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My New Website: Las Vegas On A Budget - a "Soft Opening"

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by jasonargo, Sep 10, 2015.

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  1. jasonargo

    jasonargo High-Roller

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    I have recently gone public with a website based on my experiences traveling to Las Vegas on a low budget. It is titled, appropriately, Las Vegas On A Budget - A Resource Guide For Saving Money In Sin City. The URL is http://lvbudget.us.

    For years I have tried to figure out a way to share the multitude of links to websites and other resources that I use when planning my trips to Vegas. While participating in forums and message boards I have been able to answer inquiries with some of them, but was always wondering how to get them all out there at once. I finally decided to try building them into a website and make it available to anyone.

    Before I begin promoting the page and listing it with the search engines, Sonya has been gracious enough to allow me to post this here in order to request feedback on the site from the VMB community. I'm interested in what you think about the design, content, ease of reading, etc. I have a lot of respect for the people who frequent VMB, and value your opinions. Please feel free to reply to this thread with your comments or suggestions.

    I have kept it quite simple in design overall, using html & css. There are advertising and affiliate program links on the site, but I have tried my best to make sure they do not detract from the content. There are no direct links to online gambling or any "adult" sites. I have included Facebook & Twitter links in the footer area.

    There is also an email link on the main page if you would like to provide feedback there, or report any bad links. I hope that this site can be a helpful resource for planning your next Las Vegas trip. If any of you have your own website, and are willing to include a link to my site on one of your pages, I would be grateful and appreciative.

    As always when it comes to Las Vegas - "Have fun and good luck!" Thanks in advance for your responses.

    -
     
  2. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

    Joined:
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    Good effort, but you need to make friends with somebody who does website design. You could also move to a more self friendly design platform (drag and drop) for blogging like Wordpress or Weebly.
    The current version of the site is unfortunately fuggly.

    I've including some links for you.

    https://theme.wordpress.com/

    http://www.weebly.com/start-your-blog/?c=mkt_w_nwk:GoogleSearch_cat:Blog_type:General_camp:G-S-Blog-General-Alpha-US_ag:Blogging-Sites_adid:ad112_lpid:002_FunnelTest:none&viq=CAK:139884254|8243523614|blogging%20sites_adid:70817601494&gclid=COmcpdSd7ccCFQiQaQod4cAMzw

    Best of luck!
     
  3. davidcyndi

    davidcyndi Low-Roller

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    Quality info, but I have to agree with funkhouser. The design center app that you get with hostgator just wont cut it. Read up on wordpress, it will be perfect for what you want. Good luck.
     
  4. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I started going through your site. some comments:

    For rental cars...I find that some of the rental sites offer discounts, esp in vegas. Thrifty and dollar have "las vegas specials" that are usually lower than what you find with third party searches. Advantage has an automatic 10% discount with their DCCLICK that you encounter when you exit their site. Also be aware that sites like Costco offer good rental rates for their members (need to be a member in order to "officially" use their discounts).

    Hotels. Many times I find that signing up for a players card and getting onto their web sites offer me good discounts on room rates that are competitive and sometimes lower than the third party sites like Kayak, Orbitz, expedia and Travelocity. Maybe you should get a sticky or something that will list the hotels that offer price matching so guests can just go directly with the hotel.

    Cheapie stuff. maybe create another folder or button that offers cheapie stuff or places where people can mention where you can get cheapie stuff.

    I can't get into many of the folders like promotions or gambling or comps because my work site restricts access, maybe you can clean up the sites so we can see the promotions (or gambling sites). I'm sure that many items aren't the censoring type but because you listed the folders as "adult" or gambling types they aren't accessible to all. The censors can limit access to the sites you list but I feel overall the folders should be allowed to list things without censorship.

    Looks like a good start and there is always room to improve, good luck with your site.
     
  5. phantomfj

    phantomfj Low-Roller

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    I respectfully disagree about the webpage layout, it is just fine with me...........so many websites are so badly cluttered with links, ads and garbage. I would use this site for info, and to find that info easily is of great value to me. Pretty does not necessarily mean good! If I can find the info easily :thumbsup:!!!!
     
  6. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Kudos, jasonargo! Clearly a boatload of work and passion went into the site. :beer:

    I'll just add to the other recommendations about making the site slicker.
     
  7. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    It does take a lot of work to put a site together, you have to have skill, dedication, talent, and hard work. Fortunately for me, Jimmy Poon has all of these things.

    I think it is worth considering whether to switch to a blogging platform that might give you a bit more glitz. It can take a ton of time and research to get things the way you want them and working smoothly though.

    You should probably spend a little time researching some basic website principles - how to use your space on the page, colors, fonts, etc.

    With your current layout the most important thing to look at is the header. The most valuable space on your page is what's visible when it first loads, and particularly, the top of the page. On my screen you are using up fully half of the screen with the header. That pushes a lot of your useful info down below the bottom of the first screen.

    I think you should look into having a single image for the header that doesn't change with each page. That will give you some branding and provide a consistent experience for the user.

    The second thing about it is to use the same height for the header on all the pages. It can be disconcerting when the menu jumps around.

    You could look into maybe having a logo image created (like what VMB has at the top, wide, and short) and use that on all pages. You can put the images that are specific for each type of content below the menu bar if you want.

    Suggest you also look into a color scheme that is more subtle/gentle/attractive. Yellow on green is not so attractive IMHO, same with the magenta on black menus.


    Congratulations on putting together a working website. Lord knows I know it ain't easy. (And thanks for the shout-out too. :) )
     
  8. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    I agree with RF. The header is way too big. I've done websites, it's a challenge. Just keep plugging away. Some of the suggestions above about the design are good, take a look at your options and remember that a website is always a work in progress. It's never done. Especially one like yours that focuses on information.
     
  9. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    Agree with all comments about the design. I'm using wordpress for our website. Have a look and see the opportunities you have with wordpress. I would like to think our website is far more attractive from a design perspective.
     
  10. jasonargo

    jasonargo High-Roller

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    Thanks for the replies. I have fixed a couple of things - the header text size was inconsistent between different browsers and I evened up the image sizes in the headers to make the menu position consistent on the information pages. .

    I considered WordPress, but decided against it for a few reasons. This isn't a blog site that is constantly being updated, It's basically a glorified links list, and I wanted to keep the design as basic and easy on the eyes as possible. I definitely wanted to avoid white or black page backgrounds. I understand it doesn't look as "professional", but it's not for a corporate entity eiher. I'm also concerned with hacker vulnerabiliies in the software. One thing I am considering is possibly adding a "blog" page for people to add their own suggestions. Something like that would definitely lend itself to WordPress.

    I like the idea of a logo, and will be looking into that. I will also be doing some experimentation with the header & text colors - black backgound is too stark looking, but I will keep at it. Green reminds me of money. ;-)

    I'm not sure what, if anything, I can do to bypass the corporate page censors. There is gambling information on some of the pages, but I have not restricted or tagged any pages as "adult" myself.

    It is definitely a work in progress. I must have tweaked the pages a dozen different times after I finally felt they were "done". Thanks again for the feedback.

    -
     
  11. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    That page takes me back to 1995 when every site on the web looked like that. Kinda cool, and if you're happy with it that's all that matters.
     
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