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Thread: I'm Applying For A Review

  1. #1
    codergames is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Hi guys,



    Just to say few things first. I'm a very experienced software developer and a system engineer with 20+ overall coding and design experience. I recently moved to part-time game development. I'm making and selling my own games. The first game was released in April this year, the second game's on the way. While the actual site was designed in 2-3 hours and forum in 10-15 minutes, with simplicity in mind (SEO was also one of the goals), the game was developed much longer and the whole site should emphasize the games. Thanks.



    http://codergames.com/

  2. #2
    Techie is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    [quote name='codergames' date='11 July 2010 - 08:41 AM' timestamp='1278859274' post='6445']

    Hi guys,



    Just to say few things first. I'm a very experienced software developer and a system engineer with 20+ overall coding and design experience. I recently moved to part-time game development. I'm making and selling my own games. The first game was released in April this year, the second game's on the way. While the actual site was designed in 2-3 hours and forum in 10-15 minutes, with simplicity in mind (SEO was also one of the goals), the game was developed much longer and the whole site should emphasize the games. Thanks.



    http://codergames.com/

    [/quote]



    It's great that your website has no errors when checked with the W3C validator. I like your content and your theme.



    I think you should redo your navigation. For example, this is the link to your forum



    There's nothing to tell Googlebot what's on the next page. I think this might even be considered hiding links (against the Webmaster Guidelines). If I was you I would put the image in the HTML so you could have an ALT tag to tell the search engines what's on the next page. You could also use a TITLE tag on the link. Ex:



    Code:
    <img border=&#39;0&#39; src=&#39;http://example.com/img.png&#39; alt=&#39;Short description here&#39; />

  3. #3
    codergames is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    [quote name=&#39;Techie&#39; date=&#39;11 July 2010 - 06:46 PM&#39; timestamp=&#39;1278863194&#39; post=&#39;6447&#39;]

    It&#39;s great that your website has no errors when checked with the W3C validator. I like your content and your theme.



    I think you should redo your navigation. For example, this is the link to your forum



    There&#39;s nothing to tell Googlebot what&#39;s on the next page. I think this might even be considered hiding links (against the Webmaster Guidelines). If I was you I would put the image in the HTML so you could have an ALT tag to tell the search engines what&#39;s on the next page. You could also use a TITLE tag on the link. Ex:



    Code:
    <img border=&#39;0&#39; src=&#39;http://example.com/img.png&#39; alt=&#39;Short description here&#39; />
    [/quote]



    Hi and thanks a lot, I was not aware of it! I altered the navigation, on the 20th June, adding forum, it must have been like that since then. Thank you very much!

  4. #4
    StephenM is offline Net Builder
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    Hey codergames, I&#39;ll give you some feedback on your site. First of all your site had achieved something alot of sites can&#39;t do. Your site has a "goal, purpose" You don&#39;t use the site to express a hobby like writing, or sport like football. But use the site to keep everyone put to date with your games. And for people who play your game or games to meet and discuss! A real goal your site has. I also like your link goes to your frontpage and not the forum. Your site is also not a copy cat of any forum, you got a special site there.



    And everyone gets confronted with what the site is about, so most of there questions are solved right away. There is alot to find on the main page, all the stuff you need to know. The person doesn&#39;t get confronted with to much context that is good.

    [hr]

    Positive things of your site I came up with at some looking:



    1. You get to know the site, and what it provides without searching.
    2. Good looking banner on the frontpage, and the pink isn&#39;t flashy on the eyes in the forum. The banner there is also well done.
    3. Your site or forum got everything to help someone out, it isn&#39;t confusing at all.




    The only negative



    1. Many banners to the right side on the frontpage and below on the forum.

    2. Activity, participation.



    How to solve the banner problem ?

    Answer: Remove the banners or links you don&#39;t need the most. But keep those who are nice to know for people who like to play games. Also remove the youtube, facebook and twitter icons bellow on the index. And get your page links added in a topic then made into a global announcement. Works to, but I admit less effective then the way now. Also from the onces remaining remove those who are there who you don&#39;t need, keep those you need the most.



    How to get more acivity or more exposure ?

    Answer: Advertise on facebook, try to find sites similar to yours, or just gaming sites where there are plenty of people who hobby is to play games like you are making. It is called "Targeted Audience" It means finding people who want to find such a site has yours. Also make vids and upload them on youtube. And also important join game sites and advertise your site via banner in your signature. But for that to work you need to make some posts on there to get traffic to your site.



    [hr]



    I hope you got something of help from this feedback.

  5. #5
    StephenM is offline Net Builder
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    [quote name=&#39;codergames&#39; date=&#39;11 July 2010 - 11:41 AM&#39; timestamp=&#39;1278859274&#39; post=&#39;6445&#39;]

    Hi guys,



    Just to say few things first. I&#39;m a very experienced software developer and a system engineer with 20+ overall coding and design experience. I recently moved to part-time game development. I&#39;m making and selling my own games. The first game was released in April this year, the second game&#39;s on the way. While the actual site was designed in 2-3 hours and forum in 10-15 minutes, with simplicity in mind (SEO was also one of the goals), the game was developed much longer and the whole site should emphasize the games. Thanks.



    http://codergames.com/

    [/quote]



    Hi Codergames, great to have you here and thanks for asking for a review.



    I&#39;ll just cover the SEO perspective on your site and I&#39;ll touch on the design and usability some.



    Your site validates as both CSS and xHTML with no error so this is always a good thing. Your front page is sort of a mess however and should be broken down in to sections some. You should add a h1 or h2 tag near the top with some important keywords in it that are about the site such as <h2>Coder Gamers | Free Games For All</h2>.



    Next you should move the sidebar up to the top and put the recent links/news over there in place of all the outgoing external links. Sort of like a 2 column layout. Have the welcoming text you currently have on the left span approx 75% of the page, the final 25% you should show the "Recent News". Below that you should make a 1 column 100% width section for your outgoing links.



    After that you should work on getting some more unique content related pages, and building back links to each individual page as well as the site itself. Use social media like Twitter and Facebook to drive more traffic to your site as well and hopefully increase sales!



    Best of luck

  6. #6
    codergames is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Hi Matt! Thanks a lot, good advices. You won&#39;t believe me, but there were much more links on the front page. The most of those links I need to keep there, as that&#39;s the requirement for them to keep links toward my site. But, I did remove dozens of others that removed link toward my site later.



    I&#39;ve joined a couple of gaming sites, their forums, and put link toward my site in the profile. Judging by Google Webmasters area there are over 25000 links toward my site. How that happened, I&#39;m not sure, as there were only around 300, 10 days ago.



    I&#39;m targeting the audience by using AdWords ... and few days ago there were zero impressions and zero clicks, but now there are some impressions. I&#39;m guessing people are returning from vacations, etc. Things are starting to get more active, the number of downloads is rising slowly. Its not important to me how many people are joining the forum, its more important how many downloads of the game there is. And while there were hundreds downloads in the first month when the game was release, there were just few in the last month. Again, it must be the summer and vacations. We&#39;ll see.



    Its important to me that you find the site game oriented, fully focused on the games and not confusing.



    Thanks!

  7. #7
    codergames is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Hi David and thanks a lot! Those are actually very good advices, the site was built in a hurry. I wanted to just put the game, nothing more. Will see to do those changes soon. I&#39;m working on the next game, its taking my whole time. I&#39;m using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, but you know, Twitter is more like a bulletin board where everyone&#39;s advertising their own business. And while I&#39;m having some followers, I&#39;m not getting that much traffic, they keep communication mostly on the Twitter, asking questions, commenting, etc. Maybe I&#39;m doing something wrong?

  8. #8
    codergames is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    I&#39;ve just changed things around like you guys suggested and it really does look much better and has more space. There&#39;s even space for a top10 for the next game, next to the current top10.



    Thanks again!



    BTW, love new looks on this forum, better than the previous new looks.

  9. #9
    Macster is offline Super Moderator
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    Hey minor suggestion, I think you should take the white background and change it to a light blue, like your nav buttons colors.







    I took a picture of your site, and added in the color.. something like this, or maybe slightly darker I think would make the site pop more. Honestly I thought you had it like this before, and not that white background.



    Looking better though after the changes made. Keep up the good work !

  10. #10
    codergames is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    You&#39;re actually right, the same color as on the forum maybe? It does look better and it does not burn the eyes that much. I&#39;ll give it a try when I get the chance. Thanks!

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