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Chihuahua Dogs

needs identity clarity, optimization.

This is a review of Chihuahua Dogs dot com, original comments: We raise show and pet quality puppies. We have a one year quarantee and contract. Our pet quality are sold with a spay/neuter contracts. Puppies do not leave until they are 4 months old or older.
 
NOTE: this review inspired Mr. Pixelsmith to investigate optimizing the graphics files. See his article.
Reviewed by: Bennie C. Taylor
 
The Hernandez site is friendly and colorful. At first glance it appears to be a personal web site devoted to sharing photos of their furry friends.
      But this is a business site - some of the dogs are for sale. I expect the site would appeal to the type of visitor they hope will purchase their dogs and give them a happy home. From personal experience I have learned that some breeders may be more concerned with Fido's or Fluffy's welfare than with making a sale - and I understand this quite well. It was not clear to me whether the show dogs featured were for sale or whether one could only purchase animals from future litters.
Down to business
From a business point of view the Hernandez formula might not be totally successful. The home page should begin with the standard material expected - location, navigation menu, a word about chihuahuas as pets, why we should buy one, and which are for sale.
      The personal information is interesting. But someone in the market for a purebred dog to show or breed might prefer a more standard approach to the business of purchasing.
      Too, potential customers might like an idea of the price range involved. I do not like to have to email for a price list. That always seems to be a ploy to get my name on a mailing list, and as a rule I simply move on.
Loading speed
Presently I am connecting at 28.8. due to modem problems. This is maddening, but I was interested in seeing portraits of the cute little dogs, so I was willing to wait for them to download. Others, however, might be less tolerant.
      I suggest using thumbnail versions of the individual dog photos with larger versions available if the visitor wants to see them.
Identity
It would be a challenge to keep the friendly, personal feel of this site and still follow the rules of layout for commercial sites - doubt I could do it successfully. In any case, the very intrusive and annoying popup must go.
      One possible solution: Use a more standard business format but keep the color and some of the homey descriptions of the animals. Put material not relevant to the sale of the dogs under clearly marked links.
      I would love to hear what others suggest.
 
Editor Notes:
Thank you, Bennie, good report.
      After reading Bennie's report we decided to take a look ourselves. We confirmed every point Bennie made, plus discovered a few things ourselves.
      Be sure to see "Optimizing" in Mr. Pixelsmith's department and we'll illustrate how all Chihuahua's graphics could be optimized so that nearly all of the graphics on the arrival page could be as small as just one of the current images. Hopefully Chihuahua will take the lesson and speed things up through good optimization.
      You read in Bennie's critique above "...the very intrusive and annoying popup must go" -- More disturbing however was the fact that there are actually three pop-ups that occur, one you are meant to see and two that are supposed to be hidden. One pleads with you not to close it while "Web Cleaner" is installed. Most people, particularly Windows people will not see this take place since Windows fills the monitor with the browser. I have no idea what the pop-ups are for, but I've written back to find out. Anyone who arrives at this site and discovers this behind-the-scenes activity will surely suspect the intent and content of this site. I sure hope the reasons for those pop-ups is worth the cost in lost visitors and good will.
 
Posted: 03/05/2003

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