Demonstrative blog review: liviuhariton.com – in its good things and things to work upon

Hello,

In this blog post I analyze the blog of Liviu Hariton – design, usability, copywriting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), structure of information, main pages.

Design

+I like the high contrast of the design, it’s easier to read things;
1. The logo:

a. I would put an exclamation mark after the introduction formula – “Salut!”;
b. In the four phrases (Liviu, Hariton, salut, “mă dau pe net, în genere”), you use four different fonts, each with its own size, and color, some bolded, some not, some with a dark background, some with white; there are just too much differences for my taste; I’d use less variations;
c. I would avoid the use of suspension marks, “…”, they imply … lack of decisiveness;
d. Your own name with small capitals? That’s bad;
e. The bubble with “salut” starts from the quote, instead of the person; I think your own name should start the bubble;
f. Your motto says nothing; you just browse the web? Ok, how cool is that? Saying “I’m an average Joe” actually says something, but you don’t say even that; your motto is more like “I live”; ok, everybody does; tell me something new; and don’t get me started on those undecided-looking dots “…”;
2. From the following:

I don’t expect that the last link is taking me to a web site outside of the current web site; actually, it does, but I don’t expect this; I would put that link in the blogroll;

Usability

+I like the link to go back up to the start of the page; not really useful, but still it’s a nice touch;

1. The search should be, in my humble opinion, in the top right corner; yours is somewhere in bottom right corner;
2. You have the categories on the right, then you have a widget with news from Tulcea, then a list with recent posts;

in the footer you have the list of categories and pages:

It’s very hard to understand such a placement; it’s not a systematic approach, everything seems place randomly;
Regarding the footer:
a. I would put in the footer a list of top read blog posts on your blog;
b. The tags are actually a good idea, I would promote them more;
c. Also in the footer it would be nice to have the list of categories;
d. You can imagine the footer like this: someone reads your blog, reaches the bottom of the page, sees those links, clicks on them; your job is to provide the reader with valuable information in the footer; do this the right way;
e. I think the spacing between the four columns in the footer is a bit too much;
3. If I wish to subscribe to your blog, I only have this option:

Please, do give me more options for subscribing to your blog; they should be put either in the sidebar or in the footer; it’s not easy to subscribe to your blog, but it should be;

SEO

+I really love your 404 page; great job! To improve it still, I’d put the search option within the page;
1. You don’t have too many indexed pages on your web site, I’d work on getting more links to your web site;
2. I’m not sure that I like what you did to the URLs:
http://www.liviuhariton.com/portofoliu/stiri-zilnice-revista-presei-1015.html
.html? Huh? Why? It yields no better results for SEO purposes, sorry to inform you this;
3. You have 188 links on your homepage;
According to Matt Cutts – webspam team manager at Google -, it is optimal that any site (yes, and yours too) has less than 100 links;
Hint: install the Opera browser, open a page on the site in Opera, let it load completely, visit Tools=>Links, copy all links in Excel and see how many links you have;

Structuring information

+It shows that you have a good analytical skill, everything is in order, the site has a good structure;
1. Regarding structure of information: your sidebar is way too crowded; links, going from one thing to another, more links, banners, aaaarrgh; too much; make it simpler;
2. The blogroll can have its own dedicated page, in which to explain your choice for a blog; so, if you put a blog in blogroll, explain your decision;
3. My personal view on Twitter is that it should stay on Twitter; make a link, put a small banner, but don’t fill in the sidebar with the latest Tweets; I’m here for your blog, not your Tweets;
4. While looking at the page list:

it’s not clear how I should contact you;
5. Really cool the way in which you explain how long ago a specific date was:

Two observations though:
a. Are you sure that the post wasn’t just published at that date, instead of being written?
b. “1 săptămână” is bad Romanian, and you have the cool programming skills to fix that;

SEO

+You have a plugin for sitemap.xml; great job!
1. The title for the homepage:
<title>Liviu Hariton – Mă dau pe net… în genere…</title>
is not really SEO-friendly; I would rather use some keywords related to your field; also, I’d avoid using “…”;
2. I’ve seen you’re using All in one SEO pack plugin and for pages such as this it puts you a code like this:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow” />
Bad, bad, solution; messing with the way Google crawls (visits) your blog can have disastrous effects; read more;
3. If look into the source code, I can see the link to your RSS feed:
<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Liviu Hariton RSS Feed” href=”http://www.liviuhariton.com/feed” />
Yet, if I click on the address bar:

I get redirected to Google’s FeedBurner; it would be simpler, for me, to just change the code in the source of your header.php, rather than doing redirects;
4. I’ve seen you placed the posts into categories:
http://example.com/category/post-name/
A typical blog post looks like this; unfortunately, this categorization is not a favorite of mine; you get little to none benefit for either the user (why do I need to know, looking at the URL, what is the category of the blog post?) or the engine (no SEO-friendly keywords, and the URLs get to be longer);
I would just put the post name in the URL, perhaps the year and month also (it is relevant to know the approximate date a blog post has been written right from the URL and it occupies only a few characters: 2010/07/);

Copywriting

+I like it a lot that you use diacritics; bravo!
+It’s very nice the fact that you have translated the whole theme into Romanian, great job;
+You speak very good Romanian, I only had a few observations to make;
1. Naming “search” with a word similar to “disobey”/”browse” (“Răscolește”) is a strange choice, to me;
2. I see no reason to write:
“I See”
with Initial Capitals;
3. The list of recent blog posts is called “More recent”:
“Mai recente”;
Now, why would you do that naming? More recent than what?
4. Here:
“m-am trezi”;
“s- a” => “s-a”;
“O da !” => “O, da !”;
”Alegeți tipul persoanei” => ”Alegeți tipul persoanei.” / ”Alegeți tipul persoanei”.;
5. Here
You haven’t translated the movie title in Romanian;
“IMDB” => “IMDb”;
“destul de mare :)” => “destul de mare. :)” / “destul de mare :) .”;
“un horror” => “un horror:” / “un horror.”;
6. This blog post has a poor title:
“Berceni`s Got Talent” => “Berceni’s Got Talent”;
7. In this blog post you’ve used a lot of “…”, which to me is a bad sign, shows lack of determination; Also, “de genul ăsta” => “de genul ăsta.” and “nu o dată pe an ;)” => “nu o dată pe an ;) .” / “nu o dată pe an. ;)”;
8. There are two options in grammar to leave spaces:
a. “[word]![space][word]”, “[word]?[space][word]”, “[word]…[space][word]”;
b. “[word][space]![space][word]”, “[word][space]?[space][word]”, “[word][space]…[space][word]”;
You seem to be using a third variant:
c. “[word][space]![space][word]”, “[word][space]?[space][word]”, “[word]…[space][word]”;
As you expect, I’d suggest you to pick between a. and b.; also, a. is much more commonly used than b., which is only tolerated; but c. is out of order;

The comment field

+You even translated the “Send” button, good!

+I love the Twitter field, brilliant idea!
1. I would specify that both the web site and the Twitter are optional;
2. For the Twitter username, I’d let the user insert either:
twitter.com/username
@username
username
and strip the code to the right form;
3. To me, the XHTML tags are either:
a. Too complicated to comprehend, thus futile for the average user (this kind of user probably won’t know how to close the tags);
b. To simple to require being there, thus futile for the very advanced user;
They fit no category of users, in my opinion;
4. I’d make the Twitter field the same length as the others;
5. Instead of a negation – “It won’t be made public” (“nu se face public”), I’d make it a positive transformation (“the email will remain private”);
6. At the Twitter ID, I’d put a (?) link, with an explanation of what Twitter is;
7. Regarding the user comments:

in some WordPress themes it is hard to translate the comments field, since some themes (and I suppose yours also) only has a hook to the comments, so you don’t have anything to translate in the comments.php file in the theme folder; the solution is simple: you will need to define your custom callback function in your theme’s functions.php file; it’s all detailed here;

About page

+Great page, love it;
1. “legătura” => “legătură”;
“antreprenor dar” =>”antreprenor, dar”;

__________

Bottom line: Liviu Hariton has a well-made blog, with some things to work upon.

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.

8 Comments

  • Liviu

    12 July 2010 - 00:29

    Hey, a great review, thanks a lot for it! It was a pleasant surprise :)

    When i will have some spare time, i’ll consider some of the advices.

    How can i return the favor?

  • Olivian

    12 July 2010 - 06:47

    Liviu, it’s fine, we’re Ok, I’m glad you like it.

    I’ve asked Marian GORUN for a link back and he will give it to me, so that’s the only favor I need.

    Enjoy blogging. :)

  • Liviu

    12 July 2010 - 12:29

    You can find your link in my blogroll. By the way, how does this review system works ? What are the criteria on which you rely when choosing the site?

  • Olivian

    12 July 2010 - 12:32

    Thank you so much for the link!

    For Marian GORUN it’s based on friendship.

    For others to which I do demonstrative blog reviews, it’s a link back.

    For others which ask for a complex site review, with lots of details, it’s based on price. :D

    If you mean by criteria – to be a good site – no criteria whatsoever. On the contrary, a poor site gives me more to talk about. If you mean by criteria – some ethics – yes, I do apply basic ethics, I won’t make a review on just about anything.

  • Liviu

    12 July 2010 - 12:43

    Okay, if you were to do a review for iubesctulcea.ro, what category, from those listed above, will you choose?

  • Olivian BREDA

    12 July 2010 - 12:49

    It’s friendship with a link back. :) I will do the review in the following weeks. Is it fine to make it in English also?

  • Liviu

    12 July 2010 - 12:52

    Great :) Yes, sure, do it in English, i have no problem with it. Let me know when you are ready. All the best!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.