Can you give me feedback on my iWeb site?

xappeal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
106
0
Brisbane - Australia
I posted something in the software section yesterday, but I think it was in the wrong location. Anyway, I am writing a little site for teachers (with iWeb) and I need feedback as to the visual (and otherwise) appeal of the site.

I only started on the weekend, and I'm still very much working on the site. Any feedback, good or bad will be most appreciated.

Link:

www.middleyearsscience.com

Thanks
 

jczubach

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
385
0
northwest
Not bad for an amateur:p Nice and clean, easy on the eyes, and some fairly interesting content. Heck I might even bookmark it, and I'm dumb as a stick!
 

xappeal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
106
0
Brisbane - Australia
hehe..

Funny that, I signed up to adsense when the new version of iLife came out. I just happened to be doing a money, percentage, profit and loss, simple interest and marketing unit with my advanced middle school maths, science and technology class. The statistics that adsense gives you were so good I started using them is class.

We've been using adsense and adwords to track statistics, as well as 'click in, click out' results for our advertising. I have also let them set a budget and adjust the maximum cost per click for each of the search terms they come up with.

The kids are running the advertising for the site, but I'll cull most of it when the unit is over.
 

candy

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2005
14
0
From a fellow science teacher - much better than the one I've done! Mine is down at the moment as I have to look at redesigning it - but I'm clueless about design. The other problem I have is that I try to get a lot of information on one page by using a keynote presentation saved as quicktime. These take ages to load.
 

Artful Dodger

macrumors 68020
It's nice and the images are very colorful. A few typos but that happens to everyone at first. Have you played around with different banner styles? I do like the two long ones on the welcome page but just remember not to go crazy with them ;)
Good work, I'll keep checking back to see it's progress!
 

xappeal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
106
0
Brisbane - Australia
Thanks heaps for your feedback.

Does anyone have any good ideas about getting the site out there?

I'd really like to get lots of science teachers using it regularly.
 

toddburch

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2006
748
0
Katy, Texas
Pretty good Ross. I like the clean look and feel. The ads are not that distracting.

It's not clearly apparent if the Google search bar is for your site only or the web. The way it's presented, it appears to be for the web, in which case it's probably a little too prominent.

It would be nice if a tooltip (alt text) were shown for the pictures to describe what they were - perhaps even a link for more information. They look interesting.

In the US, we call it "middle school", and in a lot of places, "Junior High School". If you want a more global audience, you could add these words to your site.

Now, I have a couple questions for you, if I can!

I haven't used iWeb yet, although I purchased access to it. It seems as if every page is served up in an iframe on your site, therefore, the URL in the address line is identical for every page on your site. So, I suspect it's being served up with php or asp or jsp or something. Is this correct? Also, did you choose the frame setup, or does that come with iWeb? Could a site be put up with iWeb where every page would show it's unique URL? Is this site being hosted on iWeb, or you just made it in iWeb and then ported it somewhere else?

Thanks, Todd
 

emorydunn

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2006
457
0
Austin Texas
I had begun getting really sick of people say "review my iWeb site" because they all looked like iWeb sites, every picture had a reflection under it and the navbar at the top would be crowded. But, you site broke the pattern, it is clean and proffesional.

The only problmes are the Welcome page says Middle School and the rest of the pages say Middle Years, this needs to be made more consistant since for some one who wasn't in the mood for thinking might get confused at why the term changed. Second the ads; the text ads are fine since they are not too distracting, but all the eBay ads are very distracting and frankly not exactly appropriate for the topic, seeing as kids that age shouldn't (and technicly can't) use eBay. And the ad on the Where I Teach page, being the most colorful object on the page, is VERY distracting, when you are trying to look at the map your eye gets pulled to the nice colorful thing versus the drab Google map.

Now, this may look like a lot of negative comments about your site but this is not the case, the only cons are really the ads (and for me more than others since I personally feel that ads destroy good design).

EDIT: I was digging around a bit more in your site and noticed the recources link on the Welcome page, I clicked on it and was wisked away to another part of your site. The only problem was where? The nave bar had changed and the welcome link didn't go back to the main welcome page, in five minutes of searching I can't get out of the Recources section. So, two things any tips for getting out? and second, you need a very prominent way to get out of the recources section because if a user gets lost in your site they will just close the window and forget about it and it will always remain "that really hard to use web site" and you will loose one person and that will lead to dozens who land them selves in the same situationm until your whole class stops using the website.
 

Sdashiki

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2005
3,512
8
Behind the lens
Why do I not like it when people ask for critiques on an "ad-heavy" site? let me count the ways.....

(2hrs later)

Do you really feel the ads neccessary? I see you note that you lose money hosting the site. Use a free host if that is a problem for you.

If you want the site to make money, make it about that, or find a better way to get ad space on there, the right hand column idea is poor design IMO.

I do like the layout otherwise and the color choices seem alright. The left column seems too wide, and your header is a jumble of sizes, info and stuff.
 

xappeal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
106
0
Brisbane - Australia
Wow, thanks for all the feedback.

I took most of it on board for example:

  • I took out ALL the ebay ads
  • The header now says "Middle Years Science" to make it consistent
  • There are now links to get back from the resource section
  • The 'where I Teach' page (this is being removed later today) now only has text rather than image ads

On the weekend I'm going to dump all my word docs, keynotes and ppt files onto my idisk and put a link to that too.

I don't want to make the site about making money (I'd prefer that there were no 'Pay for Lesson Plan' teacher sites) but the ads make just enough to cover .mac, and the statistics are VERY good for using in class.

To answer another thought, none of my students have access to the site (unless they find it on the web) for my students I export sites made specifically for them to a folder and then zip the folder and load it onto Blackboard the SMS program so that only my students can post and access the content. Obviously there is no ad content on the student sites.

Todd, the site always displays www.middleyearsscience.com because it is forwarded from a DNS host to my .mac account. The DNS server does the masking.

Thanks for all your feedback, the site is only 4 days old so hopefully it will grow from here.
 

xappeal

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 9, 2005
106
0
Brisbane - Australia
Interesting news on this website. I have had to move away from .mac (it is still forwarded there) because the entire server is blocked by my state education department.

I keep getting emails saying that my site is a 'cover' for a .mac site. I thought .mac was pretty reputable, was I wrong?

I have arranged new hosting which should go live tomorrow morning, but still. Has anyone every had this happen to one of their websites?

If you wanted the link again it is:

www.middleyearsscience.com