As you may have noticed, I’ve been too busy this last week or so to keep up on my blog posts. That’s because we’re getting ready to release our new software product, and I’ve been working on a new website, among other things. After some initial teething troubles, I’m happy to report that it’s now live and completely operational! Please look around it and let me know what you think, either in the comments here or (if you prefer privacy) from the Contact page of the site.
I’d had a site before, for the company I sold, but it was designed in 1998 and was very simple even for that era. It was also designed entirely by a programmer (me), which means that it didn’t have much in the way of graphics or style. You can still find it on the Internet Way-Back Machine, if you want a laugh and know the URL (which I’m not going to mention here).
We had the graphics and layout for this site designed by a professional graphic artist, and the difference is very obvious. 🙂
Along with the new website, we worked with the artist to come up with a new corporate logo too. You’ll see it in the upper-right corner of each page on that site. I’d like some feedback on that as well, if you’ve got any.
We also figured out how to put together a couple of CGI scripts. Most “contact us” pages use simple web forms, but I tried something like that for my old company, and when I sold it, the support e-mail account was getting several hundred spam messages a day — that’s after the hosting company filtered out everything it could. This time we wanted something that no web-spider could dig the address out of, no matter how persistent it was, and we finally found a way to do it. 🙂
The other CGI script is for the main download link. It tries to detect the operating system you’re visiting the page from, and redirect you to the download for that OS. It’s usually pretty good, but if it can’t figure it out (like maybe you’re on an iPad or phone), it’ll drop you on a page that will let you manually select the one you want.
Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think, and I’ll try to get back to my regular blogging schedule soon.
Just finished touring the site. I like it! It looks good, is basic, but does what it needs to do. One website convention you might want to add is to make your company name in the top-left corner link to the home page when clicked. Also, it’s good to put the site name on every page title, e.g. “Contact Us – Oak Circle”. (Just like this page’s title is “Our New Site! << Geek Drivel”) Oh, I like the new logo too!
I like the new site too, simple is nice. 🙂
Thanks! Yes, it does look fairly simple; my goal was to make it very easy for people to find what they’re looking for there.
Chris, I’ve added your suggestions to the to-do list. I got some additional good advice on it from a fellow independent software developer today too. Some of it precludes yours though — apparently the page titles are best used for search-engine optimization, and very few people will search for the company name.