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Wake up and smell the coffee!



I am a new boy around here, so I am exploring.  I have looked at a few member's websites, as a matter of interest.  Some are good, some are OK, some are a shambles! (No names)

If you wish to be taken seriously, and use a website as a promotional vehicle - get it right!  Content is King, but it must look right.   Some of the sites I have looked at today reflect a home-grown attitude, where some 'magic' wizard has been used to create a total mess.

If your business cards and stationary look the same home-made, hashed quality - then don't ask why you are not getting the business you believe that you deserve.   Presentation is everything.  If you cannot afford to put a reasonable website together - then leave it until you can!

No, I do not design websites for a living - so don't ask me for a quote!  ;-)

You sinners know who you are .... and now you know what to do about it.

BTW, the question ......... anyone agree, disagree with my comments?



(website URL withheld, for I don't need to spam forums for business)

24 Responses

  1. Ever thought of starting a blog?

    Hi Ian,

    I have been reading your comments with interest and wondered if you had considered writing a blog here on TZ focusing on trainers marketing themselves? You seem to have some clear ideas on what works and what doesn’t and it could make for interesting reading for other members.

    Verity (editor)

  2. do i, we, they?
    Hi Ian
    you state:

    “You sinners know who you are….”
    May I respectfully suggest that perhaps I/we/they don’t……I doubt that any of us freelancers would knowingly publish a shambles/total mess/hashed website

    I’m not suggesting you open the libellous can o’ worms of naming and shaming but such a statement can’t go unquestioned!



    Hi Rus

    A good response.   May I use your site as an example on my blog?   If so, do you want to increase the number of your enquiries by 2X  or 10X, or somewhere between?  That being the case, we can work together on this.  All you have to do is follow my advice.  Agreed?

    Assuming this does not break any local forum rules?  (Editor to agree)

    So there is no misunderstanding, I had not seen your site before today, so it was not included in my original comments, nor do I imply that it is a ‘shambles’.  The advice that I will be offering will improve most sites.




  4. Make the web work for you

    Interesting thoughts.

    I have had a site now for nine years, and have resisted throughout that time to take the glitzy. ‘just like all the others’ route, nor have I paid thousands – or even hundreds to designers, nor especailly to the spurious search engine optimisation industry.

    My site gets over ten thousand unique visits a month, and it is my principle source of income, both from the learning materials I retail from it, and as a source of contact from perusing soon-to-be clients.

    Yes, it’s about content, and particularly freebies, it’s also about personality and differentiation.

    If it helps take a look…

  5. Source code!

    Hi Andrew

    Nice site, but have you checked the source code?

    The actual page size (kbs) can easily be reduced, thus increasing the loading time, and making any editing a lot easier.

    It looks like you have used a WYSIWYG page maker that has gone crazy with the coding.   I have never seen so many <FONT> and </FONT> tags.  Must be a world record 😉

    But if it works for you …






  6. That’s the point – if it works…it works

    Yes Ian, my site is imperfect in many ways…oddly enough, that’s what makes it work. My advice to others seeking a commercial return from their website is make it a bit different, and load value.

  7. Deviation …

    Hi Andrew

    The freebies is a great feature.  ‘FREE’ is a powerful word.

    However, a gentle word of caution about the coding – Web browsers are designed to follow a set of strict rules.  These rules change from time to time, and are updated,  thus new verions of browsers.  The old rules never, or rarely are changed so much, to ensure sites that were built say, to standard 1, will still operate under standard 2, or 3, etc.  But, if a site does not follow the rules – it ‘may’ go terribly pear-shaped when viewed by a new generation browser.  I ran your homepage through an automatic rule checker and it reported over 100 errors!   Obviously, the more errors you have, the more chances there are of being caught in the update trap.  Of course, it may run for another 20 years with no problems.

    Do it yourself is a tempting option, but caveat emptor!

    When I get my blog started I will list a range of free site checking facilities that are online.

    Long may your business thrive, Sir!





  8. Just one thing we need to do in order to maintain our own sites

    Fair enough Ian, though frankly I let all this technical stuff flow past me, my visitors, and page views are moving up month on month, and so too the business the site brings.

    I guess your points just reinforce the concern I would have in investing thousands on design and all that given how things change.

    One other thing I will add for the benefit of other non technical practitioners – make sure you are that little bit website competent that allows you to update your own without relying on others. The programme I use for this cost me sixty quid many years ago, and is just what I need.

  9. Updating …

    Hi Andrew

    I thought the updates may be causing the problem.  What is happening is that your software is recoding everything, each time you run it.  Very risky ….  it will fall over, eventually.

    There have been some huge improvements in site creation software over the last 9 years, and I would strongly urge you consider updating.  If you want some advice on a suitable replacement (49 USD), just PM me. (I don’t sell software, but will happily send you the link to the site)

  10. This thread is closed for me …

    Hi Andrew

    Just call, I am always ready to help people, without reward or compensation, and without recognition.  (NB  I don’t publish my website or company.)

    But endulge me while I quote something from your website:

    "Most errors go unreported and unresolved because they are either felt to be insignificant or for fear of blame and retribution. Very few people care enough about their own or another’s organisation to report correctable error."

    I cared.

    Is there a lesson to be learned here?  Perhaps there is another reason why people don’t freely help others?

    Think about it!



    This thread is closed for me.   I do not have the energy or enthusiasm to help those who will not help themselves, or see themselves as above accepting and recognising  the  sound advice of experience.









  11. Advice
    Hi Ian

    You certainly have some sound advice there that people would do well to heed.

    One reason you may not have had much success in terms of response is the fact that it is ‘advice’.

    If you don’t mind me saying so, your post could be interpreted as a touch preachy, and people don’t take well to being told that their websites are ‘hashed, ‘a shambles’ and ‘a total mess’…or being told to ‘get it right’

    All the best


  12. Dead right Ben

    I agree Ben…I guess many people expect advice to be taken and haven’t yet learned how to cope with this not being seen as the wisdom they intend others to see…oh well life goes on.

  13. Well Ian one of us certainly seems to need help…

    This is proving interesting.

    Ian is taking a very strong interest in my website – and clearly spending time exploring issues in full.

    Trouble is, and over 27 years of giving advice I have come to realise this better than some seem to have yet, often the advice we most want taken is not received with the same perceived value.

    By the way I never apologise for the age of many of my references and material – it’s the earlier stuff that is so often the basis for later thoughts. Many of us for instance value Drucker’s work over those who have picked up his threads in later decades and expolited his ideas with greater commercial success.

    Life does go on, and I really encourage Ian to find more productive uses for his.

    With thanks for the interest,


  14. Myslite ‘prosim vyroste chlapci!’

    Oh, prosím, vyrůstají chlapci!!!     

    Myslite, ‘prosim vyroste chlapci!’ ?

    Honza   🙂

  15. Peter Drucker

    Andrew, on your comments re: Peter Drucker.  Allow me to offer a different slant …

    An Austrian by birth who took the philosophy of economic dynamism from his Austrian professor, Joseph Schumpeter, and made it his own.  When we consider the Gestalt theory – where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, we see the parts, we see the whole.  Yet, Drucker, through all his publications – gave us nothing but some of the parts (the obvious ones, some may argue), yet never proffered a vision of the whole.

    Here lies the weakness of Druckerism, and explains why his management model is nothing but Autumn leaves in the wind.  There is no thesis, no antithesis, and thus – no synthesis.

  16. Ian’s back…it’s coffee time again

    Well Ian were Peter Drucker to see your comments I suspect he would like me, give a wry smile at your dismissal of his life’s work – I await your own contribution to management with eagerness if it is to surpass the wise old fella’s ideas and many volumes.

    I don’t share your appetite for pontification – but I might just prompt a contact from my good friend Garry Platt who I see from your blog has recently given you quite a mauling on matters more academic than interest me.

    Are you staying with us on this thread or are you off to smell some more coffee?


  17. Drucker, et al

    Drucker attempted to address the problems of leadership in a time before you were born, in a country that is not yours.  If you fail to see the significance of history and culture, then I will suggest that you will forever remain ignorant.

    Garry Platt?  He acted like a  troll, who failed to add nothing of value here. (But I guess as your good friend – that birds of a feather flock together?)  I did ponder his motive, thanks for the confirmation.

    My publisher is pushing me for completion of my next book, so excuse my brief comments.   But you may PM me, for  I am sure that you are not without redemption, and will offer you some sound and much needed advice.

    BTW, Ian Jay is not my real name.   It’s a personna I use for gathering research …… (Maybe will change it to ‘Nescafe’ on the next project?) 

  18. Too much coffee I think ‘Ian’

    Dear me, like I said before Ian or whoever you want to be known as, you need help – I am sure your publisher who is pushing you so hard for your next wonderful text will help you with your spelling and particularly your grammar…

    Thread closed, or, as I hope, will you be back?

    Yes, as for a name, more nescafe than gold blend!


    PS: Does anyone have a view on the original posting? Thrilling that these exchanges are between myself and the coffee man, that is not, after all why this thread was started.

  19. Citation

    Ian Jay Wrote: "Garry Platt? "He acted like a troll, who failed to add nothing[sic] of value here ."

    For anyone wishing to view my troll behavior they may review it here:

    As you can see, what actually happened was I asked for references upon which My Jay’s proposals were being based. He kindly provided these. On review I questioned their relevance. I was then told that I had attributed a reference to Mr Jay which he had not made which was categorically untrue. In response I published the reference from a PM he had sent to me.

    I suspect his indignation and labeling of me as a troll is perhaps merely an outlet for his annoyance at being proven wrong in this one instance.

    Skeptical I may be, troll I am not.

  20. Welcome to this aromatic thread Garry

    Ah Garry is here – good stuff, and Troll is a word I would never use to describe you – mind you I need to be concerned about higher order things if my redemption is in doubt.

    I absolutely concur with your interpretation of the exchange you had with the enigmatic man with no name…if indeed Ian is using a cunning and mysterious nom de plume.

    While we are talking in foriegn tongues I thought I would offer a riposte to the ‘ad hominem’ comment…

    "One of the most widely misused terms on the Net is "ad hominem". It is most often introduced into a discussion by certain delicate types, delicate of personality and mind, whenever their opponents resort to a bit of sarcasm. As soon as the suspicion of an insult appears, they summon the angels of ad hominem to smite down their foes, before ascending to argument heaven in a blaze of sanctimonious glory."

    Sounds about right. Reference:

    We may be alone here for a bit Garry, as ‘Ian’ goes all moody now and then and has closed this thread for himself at least twice, let’s see if you have tempted him back…

  21. If you can’t play nicely…

    I will close the thread myself! 

    Please be respectfully reminded that we do not tolerate provocative exchanges between members. Any attempt to deliberately inflame a discussion or a member will result in action from TrainingZone.

    It is not usually TrainingZone members that I have to keep in line; I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

    Be nice to each other; respect each other. It really is that simple. And if you have nothing of value to add then do not add anything at all.

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