Landing Page Quality

I was just reviewing a contract for a potential new vendor and this was their criteria for what constitutes a non-quality site:

An Unacceptable Format for a Website is one where the site: (1) resides on a free hosting service, (2) has content consisting primarily of advertising material, (3) lacks a professional appearance, or (4) is rendered in a language other than English.

Simple, succinct, and has advertisers best interest in mind…I like it. When an EzineArticles expert author gives a link to a free hosting service website, their credibility is in question.



Yes, most of us article writers have something to sell. The difference is that the legitimate ones have a true desire to help and believe in what they do. Using the aforementioned criteria helps weed out the ones only in it for the dollar.

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 10:46 AM


Alex Yeo writes:

Sometimes when I read certain articles, they are still pretty well-written. However, when I refer to their author resource box, the author claims that he/she is an “expert” and is able to help you “make money online” BUT their website is a I totally lose trust in them and can’t be bothered to click on the URL.

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 10:55 AM


Susan Scharfman writes:

Yep. Simple and basic are always best. But these are, or should be, basic standards–or standard basics?? Thanks.


Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 11:10 AM



Namecheap seems to have increased it’s .com domains to

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 11:16 AM



sorry.. forgot this browser is going krazy.. switched to another…

Namecheap seems to have increased it’s .com domains to $8.99, with almost-a-dollar off coupons easily found with any search.

Hosting of infinite sites easily available from lots of hosts, eg Host Gator, for $10/mth. $7 for just one.

I understand if someone has just gotten online. Would even understand not having own website after six months. But if a choice has been made to create income online, $9/year is a tiny investment, especially when that includes a free privacy guard thingy…

Results follow energy. $9 is a small price to pay to create a more professional image than a free site allows. I’m told there are even ways to host your own domain for free…

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 11:23 AM


Joel Heffner writes:

There is absolutely no excuse for a free site. You can get a domain and a year’s worth of hosting at for only $25. Those who say I haven’t made enough to get a “real” site are fooling themselves. If you want to look professional, you must have your own site.

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 11:29 AM


Kathy Holmes writes:

What also bothers me is if the site is poorly-designed. I’ve gone to other writer’s web sites/blogs and even e-publisher’s web sites and the writing is poorly formatted. The book excerpts have no space between paragraphs and they all run together. I can’t take these writers or publishers seriously when they can’t even figure out how to present their information.

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 11:59 AM


Patti McMann writes:

Any serious article writer that is a business person will have a real website that is not hosted by a free service. I recently gave a workshop to 60 high school students that are going to major in business in college. One of my major points was never use a free hosting service when building your business website. It is so unprofessional.

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 12:36 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

I have to disagree. It all depends on the purpose of the site.

If someone has a lot of good information (content) that readers want, it really doesn’t matter if it’s on a blog or a bonafide website.

I will say that if you’re selling something though, you really should have your own domain name.

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 1:44 PM



If you don’t give something valuable to your visitors, they stay only for a few seconds at your site.

If it’s not professional, you don’t have any chance to convince them to do anything you want.
It’s hard to convince them that your products or services are very good even when your site is very nice and professional, so imagine what happens when they feel you are not strong enough and your unique desire is to take their money!

Comment provided November 2, 2007 at 4:41 PM


HateCable writes:

I agree as well as disagree, it should come down to the quality of the article as well as the landing page. If a site is using a free host, so beit. They will eventually make the move to get a domain if they are serious.

Comment provided November 3, 2007 at 10:41 AM



One reason that some people choose free hosting sites or sites sponsored by Blogspot or Yahoo is that these places offer all sorts of tools and templates so that people with no design skills can create an attractive website quickly.

It’s not a question of being unprofessional, for many. It’s a question of having extremely limited budgets and making do with the best resources possible while using tools that are effective and require no skills.

I do agree that your own site with a .com (nothing wrong with a .ca, .uk, or other, also) domain *looks* better and comes off with a more professional appeal.

However, don’t assume that those who choose other means are doing so because they’re cheap or just in it for a buck. Maybe they don’t even know the possibilities or options. Maybe they’re experimenting to figure out what they want.

My point? Try not to make sweeping statements that lump all people into labeled groups because of the choices they make – some people have very valid reasons.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:38 AM


Joel Heffner writes:

If you have your own domain and a word processor you can create your own site. You don’t need expensive software. There are also plenty of places online where you can find free templates. With a template, all you need is Notpad (free with Windows) or TextEdit (free with Macs) to make changes to your site.

The first thing that people see is your URL. If that looks like a free site many people will never even enter your site.

Having your own domain and site is like a person coming to a business meeting in a suit. Using a free site is like wearing old jeans.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:45 AM



That’s all true, Joel, but again, do all people know they can create a website using their word processor? Most people I know assume a website involves thouuuusands of dollars for the tiniest business. ‘Net knowledge still has a long way to go.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:53 AM


Karol writes:

I have to disagree.

This is an old fashioned view.

If you were a con artist would you use a free site?

Of course not. You would splash money to impress.

I’ve read a lot of excellent stuff on and I’ve also sold services worth tens of thousands of dollars on my free blogs at

I’m a writer and don’t have the time nor inclination to get mixed up in hosting issues and headaches.

And something else; Blogger’s uptime beats most web hosts’.

There are other more important factors to consider when looking for credibility.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 12:09 PM


Doris Blunt writes:

This is so interesting about quality websites. I myself have 2 websites and I know that the layout isn’t professionally done because right now, I can’t afford it. The information provided on my sites is unique content written by myself. But, until I can afford to redo the layout of my web sites, I have to make do with what I have now.

I am learning CSS on my own. And trust me, it is a slow process for me to grasp it all.

It would be nice if people stop complaining about our sites and start giving some suggestions or constructive criticism to help us improve a website layouts.

One other point that I like to make, I started out using a pre-designed template. If I had the knowledge that I have now about web design, I wouldn’t have used a pre-designed template in the first place without knowing how to edit it with style sheets.

I put my heart into trying to inform the world with the information that I provide on my site.

Instead of complaining about the look of a site, why not just send the webmaster a PM with some suggestions. Believe it or not, we would really welcome the comments and suggestions.

Comment provided November 6, 2007 at 7:30 PM



It’s true, Doris, learning how to put together a website is a slow process and, as with everything else, we all have to start somewhere. Keep up the good work and if you need some advice, drop me a line.

Sending unsolicited advice is a nice thought, but in reality, there are a lot of people who don’t want the advice and feel their site is perfect. I’ve done it in the past and very rarely received a response in return, let alone a thank you.

I have to admit though, when I’m surfing for information and I see a Geocities or Angelfire in the URL I won’t even consider looking at the site. It’s been my experience that most of these are poorly done and I don’t take them seriously. It’s much better to have your own domain name attached to your site or your blogs. After all, every little bit counts and if you can’t have the overall polished look you want right away, at least begin with a proper domain name.

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 10:28 AM


Doris writes:

Thanks Harrison for your understanding. If we had more like you to offer their time and expertise to lend a helping hand, just think, there wouldn’t be as many unprofessional looking websites.

When I first started out, I was in total awe to see how beautiful some of the sites that I visited. I wanted mine to look like that too, but, how do I do that if I don’t have the knowledge.

It’s a shame that we can express ourselves so well when we’re putting others down, but why not do the same thing to help someone. It’s very embarrassing for someone to say on a forum that they visited my site and it is a very bad layout.

It’s embarrassing true enough, but I have the attitude that I’m trying to better myself and my websites. So when someone does this, I take it as constructive criticism and try to do better. I respond to them and tell them how much I thank them for the criticism. If no one ever speak up and say anything, then how do you know what they are thinking.

So again, to those who complains about unprofessional looking web sites, take that energy and make it positive by building a simple design and present it to a webmaster. I’m sure they would appreciate it. I would!

It does not hurt to be nice to others. Good always come back to those who are.

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 1:18 PM



You’re doing the right thing, Doris. The only way to learn is to keep trying and not give up over one or two bad reviews. I took a quick look at your site and yes, there are a lot of things I would suggest you change and if you like, I’d be more than happy to email you some of those comments (I know you’ve said so already, but I can’t help but ask).

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 4:17 PM


Doris writes:

Hi Harrison,

Thanks for being polite and asking, but really, I have any problems receivng suggestions from anyone.

Yes, I would be more than happy to receive some suggestions from you. Thank you so much.

By the way, when you send the suggestions, please include some simple instructions to help me out. My sites are on pre-designed templates and I don’t know how to edit the stylesheets. I’ve tried but I really don’t understand it.

I’m not sure if I’m suppose to post my email address on here, so if you can get it from my site, I really would appreciate it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 5:01 PM



Not a problem, that’s why I didn’t post mine either. I’m more than happy to help. I’ll get your address from your site.

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 5:15 PM



Now that’s a nice happy ending.

It actually proves my point of earlier. (and no, I did not set this up…)

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 5:24 PM


Doris writes:

Hi Chad,

Yes, it is a happy ending. I’m finally going to have a decent layout that I can be proud of.

Believe it or not, I had emailed a young man that was doing a layout for my son on MySpace, and he and he quoted his prices. The base pay is $300 to start. To create a data base is another $100 and to implement flash is $300+.

So, if I can get Harrison to help me, it is truly a blessing. I am happy because I’ve been wondering how I was going to do this without paying an arm and a leg to get it done. I would probably have to borrow the money from a bank.

I hope that others that are in similar situations will speak out, and just maybe, someone like Harrison will volunteer to help them, also. There are still good people who are willing to help others, and that’s the bottom line. People do care about others.

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 5:43 PM


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