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Have a look at my latest CC site. In brief, in this site, you can select and download CAD files either for free or for a micro-payment (we call them OBOLS). You buy cedits using dollars, and then use your credits to download files until you run out.

There are a few small details to complete, but the store is now operational for free files. Paid files are up shortly.

I only have one mod (Loyalty Program fro Chuggyskins), which I heavily modified to suit my needs a little better.

Have a look and poke around, thanks.

Store is www.3dlogix.com

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Guest Meow Meow

Have a look at my latest CC site. In brief, in this site, you can select and download CAD files either for free or for a micro-payment (we call them OBOLS). You buy cedits using dollars, and then use your credits to download files until you run out.

There are a few small details to complete, but the store is now operational for free files. Paid files are up shortly.

I only have one mod (Loyalty Program fro Chuggyskins), which I heavily modified to suit my needs a little better.

Have a look and poke around, thanks.

Store is www.3dlogix.com

Hi Stever -

Love your site and the intro page. How did you do this? I'd like to make an intro page just like what you have done; I am sure that some of us would like to know too, would you show us how to do this? Thanks.

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Guest offthehook

I think the site looks quite nice, its clean and looks professional, and appears to do its job well.

However I would urge you to lose the intro screen. It serves no purpose and acts as a barrier to your site. I can see some people viewing the logo and not realising that it is to be clicked to enter the site.

Splash screens are out of date and do nothing for a site. You can lose it and spend time constructing your home page to give as much information about your company and start selling yourself and your products to visitors as soon as you can.

Also I think you should look at adding something to the category pages if they are empty. I wasn't sure if the category had no products or there was an error on the site and a simple line of text would be enough to let me know why the page was blank.

In addition your site is too wide for 800x600 monitor resolution, causing horizontal scrolling (and may well do that in 1024x768 monitors where browser windows do not fill the screen). I would take some time to look for recent posts here by Jerseyjoe who has posted on this issue frequently (is anyone taking it in though?).

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Hi Stever -

Love your site and the intro page. How did you do this? I'd like to make an intro page just like what you have done; I am sure that some of us would like to know too, would you show us how to do this? Thanks.

It's just a plain page with an image in it. Nothing special, and can only hurt traffic and SEO.

I would recommend better product placement, images etc Images in a design help encourage interest from visitors, your site does not shout out with images what it sells. After browsing the site, I'm still not entirely sure if you sell lego or graphics.

Layout your subcategories better. They are all different heights, and looks untidy.

Good luck with the store. :D

In addition your site is too wide for 800x600 monitor resolution, causing horizontal scrolling (and may well do that in 1024x768 monitors where browser windows do not fill the screen). I would take some time to look for recent posts here by Jerseyjoe who has posted on this issue frequently (is anyone taking it in though?).
Better to say browser resolution rather than monitor resolution. I use a 1280 wide resolution LCD, but browser is still about 800-900px wide and I really do not like increasing the width.

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Hi Stever -

Love your site and the intro page. How did you do this? I'd like to make an intro page just like what you have done; I am sure that some of us would like to know too, would you show us how to do this? Thanks.

Thanks for the comments. When you say into page, do you mean the home page (black background) or the page that says "Welcome to 3dlox.com"?

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I think the site looks quite nice, its clean and looks professional, and appears to do its job well.

However I would urge you to lose the intro screen. It serves no purpose and acts as a barrier to your site. I can see some people viewing the logo and not realising that it is to be clicked to enter the site.

Splash screens are out of date and do nothing for a site. You can lose it and spend time constructing your home page to give as much information about your company and start selling yourself and your products to visitors as soon as you can.

Also I think you should look at adding something to the category pages if they are empty. I wasn't sure if the category had no products or there was an error on the site and a simple line of text would be enough to let me know why the page was blank.

In addition your site is too wide for 800x600 monitor resolution, causing horizontal scrolling (and may well do that in 1024x768 monitors where browser windows do not fill the screen). I would take some time to look for recent posts here by Jerseyjoe who has posted on this issue frequently (is anyone taking it in though?).

Thanks OFFTHEHOOK, it's great to get comments for and against the intro page. I am adding some more text and graphics to the intro page. I will have to keep this page because it also improves SEO better than the CC pages.

The categories are being populated as we speak (type) and it will be users, not the site owner who add content, that's the point of this site.

As for screen resolution, I have reservations about 800x600. From Jan 07 to July 07, 800x600 screen resolution accounted for only 3.6% of visits. I don't want to neglect them, but I also don't want to hold back the site for the other 96.4%. Plus, this site is a very specific site targeting CAD users, who generally have larger screens than most just because of the type of work they do. So I am targeting a very, very specific audience.

Your point, and JerseyJoes are well taken, but I have made the decision to move away from 800x600 as the site grows.

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I would recommend better product placement, images etc Images in a design help encourage interest from visitors, your site does not shout out with images what it sells. After browsing the site, I'm still not entirely sure if you sell lego or graphics.

Layout your subcategories better. They are all different heights, and looks untidy.

Good luck with the store. :D

Thanks for the comments. The store sells CAD files for downloading. Users can also upload their own files and sell them as well for a royalty. Many categories are empty because they are still being populated from the original site, and from users themselves.

Not sure what you mean by "layout your subcategories better". do you mean the product images sizes? If so, yes, they will be redone to be the same size today.

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As for screen resolution, I have reservations about 800x600. From Jan 07 to July 07, 800x600 screen resolution accounted for only 3.6% of visits. I don't want to neglect them, but I also don't want to hold back the site for the other 96.4%. Plus, this site is a very specific site targeting CAD users, who generally have larger screens than most just because of the type of work they do. So I am targeting a very, very specific audience.

Your point, and JerseyJoes are well taken, but I have made the decision to move away from 800x600 as the site grows.

I think you are mis-interpretting the statistics. When I visit your site, your stats will show my resolution as 1280x1024. but I am not browsing your site at that resolution, but nearer 800x800 as I have my browser windowed, NOT full screen. If I have to scroll horizontally I will not see halve the content, and I will not increase my browser window for just your site.

An intro page will only hurt your store because it rarely offers anything texturally worth reading (text in images do not count as it cannot be ready by crawlers), and rarely changes. The store on the otherhand, is mainly text and alters every time your store is updated. This constant 'active' status, will keep the crawlers coming back. The front page of any website is the most important area of the site.

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I think you are mis-interpretting the statistics. When I visit your site, your stats will show my resolution as 1280x1024. but I am not browsing your site at that resolution, but nearer 800x800 as I have my browser windowed, NOT full screen. If I have to scroll horizontally I will not see halve the content, and I will not increase my browser window for just your site.

An intro page will only hurt your store because it rarely offers anything texturally worth reading (text in images do not count as it cannot be ready by crawlers), and rarely changes. The store on the otherhand, is mainly text and alters every time your store is updated. This constant 'active' status, will keep the crawlers coming back. The front page of any website is the most important area of the site.

I agree Robsta, the stats will show the actual monitor resolution size, but not what the user has their browser sized at. They way I see it, if someone is interested in a service or product, and they want to see more from a particular site, they should make the effort to resize their browser to see all or less of the site. I can't force (actually I can, but won't) the size of the browser window, that's up to the user.

Again, my service is so select, that I don't need to throw out a wide net to get everyones attention and only retain a few. I would rather target the few and keep them coming. I am not selling t-shirts or shoes for everyone out there. The products and services are very focused on a small, select group of technicians, draftsmen, engineers and designers. Most have the tools (like large screens...hi-end PC's) to get their job done.

Most people that are not familiar with the products, will have no idea what I am selling, that's OK. The people that know, will know exactly what they are looking at.

I disagree with your point of an intro page, but that's fine. It depends on the type of business and market you are looking to sell to. Sure, website is all about SEO, page-ranking and so on, but it still needs to be read and looked at by a human.

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Guest offthehook

I must strongly second Robsta's comments here. Your decision to neglect 800x600px monitor, or indeed browser, width is a bad call.

And I really can't agree at all with your contention that your SEO will be better with a different front page to the default CC page. Its all about what you do with your CC index page. With menus, links to site docs, random products, descriptions and pictures on your CC index page I fail to see how you claim it won't get you SEO rankings. The default layout as provided by CC certainly isn't the best way to have a ecommerce home page, but with some planning and SEO knowledge you can easily make it work for you.

Take a look at http://cribonline.co.uk/.

This one of the best sites I have seen in CC, their pagerank is 5/10 and has been achieved very quickly. This is a model site for other CC store owners, and their home page in particular is superb and is obviously working very well for them. Please take note.

Good luck with your site.

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My original hope was to get responses on how the website works, and not get hung up on size and width and color. If you told me that when I try to register, the page doesn't load or the text is all screwed up, great! Or the pictures arent loading, super!

I cant please everyone out there with 800x600 displays. Sorry fellows, that's my feeling.

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Hi Stever -

Love your site and the intro page. How did you do this? I'd like to make an intro page just like what you have done; I am sure that some of us would like to know too, would you show us how to do this? Thanks.

The intro page was done with FrontPage, it's just a clickable image and with soem added text below. The intro page just links to the first CC page .../index.php.

That's it.

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Guest Meow Meow

The intro page was done with FrontPage, it's just a clickable image and with soem added text below. The intro page just links to the first CC page .../index.php.

That's it.

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MM, thanks for the kind words, I will pass them on to the TreasureBasket owner. I'll answer your questions in order.

1) My provider has a basic hosting plan for the www.thetreasurebasket.com site. So I uploaded the www.thetreasurebasket.com/index.htm page there. This is the main page with the big picture of the girl on the vespa.

I also have a secondary Linux account which runs the CC store. This is the shop.thetreasurebasket.com/store sections. I just added a URL from the .com index file to the CC store index.php page. The first page of this Linux account is the one showing the girl holding the basket.

You may need to make and place an html index page in the root directory of our web folder.

2) As for SEO score, let me explain what happened with thetreasureBasket site. This was a totally new site which went live January 2007. I always had the intro page (www....com/index.htm). All other pages (over 60 are CC pages with dynamic URL's). The index page is the only one with a static URL.

About 1 month ago, using the keywords "gift baskets montreal"or gift baskets quebec" or "gourmet baskets montreal" will have the intro page either on page 1 or 2 of Google. It was on page 6 and 7 back in March until about May, and climbing ever since. It wasn't even on Google the first month. So you see the progression.

On the other hand, the CC pages are never ranked above the main INDEX page. Basically, one page of the entire website is consistantly ranked high. It even has a page rank of 4/10. The top ranked website for these keywords also has a pagerank rank of 4/10, but they have about 2000 back-links (because they link farm!!, badddd), I have less than 100 back-links, and I will NEVER link farm.

I have used Google Analytics to check stats on a daily basis since January 2007, and I can easily say that the INTRO page has increased the website exposure on a greater scale than all of the CC pages combined, since they dynamic URL's are not spider friendly. In addition, I routinely update the index page with new text, and check and update keywords, meta tags and main text using various tools for SEO.

I keep telling people that many websites are designed for the spiders, so they read terrible!! An example would be something like: "We sell the best chocolates in New York, Miami, Chicago were they like to buy the best chocolates. Our chocolates are made from the best ingredients from New York, Miami and Chicago..." That's keyword stuffing.

They must be designed for the human being!! I stay away from websites that have obvious black-hat tricks for better ranking. Why would I buy something from someone who is tricking users? It's not honest.

Sorry for the rant, but it's late and I need to get up in 5 hours. :sourcerer:

In a nutshell:

Intro/splash pages are NOT DEAD (when did they die??), use them intelligently and wisely. Why bombard your visitors with a 10,000 word first page and with 300 links??? A nice intro let's the visitor figure out what your about and then decide if they want to continue.

More people remember the girl on the vespa than the names of the categories. That's a win in my books.

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Guest pshawny

Hi Stever -

Love your site and the intro page. How did you do this? I'd like to make an intro page just like what you have done; I am sure that some of us would like to know too, would you show us how to do this? Thanks.

The intro page was done with FrontPage, it's just a clickable image and with soem added text below. The intro page just links to the first CC page .../index.php.

That's it.

You can use FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc. to make your intro page. Name the page index.html & upload it to your server. Now everytime someone types in your URL they will be taken to that page.

I have index.php & index.html both in the same folder on my server. The web-browser looks for .html before it looks for .php & therefore the .html page will load instead, atleast that is my understanding.

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Guest Meow Meow

Hi Stever -

Love your site and the intro page. How did you do this? I'd like to make an intro page just like what you have done; I am sure that some of us would like to know too, would you show us how to do this? Thanks.

The intro page was done with FrontPage, it's just a clickable image and with soem added text below. The intro page just links to the first CC page .../index.php.

That's it.

You can use FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc. to make your intro page. Name the page index.html & upload it to your server. Now everytime someone types in your URL they will be taken to that page.

I have index.php & index.html both in the same folder on my server. The web-browser looks for .html before it looks for .php & therefore the .html page will load instead, atleast that is my understanding.

Thank you both! :D

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I have index.php & index.html both in the same folder on my server. The web-browser looks for .html before it looks for .php & therefore the .html page will load instead, atleast that is my understanding.

Its worth mentioning that this can be overridden via .htaccess

If you want a php or other page to display, add the following line to your .htaccess file in the root of your site;

DirectoryIndex trythis.html index.php

Normally, it will find index.php as the others will not exist- however, you can use an alternate php/cgi/htm/html/shtml file (or anything else your server will handle).

I don't personally like intro pages. Most visitors will find your site via Google/MSN/Yahoo, and will probably land on an internal page, so will never see your intro page.

The only real justification I can think of, is where the site is primarily flash based, and the media needs loading before it can continue.

Jason

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Good tip on the .htaccess.

As for landing pages, its all a matter of taste, design and preferences. As an example, another CC website that we developed and that has be running since Jan. 2007, has had the majority of top landing pages being the actual langing page (index.htm), which is not CC based. All the CC internal pages come after, and are often a distant 2nd or third....

We have great traffic from Google, Yahho, MSN and other SE, and lots of visitor traffic data to back it up. If we drop our intro page, we will definitely drop out of SE range. With the most common keywords for that industry, we have already placed in middle to top of page 2. And all white-hat to boot too.

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Guest Meow Meow

Resuming to our previous discussion...

I am still learning this so please forgive me if it sounds juvenile. Anyway, I created an intro page using good old Microsoft Word and saved it as intro.html. The intro page had an image, an imbeded weblink to my cubecart store, and a textbox. I uploaded "intro.html" to my root directory and was able to view it by typing in the website, i.e. www.mystore.com/intro.html. However, the image isn't there... Help! I am getting so close! :)

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You may still need to upload the image as well to your server.

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I added a the micro-payments (obols) and a 2-step file and data upload page in the user account session. Feel free to create an account and see how it looks, thanks.

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I added 2 sections in the INFO boxes that shows the latest member and latest contributor. This is because users can register as basic members, then get upgraded to contributors once they upload files to the site.

This was done using additional mysql table columns in the customer table, and adding 2 SELECT functions in the info.inc.php file.

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MM, thanks for the kind words, I will pass them on to the TreasureBasket owner. I'll answer your questions in order.

1) My provider has a basic hosting plan for the www.thetreasurebasket.com site. So I uploaded the www.thetreasurebasket.com/index.htm page there. This is the main page with the big picture of the girl on the vespa.

I also have a secondary Linux account which runs the CC store. This is the shop.thetreasurebasket.com/store sections. I just added a URL from the .com index file to the CC store index.php page. The first page of this Linux account is the one showing the girl holding the basket.

You may need to make and place an html index page in the root directory of our web folder.

2) As for SEO score, let me explain what happened with thetreasureBasket site. This was a totally new site which went live January 2007. I always had the intro page (www....com/index.htm). All other pages (over 60 are CC pages with dynamic URL's). The index page is the only one with a static URL.

About 1 month ago, using the keywords "gift baskets montreal"or gift baskets quebec" or "gourmet baskets montreal" will have the intro page either on page 1 or 2 of Google. It was on page 6 and 7 back in March until about May, and climbing ever since. It wasn't even on Google the first month. So you see the progression.

On the other hand, the CC pages are never ranked above the main INDEX page. Basically, one page of the entire website is consistantly ranked high. It even has a page rank of 4/10. The top ranked website for these keywords also has a pagerank rank of 4/10, but they have about 2000 back-links (because they link farm!!, badddd), I have less than 100 back-links, and I will NEVER link farm.

I have used Google Analytics to check stats on a daily basis since January 2007, and I can easily say that the INTRO page has increased the website exposure on a greater scale than all of the CC pages combined, since they dynamic URL's are not spider friendly. In addition, I routinely update the index page with new text, and check and update keywords, meta tags and main text using various tools for SEO.

I keep telling people that many websites are designed for the spiders, so they read terrible!! An example would be something like: "We sell the best chocolates in New York, Miami, Chicago were they like to buy the best chocolates. Our chocolates are made from the best ingredients from New York, Miami and Chicago..." That's keyword stuffing.

They must be designed for the human being!! I stay away from websites that have obvious black-hat tricks for better ranking. Why would I buy something from someone who is tricking users? It's not honest.

Sorry for the rant, but it's late and I need to get up in 5 hours. :P

In a nutshell:

Intro/splash pages are NOT DEAD (when did they die??), use them intelligently and wisely. Why bombard your visitors with a 10,000 word first page and with 300 links??? A nice intro let's the visitor figure out what your about and then decide if they want to continue.

More people remember the girl on the vespa than the names of the categories. That's a win in my books.

Hi Stever,

Not sure if you're the one that designed this (http://shop.thetreasurebasket.com). I have a site that make good use of the language option. I want to have an intro page that give the user the option to choose which language they would like to enter and I'm stuck at that point :( . Would you mind sharing how you create the link for the different region.

Thank you in advance.

ken

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In a nutshell, to pick the correct language page from your intro page just change your URL's to the following text;

In my www.thetreasurebasket.com main page, you can pick English (en) or French (fr) links as such;

shop.thetreasurebasket.com/store/switch.php?r=/store/index.php&lang=en

shop.thetreasurebasket.com/store/switch.php?r=/store/index.php&lang=fr

Just make sure to replace "shop.thetreasurebasket.com" with your correct string.

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Guest pixelsdesign

In a nutshell, to pick the correct language page from your intro page just change your URL's to the following text;

In my www.thetreasurebasket.com main page, you can pick English (en) or French (fr) links as such;

shop.thetreasurebasket.com/store/switch.php?r=/store/index.php&lang=en

shop.thetreasurebasket.com/store/switch.php?r=/store/index.php&lang=fr

Just make sure to replace "shop.thetreasurebasket.com" with your correct string.

Thank you very much!

Can the switch be made with the currency as well? And if so would you know the URL for that too?

thanks in advance!

pixel

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