Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by randoma1, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Hey all!

    This is my start-up business' website coded by myself in ASP.NET (C#.NET) and is using the MSSQL back-end. It's for a small computer repair/support business and the site is coming along nicely (at least I think so). I designed the two banners you'll see in GIMP (which I'm not even remotely good with).

    I hope you enjoy it! Constructive criticism and rating is very much welcome.

    Thanks again to the mods for creating this new forum!
  2. Well, don't underline text - REALLY NOT BLUE TEXT - people will think it's a link.

    Being on Winhost, you could get a faster start, do more, and make it easier to grow if you use DotNetNuke. You don't even have to buy skins, some very nice skins are free.





    For just a few.

    When I'm going to use a new skin, I'll try it on a garbage site I use just for testing. To test Winhost and a new skin I was going to use, I created this site:

    http://vega411.com/site (SUPER BASIC)

    This Saturday, I used that same skin (after working through some issues) to do the homepage of a site I'll be creating, which is here:

    I'm stuck on the homepage because it's impossible to get feedback, and screw doing the entire site then hearing they want changes. Anyway, to give you an idea of DotNetNuke's abilities, that homepage is what you can do in a few hours - including install.

    Other notes:
    1) Don't tell people you're getting business cards and stuff on the main page. If your main page does not engage them and give them a reason to look around - they will leave.
    2) Expand your page title to include the city.
    3) Create sub pages for every city you're willing to do work in. It's common to do something like 'What Services We Offer' with a city dropdown. Even if they're all worded the same, you may come up on more searches.
    4) Really look at google ads - it's money well spent.
    5) I'd create a section to tell people why you're better than Geek Squad and other services that offer what you do.

    Finally, it's better to buy than create. GIMP is great, but you need PhotoShop so you can buy things from sites like http://graphicriver.net/, which can save a lot of design time. For pictures, I use Fotolio.com, but you can get stock photos from a lot of sites to spice up your pages.

    If you need any help, I'd bet you'd get a ton here. You're on a great host for DNN, so why not use the crap out of it :)

    Now, if you'd rather spend more time on the business than web design, take a look at: http://www.wix.com/
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  3. I guess he took your advice. I just hit the link and it's a default DNN setup. ;)
  4. Yeah I already backed up the site/db and started fresh with DNN, butttt.... I'm not sure I can deal with the slow load times. ~5s/page doesn't sit well with me. Unless I can find some IIS tweak or something that will allow it to run at OK speeds, DNN may not be the right solution.
  5. DNN is not generally very speedy. There may be modules that you can disable (if you aren't going to use them), but honestly, that's always been a complaint about DNN. Not just here.
  6. After a frustrating day of tweaking DNN performance settings, unloading/uninstalling various unneeded modules and containers, and experimenting with lightweight versions of pages.... I have finally given up on DNN and decided to just re-design my original website a bit.

    DNN needs to work on quite a few things before I'd ever consider them again. The entire "drag-and-drop" approach they took failed miserably IMO (not that concept it bad though).

    Anyways, back to square 1, although I do have quite a few more ideas about the page design I'd like to implement.
  7. LOL - you have to do some stuff to keep it fast.

    1. You can change how long before the application thread goes to sleep.

    2. You can prevent it from ever going to sleep by using what's called 'keepalive.aspx'.

    You download this free program:
    and enter your site URL/KEEPALIVE.ASPX. A lot of people use a schedule provided by their host, which is one reason the new plan from Winhost has the schedule option - WHICH IS A MUST.

    3. THIS IS THE NUMBER 1 CHANGE NEEDED. Under host setting, change the tasks to operate using a thread instead of the request method. If you keep it at the default of 'request method', everytime you request a page DNN does maintenance checks. If you use the 'thread method', that does not happen.

    4. Use the log buffer so it batches log writes.

    5. One final trick is to use a page that shows a splash screen then redirects to the DNN site.

    If you ever want to give it another try, I can help.
  8. mikev: Thanks for the tips, if I ever give DNN another try I'll take those steps. I still stand by the whole "they need to fix a few things" bit though.

    I made a few changes to the site (mostly your advice) and also added a few info boxes. I'll make more changes when I'm less tired though lol.
  9. LOL technology = no sleep :(

    I like the info boxes and think it's looking cleaner now.
  10. More changes lol. Now I have a small "price comparison" page that just links people to local IT pages that show prices. I also made a price list for Random Access that can show details about services.

    Almost everything is XML based as my database code seemed more overkill than anything. It may also speed up load times when the MSSQL server is slower than the IIS server.
  11. I think that's a good move not using the DB for simple content. I did notice a typo under Prices/PC Setup - in the last statement.

    Also, you may want to look at adding:

    background-position: bottom

    to the body tag because as content expands I see the end of gray then just white.
  12. I'll hopefully be able to talk to a lawyer and/or bestbuy+staples soon, do either of you know if it's legal for me to keep the links to best buy's and staples' prices pages from my site?

    I figure that this way is the most fair way to them as they are in control of their own site and I can't possibly slant their prices in my favor, but I still wonder.
  13. You can link to anything that's publicly available, as those pages are.
  14. Yeah, you're fine.

    Your prices are looking great when you think how bad of a job the others do. I know a guy that used Besbuy for an office PC. One hour+$250 later and it was still broken and the guy left.
  15. Yeah, I've heard countless horror stories about those two. The local Staples only has one repair space (1PC can be repaired there at a time).

    I used to work for a small computer shop as a tech about 4 years ago and almost mimicked their prices as it was quite successful.
  16. I've done a lot of work to the site lately, just wondering if any additional feedback could be provided. Thanks! :)
  17. Ray


    What's the difference between the top menu buttons on your site "Home", "About", "Services", "Prices", "Contact" to the icons below it that reads "About us", "Services", "Prices", and "Contact us".

    They seem to go to different pages.
  18. eh? They go to the same pages... did you click on them?
  19. Ray


    Yes I clicked on them, just wondering why you have the same links under one page. Doesn't that make it kind of redundant?
  20. Gofer01

    Gofer01 Amateur Web Application Developer

    Well I like the blue text. Polls says light blue colors are the most pleasing websites that are viewed
  21. Redesigned version (it's been in use for a while now actually). :)
  22. Complete overhaul

    So I ended up going with a paid Wordpress theme and then modifying it heavily. I get a lot of compliments on the site layout and find it more suited for a business that also offers web design for clients. Thoughts? http://www.randomaccessit.com
  23. Hmmmm....

    So if i were to foreshorten your web address from RandomAccessIT.com

    then it would be



    Sounds like something you could say over the phone to a customer that you no-longer want :)

    Fantastic! Website! bye the way!

    (ian ducks a stick of RAM thrown by randoma1)

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