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Thread: Curious...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Currently, Columbia, S.C., U.S. of A.
    Posts
    14

    Curious...

    I'm a Christian minister, and I'm starting a ministry (if I can ever get to a stable place to live!). I was hoping some people on this board could give my site a look-through, let me know what "red flags" are on it (except the religious aspects), and give me some advice on how I can improve on it. I know we're not supposed to post ads, but I'm just looking for some input from what would appear to be experts on scams. I don't want this effort to fail, because it looks like a scam. Thanks in advance.

    ~D~

    P.S. ~ I know the credentials I cite might be questionable to some; but I've come to realize that, in this world, people don't care about what you're saying or doing, unless you have a title to back you up... It's not like I intend to fall short of my claims...

    Again, thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,553

    Re: Curious...

    Quote Originally Posted by angelsofhope2008 View Post
    I'm a Christian minister, and I'm starting a ministry (if I can ever get to a stable place to live!). I was hoping some people on this board could give my site a look-through, let me know what "red flags" are on it (except the religious aspects), and give me some advice on how I can improve on it. I know we're not supposed to post ads, but I'm just looking for some input from what would appear to be experts on scams. I don't want this effort to fail, because it looks like a scam. Thanks in advance.

    ~D~

    P.S. ~ I know the credentials I cite might be questionable to some; but I've come to realize that, in this world, people don't care about what you're saying or doing, unless you have a title to back you up... It's not like I intend to fall short of my claims...

    Again, thanks for the help.
    I'm not too much in determining whether or not you'll look like a scam, but I used to evaluate web sites & I'd be glad to take a look & give you some feedback on it. If you're interested send me a PM with the URL.

    .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    61

    Re: Curious...

    Doesn't look like a scam to me. That said the red flags are:
    • Its hosted as part of freeones rather than your own site.
    • The site design leaves a fair bit to be desired. Specifically menu design and content layout.
    • You have your own toolbar - something that is associated with malware and doesnt really have much value add to your cause.


    You could probably achieve the same goals by creating a blog on any of the standard free blog tools online and ditching the toolbar.
    The strong did what they could, and the weak suffered what they must. - Thucydides

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5,324

    Re: Curious...

    I would add the following suggestions:

    Get rid of the background images (The stars/clouds/etc that change depending on which menu item you click on). If you want to use images, then use a single image for all of them, and make it something low contrast that meshes well with the colour theme of your site (like the background on site). Or, alternatively, just use a solid colour - personally I think that would look best.

    Your home page needs to be less cluttered. People make up their mind about your site based on that first impression. An uncluttered homepage looks far more professional (just look at www.google.com). I would recommend keeping everything under the 'Welcome to Angels of Hope...' heading, and removing everything else. Trackers, webrings, 'we are a member of...' etc. are very outdated. No need for those on a modern webpage. Keep it simple.

    If you want to have a blog then have that separate to your ministry's homepage (again, look at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/). That's where things like appeals for help for pakistan and youtube videos should go. Keep your actual webpage clean.


    Combine your 'Our staff' page with your 'Contact Us' page. The one page should have both a form for sending feedback, but also your real name, an address and an email. If people click on 'Contact Us' and don't see a real name and physical address, then they may think it's a scam before thinking of clicking on 'Our staff'.


    Sort out a consistent system for comments. Right now you have comments on the home page, a forum, and a guestbook. I would recommend using one of those three, and disabling the rest. Comments are usually reserved for blog posts, not for the website itself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,553

    Re: Curious...

    After looking at the second site... the notes I sent you about the first apply to that as well. Plus, I'd take the other critiques to heart.

    Keep the sites short, sweet and to the point. You want the sites "clean, lean & mean"... (figuratively speaking). You've only got about 10 seconds to make your first impression... make it a good one.


    .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,626

    Re: Curious...

    Combine your 'Our staff' page with your 'Contact Us' page. The one page should have both a form for sending feedback, but also your real name, an address and an email. If people click on 'Contact Us' and don't see a real name and physical address, then they may think it's a scam before thinking of clicking on 'Our staff'.
    I agree about the 'Contact Us' part, many a fake website has fake or nonexistent contact information. A physical street address that is verifiable with public records and google map will help separate your site from fake ones.

    While I have not seen the site, I would like to add that you should have a 'Terms of Use' and 'Privacy Policy'. People who contact you need to know that you won't sell, rent, trade or use their contact information for spamming purposes.
    Found a scam or scammer's email address? Post it at scamwarners.com
    Found a romance scam? Post it at romancescam.com

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