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Can you help with this shiny new World Domination Gardening website?

 
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Websites, websites, and more websites! We've been trying to find more ways to reach more people with permaculture (and help pay the bills around here!), and one of those ways is with fancy product websites. You might have seen some other threads about other product websites, too.

Paul asked me a while back if I'd like to have fun playing around with Worldpress and make a shiny new website for the World Domination Gardening movies (you can see the old one here). I couldn't resist the artistic challenge, and here's the webpage!

I've stared at this website for so very long, that I'm probably blind to its flaws. So I need your help here!

    Does it work on mobile, desktop, and tablet views?

    Is it intuitive?

    Did I botch the grammar, spelling or prose anywhere?

    How's the visual and written style? There was so little written description and so few pictures, that I basically had to make all new descriptions and images. I tried to update it a bit and make it more appealing to a certain audience (can you guess the audience?). But maybe I went too far and it's off-putting? Or maybe it's great?

    We're also trying out a new menu-that's-not-a-menu at the top that links to Paul's other stuff. How does it work for you?

    We're also trying out a little Contact Us page attached to the website. It was far more dificult to make that contact forum than any of us expected! If you want to test it out, that'd be awesome! I tried to make the Contact Us page also a sort of About Us page. But, it's rather bare-bones, and I'd love input!


Oh! And, these websites aren't just for permies--they're for you, too! You can actually use your permies affiliate code on these websites, and if anyone clicks your link and buys something, you'll get paid! Most of Paul's stuff has an affiliate percentage of 40-60%. The World Domination Gardening DVDs, for example, have a 50% affiliate percentage. If someone buys it for $28, you get $14! Here on permies, we're huge on helping people make a living with permaculture! Sometimes people might not want to purchase from permies, because it doesn't look like a normal sales website, so we're trying to make more traditional sales pages that people might be more inclined to use.

(To earn affiliate monies, all you need to do is sign up to be an affiliate here and then you just put your affiliate code at the end of the link. For example, my affiliate code is 100, so I would use the link https://earthworksmovie.com/?f=100. If you're affiliate code is 273, then you'd use the link https://earthworksmovie.com/?f=273)
 
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check the first sentence in Neil Bertrando's minibio, there's one verb too many

Otherwise in a quick scan I didn't catch anything else

I like the look of the site.
The contact page looks good too.

both on desktop (Edge, PC).
 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you, Tereza! It now says "Neil Bertrando has a passion for enriching bioregions by building community" rather than "Neil Bertrando has a passion is enriching bioregions by building community."

Good catch!
 
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I'm seeing the header button texts squished up in a single line (screenshot attached).

For whom it may concern: it looks like the reason is a css property of

Besides that, it's looking good to me!
Screenshot-from-2023-07-28-12-43-55.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot-from-2023-07-28-12-43-55.png]
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Thank you, Tereza! It now says "Neil Bertrando has a passion for enriching bioregions by building community" rather than "Neil Bertrando has a passion is enriching bioregions by building community."

Good catch!



When I see it, the old version of the text still appears, though I don't know if that's a caching issue or what.

I echo Tereza's comments, other than this typo, it looks good to me. I like that it's a different style than some of your past designs.
 
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Yay Nicole!!

It works on my oldish Acer Chromebook using Chrome browser; thank you for that.

I stumbled with the following phrase: with the full beauty of the English language. It did finally occur to me that probably meant it includes cursing?? Someone who does not know Permies and/or you might think the phrase is a slam against other languages?? Or may get upset with cursing if children are watching because they did not get your reference (if I got it right, that is)..... Just my 2 cents.

Thank you for new site. Will you let me/us know when you want us to  link to it (for me it would just be a facebook posting).
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ash Jackson wrote:

Nicole Alderman wrote:Thank you, Tereza! It now says "Neil Bertrando has a passion for enriching bioregions by building community" rather than "Neil Bertrando has a passion is enriching bioregions by building community."

Good catch!



When I see it, the old version of the text still appears, though I don't know if that's a caching issue or what.



I think it must have been a glitch with my computer or my internet, because I still saw it, too. I went and updated it again. I looks fixed on my end, so hopefully it's fixed everyone now!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Barbara Kochan wrote:Yay Nicole!!

It works on my oldish Acer Chromebook using Chrome browser; thank you for that.

I stumbled with the following phrase: with the full beauty of the English language. It did finally occur to me that probably meant it includes cursing?? Someone who does not know Permies and/or you might think the phrase is a slam against other languages?? Or may get upset with cursing if children are watching because they did not get your reference (if I got it right, that is)..... Just my 2 cents.

Thank you for new site. Will you let me/us know when you want us to  link to it (for me it would just be a facebook posting).



I'm totally open to rewording that! I just used the phrase Paul usually uses to describe his vocabulary. I personally never swear, and actually haven't watched most of his movies because I do have young kids. But, Paul enjoy utilizing those words, and a lot of people really appreciate that. Are there other terms that are descriptive but don't put Paul in a bad light. I want people to know what they're getting, but also not make it seem like a bad thing, if that makes sense.
 
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Hi Nicole

"Massive scale hugelkultur to engineer both warmer and cooler micorclimates "

The gap between Paul and Geoff's boxes is smaller than the gaps between Geoff, Neil and Zach's.

The 4 movie boxes are all different sizes and reflow differently as part of the responsive design.

The repeated titles for Ponds, Swales and Hugelkulture feels a bit odd.

"Contact us" is inset from the left margin but "Copyright ..." is hard up against the right margin.

Does Neil have an MS or an MSc? Could just be UK vs USA.

"What wood and other material that can be used in a hugelkultur" - Could be phrased as "Which wood and other..."

All of the name links go to the same link, is this deliberate?



I'm reading the whole thing in that deep, boomy film announcers voice!

I really like the colour scheme and picture to text ratio.

It's clear, non-repetitive and easy to navigate, I like it!

(Firefox & Chrome on a mac)
 
Nicole Alderman
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James Alun wrote:Hi Nicole

"Massive scale hugelkultur to engineer both warmer and cooler micorclimates "



Good catch! Fixed now!

The gap between Paul and Geoff's boxes is smaller than the gaps between Geoff, Neil and Zach's.



Oooh, I didn't even notice that! I figured out what was causing it, and it should be fixed now.

The 4 movie boxes are all different sizes and reflow differently as part of the responsive design.



Sadly, I don't think there's anything I can do about this. It's how Wordpress' Thrive Architect deals with those columns. I could put the most important, bundle one first...but then it wouldn't looks as good on desktop and tablet. Which one should I sacrifice?

The repeated titles for Ponds, Swales and Hugelkulture feels a bit odd.



Yeah, I'm kind of on the fence on that one. I've tried it both ways, and still can't tell which way to go. I think on desktop it probably looks better that way, but on mobile, it looks rather repetitive. I asked a few people, and they liked the titles...but I'm still not certain. I'm glad you brought it up, as it's been bothering me! The yellow titles kind of break things up. Maybe I should make a yellow line, instead?

"Contact us" is inset from the left margin but "Copyright ..." is hard up against the right margin.



yeah, I wasn't quite sure where best to put the Contact Us. I tried it left-justified on the left. Is that better?

Does Neil have an MS or an MSc? Could just be UK vs USA.



I'm in the US, and MS is usually how Master of Science is written. I went and double-checked, and yeah, that's the normal US abbreviation. Apparently, it can be abbreviated as MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Science)

"What wood and other material that can be used in a hugelkultur" - Could be phrased as "Which wood and other..."



Hmmmm, what about "The wood and other material...."? That seems to fit better with how the other bullets are formatted.

All of the name links go to the same link, is this deliberate?



Not deliberate at all! I copied and pasted the formatting to keep it the same, and hadn't realized there was a link on Paul's name. I'm thinking Paul doesn't want a link on any of the other names, because on a webpage like this, you really don't want links that distract people from the site. The link on Paul's name was done to help boost that video in google's search engine, I think.

I'm reading the whole thing in that deep, boomy film announcers voice!

I really like the colour scheme and picture to text ratio.

It's clear, non-repetitive and easy to navigate, I like it!



Thank you! And thank you for all your really good observations--they are super helpful!
 
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I'm liking the changes.. and the pie!
 
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A couple of the bio photos are loading weird on my phone. Using Firefox on an android.

Tried reloading several times. It's always the same two photos.
Screenshot_20230728-085329_Firefox.jpg
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20230728-085329_Firefox.jpg]
Screenshot_20230728-085323_Firefox.jpg
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20230728-085323_Firefox.jpg]
 
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Nicole, it seems the phrase "colorful language" is understood fairly broadly to mean strong/cursing words.
 
Tereza Okava
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Fred Tyler wrote:A couple of the bio photos are loading weird on my phone. Using Firefox on an android.

Tried reloading several times. It's always the same two photos.


Same issue here, android and Samsung internet app
 
Nicole Alderman
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Fred Tyler wrote:A couple of the bio photos are loading weird on my phone. Using Firefox on an android.

Tried reloading several times. It's always the same two photos.



Ooooh, I see what you mean! It only shows up on mobile view for me. I figured it was just my slow internet not loading them, but upon much inspection, it seems it was wordpress being funky about resizing images. If I fixed it in mobile view, it was wonky in desktop, and vice-versa. Very frustrating! In the end, I had to download each image, crop/resize it to exactly the same size, re-upload it, and then fiddle with it's settings to make it exactly the same as the others. I think I managed it! Does it look better for everyone now?
 
Nicole Alderman
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Peter Nagy wrote:I'm seeing the header button texts squished up in a single line (screenshot attached).

For whom it may concern: it looks like the reason is a css property of

Besides that, it's looking good to me!



Oof, that header just does not want to behave! The font size is supposed to be 1 on mobile view so that the menu doesn't take up too much space--it's supposed to just look like the little icons in mobile view, with the words visible in tablet and desktop mode. But something is wonky here! Could you tell what sort of device/browser you're using? Maybe I can figure out how to fix it.

Thanks!
 
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The second sentence in the Engineer Your Food section has a period off by itself after "authentic". Is there a word missing?


I noticed that among the "buy now" options down at the bottom of the page the order is Ponds, Swales, Bundle, then last, like an oddball, Huglekultur. Seems like Bundle should be last since it combines all the other three.
 
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I'd like to give this more time, but for now with just time for a glance and a rushed post, here's this gap.

colorful language and authentic . You

<missing word>

 
Nicole Alderman
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Fred Tyler wrote:The second sentence in the Engineer Your Food section has a period off by itself after "authentic". Is there a word missing?



Jane Lewis wrote:I'd like to give this more time, but for now with just time for a glance and a rushed post, here's this gap.

colorful language and authentic . You

<missing word>



Ooops! I was trying to change it from saying "with the full beauty of the English language" to saying  "colorful language"... but that required a rewriting of the sentence. And then I couldn't think what I should put at the end. Apparently, I just left it there.

I've changed it now to: "This is raw, unscripted problem-solving with colorful language and authenticity. "Does that sound good?


Fred Tyler wrote:I noticed that among the "buy now" options down at the bottom of the page the order is Ponds, Swales, Bundle, then last, like an oddball, Huglekultur. Seems like Bundle should be last since it combines all the other three.



Yeah, this was a problem of aesthetics. Usually the main buy option goes in the middle to draw the eye there. But, we have 4 options rather than 3. So, putting it right in the middle is impossible. Since in mobile view--which most people will likely view the webpage from--always puts the first buy option first, I just moved the Bundle to the front. It doesn't look the best...but it will work best for mobile, so I might just need to be okay with that.
 
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The site looks great Nicole!  Way to go!  It makes me want to buy a DVD that I previously wasn't interested in.  

The only thing I noticed was that the first box to the right of the text (the video container), was just a white box for a minute or so until the video thumbnail actually loaded.  I have DSL internet (slow).  I'm not sure if there's a way to have an image in there until the video loads.  I was wondering why there was an empty white square there for a while.

Keep up the great work.  Miss ya!
 
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Another quick find.

"Removing toxins and from your water supply..."

also has a gap ... missing words.
 
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A few thoughts...

Layout is as important as content. When there is text and pictures all over the place it is too distracting.

The easiest to use websites, in my opinion, are those with the simplest and "cleanest" layouts. The more open (or white) space you have, the more attention is drawn to the content. Naturally, when there is a lot of content (my own site, for example has somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 pages or so, as well as outgoing links to social media postings) the best solution is to make use of drop-down menus or menus that collapse. That way you can "stack" a lot of pages/info that can be expanded by the website visitor. It remains clean looking and orderly.

Again, using my own site as an example (although there are better ones to which to point, I am sure) I use drop-down menus on my Photography portal and (more importantly for me) on my Compendium page (which offers all my online written work). And then, to ensure that the content can be accessed, I also use an in-page listing for the photography and a site map that offers ALL of it without a drop-down (using a simple list of text links) for those devices that, for whatever reason, can't get the drop-down menus to activate on some devices.

I also have found that using CSS works pretty good.

Links to what I am saying:

The Compendium
(Hover over the "Compendium" link and see all the written work: click the title you want)
http://www.DLTolleson.com/compendium.php

The Camera One Portal
(Hover over the "Camera One" link and see all the photo pages OR simply scroll down the page for image links)
http://www.DLTolleson.com/cameraone.php

Map
(The Site map with all of the above as text links on one page--in case the website viewer can't get menus to work on his/her device)
http://www.DLTolleson.com/sitemap.php

The Lighthouse Press
(I did basically the same for my publisher, whose website was a lot smaller than my own (and on which I was able to work a sub domain deal for myself)
https://www.thelighthousepress.com/

Of course, you want every page of a site to have the same layout--or at least as similar as is possible.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Matthew Wagner wrote:The site looks great Nicole!  Way to go!  It makes me want to buy a DVD that I previously wasn't interested in.  

The only thing I noticed was that the first box to the right of the text (the video container), was just a white box for a minute or so until the video thumbnail actually loaded.  I have DSL internet (slow).  I'm not sure if there's a way to have an image in there until the video loads.  I was wondering why there was an empty white square there for a while.

Keep up the great work.  Miss ya!



Thank you! I found a option that says, "show thumbnail." Did that make it so there's a picture there even with slow loading?

Jane Lewis wrote:Another quick find.

"Removing toxins and from your water supply..."

also has a gap ... missing words.



Good catch! It now says, "Removing toxins and pollutants from your water supply." It's a little redundant, but not totally. Maybe it'd be better to just say "removing toxins from your water supply"?
 
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