Please review my website I'm ready for constructive criticism - my first 2 months working here

Last Update: September 23, 2015

It's been a team effort - I thank you

Firstly thanks to a number of thoughtful and helpful contributors here who have freely offered time and attention to help me along the way and over a few frustrating hurdles... Finally I can say I have achieved more than I really thought I would - and it feels great.

I offer my 'bricks n mortar' business website it is www.tepukebackpackers.com yes a backpackers - today I finally managed to set up the booking widget and it should be functional across a number of locations the payment system so far is Paypal. This alone has been a huge achievement.

For those who have not read my profile I had a web-wizard create my original business website but was not able to make changes and it sat dead for the past 2 years. This new website I created since joining WA almost 2 months ago - is still a work in progress. I have now created some useful and I hope interesting content across a number of pages.

One thing I did manage was to add a booking link from my Facebook pages to the actual booking widget so hopefully this will help to maximise activity and actual bookings.

  • There is not much in the way of monetising except for a couple of money making ideas written in a couple of posts.
  • I do not know how to properly track any traffic and rankings etc yet so any of these tips, links etc would be great.
  • I have a lot to learn still about SEO so - don't hold back on your tips their either.
  • Also if there are any younger 18 - 30 year old international travellers, backpackers etc reading this any tips or recommendations for appropriate 'products' would be great as well.
  • I do hope to create a fully functioning log-in registration system for travellers looking for seasonal work, and a log in registration system for local employers looking for temporary seasonal workers. I would like to develop this feature and monetize a subscription so still not exactly hoe or which system to use to achieve this.

Any other design or layout recommendations in fact any and all constructive criticism that I could work on is what I am now looking for. So please don't hold back - I will not be offended this is my learning.

If you missed it here it is www.tepukebackpackers.com

Thanks again to all for your support and encouragement - still following with interest, cheers Tracey

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SamiWilliams Premium
Tracey,
Congratulations on hanging in there and getting it done! Once we accept that it is not easy, we can do wonders.
Sami
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Nikodemis Premium
Hi Tracey, congrats with you website it looks like it can really do the practical stuff of getting customers in :) . The link to the property says your "Classified has expired", so go check that u fix that empty/dead end link. And I love the look of it, the pics on the side are cool. However, I would like to see more pics of the backpackers itself, the landscape, the rooms, the views, the kitchen etc etc to sell it to me... Or did I miss something? And even maybe on the side bars instead of the repeated images u could put all different pics of the place?
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4GoodBuy Premium
Hiya Niko, Thanks yes I intend to fill up the repeated images in the sidebar with monetizing opportunities. hostel images are in the STAY menu 'rooms and rates' yes I thought the property classified must have been close to expiring will have to relist it. Thanks for reminding me... I was thinking about having a rotator image incorporating the hostel image outside and inside but not sure how to do that just yet. Thanks again for your comments really appreciate the time you took out of your own work cheers Tracey
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Dmorrow Premium
Looking really good Tracey. Is your main page going to be static? Otherwise, I would move the about us, etc into a page of it's own. There is one little typo -recession - in the paragraph about the original team. Keep going, you're doing great!

Debby
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Faraz Ahmed Premium
Hey Tracey,
great to have you here.
I looked at your site and have a few suggestions.
First of all, dont put too many articles on the main page.
It will be an endless scroll and very few people will get to the end.
It'd be much better to put a little bit of the newer articles on the first page with the read more thing.
Write the first part of the article to tease the reader into reading more.

The 10 ways to make money fast, just after the "newzealand - most peaceful " article, seems so odd.

Maybe change the 10 ways to make money fast
to something like - 10 out of the box ways to make money while you travel... and not have to spend anything out of your own pocket.

Well, these are just a few of my suggestions.
my 2 cents worth.

Best,
Faraz
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4GoodBuy Premium
Sounds great Faraz, I didn't know I could change how things appear on the main page. I write my posts as I feel motivated on any given day so can be rather random obviously. Sometimes the post I start out with ends up evolving into something else.
Promoting NZ, Motivational, Informative and Helping others to make money seam to be my main themes. I really like your ideas and would be keen to hear any other thoughts.

The "10 out of the box ways to make money while you travel... and not have to spend anything out of your own pocket" would you say this is a Key word? - Im still getting my head around 'Keywords".

I have been thinking about creating a static home page - but not sure what or how to do it yet, anyway thanks again for your contribution it is really appreciated cheers Tracey
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Faraz Ahmed Premium
Well, you can change things on the main page Tracey.
And you should!
Just try and write the first paragraph as a teaser and use the read more thing. The idea is to tempt people with the first paragraph and make them want to read more.

The best way is to keep your site focused on a single theme that's what Kyle teaches us.
And even if you want to write about different themes, try and separate the categories.

The "10 out of the box ways ....." was more about a tempting headline that gets people's attention. The previous headline could just repel a few people, after reading the New Zealand article while the one I suggested could make people interested in the ideas you have about earning while travelling.
That's all it was.
It had nothing to do with keywords. The keywords part is for the seo and what I am telling you about is making sales and conversions.

That was my 2 cents worth.
Faraz
T
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks again Faraz and Debby, Yes I am working on a Static home page at the moment, not sure how its going - so have been editing as I go.

I have not tried the "read more" button yet so on the 'to do list'

Debby I do also have an 'about us' page but couldn't think of what to say for a static page so This is what flowed... maybe I'm running off base here so hey any feedback is great.

My thinking is that there is a natural flow and level of honesty portrayed... would anyone agree here or am I right off the mark?
cheers Tracey
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4GoodBuy Premium
Does anyone know or use a really good database system? I want to create a data base of employers who are looking for temporary and seasonal workers, and a database of travelers showcasing their skills, abilities and how long , when they would be available for. cheers Tracey
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Robert-A Premium
Why not just use the one within WORD.
I've found its as good as any other one.
Robert
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4GoodBuy Premium
Database within WORD? do you mean WORD as in MS Office WORD docs?
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Robert-A Premium
yes indeed.
I have used it for many years, in fact I did a training course on it in my previous 9 to 5 (I used to be a trainer on office systems for the government department I worked with)
Worth having a looksee anyway.
Robert
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks but I thought Access was the MS Office database system - WORD is only Text Documents... sorry I'm really after a widget thingy... one that has a pre-programmed database that I can manipulate forms and questions to suit my demographics... but I do appreciate your time and responces cheers Tracey
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Robert-A Premium
Sorry I didn't make it clear.
Yes Access is the data base but the best way is to work with them in conjunction with each other with your list transferable into a WORD Doc for easy access.
Hope this is a bit more clearer.
have a nice day.
Robert.
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ValerieJoy Premium
A great website Tracey - you are doing Kiwis proud!
I would suggest that you put the left side bar to use, maybe 'Recent Posts', 'Comments' etc., rather than in the Footer.
Alternatively, you could use this sidebar for Google Adsense or other advertising.
Well done :)
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4GoodBuy Premium
Hiya Valerie, Yes I was thinking of doing some sort of advertising, not sure maybe book, product reviews, I have an affiliate program to book cruises so was going to offer some target promotions for suitable 'backpacker & 7 - 10 day party cruises'...

Do you (or anyone else) know of a widget that I could set up rolling adds - from '10 ways to make money fast' post for example

cheers Tracey
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ValerieJoy Premium
What you've got in mind Tracey sounds good, particularly the backpacker party cruises.
I don't know of a widget for rolling adds. I've just done a Google search to see what's available, but didn't find anything I would want to recommend.
There's sure to be someone in the community who can help.

Keep up your great work.

Cheers :)
Valerie
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JudithShaw Premium
It looks fantastic - great use of photos throughout! You definitely should think about monetizing with affiliates. I'm sure there are lots of related products you could review and link to retailers. You're sure to get a good following with this site.

What wordpress template are you using? I really like the layout of yours.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Hi there Judith, Yes I have been building up affiliate partners I have a cruise booking affiliate program, as well as Click-bank (see 10 ways to make money fast post) and Amazon... just not too sure exactly what to target for this site. keep the recommendations coming cheers Tracey
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JudithShaw Premium
backpacks, travel clothes (you know the kind that don't wrinkle and take up very little room), travel chargers, guidebooks, travel accessories (small wallets for passports and other stuff that one keeps on their body in a safe place) - maybe google "travel products."

Also it might be beneficial to change up your post about making money a little. You've actually got 10 different posts there - each could have it's own keyword. Maybe make a category called "Travel While You Work" or "Work and Travel" or something like that. Then each one of those different opportunities could be a separate post and it ties it all back into your theme. Just a thought.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Arrrhh now Judith you really offered some useful feedback....

Yes I wondered about the chance to maximise the research I did on the post you refer to - about making money while travelling. I still not quite getting my head around the whole 'key work' thing. So you suggest to simply use a different set of words in the title and stick with a theme say writing while travelling? or keep it even more specific like translation jobs and how you can make money on the road?

as posts only? or include as pages?

cheers Tracey
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JudithShaw Premium
check out Course 1, lesson 7 and/or Course 2, lesson 7 for Kyle's tutorial on keywords. It's really helpful. Plus you should be using a keyword search tool to help you select the right ones. Keyword tool is part of our WA membership - jaaxy available too - Kyle goes over it all.
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4GoodBuy Premium
I'm using Jolene wordpress Theme... still working out how to custmise it...
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AussieJeff Premium
Gooday Tracey, AWESOME Website. The only issue I had was the loading time for me to view?
Maybe it has something to do with the "BIg" Horizontal Image.
Anyways...fantastic job.
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stephhill Premium
WOW! I think your website has come a long way in two months. Have you set up a re-direct from your old website that sat dead for 2 years to your new website that you are building with WA? I can help you with that if you need.

But I am super impressed with what you have done. And I love the picture of your brick-and-mortar business team.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks so much Stephanie, I have asked my web wizard to re-direct but not sure if he has the previous website was www.hairyberrynz.com and still gets traffic as there is about 10 + years history. The picture in this post was just a bunch of happy backpackers who stayed a couple of years ago. There is a picture of the original team in 'about us' page but now is just my husband and I who run the hostel. I have to run off today and do some deep cleaning to prepare for our group arriving in 2 days. I also still running the original Facebook page and trying to re-direct traffic to the new sites.

I have still got to learn how to better optimise everything and learn about other social media stuff as I learned the other day that the younger people are moving away from Facebook as their primary forms social media platforms leaving FB to the 35 + yrs age group. Younger people apparently moving more to Timblar, Twitter and Instagram I heard.
Lots to still do cheers Tracey
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JAHBOBCLATO Premium
That is a serious piece of work.
Really.

Much time spent.. I can see
Now, I feel I need to visit your place.
will be a long flight, but, I ca handle that
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks for taking the time to visit my website and comment - yes I have been doing a serious amount of work - only I have been the one putting pressure on my time. This past 2 months has been a quiet period for our hostel so I decided to run with WA and get my website in order by September 25th when we a big group booking arrives.

You are most welcome to visit NZ an experience not to miss. cheers Tracey
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Chessie Premium
Hi Tracey, You've done an enormous amount of work on this site and considering what a short time you've been with WA, I don't know how you've made the time to do it all, you must be congratulated. I agree with the points of most of the others so no need to repeat them but the clashing colours is one that struck me. You have some really nice pics but the banner image on my computer, which admittedly has a large screen, is rather pixelated. As it's the first image that will be seen by visitors, I would find a pic with enough resolution not to pixelate. Overall I think it's a great site and will give a lot of useful information for travellers to NZ. Well done you!! Ches
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4GoodBuy Premium
Hi there Chessie, Yes this has been a lot of work - I have been constantly fine-tuning so I really do appreciate your feedback, and constructive criticism. I'm not confident about choosing colours or them layouts (some themes are fairly limited) Open to more recommendations there.

I will check on the image - I changed the images late last night (wee hours in the morning actually) but will check perhaps I made a poor choice. I decided to make the same appearance for both my Website and Facebook page Thanks again keen to hear any other recommendations cheers Tracey
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Dgegegegwg Premium
I'd get rid of the left column. It's a waste of real estate, having just that one banner in there. I'd either move it to the right column where you have plenty of room, or just remove it, since it's already in your header.
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Quincy17677 Premium
Beautiful site! Content is well written and should captivate visitors for a long time. The photos are beautiful and make me wish I could hop on a flight this very day! Love the one of Betty White with the big snake. The Home page loaded a bit slowly but there was a lot to configure and I'm about as far away from New Zealand as it is possible to be.
Congratulations on what you have done and how you plan to improve it.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks Quincy, yes Betty White is a long time favourite of mine - and was tricked to believe she died last week - yes I was tricked with the Facebook stories... btw she is very much alive for the record. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment cheers Tracey
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2Al Premium
I like your site.. Organized and very easy to navigate. Lots of info about your business.. Keep up.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks for taking time out to visit and comment - appreciated cheers Tracey
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Yonah Premium
You can ad your site in your profile as well.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Sorry I don't understand - my site is already in my profile...
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Yonah Premium
Yes, it is. Last time it did not load the links on my screan. Must have something to do on a mistake on my side. SORRY :-)
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4GoodBuy Premium
Oh that is good then - I have been playing with some appearance things and not sure about things going on there yet... decided to walk away and come back try things again.
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KatieMac Premium
You have done a great job with your site lots of good and useful content I would have Q&A in your main menu heading also perhaps your border could be a shade lighter as you have a beautiful picture with blue sky but it kind of clashes other than that you have done a fantastic job well done
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks Katie, I will play with the boarder colours and see where I get to with that - and a few have recommended the Q & A to be in the main menu Thanks again I appreciate your contribution cheers Tracey
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rog37 Premium
A great looking website Tracey, however as you wish to have feedback, can I suggest a separate 'Page' tab at the top for 'FAQ's' and apart from the WA banner, remove the part about "10 ways to make money fast" and set up a separate website about WA.

Still a great looking website though!

Good luck,

Roger
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks so much Rog for taking the time for me, really appreciated, and yes will reposition the Q & A, to the main menu.

I do have a separate WA site but I thought I was being rather creative to incorporate alternative ways that travellers can earn money while travelling. I guess sure may go over the heads of some. There are a number of young people travelling doing quite well earning money online.

I used the title as key word and attention grabbing - I appreciate your feed back but reluctant to move the "10 ways to make money fast" at this time anyway. I have already had results from that one.
thanks again for your contribution - is really appreciated cheers Tracey
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Loes Premium
Hi Tracey, next issue, you have a page for the Q&A, I think it is important to have that in your mainmenu on top
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks again Loes - fantastic yes I see a few recommending that cheers Tracey
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onlinejim Premium
I like your website although I feel there is too much blue in the colouring. Content is excellent. That is just my opinion for what it is worth.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks Jim - good point I had not even really given much thought about colour - any more thoughts? cheers Tracey
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onlinejim Premium
Tracy-as I said that is just my feedback. Well done

Jim
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Loes Premium
Hi Tracey, you need to set your pictures to none or paste a link to it, they now open up in a media file in the same window and you will loose custommers when the click the cross instead of the backbutton.

Then the sign up now button need to open in new window/tab check the box for that, other adds too
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4GoodBuy Premium
Arrrrh of course - Thanks so much Loes, I didn't even think about the backlinks to most of the images here. For some of my posts and pages I have but excellent reminder. following with interest cheers Tracey
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Serana Premium
Hi Tracey your website looks interesting and very creative. I can see your passion for this niche. Imagery and layout looks good. I think you are off to a good start so keep it up and you would do well. Take care.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks Serana - I do appreciate your taking the time to take a look and comments. cheers Tracey
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Serana Premium
No problem Tracey take care.
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tomtitty006 Premium
Congratulations.
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4GoodBuy Premium
Thanks Tom
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