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Thread: Motorward.com - Please Review

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    Shenron's Avatar
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    Motorward.com - Please Review

    Hi guys!

    I know I was supposed to be on holidays, but well...

    I've recently dumped a few thousand dollars acquiring MotorWard - Auto News and Views from a nice fellow at DP (yes, DP still works ) as I needed to add to my auto sites collection.

    I've finally managed to move everything to my own server and registrar account and am in the process of tweaking a few things to monetize the site. (yes, it wasn't monetized )

    I'd love to hear your opinions on it, what shall I change, what shall I improve, remove or add.

    Thank you.

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    memenode's Avatar
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    Alright, here goes.

    Design:

    As a matter of first impressions MotorWard.com looks quite attractive, mostly because of the shiny polished logo, a cool header background and all those great car images. The design overall works. It's easy to use, fast and somewhat simplistic and having a big image in every post is always a plus, but I do have some suggestions that could help polish it up a bit.

    First, that shiny MotorWard logo appears slanted to the top given the height of the header area making the space below it seem a little empty. The obvious solution would be to move it down a little so it appears more centered and it would probably also be a good idea to move it a dozen or so pixels to the right.

    Speaking of header, its background could actually be extended to the entire site removing that difference between gray and already helping give the site a more fresh look. The metallic background is color wise already consistent with the dark gray currently used.

    Next, the main menu and a search bar look a little sqeezed between the header and that strip of car images. What might help is adding some margin between the main menu and the car images then slightly increasing the menu height and then putting the search box a little lower.

    Moving on, at the bottom the "older entries" link is almost touching the bottom of the white area. I think this could use a little more spacing (margin) to look better. Spacing always adds a "breath of fresh air" to designs. Finally, in the footer the hover background of links is gray while links stay white. It might be better of links turned black on hover to be better visible on gray.

    Everything else seems to be looking quite good, albeit I can't escape the feeling it's a little bit cluttered. Bold text on homepage usually doesn't look good though this might be subjective so perhaps that has something to do with it. In any case, what little I can suggest here is to center the elements which can be centered as that usually adds a sense of a cleaner look (most people I think find symmetry to be beautiful, it's how we tend to measure up the beauty of human faces for example). What I'd center, for instance, are those share links in posts and the blocks displaying MotorWard TV thumbnails and random images.

    Another thing that usually wins is spacing. It's probably the first thing to try when you'd like to make the design feel fresher and less cluttered, albeit it doesn't always work. Perhaps add a little bit of margin between post listings. Right now the tags of the previous post practically touch the title area of the next.

    And of course, there are ads. The more elegantly they can be integrated the better. I usually try putting them in their own boxes, allowing borders and aligning them in width or height to the elements next to them. That makes the fit in without becoming invisible. Something like that could be done with link units on top, put them on a light gray strip that matches the width of the car images strip above and add some margin below it. It might even fool some people into thinking it's a legit second main menu, albeit that's not the intention.

    Design Rating: 8/10


    Focus:

    This site has an excellent name. "MotorWard" seems easy to remember and use as a brand while making it clear what it describes. With all the car images on the site it's focus is pretty obvious as a car resource. About page is always good to have, I believe, even if it doesn't appear quite necessary in this case.

    Focus Rating: 10/10

    Content:

    I've found over 20 entries on this site just for this month and looking at dates it appears to be updated daily and sometimes even multiple times a day. Posts are brief, but filled with substance and sweet car images. There's even a Motorward TV with lots of cool car videos that can play in a quick pop up.

    Content Rating: 10/10

    Overall:

    This site is a great asset and would win a gold medal after some design polish is implemented.

    Overall Rating: 9/10

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    Shenron (17 August, 2009)

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    Shenron's Avatar
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    Thx for a great review!

    I've already ordered a new header from my designer and will surely test some of your suggestions.

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    Shenron's Avatar
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    It's been over 8 months now and a lot of things have changed.

    1 - Design has been half decently tweaked
    2 - Traffic has more or less been multiplied by 7, we're now heading close to Alexa 100k
    3 - We now have a decent team of writers (4+)
    4 - MW has been accepted as a G news source

    What can we do to improve MW?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts towards Alexa 50k

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    bogart's Avatar
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    You got a great deal on the site considering that there was 1200+ posts when you bought it.

    There's always room for improvement in the site design. But, it looks good to me.

    The suggestion that I have is to add a link unit to the bottom of the page. There's aways the chance to get the "one last click" when the reader scrolls to the bottom of the page.

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    Shenron (3 May, 2010)

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    add directory and classifieds section

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    Shenron (3 May, 2010)

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    Shenron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bozonessinc View Post
    Nice,
    The only thing I must critique is that adsense bar at the top, it kind of takes away from the style of the site.

    Cheers
    Well, the problem with that unit is that it's responsible for 24% of the revenue there.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    You got a great deal on the site considering that there was 1200+ posts when you bought it.

    There's always room for improvement in the site design. But, it looks good to me.

    The suggestion that I have is to add a link unit to the bottom of the page. There's aways the chance to get the "one last click" when the reader scrolls to the bottom of the page.
    We now have 2670 posts. In fact I might add that extra links unit at the bottom of the site, you never know.

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyCooL View Post
    add directory and classifieds section
    Never considered that move. I'll see what plugins I can find to make this look half decent.

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    Hi,

    Something is a little off in the header photo are over the words.

    I am running FF 3.6.3

    Sami
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shenron View Post
    Never considered that move. I'll see what plugins I can find to make this look half decent.
    install another wp with classipress theme

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    Shenron (3 May, 2010)

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    Shenron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami4u View Post
    Hi,

    Something is a little off in the header photo are over the words.

    I am running FF 3.6.3

    Sami
    Ouch, now that's weird, I'm also using FF 3.6.3 and it looks good.
    Can you please let me know a bit more about your system, like resolution you're using, OS, etc.
    Can you also try with Chrome or IE, or whatever else?

    Thx!

    EDIT

    Just checked with http://browsershots.org and it looks pretty ok.

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