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I use Chrome with AdBlock extension so I haven't notice any ads on the CMSCritic website.

Here is the screen capture.

post-777-0-91588900-1414771566_thumb.png

I used "Awesome Screenshot" extension which automatically scroll to take screenshot on the entire page of the website.

I disable AdBlock to see how its looks like and I realized what "Soma" was saying. I am not promoting anything here so do not take any anything from this post.

@Mike: If you look at my screenshot and see just below "Related Products" area. You will not see any "Got Questions" banner there, do you? I have ads block enabled. You must have something to that "Got Questions" widget that treat as Ads. I am telling this so that whoever has block ads they still can see forum banner!

Only concerns is topic titles are bigger than the your website logo's font! Other than that your website Wikipedia of CMSs!

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I use Chrome with AdBlock extension so I haven't notice any ads on the CMSCritic website.

Here is the screen capture.

attachicon.gifThe Winner of the 2014 People s Choice CMS Award for Best Open Source PHP CMS.png

I used "Awesome Screenshot" extension which automatically scroll to take screenshot on the entire page of the website.

I disable AdBlock to see how its looks like and I realized what "Soma" was saying. I am not promoting anything here so do not take any anything from this post.

@Mike: If you look at my screenshot and see just below "Related Products" area. You will not see any "Got Questions" banner there, do you? I have ads block enabled. You must have something to that "Got Questions" widget that treat as Ads. I am telling this so that whoever has block ads they still can see forum banner!

Only concerns is topic titles are bigger than the your website logo's font! Other than that your website Wikipedia of CMSs!

Good feedback, thank you. I will look into it.

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It's good to see @cmscritic taking this stance with the community.

Both he and Ryan are role models for others. They take care of their community. Treat them well. Listen to what they have to say. It brings comfort to me knowing that I too, can voice my opinion on something and not be ignored, but listened to.

[ROUND OF APPLAUSE]

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I'm not sure I follow you with the subtitles? Can you explain further? No problem on tweets.

Not subtitles, subsites.

You lost me on this one, can you explain?

Your adds are almost all about CMSs. I don't know how that works, if it's the adds provider that choses them based on the content of the website —I'm even assuming that everyone sees something different, since one of them is a Portuguese supermarket—, or if you chose them yourself directly from the announcers. But in my opinion,  and in an ideal world, a website that reviews CMSs would gain in prestige by not being payed to publicise CMS products.

EDIT: not trying to make your life tougher. Just in brainstorming mode, as I said before :)

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Not subtitles, subsites.

Your adds are almost all about CMSs. I don't know how that works, if it's the adds provider that choses them based on the content of the website —I'm even assuming that everyone sees something different, since one of them is a Portuguese supermarket—, or if you chose them yourself directly from the announcers. But in my opinion,  and in an ideal world, a website that reviews CMSs would gain in prestige by not being payed to publicise CMS products.

EDIT: not trying to make your life tougher. Just in brainstorming mode, as I said before :)

They are CMS companies advertising on the site. They are static ads. Its not realistic to assume that i'm biased because someone advertises with us. The same could be said about any other company with ads on their site. It has nothing to do with bias. However, I'll look into ways to improve things.

Thanks

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Ok good to know. How can I improve it? What would you like to see? Less ads? which ones specifically are distracting? Should the in-post ad be removed? What can I work on with twitter? Less repeating and more personalized tweets?

I'm good with feedback, it's critical

The most annoying one is the in-post ad. Because it make the lines less readable. I'm fine with the larger ones on the right side.

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The most annoying one is the in-post ad. Because it make the lines less readable. I'm fine with the larger ones on the right side.

Sounds good. thanks

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I don't think it's bias. Actually, knowing cmscritic I'm sure it's not. I'm not even saying that it's incorrect, just analysing what new visitors might feel.

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I don't think it's bias. Actually, knowing cmscritic I'm sure it's not. I'm not even saying that it's incorrect, just analysing what new visitors might feel.

Thats fair. Thanks

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I love the site, best one there is and because of the content and high quality commenting that sometimes happen.

I haven't been annoyed by the ads, but I kind of like ads anyway (even on tv).

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I had never even noticed any ads before it was mentioned, so it shows what a great job AdBlock Edge does. I've just had a look at the site using Opera. I personally think you should have one dedicated area for ads, rather than multiple areas, e.g there are ads down the left and on the right, perhaps just down the right hand side? Also, I hate the ads with the big green arrow button below them, as they generally make the site look cheap.

Just a few of my thoughts.

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How to present ads is always the proverbial can of worms. I used to be a moderator at a film making site and this topic did manage to flame passions for sure. 

One thing I would suggest with the ads on the right side of the page: keep the column clean and consistent (width and padding). I see some ads sticking out into the center content column. It looks like the padding is displaying in a vertical zigzag fashion? I also think the ad position in the actual article posts can be neatened somehow.

The one style of ads I simply hate are the ones that have flickering gif states. Some sites I see have twenty or more ads all blinking at you in a random fashion. It becomes really distracting to enjoy any of the content. And then there are popups. Fortunately cmscritic does not have this issue.

I have zero experience which the revenue side of presenting ads to a website but I have always wondered if a successful site should feature less ads but charge the advertiser more to present them on the site. Sort of like saying: "we know viewers hate ads on sites, but we need the revenue. So we have decided to charge more and present way fewer ads. This means the viewers will not become annoyed with the ad scheme and your (the advertiser) ad will stand out much better as it will not become "lost" in a sea of other ads..." 

Or whatever...

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As this became a cmscriticcritics thread I have another suggestion: Test and optimize your mediaqueries. :) See attached screenshot.
 
post-560-0-27986200-1414781682_thumb.png

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I know about that one and we're working on it. Ryan designed and developed the site so we've got some tweaking to do apparently.

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@cmscritic

Thanks for being open to feedback, even criticism, Mike. I like that! And thank you for your backing of PW too!

<reminiscence>

This topic reminds me of the time I shared a house with a bunch of Spanish post-grad students here in the UK. All 13 of us had communal meals and shared the dining table and house duties. Being a reserved Brit, however, I'd been brought up with one conversation at a time at the dining table - and you could join in or not as you wished. In the student house there were always, what seemed to me to be, six concurrent arguments going on; usually about football. As I got used to this, I realised that they weren't arguments - just good-natured, frank, conversations: with the volume cranked way up.

I've seldom met a group of guys who were so community minded, cheerful, helpful and well organised yet their neighbours lived in fear of them through incorrect perception which seemed to equate their being foriegn and loud with aggression/unfriendliness.

</reminiscence>

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They are CMS companies advertising on the site. They are static ads. Its not realistic to assume that i'm biased because someone advertises with us. The same could be said about any other company with ads on their site. It has nothing to do with bias.

For the record, this bothered me too. I get that many (most?) of your potential advertisers are CMS companies because you write about CMS', but.. if you ever write a positive review about a product that simultaneously pays you, even for something entirely unrelated, it's a bit like a politician voting "yay" on a law that benefits a large company while being connected with said company: even if it's honestly and purely innocent, it's going to send the wrong message.

We're not the ones you need to convince about your impartiality, but that's just how it works. Making it very clear that you're only allowing these companies to advertise on your site and have absolutely no connections to them otherwise might just be the only thing you can do to "fix" this, though. The worst thing you could do would be calling them your "sponsors" (which seems quite common these days), but luckily you don't seem to do that :)

As a bit of positive feedback, there's one thing you're doing absolutely right: so far I haven't seen a single paid or sponsored tweet on your Twitter timeline. My tolerance for paid content on Twitter is pretty close to zero -- in fact I recently unfollowed A List Apart because these days considerable amount (probably 10% or less, but still) of their tweets are spammy sponsor messages. Don't care how important they are, they're not that important.

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@cmscritic - I really hope you get some great feedback here and CMS Critic becomes even better as a result. Much respect for the website and the amount of energy and commitment it must take to make it fly. That CMSCritic is built on PW and you gave a wonderful case study is even better :)

The problem for me when I visit CMS Critic is that I want to read some content yet the advertising is constantly fighting for my attention.

As a result, I rarely visit and when I do, I rarely hang around and browse. I literally don't know where to look as the nice design and visual hierarchy of content is overtaken by shouty Ads.

By chance I came across this site earlier and immediatley thought of your problem. I noticed how the three navigation, advertising and content columns are handled differently and wondered if it was an option.

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/tutorials/custom-php-contact-forms/

Because the advertising column on the right (on a desktop) has that nice light grey background, there's a subtle but effective distincition between the advertising and the content. Since the content is on the white background, I immediately understand that this is where my attention should be. I don't have to think about it - it's just intuitive and actually, the advertsing doesn't bother me as much.

Anywho, I'm not looking to make more for anyone but maybe this is something useful.

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Related content would also be a good idea. Let's say you have an article relating to a certain CMS etc, at the bottom you could have ad links under a "Related Reading..." section like in the following image. Those links are still referring the visitor, and you could still be getting paid, but they also don't deceive and they look like they are supposed to be there. Also, the other ads in this image look professional and actually a part of the site, and I'd actually click on them (if I needed bike parts). As Peter points out, notice how you have a slight background colour variation between the ads and the main content etc.

bike-cpa-ads.png

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cmscritic said:

if  you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Perhaps simply not saying anything at all might have been more polite than saying you lost interest in someones work is my point. It had nothing to do with the conversation and therefore, was unnecessary.

According to that policy, in case when things are ugly we should look the other way and don't mention about it.

This is not the spirit of this forum and neither of processwire.

I hope being political correct, status quo and social engineering will never creep into this forum because it rots.

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According to that policy, in case when things are ugly we should look the other way and don't mention about it.

This is not the spirit of this forum and neither of processwire.

I hope being political correct, status quo and social engineering will never creep into this forum because it rots.

It was the way it was said that I have a problem with. Telling someone that you lost interest in their work is not necessarily a nice thing to say. I don't mind any of the other constructive comments here but I didn't appreciate that one. It also might simply be that i'm sensitive about my baby since that's what I do all day every day and hearing things like that bother me. Either way, nobody expects people to not speak or share their opinion but often it's the way it's said that can be improved upon.

Anyways as you can see from this entire thread, I've appreciated the real feedback offering helpful suggestions so I see no reason in continuing the debate about whether it was nice or not to say.

Mike

Related content would also be a good idea. Let's say you have an article relating to a certain CMS etc, at the bottom you could have ad links under a "Related Reading..." section like in the following image. Those links are still referring the visitor, and you could still be getting paid, but they also don't deceive and they look like they are supposed to be there. Also, the other ads in this image look professional and actually a part of the site, and I'd actually click on them (if I needed bike parts). As Peter points out, notice how you have a slight background colour variation between the ads and the main content etc.

bike-cpa-ads.png

Some good suggestions, thank you

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For the record, this bothered me too. I get that many (most?) of your potential advertisers are CMS companies because you write about CMS', but.. if you ever write a positive review about a product that simultaneously pays you, even for something entirely unrelated, it's a bit like a politician voting "yay" on a law that benefits a large company while being connected with said company: even if it's honestly and purely innocent, it's going to send the wrong message.

We're not the ones you need to convince about your impartiality, but that's just how it works. Making it very clear that you're only allowing these companies to advertise on your site and have absolutely no connections to them otherwise might just be the only thing you can do to "fix" this, though. The worst thing you could do would be calling them your "sponsors" (which seems quite common these days), but luckily you don't seem to do that :)

As a bit of positive feedback, there's one thing you're doing absolutely right: so far I haven't seen a single paid or sponsored tweet on your Twitter timeline. My tolerance for paid content on Twitter is pretty close to zero -- in fact I recently unfollowed A List Apart because these days considerable amount (probably 10% or less, but still) of their tweets are spammy sponsor messages. Don't care how important they are, they're not that important.

I understand what you are saying and appreciate the feedback. People in the industry that know me, know I am blunt and honest so I go based on my reputation rather than what the site may construe. I need to make a living and I have no problem slamming projects I think aren't doing things right whether they advertise or not (see my recent video of webydo to get an idea). They were an advertiser and they left shortly after but it certainly didn't stop me from calling their product what it was.. crap.

Anyways, it's a fine balance that I simply have to work to maintain.

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I didn't notice any ads as I use Adblock plus . Just switched it off to have a look. woooooooooooooo that was quite a shock. :o

Maybe you could please more of us if you had some kind of game on the page that gives those of us that don't like the ads an opportunity to shoot at the banners and destroy them before reading an article. I think my first shot would be at weebly side banner. :ph34r:

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