Demonstrative blog review: my summary feed-back on the Romanian handmade web site Facut de mana – facutdemana.com

Hello,

I start the series of demonstrative blog reviews with the analysis of the Romanian blog about handmade: Facut de mana;

A. What I like about the web site?

1. You kept the copyright notice – “Powered by WordPress, Hybrid, and Hybrid News.”; The copyright notice includes both WordPress and the theme authors, that’s very kind (and ethic) from your part;
2. Most things are were they were supposed to be (search in top right, with subscribe, banners on the right, logo top left);
3. You seem to have installed the right plugins (sitemap.xml generator, subscribe to comments);
4. You have an option for subscribing via email;
5. The quality of the messages you write is quite high;

B. What I would do better?

Design

1. Have a look:

Your ads are, in my opinion, too large; They should end, in width, in the same place where the blue lines end;
2. Regarding

a. Your text box is way tooooooooo large; And for what? For subscription via email; In my opinion, a simple link would suffice; How often do you suppose one person needs to subscribe to your blog via email? By comparison, have a look on your search function and see if you, by any chance, haven’t put emphasis on the wrong thing;
b. I’d suggest to replace it with a simple link; This should suffice;
3. Your Subscribe to RSS link is right at the beginning of the blog (in the right), while the subscription via email is three screens below, still on the right; I was expecting to find the two one next to the other;
4. I come to your blog, I read and I read; I reach the bottom of the page; I think it would be nice that in the footer you should have something for me to do – give me something to read, help me find some useful stuff, fill in my time;
5. Your T5 banner:

would have a better place in the footer, in the last lines of the blog; It seems, to me, out of place in that spot;
6. In my opinion your sidebar is way too long in height; Look at the Contact page:

and see that, due to the very long (emphasis on very) sidebar, your contact page has a lot of scrolling; The solutions are simple:
a. Reduce some advertising;
b. Put some banners and two columns;
c. Reduce the height of some ads;
d. Reduce the number of advertising blocks (you have ads on individual widget boxes, you can put them all on one box, separated by some space);
e. Remove the email subscription box (replace it with a link);

Copywriting

1. Why English? Your Home button is “Home”, instead of “Acasă”, you have texts like “Leave a response”, “1 Response”, “By X on 1.1.2010”, “Page X of X”, “Last”, “Subscribe”, “Delivered by FeedBurner”; If I were you, I’d translate into Romanian all the texts;
2. You lack a preposition: “Adresa ta email:”; (“de”)
3. Concerning you advertised offer: “Asistență 1 lună” has a wrong grammar; “o lună” is more right;

4. I wonder why a beginner would need to have uploaded three themes; In my opinion, after the initial choice, it’s much better to focus on one theme only;
5. Would a beginner know what 5 plugins he/she needs?
6. I think it’s more correct to type:
“-[space]word”, rather than typing
“-word”;
(you lack spaces);

SEO

– it’s a bit unusual for me to see your permalink structure is:
/%monthnum%/%postname%/
instead of either
/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/
or
/%postname%/
a bit unusual the fact that you decided to include only the month, and not the year;
– your title could use some SEO improvement, I don’t see that they are focused on keywords, and also not very good on usability either; So either pick SEO or usability, but the current titles are not that exciting by any means;

Usability

1. As a side note, this is how your ads look like without AdBlock Plus:

and this is how your ads look with AdBlock Plus:

At first I thought it was a bug :)
2. Have a look at this:

I’ve done this on my blog by inserting this code in the headers of the web site:
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Abonare RSS mesaje blog” href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/Fiieficientcom-BlogDespreEficienta” />
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Abonare RSS comentarii” href=”http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/dashboard?id=m5f1p6clbhjssa2ck3hqrn4v14″ />
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Primeste mesaje blog prin email” href=”http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=Fiieficientcom-BlogDespreEficienta&loc=en_US” />

On your blog, I can’t subscribe directly from my browser (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Opera, Chrome – all have options to detect this from the headers); It’s a minus;
3. Can you look at this:

and give me a good reason for the box with the three dots? “…” They should fill-in some missing part; Also, the » (it’s a link to the second page) also seems unfit in there;
4. I would like to see on your homepage:
a. A link to the categories (so I can choose to see certain blog posts based on category);
b. Some way of determining how many blog posts your blog has; The bottom links show that you have at least 10 pages of blog posts, but I would like to have a glimpse on how often you post and/or how many blog posts do you have until now; For this reason, a list with messages posted each month (archives in WordPress) would suffice;

Search function

1. Regarding search button, have a look at this:

a. There is a usability concern regarding clicking; So, I see the text, it informs me to click on the item; I click; Then what? I was supposed to hit Enter, but if I forget this? The text won’t show anymore; In my opinion, a classic search box with a “Search” button is preferred;
b. What’s with the wording?
“Type what you are searching for and hit Enter”?
This is almost like an invitation to search something irrelevant like
“I want to be rich in 20 minutes”
This is what I’m searching for; Do you think you can help me with this? If not, please rephrase this either into:
“Type here the keywords”
Or the simple search box with a “Search” button;
Right now, the phrasing is, to me, a bit wrong;
c. I personally don’t agree with using .. (double dots) anywhere; You either have one dot or three; Of the two, I recommend using only one dot;
d. In my opinion the text is barely visible, too tiny, with a hard-to-see color; It’s a very important piece of design, the search function;
2. The search results are not translated into Romanian: “You are browsing the search results for “handmade””;

About page

1. A comma is missing:
“De la bijuterii la poşete[comma] la ornamente”
2. “Bine aţi venit, să dăm mâna.” – exclamation mark after welcoming perhaps?
3. Special characters missing? “iţi”, “iti”;
4. Oh, my God! Reset button?

What do you imagine is the use of such a button? I type something, I work hard to make a good comment, and then I press “Reset”? So I lose everything I’ve written? Can you imagine my anger if I wrongly press the button? Can you imagine my hate? Please remove the button, it’s both useless and damaging;
5. What’s with the non-translated plugin text: “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” ?

Contact page

1. (In my humble opinion) writing an email like contact [@] mywebsite [.] com is not really a good antispam method; It’s so obvious;
2. Your contact page has both a contact form and an option to send a comment; Wouldn’t it be nice to have the comments turned off for that page?

Any given article (take 1)

1. You have too much text with italics, and it’s hard for me to read such texts;

2. In this image:

the author’s photography is, unintentionally of course, linked with “3 responses to “Festivalul Rebirt…”; I think it would be wise to put that text a bit lower;
3. Your text for “Leave a reply” / “Lasă un Răspuns” is too small:

4. Your breadcrumbs:
Te afli în: Home / Evenimente / Festivalul Rebirth:FIRE Tg. Jiu 28 aprilie-2 mai
are to me a bit irrelevant; In most cases, on a blog I’m just one, or at most two, clicks away from the homepage; I generally don’t need breadcrumbs to navigate in a blog;

Any given article (take 2)

1. The images below:

and

are poorly aligned; The first two should be one in the left and the other one in the right, while for the second image the text shouldn’t be aligned around the photo, since the article ended;
2. The emoticons are a bit too small:

I would find another set of emoticon icons, or another plugin; (I prefer WordPress Yahoo/MSN Messenger Style Smileys Plugin)

Any given article (take 3)

1. Comma missing?
“se pot face pe blogul MentaŞiUsturoi.ro în limita locurilor disponibile”; (before “în limita”)
2. I would also specify the year:
“în zilele de 6 şi 7 martie.”
3. “30 Ron/pers/zi.”
prsnlly I dnt lke abbrvtions;
4. “Ron” should be typed “RON”;

_________________
Bottom line: I like the Romanian handmade blog Facut de mana a lot; Great information, nicely presented, lots of neat things; Thank you for being present in the Romanian blogosphere.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

5 Comments

  • Freddie Alm

    15 July 2010 - 01:22

    I really enjoy what you write on here. I try and check your blog every day so keep up the good work!

  • Olivian BREDA

    15 July 2010 - 05:25

    Thank you for the kind words, Freddie!

  • www.1mediere.ro

    20 June 2014 - 06:40

    Thanks forr finally talking about >Demonstrative blog review: my summary feed-back on the Romanian handmade web site Facut de mana – facutdemana.com: Olivian Breda <Loved it!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.