Web Designers Are Everywhere

Every man and his dog can be a web designer.

I just tried to buy some solid fuel, and in Google I clicked on a paid link that suggested it would lead to a site where you could buy coal online. Great I thought. I noticed (as you do), that the same site was not represented anywhere on the first page of the natural SERPs. 

When I arrived at the site however, none of the links on it were clickable, but there was a large notice saying you had to use the telephone or email to make an order as the full online site was not yet fnished.  That’s no problem. If you want to get a business up and running, you should not hold it back just because the web site is not quite ready.

So I called. A woman answered and we talked about coal. She was very pleasant, so I decided to ask her how her site was progressing and when she thought the e-commerce element of it would be online. While I was talking to her I clicked around her existing site to see what else there was only to find none of the links were clickable. I realised then that the site was a single page and was constructed entirely of a giant jpg image. What was really puzzling was that the giant jpg was of a site with buttons and links. 

I asked her about this and she sighed. Her web designers have been taking a while to get the site going, they are using Actinic for a site with only 7 products, and there had been a few problems and delays. Actinic is a very strange choice in my opinion anyway – the technology they currently use is way out of date, and for only 7 products there are many other simpler ways to set up a shopping cart.

But then she explained she also needed stock level maintenance and Actinic supplies this out of the box. Yes it does, but for only 7 products it is a big overkill, even if she has ambitions for say, oh 25 products someday.  

I still didn’t think the Actinic solution was a good one, but she remains hopeful. And she believes the site will be up over the weekend. Let’s see.  

In the meantime, the single jpg that is up there has a page title tag of <title>Page Title</title>. Great.  What a wasted opportunity. The domain has no head start in the Google SERPs because someone thought a giant jpg would be a good idea.

See : http://www.solidfuelsdirect.co.uk/


  1. http://Liz%20Jamieson says

    Well, the e-commerce shop is now online. But today it wasn’t working at all. I guess they could still be testing it, on the production domain. 🙁

    I just tried to buy some coal and of course could not. I’ll use the telephone on Monday instead.

  2. http://Liz%20Jamieson says

    I was left feeling that anyone who could put up a large, poor quality image instead of a home page, temporary or otherwise, is probably not knowledgeable enough to do the work. Will they know enough to optimise her site for the search engines. Or get her listed in the local directories. This company has no reason (in my opinion) to be using pay per click when they only have a handful of companies as competition and a locally focused business.

    After all, they are unlikely to arrange the delivery of coal outside the West Country and anyone wanting their services will type something like “coal delivery devon”. A good position in the natural SERPs should be achievable for keyphrases like that.

  3. I am a student who has recently set up a portfolio site of website design (see http://www.thomasedavis.co.uk) and this comes as no surprise really.

    Website design is something which has become cluttered, it is very easy to get some free software to create a page and have it on the net in minutes and this is the problem, it should be left to the people who live and breathe website design, the people that know what they are doing!
    Personally I think you get what you pay for in website design and I really hope that the woman you spoke to didnt pay too much for a jpg image!

    Interesting read