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I don't see too many people responding to your request to critique your website, I wonder why.But, since you asked for opinions, I will give you mine... for whatever it is worth. Some of my thoughts are as a fellow inspector, some are as a fellow human being.

Although my career as an inspector is in it's infancy stages, I have many years practical experience in the construction industry. I have been involved, mostly hands on, with almost all of the trades. I have personally built many many things and take great pride in my work and my versatility... which is why I decided to become a H.I.

I have always based my public relations on my strengths and not on other people's weaknesses, your website seems to do the opposite. It claims that you are better than a "newbie" but says little to make anyone think you are any better than those that are not new.

I almost get the feeling that a new inspector or two has encroached on your territory.

I absolutely agree that experience is priceless, but there are all types of experiences. I know of a few pretty good new inspectors and some lousy ones that have been around quite a while. Every great inspector had to start somewhere.

Instead of admiting to use a report that you seem to be saying isn't the best. You should just say your reports are in depth and easy to read... if they are.

As far as bragging that you are a deal killer, I can't see anyone that wants to buy a home turned on by this claim. Unless they are looking to have their deal killed. I would rather see you claim to be accurate, thorough,impartial and non-enamored to the RE Agents.

I have seen very few HI websites that impressed me. Only one that I thought was great. Happens to be the website of a newbie, but you would never know it.

Jerry, Although I found some of the items that I mentioned not what I prefer... to each his own. Bottom line is do the folks in your area like it and how are they responding to it.

Peace

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Steve & Chris,

Your thoughts are sincere, and I truly appreciate them. I don't yet know how the site is being responded to...I just did a major overhaul. However, with your remarks in mind, I'll likely do some more revisions, first taking a couple humility pills.

Best, Jerry

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Hi Jerry,

here are a few random thoughts from a fragmented mind.

I'd lose the deal killer statement, and maybe just educate why realtors recommend the inspectors they do.

A half dozen times or more you say "I've got..." you should think about just saying "I have..."

For the most part, I like your website..things like 5,300 inspections would probably read better as 'thousands of modern and historic homes".

And, since you're so into the old stuff, why not join Kibbel's Historic Building Inspectors Assoc.

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I know Jerry; he's a brother, so.....

For some reason, it doesn't seem like you.

Whether it's the graphic impact, some of the phrasing, or whatever, it doesn't read like the guy I know.

I don't like the slanted letter thing. Just choose a basic font; good graphic design doesn't get you thinking about the graphic design; you shouldn't even notice it. I kept noticing it.

I'd rewrite the whole thing; same message, but move everything a little more to the center. You know how I feel about 'zoids, but I'd can the direct references.

For whatever reason, even though every darn one of my customers hates the realtors, no one seems to want to take a shot @ them. It's unseemly to take a shot @ them on your website. Do it tangentially; everyone gets the message, and they'll think you're clever instead of something else.

Call me if you wanna talk about in detail. Sorry I couldn't catch you for lunch yesterday.....

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Chad...those were very good suggestions. I already made some changes...thanks!

Kurt...I've been trying to change the font out of italics, and the darn thing isn't cooperating. Gonna keep trying...I agree with you. Gonna also keep the realtor thing in and see what kind of response I get, though I did tone it down a tad 'cause of the good feedback I got here.

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Jerry, just had my site critiqued here several months ago. . . so, I'm with you on the humility thing. I know you'll receive my comments with the right attitude.

Color - the bold color text and white background are a bit stark and dry. Think cookie cutter home with white walls and basic trim and carpet. Then think a nicely decorated home with neutral earthtones and nice color pallette. Which solicits a more 'warm' response? For some ideas, I'd just steal a color pallette from the next designer home I inspect.

The multi-color text is also difficult to digest. Stick with one color and use bold perhaps, a la one of Katens inspection reports.

I know theories differ on website text and number of clicks, but I think the main page is too cumbersome to read through. Get your main point across fast - in the first 3-5 lines, then maybe have another page with additional information. Its my dilemma also. If you have too many clicks (some people say) you risk driving people away. Others say too much to read on the first page, people also get bored - they want to click. Makes 'em feel like they're "conquering" your site and getting it all in.

How do you like to surf? Lots of reading on one page or simple pages with small amounts of text then you click away to the next batch of info?

Your photo is dark. Have anything in the sun or brightened up a bit?

Do you have a logo or some cool graphic to decorate the page? If not, then your company name should be more prominent. It kind of gets lost - looks way too similiar to the other text on the page. Your eye doesn't get there quick.

Good luck!

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Originally posted by randynavarro

Jerry, just had my site critiqued here several months ago. . . so, I'm with you on the humility thing. I know you'll receive my comments with the right attitude.

Color - the bold color text and white background are a bit stark and dry. Think cookie cutter home with white walls and basic trim and carpet. Then think a nicely decorated home with neutral earthtones and nice color pallette. Which solicits a more 'warm' response? For some ideas, I'd just steal a color pallette from the next designer home I inspect.

The multi-color text is also difficult to digest. Stick with one color and use bold perhaps, a la one of Katens inspection reports.

I know theories differ on website text and number of clicks, but I think the main page is too cumbersome to read through. Get your main point across fast - in the first 3-5 lines, then maybe have another page with additional information. Its my dilemma also. If you have too many clicks (some people say) you risk driving people away. Others say too much to read on the first page, people also get bored - they want to click. Makes 'em feel like they're "conquering" your site and getting it all in.

How do you like to surf? Lots of reading on one page or simple pages with small amounts of text then you click away to the next batch of info?

Your photo is dark. Have anything in the sun or brightened up a bit?

Do you have a logo or some cool graphic to decorate the page? If not, then your company name should be more prominent. It kind of gets lost - looks way too similiar to the other text on the page. Your eye doesn't get there quick.

Good luck!

Randy...I'm taking everything with humility. Didn't start 'till a few years ago, though, when I started participating on this and the ASHI boards. Amazing at how often we're so wrong when we are convinced we are so right.

The software I uitlize is pretty basic, and since I'm doing this myself with little knowledge about computer stuff, this is about the best I can do in the little time I have. Perhaps I'll hire someone and employ some of your good suggestions. Thanks.

Kurt...I got the font changed. Hopefully it looks better without the italics.

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Jerry,

Mostly agree with what the others said. When I went to the site I thought the "Headline" was a bit small. Maybe make the company name a bit larger or bolder.

As an aside, I read what you wrote and agree with everything, but thats me - not the typical client.

Actually better than most inspector sites!

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Jerry

First off the black on white is to striking. Maybe use a light tan background.

I don't like the use of all that red for emphasis.Kinda third grade.

Way too much info on front page.

Most buyers don't give a crap about ASHI, or understand deal killer.

What is "most all of Norther Illinois" mean.

Your picture is too dark.

To much chest pounding.

Think of all the clients you have and why did they use you.

Good luck and please you asked.

Captain

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Jerry I have working on a totally revamped version of my website for the last month. You must feel like one of the contestants on American Idol standing in front of Simon. That being said let me put my two cents in. My first impression of your website was I did not get your homepage but one of the links. I also feel like some of the others that it reads like a negative political ad and we only hurt our industry by tearing each other apart. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Sound familiar. Don't worry you'll have a chance to get even with my comments in the near future. I guess it's always easier to be the critic. (Now that I think about if that sounds a little like home inspection.)

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Don't worry you'll have a chance to get even with my comments in the near future. I guess it's always easier to be the critic.

Hey,

I don't take any of this personally (except maybe from that Mitenbuler guy). I know the site needs help, and I'm getting some wonderful suggestions.

Yeah, I'm a bit full of myself, so I'll have to think of how to brag without being offensive. Sorry if I am offensive...don't mean to be.

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Others have covered the text, so lets move to layout.

It looks like you're filling out a template and the layout reflects that.

  • The text needs to wrap around the photo.
  • The text is large, bold & strong. I feel like it's shouting at me. Remove 2 of those 3 tags before each block of text.
  • The border only works in MSIE, it's disjointed in Firefox.
  • Way too much text for the first page. Use some of it for additional pages.
  • The text on the first page should have many of the keywords that potential clients might use to find your services. All the keywords, worked into the text, should also be repeated in the keywords meta tag.
  • You need a logo to look like a legitimate bidnet.
  • Get a professional mug shot, use the action shot on another page.
  • Send me a small percentage of each inspection fee you get from clients that found you at your awesome website.
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Hey guys...

You've been a tremendous help. I spent a couple hours revising so I'm less offensive, less verbose, less dark, less third-grade, etc.

My site ain't no where near perfect, or maybe not even good, but thanks to your help, it certainly is better. My sincere thanks.

Jerry

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