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Should TCH go forward with a new site design?  

87 members have voted

  1. 1. Should TCH go forward with a new site design?

    • Heck Yes, the current site is awful.
      6
    • Yes, it is ok but a new site would help sell TCH even better.
      17
    • Maybe, the site is full of information but needs improvement.
      25
    • No, the current site works. Why change?
      26
    • No, I love the current site.
      2


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We have been hashing this over in staff chat for two months. We have gone so far as to hire a design firm and have had several comp's done.

 

But...

 

What do you think?

 

When you first came to TCH and saw our site what crossed your mind?

 

When you see other hosting sites and then look at ours what do you think?

 

Should we spend the cash on this project, or what?

 

Please help me, this is something that I would like to get resolved.

 

Bill

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Bill

 

When I first visited the Total Choice Hosting Home page, to gain information about hosting packages back in October, your web site sold me on signing up with TCH, it wasn't your prices, Cpanel or Forums.

I think that Total Choice Hosting has one of the most professional web sites that I have seen pertaining to hosting.

 

I see no need to create a new site, just update the existing one and improve it as you go along.

 

That's my two cents.

 

Richard

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I narrowed my search for a new host down to 3.

 

If I'd gone purely by the "look" of the site, it would have been between TCH and one other, and I think I may well have gone for the other.

 

It's what's inside that counts though ...

 

Server status info

Detailed FAQ

Detailed technical info

Large support section

Access to forums

 

in other words information.

 

TCH have probably 10 times more info on the site than any other host I looked at.

Once I realised that, there was no longer a choice to be made.

 

In my humble opinion, there's nothing "wrong" with the site at the moment, but a little bit more "gloss" wouldn't do any harm - especially if it makes all the info in the site even easier to get to, by improving the navigation system.

 

One small point that was actually the final clincher for me - I wanted to pay by Paypal for my reseller account. It wasn't essential, but useful as there's normally some money floating around in my account. The other host made it clear that they accept Paypal - I couldn't find any reference to it on the TCH site (I probably just missed it) - I used Live Support to check. Perhaps others who can only pay by Paypal have just assumed it's a "no" and have gone elsewhere.

 

Just my tuppenceworth ... :goof:

 

Ali

www.vengavenga.com

world wide web weavers

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I am myself much for simple things. If something isnt simple to understand i tend to not do it. The TCH website is simple but full of information that is real easy to understand.

There is no advanced navigationsystems to glance with. No cool flash movies. And I am happy with that, a site selling on honesty, simplicity, thats what counts in my head. :goof:

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I think the TCH site is loaded with information and it's professional. I would much rather see a simple but informative site. Tell's me that company knows where to spend it's money.

 

For example, I hate going into a fancy medical/dental office and seeing all this fancy crap and then paying an arm and a leg for their services. Really ticks me off. Makes it seem like they could charge a whole lot less and do without the fancy stuff.

 

With continued, simple additions here and there, you'll be able to maintain the "feeling" of TCH. You've got a fountain of knowledge right here in the forums with the staff and members. Why not have small projects here and there to improve some things? Have "brainstorming" topics for everyone to take part in for "simple" improvements.

 

Just my .02 cents...

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When I came to TCH everything I wanted to find out was there. No digging, no bull, just what I was looking for.

 

"If it's not broke don't fix it."

 

 

But whatever you decide........ I'm staying.

 

:) :D Rock Sign

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Contrary to what others have said, the navigation is awful. Things (status, Q and A, how to, etc) are scattered about with no overall structure. In addition, there is not overall site map to help find that link I stumbled across last week.

 

The look is fine, loads quickly and works on my various browsers. Fix the navigation part and it would be near perfect.

 

- Jim

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I've actually gotten lost a few times.... For example, from the main page (totalchoicehosting.com) I clicked on Domain Resgistration and from there on Transfers. That was it... no way back to the homepage to keep on looking around and researching your services except via the Back button.

 

Plus, I think the pages are extremely busy. I'm not saying they are necessarily too busy, but maybe they could be a little more concise. The pages that have the links on the right side and the rest of the page dedicated to text information are better... but the ones that have the links on the right, the column called "Want more from your webhost?" on the left, and text in the middle are just too busy for my taste. They make my brain hurt.

 

One other point... I think average people are used to having the links in a column on the left side of the page. Don't know why... just seems to be. Maybe because that's where Favorites open up in IE. Maybe because so many programs with frames put them there. I don't know. But the other reason for possibly moving links to the left and having info text on the right is the fact (as taught in every basic journalism class) that the eye wants to go to the top right side of a page first. That's where you have to grab them with what you want to say!

 

OK... I lied. There is yet another point I want to make about the home page. Some of the stuff you list over on the left under "Want more from your webhost?" could be attractive come-ons (unlimited email accounts just as an example since it is the first thing listed). Perhaps they should be hotlinks so someone interested could immediately find out more without having to find a related link on the other side of the page to, say, Webhosting Plans.

 

I guess I'm up to three cents now so I'll stop...

 

Good luck,

VI

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Here is one thing that bugs me...if you go to pages like the server stats

http://www.tchstatus.com/monitoring/status.html there is no navigation button to the TCH home page or any other navigational links. I like to see the nav buttons always in the same postion and color schemes...This is annoying to me.

youneverknow

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As Jikrantz pointed out there is a site map. But where is the link in the front page? On the right column, 2/3 of the way down the page under "Web Hosting Support"

 

This is a great example of what I mean by poor navigation structure. Who needs a site map? People who are lost. This should be at the top of the page maybe even one of the tabs.

 

In addition to the map being hard to find, it is inaccurate. Go to the map and find "Server Status" and click on it. You end up at http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/web-hosting-servers.html which has a link to http://www.tchstatus.com/ What I'm looking for is the link at the top of the forum page http://www.tchstatus.com/uptime.html or maybe http://www.tchstatus.com/monitoring/status.html . Lots of great info, but no easy to use consistent method to access it.

 

There is lots of great information hidden on the site, but the navigation doesn't work.

 

- Jim

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My first visit to the site was today. Its not a bad design. Simplicity goes a long way with me. However, the navigation could be cleaned up a bit - that's not so much of a design issue as it is interface.

 

The words "Web Hosting" appear all to often in the nav items, causing them to blend together when you're looking quickly for information. Also, maybe some different colors or background or something to separate each nav section, again to prevent them from blending all together.

 

That said, I liked that fact that the site wasn't covered in stock art - there was some, but not enough to turn me off. I tend to get suspicious of sites that use a lot of stock photos :rolleyes:.

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I agree with what others have said regarding many of the pages being pretty busy. The top-level TCH page has a long left-hand column with lots of text that looks like it's linked (but isn't), plus a right-hand menu and the middle column. Now, TCH has a lot to legitimately blow its own horn about, so I am entirely sympathetic to the desire to put as much of that as possible on the front page -- but there has to be a way to re-balance the presentation. This is tough, because TCH also has lots of separate pages, and as VI mentioned, it's easy to get lost or not feel like you're finding the right page (in my case, looking for info on changing the expiration date of the credit card I use for monthly payments, I made a few wrong links and became uncertain that the information I was looking for even existed! I eventually found the FAQs and then did okay, but it was a bit daunting to get there.).

 

So, there's definitely a dilemma: The front page is really busy, but simply moving some of that material to sub-pages won't necessarily help, because there are already a lot of those. Solving that is a pretty hard-core redesign, it would appear. Now, plenty of us have been able to navigate our way to what we need, so I don't think I would vote for a redesign being absolutely necessary; I certainly wouldn't say that the "current site is awful," but it definitely has some problematic aspects -- fixing these would be a definite improvement.

 

But hey, with a user community like this, you're bound to get lots of feedback on every draft (eh, for good or ill! :rolleyes: ).

 

-Alan

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I also think the site that you have now is great, I would keep it, and just add more info as you need to.

 

And you should not change the "Choice Does Matter" because like everyone has told you, that is what TCH is all about! :rolleyes:

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Bill & Staff -

 

I wandered onto the TCH site from myhost just to do a quick look-see at your packages. I didn't leave for 3 hours, so you've done something really right with that front page. I just couldn't stop reading. Everywhere I went there was information telling me something I wanted to know. The more I read the more I knew I had found the right place.

 

The number one attraction was the visibility of your customer base in the forums - that just blew me away. Here, I was only window shopping and ended up invited in for a cup of coffee.

 

I would like to see something along the line of a "Ready to go/buy/set up your account? Read this first!" kind of doc. My purchasing process got a little squirrelly because of PayPal - Bill personally rescued me from that circus - and while it was happening it was really confusing. I registered a domain and purchased service one right after the other - a doc telling me if I should have done that, what order I should have done it in, etc. would have helped. Now, if there is such a thing - I missed it. Which says - it needs to be given more visibility. I spent a week here combing, reading and asking questions before I spent my money (stop laughing Bill - I didn't know PayPal was going to do that!) if it exists how'd I miss it?

 

The only other thing I can think of, is it would be nice to have a directory page for the forums. Something along the line of "Questions about e-mail accounts? Try Forum A, Forum B, Forum C" and so forth. Nothing really elaborate, just something to point folks in the right direction. Not critical, but it would nice. I'm used to the Forums now, but they were pretty intimidating in the beginning.

 

I lied - there is one other thing! When a topic is transferred, is there a way to tell where it went? :o I was following a thread, it got moved and I never found it again! :P

 

If things couldn't be improved upon or tightened up, where would software engineers go during the day? :P I like the look of the TCH site - it's welcoming, it's approachable, it's professional. I would hate to see you go all "Madison Avenue" and slick. A nice haircut, clean shoes and a new set of duds would be great, but please don't let the new design team bring in the plastic surgeons, they're not needed.

 

Just my nickel's worth. Thanks for the chance to give my opinion. You'll do great whatever you decide.

 

Beth :P

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I definitely think the site needs a redesign. I find the navigation system to be absolutely awful. I've come across 404 errors, ...ugh, I can't even explain what a usability nightmare it is.

 

It is absolutely ridiculous that under the heading "Web Hosting Support" there are seven links.

 

Some of the pages that I would delete entirely:

 

The web-hosting-support.html page is almost entirely useless. The web-hosting-servers.html page is useless and completely different at totalchoicehosting.com as it is at tchstatus.com. The index page for tchstatus.com is useless. As is the web-hosting-247monitoring.html page.

 

Under monitoring, it's impossible to figure out the difference between everything:

Current Network Status

Server Monitoring Page

Real Time Server Stats

Server Uptime Reports

Data Center Network Graphs

Dedicated Server Monitoring

 

And much of it is duplicated at /help/

 

The search link isn't prominent and once there (/help/searchsitepage.htm) you have two worthwhile pages:

Comments from the Head Guru - hg1.htm

TCH Announcements - id140.htm

 

And id140.htm is reproduced at /help/index.htm

 

I think almost all of the information on TCH pages are important, but instead of consolidating, it looks like a new page is built each time there might be something to add.

 

I hate to sound so negative, but I'm shocked at how people just say, "It works, don't change it." That's like telling all of the American Idol wannabe's who are mediocre singers to keep striving for their dream. The world needs more Simon Cowell's... :P

 

I'd be happy to leave the design the same and move some of the content around to be more efficient, but I won't have time until March. You don't need a design firm. They'll do wonders for the site if they're good, but they also cost a fortune. What you need is someone to do spring cleaning on the site. Get in touch if you want to hear more. :o

 

EDIT: At the top I say the site needs a redesign. At the end I say I'd be happy to leave the design the same. A new design would be nice, but it's not neccessary. It's just that everything is so jumbled it might be easier to scrap it all and start over.

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I registered a domain and purchased service one right after the other - a doc telling me if I should have done that, what order I should have done it in, etc. would have helped

 

Now that she mentions it, I did find this confusing also when I was signing up. I had to send an IM to support to make sure I was doing it in the right order.

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The only input I have is this:

 

The site has good eye appeal but there are several links that don't work that need fixing or removed. One other thing that may help is updating the all fields when

servers are added.. Sorry I don't have the time to point them all out but one can

find all these with ease.

 

I find that the available information is great! It is much more than most hosting companies provide.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback to TCH.

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This should be at the top of the page maybe even one of the tabs.

That I agree on.

Apart from that... I thought of it last night, but nope, the site is fine i think, or maybe i was just have been lucky with no 404´s, no finding links to info, i dont know. :P

Im sorry i picked on you, unibrain. :o

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Im sorry i picked on you, unibrain.

 

I didn't feel picked on. This is a discussion and as such there are different opinions on what should be done.

 

One of the things I like about the forums here is a discussion stays a discussion, no name calling, no flame wars. It's the better part of a family. ( Too much valentines candy is affecting me...)

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at first I found the site complicated to navigate around and it took me a while to understand what was what. I would like the site to become much simpler and a lot less crowded. I feel that each page is crowded (and in TCH's case why not you've got a lot to show off about but still)

 

I feel that currently the pages are quite professional however sometimes stuff is a bit confusing and in my opinion a lot of the pages are crowded and too full of information !

 

Otherwise I do love the site especially the help centre which is really informative !

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I liked other hosting sites better, but I signed up with TCH because I've read good reviews on the net, liked the prices and haven't had problems to find information I needed.

I voted "Heck Yes" because I personally don't like the look, but being objective - redesign would be nice, but not that necessary. The navigation needs to be fixed, though.

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I agree that there is a host of great information on this site, which is a refreshing change. However, I do find it a bit hard to navigate. I'm also a fan of small changes just to "stir things up" as it were. But then again, I'm not the one paying to have it done. :dance:

 

As long as all the content stays, than I say go for the change. Thumbs Up

 

But still... Rock Sign

 

Robert

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Yeah...Although I think the site is excellent, a redesign would be nice to make it easier to navigate. Since your site has sooooooo much useful information, it needs a much more complex interface.

 

I hope you can do it w/o breaking your pocket book, otherwise don't. You deserve a comfortable paycheck bill for running the best web hosting company around.

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I agree that making site navigation easier and more consistent would be a big help.

 

The only original thought I can add is that, if you decide to go with a new design, steer clear of anything too "super-hip" where everything's in a 7-point font and you need a magnifying glass to read it. :) My previous host rolled out a new web site with a lot of fanfare, but it was really difficult to use because they were more concerned with being trendy than functional.

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inspiration(?) links. the way I see it, the TCH website has so much info, a "compartmentalized" motif might work; but that doesn't have to mean ugly....

  • www.csszengarden.com/?cssfile=046%2F046%2Ecss
    • very compartmentalized & clear

    [*] www.spot-media.de/framebase.php?flash=1

    • above the fold content! and a lot of it but not overwhelming

    [*] www.motivo.com/home/home.asp

    • clean & clear; could use more content tho

    [*] www.buildingthehigh.org/index_home.html

    • another look at "compartmentalizing"

    [*] www.nitrodesign.com/nd4/index.html

    • yet another look

enjoy!

 

later,

!!blue

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I have just signed up here and I am currently getting my site up and running. NEways, I think it is fully functional as-is. That is one of the things that led me here. I had all of my questions answered just by thumbing through the info that I needed. It was pretty easy to find what I need to know. Could it be easier to navigate? Probably.

 

But with that being said, it is probably easier to screw it up than improve it by that 2-3 extra percent. Just look at msnbc.com IMHO they made that site a lot worse when the reshuffled it. I go there a lot less now. CNN.com made a few changes too and now I don't like that as much either.

 

I heavily subscribe to the KISS rule and this site is VERY easy to use as-is. More content will always win out over a prettier site anyday. Just look at slashdot.

 

Regards,

MJarus.

 

BTW, So far TCH is great! Thumbs Up

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Just adding my $0.02 here -- I too agree that the navigation/structure needs some work. Everybody else pretty much said the same thing as I would have. I think the link that someone provided - http://www.nitrodesign.com/nd4/english/index.html - something like that would be awesome!!!

 

But customer service is waaaay more important in my opinion! :) Thanks so much for a great site...

 

RH

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I'm no professionnal Web designer, but I'm not bad either. And here's what I think about the site:

 

Information is clear and easy to find... which is probably to best asset of a Website. Design is not bad either. It's not awfull and does not distract visitors from what they are looking for. But I really think the main page (at least) should be redesigned so it hits your eyes. You want people to say: "Wow! These guys MUST know what they're doing!"

 

As you surely know, a guy in a brand new 1000$ suit looks more profesionnal, even if he's not! :goof: So I guess it's the same for Websites. People are impressed by good presentation.

 

I just hope my comment will be of any help...

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Here's one thing as far as navigation goes. I noticed a lot of your web pages aren't very concise. There are a lot of links along the sides, to add to which, the pages are long, making me scroll down to get to something I need.

For instance on the web-hosting-support page, the links on the right could be consolidated so that "Web Hosting Services" is a link to the seven links below it now. This would allow you to make the page more compact and wouldn't require as much scrolling.

Another fine point was that I had trouble initially coming back to the site and finding the forum. There is a link, I just found it, but I actually have to scroll down to find it instead of having a tab at the top or a link on the right or left side at the top. Also, the name of the link makes me ignore it, since most of them start with "Web Hosting..." My eyes glaze over these as they all look the same and I am looking for something starting with 'F'.

 

Okay, I know, long explanation, but I thought it might help. Mind you this is a suggestion and not a complaint. I think the site is great, it just takes some time to get used to. But for your business, the home page does what it's supposed to do, which is sell your products. For the rest of us already sold on totalchoicehosting, it just gets in the way... :angry:

 

Aaron

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