I've been staring at my home page - Line.com - for days and something just isn't right, but unfortunately I can't figure out what it is. Any critique would be hugely appreciated. Feel free to be as harsh as you want. I won't cry, I promise.
Pretend you landed on the site after searching for "free sports betting." Would you bounce or would you explore? If you'd bounce, why? If you'd continue on to a secondary page, how do you feel about that page?
The site offers five main "services" and the goal is to get the user to pick one of those services via the little images. Is five too many to choose from? Should I narrow it down to the most common 3-4?
P.S. - This is NOT a gambling website. It's a hangout for people who like to predict the outcome of games.
For one, the text on the right and bottom looks too much like ads. (which is not attractive to me)
I'd probably bounce. If I search for free sports betting (which seems illogical and slightly stupid on behalf of the searcher), then I want to make money, right? How do you bet (money) for free?
Try to make it clear what the purpose of what your website is. I'm not a gambler (and therefore don't know what a 'handicapper' is, or any of the other lingo that you use, for that matter), so to me it seems like an online community to discuss and pick the best bets...right? If so, try to make it more community-oriented.
Then again, you're trying to sell me something (imo, this website thing seems really expensive. 1100 dollars per year?). Maybe split up the site and have a discussion site (i. e. forum) be a sister site of your commercial site?
Overall it seems well made.
One thing that can be improved is the option to contact you. You hide it under help, instead of on the first page and also it's just your email instead of a contact form, this give it a bit of an amateurish feel.
The testimonial also sounds "too good to be true", I would make it a bit less enthusiastic and more believable.
The fact you had to mention it's not a gambling site in your post is something that isn't clearly obvious to the visitor, with a quick glance it looks like a gambling site. You'll loose many people who won't look for gambling sites and then others who do when they realize this isn't one.
To stress what TehYoyo said, "free sports betting" is a very strange thing to look for. I wouldn't make this combination my main search engine target.
Again, the design and execution is well made and overall it's obvious you know what you are doing.
Good luck with it.
From top to bottom:
The dark grey toolbar on the very top gives the feeling of the site being iframed by different site, I would remove it as you already have the Sign up in the main body and keep the Login form for ie. right under the main navigation.
The main menu: try to use more specific or often used titles for menu items. HELP is often placed on bottom of pages, instead leave "CONTACT" title. also the SITES could be replaced too. Stick to titles users are used to.
Widening the blue navigation bar would increase the aesthetics. Now it is too stuffed I think.
The "SITE" page looks has more attractive look than the homepage
The "Choose an Option Above ~ or ~ ..."´s font is almost as large as the LOGO´s and it is not the main information to make it such large. Put emphasis on the WHAT factor of your site. So the viewer will know what he/she is dealing with. As you said "You have exactly 3 seconds to gain your visitors' attention. " Make the viewer read the important part in those 3 secs.
The post at the bottom of the homepage: Place the author info, time posted, number of comments under the posts´s title. This way it looks like google ads
And yea, the bottom SIGN UP part really loox like an ad