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OK, I got most of the site up now. For anyone that wants to critique, check out

www.kurtmitenbuler.com

I'm not looking for sunshine to be blown in my ---; be critical.

I stole some narrative from Cramer's site about "How to Choose an Inspector", w/ his permission, of course. I've got more credentials to put up, my photo in "about us", etc. Other than that, I think I've got the basis for a decent site.

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I like it Kurt. Your new site has a clean look.

You might want to put some different pics up for each type of inspection (SF, 2-4 flat, commercial, etc.). My personal preference is that different fonts and font sizes be used sparingly on websites to give to all the pages a consistent look and feel. The font size on your remodeling page is different than the font size on other pages.

You might also consider making your email address at the bottom of your pages a "mailto" link that people can click on to send you an email instead of having to copy, paste or write it down.

Bobby

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Originally posted by Bobby Ryon

I like it Kurt. Your new site has a clean look.

You might want to put some different pics up for each type of inspection (SF, 2-4 flat, commercial, etc.). My personal preference is that different fonts and font sizes be used sparingly on websites to give to all the pages a consistent look and feel. The font size on your remodeling page is different than the font size on other pages.

You might also consider making your email address at the bottom of your pages a "mailto" link that people can click on to send you an email instead of having to copy, paste or write it down.

Bobby

Thanks for the input. There's so many websites w/ the generic color block backgrounds, I just wanted something clean. I'm doing a lot of editing & proofreading now; in the haste to get something going, I got sloppy.

The mail link is a problem for some reason; I'm working on it.

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Kurt,

Looks pretty good. Clean and simple, easy to navigate.

I agree about email contact, but when I did that, the spammers came out of the woodwork. I suggest a camouflaged email like "Contact Us"

I understand your reluctance to put that mug of yours on your site, but it seems to ad a personal touch that does make the phone ring. Perhaps you could use the same guy that Paul used. I also have a much better skyline shot for you to use. My photo is not bland, it has pizzazz with the Ren-Cen, Cobo Hall and the Joe Louis Arena clearly visible.

George

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I think it's a nice site. I like the liberal use of negative space and feel that it lends an air of class to the site.

No matter what George says, the art of the skyline is nice and sophisticated and will attract quality clients. I like it better than a photo because photo's include the ugly along with the beauty. I'll take artist's interpretation over reality most of the time. Reality is overrated. Ask Rorer (inventors of Quaalude's).

Anyway, I second the font thing and the email thing, but that said, I wish it was my site.

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Having spent the first 6 years of my life as a Detroiter (well, actually Plymouth, when it was still seperated from Detroit by wide bands of cornfields), I got it. Although, the RenCen is not what I have in mind when I think of skylines; it's what I think of when I imagine a desperate attempt to breath life into a ghost town. I prefer to remember Detroit when Woodward was Main Street USA, the Vernors plant still let you bring your own jug in to be filled, & Stroh's was a local brew.

Maybe a picture of the People Mover, the Coleman Young idea of how to revitalize downtown Detroit. (The idea was satirized brilliantly on the Simpsons "Monorail" episode.)

I agree on the photo; the weathers just been so crappy, I've been unable to get a decent shot outside. I've been thinking of a "paul" shot w/ me & my truck full of ladders in the background.

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Kurt,

I like it and found everything I would want to know when choosing an inspector.

Two things that I would criticize are the Chicago photo and some of the text in the fee section. The image looks like a photo that got damaged by water. I think the "Call the office for pricing" comments should not be repeated in multiple paragraphs. I would suggest that you state it just once at the end of the fee section and if you want, repeat your phone number in larger text.

Hope this opinion helps.

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Originally posted by Steven Hockstein

Kurt,

I like it and found everything I would want to know when choosing an inspector.

Two things that I would criticize are the Chicago photo and some of the text in the fee section. The image looks like a photo that got damaged by water. I think the "Call the office for pricing" comments should not be repeated in multiple paragraphs. I would suggest that you state it just once at the end of the fee section and if you want, repeat your phone number in larger text.

Hope this opinion helps.

Thanks for the input. The Fee schedule text is redundant, isn't it?

The skyline photo seems to draw a lot of comments. The current idea is that it gets changed w/ the seasons, & be a revolving tableau of Chicago scenes; Wrigley Field, Buckinham Fountain, various skylines scenes, etc.

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Kurt,

It would be wise to add more text to your index page to include keywords that potential clients might use in a search of your services. Meta tag keywords alone can't be relied on for relevance in all search engines. Perhaps moving some text from the "About Us" page like: "Home & building inspection services company providing home inspections, large building & commercial inspections, condominium building & association consulting since 1979." Also consider including your professional association as I have found that some folks use that in their search.

Someone mentioned an e-mail button to hide from spam harvesters. The following is an HTML that you might want to use:

Contact Us

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Kurt,

Inspectors like it, but we're inspectors! How does the general public like it. I don't think you'll get an accurate opinion from asking us. I suspect, because you're such an inspection God, most guys wanna just kiss your ass anyway!

Ask some folks who aren't in the business. They are the ones you want to impress. Most inspectors (ask Walter) think my site sucks. Hell, so do I! But I've gotten great feedback from the idiots clients who've viewed it.

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I'm reluctant to criticize anyone's site, because I don't really like the one I threw up in a rush a couple years ago and haven't gotten around to revamping, but since you asked...

I really like the clean, professional look. It clearly gives the sense that you are a professional and not some laid-off nailbanger trying a new line of work. I think you get your message across well and if anything, I'd be trying to cut text rather than add it. People like pictures and bullet points, I find. I like the artsy skyline, but can't tell the difference between Detroit and Chicago.

All in all, one of the better HI sites out there. So many of them look almost identical. I don't know if this counts, but for the record its the closest I'll ever come to kissing your ass.

Good Luck,

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Originally posted by chrisprickett

Kurt,

Inspectors like it, but we're inspectors! How does the general public like it. I don't think you'll get an accurate opinion from asking us. I suspect, because you're such an inspection God, most guys wanna just kiss your ass anyway!

Ask some folks who aren't in the business. They are the ones you want to impress. Most inspectors (ask Walter) think my site sucks. Hell, so do I! But I've gotten great feedback from the idiots clients who've viewed it.

Hey, I gotta start somewhere, & where better to start than w/ a bunch of anal retentive detail freaks?

It's only been up a couple days, 2 customers have seen it, & they had nothing bad to say. I think folks get kind of glazed over on some of this stuff. I got a lot of photos to get up, some more downloads w/ the SOP & COE, the Illinois State SOP, etc.

The search engine thing probably is a good thing to do, but whenever I do the search engine thing, I turn up about 1000 sites; I'm just another inspector. I'm not really looking for the search engine; I'm just trying to get into the 21st century & have a "business card" presence on the web so clients can download contracts & stuff.

For some reason, whenever anyone is shopping around, I literally am NEVER the guy they call back; people either call me & want to schedule, or they want to run down the 19 questions they read in "Home Buying for Dummies". I smile, talk nice, become their pal, & they go elsewhere(?).

As far as being an inspection God, I'm just lucky I got a job; as far as I'm concerned, I'm not even a rumor.

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Kurt, I looked at your website last week when you mentioned it in another post. I had to guess at the website address then (not to hard). It's 10:15 central time now and I can't pull the site up. I hope your doing maintenance on it.

I thought the fee schedule page was a little confusing and redundant. Personally, I would lose it. Overall though, a nice, clean professional site.

Like Chris, I've had countless emails telling me my site sucks. However, I've received far more compliments from clients who liked if for some reason. I'm more than willing to shell out the 3 to 5 g's (for the amount of content I have) for a new one, but my wife has vetoed my actions every time. She says that as long as we're getting the business we are from it, there's no reason to change.

BTW, I have some snapshots of the Houston skyline if you'd like to use them[}:)]

Of course, I'd never know it was Detroit if George hadn't told us...

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The question of how much text is too much is a quandry. People like graphics and bullet-point stuff alright, but one of the most common complaints I've heard about small business sites in general is "not much content". I have 29 pages (some long, some short), and I've had a handful of clients call and tell me they've read them all.

I think I'm going to go back and re-design my home page to be a little more "short attention span friendly", but I'm also planning to add 4 or 5 more new pages. It's a smorgasbord, eat a little or eat a lot.

Brian G.

Serve It Up!

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The email & site was being worked on last night; it wasn't available. I'm still dinking around w/ the "Schedule an Appt." thing. If I ever get this thing right, I'll be amazed.

Thank you everyone for the insights; it has been extremely helpful & has pointed out a lot of obvious stupid crap. I may ask again, but for the time being, I'm gonna go w/ what I got & clean it up. Thanks again.

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Hi Kurt,

You mention that your reports conform to ASHI SOP. I was told by the folks at the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate that we must mention that we inspect and report in accordance with OBRE standards. This I don't like because OBRE standards only mention what we inspect. Anyone else know for sure?

Erol Kartal

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Originally posted by erol

Hi Kurt,

You mention that your reports conform to ASHI SOP. I was told by the folks at the Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate that we must mention that we inspect and report in accordance with OBRE standards. This I don't like because OBRE standards only mention what we inspect. Anyone else know for sure?

Erol Kartal

As I understand the Illinois Licensing Act, we must state in our Pre-Inspection Agreement that we perform the inspection to Illinois OBRE standards. They do not say anything about the website, although I do note the OBRE standards on my site.

I'm still working on getting the ASHI SOP, COE, & the Illinois OBRE Standards in the Downloads section of the website.

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