The weather is so nice today that atara and I made tentative plans to pick up some meat on the way home from work today and fire up the barbecue. There is a butcher shop on the way home, but I couldn't remember if they are open on Mondays. No problem - I'm pretty sure they have a website.
They do. It's garbage.
If I was going to create a web site for my business, there are four very basic things that I would put on the website before I added the fancy scripting and animations.
1) What services and products do I provide.
2) Where can you find me
3) How can you contact me
4) What are my hours of operation.
The website for the meat shop does a pretty good job on 1-3. They don't go into a lot of detail, but they provide pictures of their display cases, and mention some of the products they carry. They have their address near the top of the main page with a link to a map, and the link to their contact information is well-displayed and complete (address, phone number, and an email address complete with a form you can fill out and click "send").
If I could pick on two small things on their front page it would be their use of quotes in this line:
Our computerized wood-burning smokehouses are "state of the art".
The quotes in this line are probably fine, but when I see them used in this context my brain interprets what is inside the quotes as being used ironically. I always picture the person doing air quotes around the phrase, accompanying the line with a knowing wink. My gut feeling is that they are trying to add emphasis to the phrase "state of the art" by putting it in quotes.
I see this used a lot on-line, especially on amateur recipe sites. I vividly recall one girl assuring us that her cookies are really "delicious" and that her husband "loves" them. Imagine that spoken with air quotes and a knowing wink and then try to bring yourself to eat those cookies. For good measure attach the phrase "...if you know what I mean!" to the end of the sentence.
Anyway, my other gripe with the page is the self-referential link at the bottom. The fact that I already found their page means that I probably don't need a link back to it at the bottom.
What I can't find anywhere on their site is their hours of operation. Thanks for telling me where you are guys, but I am not going to waste my time driving all the way over to your shop only to find out that you are not open on Mondays. I poked through some of the links on their page before finally going to "Search our Site" and entering hours of operation in the search field. The first result was this:
"When Walter Klopick's grandfather made kobassa almost 100 years ago he used the same recipe that is still the basis for the recipe used in the butcher shop today. It was Walter’s mother, "
... Not only is that not particularly helpful, but it even makes me a bit leery about trying their kobassa.
Compare that web site to this one. Prominent on the front page are what they do, when they are open, where they are located, and how to contact them. If the entirety of their site consisted of just this page, it would still be a good web site in my opinion.