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Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Annual site review request

https://www.toolsverse.com

Compare to year ago we finally have:

a) Good products
b) Customers
c) Top ranking for 2 out 10 keywords we really care about
d) Partners

Still, I'd like to hear from the community about our site design, content and navigation. In general, is it clear what I'm selling?

Thank you.
maxlmus Send private email
Sunday, September 28, 2014
 
 
At a glance, the site looks good and the product information looks clear. There is a problem with your https, though. You're serving non-secure content. I'm just guessing, but you're probably using absolute paths instead of relative paths for your resources.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Sunday, September 28, 2014
 
 
Yep. Changing to https as we speak.

Thank you.
maxlmus Send private email
Sunday, September 28, 2014
 
 
The first two phrases on your Web site are way too generic:

"Software for professionals" can describe anything - from a CAD system to a sophisticated video editor to a set of system administration utilities.  Based on my guess of what your target market is, should not it read, say, "Software for database professionals"?

"We create tools and frameworks which are innovative, powerful, fast to deploy and easy to use." - throw this marketing speak away, or turn it into a positioning statement: "We create tools and frameworks that <who> use <to do what>, because <our tools are better at this and that>."
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Monday, September 29, 2014
 
 
Well, "software for professionals" is a catch phrase suggested by someone on this forum a year ago. I liked it (still do). 

Since https://www.toolsverse.com is not a main landing page (not even top 5) I think a little bit of "marketing speak" is allowed.  But I got your point.

Thanks.
maxlmus Send private email
Monday, September 29, 2014
 
 
Not very important, really, but $1015.95 seems like a strange price to charge for something. Did you used to work in the airline ticket pricing field?

Then again, I have been known to rant about human fondness for numbers like $999.99 or $1000.00, so maybe you're onto something.
GregT Send private email
Monday, September 29, 2014
 
 
This is a price with 30% discount! I'm reselling SQL Parser (not my product) with a discount and they are using weird pricing schema, with cents and everything.

Good catch, anyway. Will make it more clear.

Thanks
maxlmus Send private email
Monday, September 29, 2014
 
 
"I'm just guessing, but you're probably using absolute paths instead of relative paths for your resources."

Ah, fuck me.

Thank you to Nicholas Hebbs for pointing out a security flaw that affects OUR site as well.

Fixing it now.
Scott Send private email
Monday, September 29, 2014
 
 
Re the "software for professionals" tagline:

Given that it is in the top left corner right beneath the logo, the tagline is likely the first thing a visitor glances at when coming to your web site for the first time. Unless you have an established brand that most visitors in your field would recognize, this is your earliest chance to both qualify the lead and reassure the (qualified) visitor that they came to the right place.

You have to fight for attention span these days...

And if the home page is not in the top five, perhaps you had to ask us what we think about the top pages, not the site as a whole?
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
 
 
> Thank you to Nicholas Hebbs

And thank you for turning me into a plural. My clones appreciate the recognition.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
 
 
In general I find your website looks professional and business like.

It also looks very grey. And boring.
Is this theme called "low contrast" ?

I realise that it's difficult to make software tools look sexy. But marketing is about making products desirable. I've seen websites and advertising for products that I would never need, but I know that if I need that thing, I want *that* one.

I'm not familiar with ETL so your index page may as well be written in Klingon. Placing "Why choose us" at the top is a little bizarre to my mind. It's like "We're good - very good"; is this the first thing you want people to read ?

I think a problem with your website is that you have 3 products and for each one you have a flat web page with a lot of information. It's a lot of reading and your formatting doesn't really guide the reader to the take home message.

Your screenshots are just big enough to show some detail but not big enough to read. I would prefer to make them thumbnail size linked images or show with a slight zoom out, cropped on the key area.

You absolutely must get rid of the synthesised voiceover on your screencast. Either get someone who has a clear reading voice (accent is OK), or use subtitles and background music.

I guess your customers and potential customers would see things differently. You should try to get some feedback and compare with your competitors.
koan Send private email
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
 
 
2koan

Thanks for reply.

"Your screenshots are just big enough to show some detail but not big enough to read. I would prefer to make them thumbnail size linked images or show with a slight zoom out, cropped on the key area."

Did you click on screenshots? It opens a popup with the bigger image.  Maybe UI is not clear enough. 

Synthesized voice-over is a quick patch for the existing voiceless screencast . I'm just learning Demo Builder so the real voice is coming.  Now, is synthesized voice really that bad? Does it distract from watching a video?

Finally, a "low contrast" theme is a design choice. A carefully crafted (by hands) css. We also had orange-green-black theme  with big boxes and it didn't fire quite well duding A/B testing.
maxlmus Send private email
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
 
 
2Dmitry

"And if the home page is not in the top five, perhaps you had to ask us what we think about the top pages, not the site as a whole?"

Well, people do visit home page occasionally.  The top pages are (in that order):

https://www.toolsverse.com/products/etl-framework/
https://www.toolsverse.com/products/etl-framework/examples/
https://www.toolsverse.com/knowledgebase/Main_Page
https://www.toolsverse.com/products/data-explorer/
https://www.toolsverse.com/products/sql-parser/
 
Which is what I'd expect, considering I'm selling 3 products to developers.

Thanks for reply
maxlmus Send private email
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
 
 
> Did you click on screenshots?

Yes.

I didn't like the large thumbnails because I couldn't see the details; when I clicked on the screenshots there is nothing to highlight the part of the image that is important.

> is synthesized voice really that bad? Does it distract from watching a video?

Yes and yes. Apart from sounding awful, it does not build trust with the potential customer. Maybe it's a cultural thing, I feel that it's like you are hiding something.

> Finally, a "low contrast" theme is a design choice. A carefully crafted (by hands) css.

Keep working on it.

There are a lot of websites for helping to choose colour themes. See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/199378/best-css-color-wheel-sites
koan Send private email
Thursday, October 02, 2014
 
 
2koan

"Why choose us" is gone. I feel better now :)

2all

As usual this review exercise is useful.

Thanks everyone
maxlmus Send private email
Thursday, October 02, 2014
 
 
Green-orange-blue, "not boring" version of https://www.toolsverse.com  is live!

Couldn't resist.
maxlmus Send private email
Thursday, October 02, 2014
 
 
@maximus

A big improvement!
koan Send private email
Friday, October 03, 2014
 
 

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