog treats among other things. A Plus Pet Goods is dedicated to all dogs and dog lovers and offer weekly specials to help you save on your dog supplies and dog gifts.

Shop A Plus Pet Goods and you?ll see why dogs and their owners just can't keep their paws off of us.

Check out all our great dog supplies. "

And the new world record for repetative words goes to A Plus Pet Goods for using the word "dog" 20 times in 3 paragraphs.

16) Why do your boxes keep moving around. Every time I go to click on something it is in another place on the page. Very annoying.

17) You need to install header tags.

18) When you go to your home page the contents of your shopping cart disappear, but they do come back when you go back into the store.

19) Where are you because your site is really slow to load?

20) I don't think your "about us" page and your "main" page are supposed to be the same.

 

Overall it is a nice site as far a layout goes. The pics need to be standarized as well as the columns. You need to lay off the repetative text, it won't help your ranking, just annoy your customers.

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Java Roasters, you have an image missing on your site for Tanzanian Peaberry.


'Don't go to the Dark Side! Although ignorance and prejudice are as rampant in web design as in any other human endeavour, web standards are here to stay' - Jeffrey Zeldman - Designing With Web Standards

 

Knowledge Base | Contributions | Tips & Tricks Forum

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Looks Great!!!!! I'm having trouble with mine. Hopefully it'll turn out as well as yours. (Lucky that your prices are not all zeros)

 

Val

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I think I liked Peter's 'STOCK' comment better... LOL

 

I knew I could count on you to let loose and help me work out the kinks...

Keep those posts coming.. especially the negative ones cause they will do more good then harm!

 

and now.. attempting to break the record....

 

java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java java

 

:lol: Woooohoooo 48 times.. the new record... ;)

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remove the "Date Added: Wednesday 22 September, 2004" from the new products page, as a customer i dont care when you added it

 

also maybe a short description would be good on the new products page

 

and if you can, try and make all of your images the same size

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Im having a tough time with the image sizes... The products Im selling are both in portrait and landscape formats... Originally I gave a default hieight and width so they all were the same sixe.. but that made the portrait images squished up looking...

 

I then removed the height tag and left the width the same for them all... I read about image contribs but I got to be honest I didnt follow some of the ones to add.

 

One thing I did notice though is my osCommerce version appears to be 1.46. If I wanted to upgrade to 2.2 will that mess up my store as it is now? I mean will I have to go back and redo the layout and make my changes to each page? If so I dont think I want to go through that nightmare...

 

Does anyone have suggestions about this image problem for the version I currently have?

 

Also.. thanks for the heads up on the file size.. I hadnt realized that my wife who has been entering the products was just taking the images as is and sticking them up there.. I corrected that lastnight by making the dimensions a bit smaller and changed the resoultion and export settings.. Most of my images are now about 6k - 9K

 

Anyhow.. thanks again for the insight...

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Hi Will,

Nice looking site on the home page anyway. Have to agree with Peter, the index page suddeny messes up your nice looking store. As for speed, I know i'm only on 56K dial in but 4 mins to load the catalog/index.php page. Luckly it gave me time to read Peters posting.

 

You'd want to look at changing hosting companies and changing your image sizes. NYNBF301_Petite.bmp (Quest Complete Kit Petite) is 235k !!

MF882.bmp (Tooth Scalar Single) is 112k !!

 

Change the wife. she too must be on a slow server !! :P

 

GET RID OF THE NOTIFICATIONS AND REVIEWS IMAGES.


Contributions or Amendments to Contribs.

Add Weight and Weight Total to Cart

Quick install files for QTPro v3.1

 

 

To infinity and beyond ..........

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Dunno what happened there, think I pressed tab and enter by mistake :-"

 

Yep those hateful, disgusting images. osC is great but those two images suck !!

 

As for poor auld Bugs Bunny, no food or toys for him ...... poor, poor Bugs......

 

You'd be as well adding in the advanced keyword search contrib. Your standard search does not search descriptions.

 

Your information box switches across to the right hand side when you go to about us. Try keep it standard through the site.

 

Your site does not state that you only take credit cards as a method of payment.

 

Good luck with the site

 

PhilipH


Contributions or Amendments to Contribs.

Add Weight and Weight Total to Cart

Quick install files for QTPro v3.1

 

 

To infinity and beyond ..........

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Thanks Philip - all of these are good points cept I cant switch the wife.. ;P

 

I do have a question though.. I want to remove the 'Product was added' text but I can't seem to find where you disable that... Anyone have some clues to help me accomplish that?

 

Also.. ovr the next few days I will be incorporating more of these changes and ideas you all have brought forward.

 

This community rocks! :thumbsup:

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In product_info.php, find and remove the following:

 

<tr>

<td align="center" class="smallText"><?php echo sprintf(TEXT_DATE_ADDED, tep_date_long($product_info['products_date_added'])); ?></td>

</tr>

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Superb effort I hope the trade you generate makes it worth while, I'd accept some of the weaknesses in design mentioned, to me they are minor, and devote the same effort and enthusiasm to marketing.

 

I am sure you will do well with this site if you get enough of the target audience to visit.

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In product_info.php, find and remove the following:

 

<!-- <tr>

      <td align="center" class="smallText"><?php echo sprintf(TEXT_DATE_ADDED, tep_date_long($product_info['products_date_added'])); ?></td>

    </tr> -->

Another option I have done is to comment it out as shown above. This way you can put it in a a later time.


'Don't go to the Dark Side! Although ignorance and prejudice are as rampant in web design as in any other human endeavour, web standards are here to stay' - Jeffrey Zeldman - Designing With Web Standards

 

Knowledge Base | Contributions | Tips & Tricks Forum

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Ok.. I made most of the changes that people had suggested.. I still havent tackled the image problem alltogether... I did remove the BMPs and made the file sizes a bit smaller.. all are running at about 6k I would like to get that accomplished and still may do so...

 

I purchased another domain that I will begin working on it too will be the pet supply store idea and will use the same database as the current store I have up. PET STORE

 

I will create a simular look and feel to the template but I will try to make the osCommerce part of the store much more customized.

 

Also... for the SEO portion - it seems to be kicking in a little bit now... We are not getting a ton of traffic just yet... but the site itself has been index by every major search engine getting a link popularity score of 1094 and a search engine saturation score of 196. Not to bad being the URL was purchased in September.

 

With a little luck and some more marketing efforts we just might make this work!

 

I welcome any additional feedback & critiques so we can continue to improve upon what we have done.

 

THANKS!

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:)

 

sweet... the sites link popularity score just shot up to 4096 and the saturation score went to 605. We have started to see a few customers now which is great. Its slow going -but- thanks to the comments here - the site will (well should) be successful.

 

As always I am open to feedback -so- if anyone finds something out of whack or just wants to give me a suggestion on how we can improve this... please do!

 

A Plus Pet Goods

 

Thanks agian everyone!

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Hi all... just a little update to the SEO marketing of the store. So far things seem to be moving in the right direction. We are averaging about 50 visitors a day to the store (which certainly could be better - but being only 4 months since we started the website, I'm not complaining).

 

Our scoring has shot through the roof. Our link score is now over 16,000 and our saturation score is at 700. So hopefully those keep jumping up and the search engine gods will smile down upon us...

 

I do have a question if anyone has done this or could lend a solution i would greatly appreciate it. I am trying to get the product pages to show the product name in the page titles...

 

I tried this: <title> <?php echo $products_name; ?> </title>

but.. that didnt work. If anyone has done this and can lend a hand.. saweet!

 

Also... since i see my site frequently I kinda have tunnel vision at this point... If anyone could check it out and point out any errors or items that could be tweaked that would be grand. Pet Supplies Store

 

As always.. thanks in advance.

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I think your site is great!

 

I did spot one small bug since you ask. There is a lot of sideways scrolling needed at even very high resolution. It seems to be being caused by your SSL box which is way, way off to the right. (using Firefox at 1280 x 1024).

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I think your site is great!

 

I did spot one small bug since you ask. There is a lot of sideways scrolling needed at even very high resolution. It seems to be being caused by your SSL box which is way, way off to the right. (using Firefox at 1280 x 1024).

 

Kewl.. thanks I never noticed that since I use IE for browsing..

The SSL image is a floating box in my stylesheet.. I will have to play around with it to see If I can get it to work properly... I may just have to make it part of the footer image.

 

Thanks....

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Your site looks great! Just noticed one possible error. When I click Checkout in the Navigation bar at the top, it takes me to https://apluspetgoods.com/catalog/checkout_shipping.php and I get an error that the page can't be displayed. Not sure if it is anything on my side.

 

Also, when designing my site I read that one of the "rules" of web design is to be able to click the logo and get back to the index page. So, it might be nice if the Aplus Petgoods in the upper left could be clicked to get to the home page.

 

Do you have any suggestions for marketing? We just opened a couple of weeks ago and are interested in any way to get more traffic to the site. Congrats on your site!

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