13 Design and Marketing Experts Critique Media Temple’s Home Page

by 6 01/13/2012

Media Temple is without question one of the leaders in the website hosting industry.

They have a reputation for providing a bulletproof hosting service with outstanding customer service.

Being in the web hosting business we would expect Media Temple to have a stellar home page.  We asked our Crazy Egg design and marketing experts to critique the Media Temple home page.  We would love to hear your critique in the comments section!

Click this image to enlarge:

 

Brian Schwartz, Spoke MarketingMedia Temple’s website is clean and professional looking and is a nice contrast to other sites in their industry that feature cartoon characters and outdated designs. The client logos help sell the professional and trustworthiness and the full-width rotator clearly drives the intended action (choose your server plan). The “new” buttons are a nice touch to help frequent visitors learn about new offerings.
~ Brian Schwartz, Spoke Marketing

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Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing InstituteI think the Media Temple design is effective because it has such a dark and bold feel. A great use of a cool/dark palette to really make their imagery and fonts pop off the page. What I really like is that the colors for the page seem to be based upon the tones in their image on top, which then really sets off the “fire” inside the last model.

The use of the client logos on the right is nice and not overbearing, but large enough for them to “toot their own horn.”
Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing Institute

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Jonathan Goldford, JG VisualAs is increasingly important on the web, the homepage is simple.  It’s doesn’t overwhelm the user and for something as complex as web hosting, simplicity will help users feel more comfortable.

Aside from simplicity there are a number of things they do well:

1) They provide an easy to find phone number in the top right and bottom right of the page.  A lot of people still prefer making phone calls to searching around a website.

2) They display client logos prominently on the right side of the page.  This immediately establishes their credibility.

3) They tell you what they do front and center in the middle of the page with the text “Media Temple hosts web sites”.  This eliminates any confusion and it ensures me I’m in the right place if I’m looking for hosting.
~ Jonathan Goldford, Wired Impact

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Cesar Keller, Simple FlameThe design aspects that Media Temple’s homepage is doing well include (in no particular order):

1. Simple top header with logo, menu, login, and phone number

2. Having phone number on top right at mid to larger size type is helpful for those that need support and merely want to find the number quickly to contact them.

3. Simple and effective tag line “Built to Scale” – promoting you start at one level and move up

4. Good use of graphic visual header that matches up to effective tag line

5. Good use of logos per customers to evoke a sense of credibility

6. Nice auxiliary footer with additional links, search and contact information
~Cesar Keller, Simple Flame

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Sanj Sahayam, Unique ImprintsI like the clients section. It is very easy to read and nicely spaced out. The “Search for a Domain Name…” field and search button are also very easy to see and use. The contact number on the footer is a great font and size and is very prominent – as it should be.

I found the constant abbreviations (mt), gs, dv, ve etc – distracting. It gives the user the extra work of decoding these abbreviations without simply reading the site.

The ip dotted phone number up the top (877.578.4000) is a great idea but I’m not sure it works as it may leave the user wondering what they mean? Is it an ip address? a geo location? something else?

The colour scheme needs a little more life and is a little dark and gray.
~ Sanj Sahayam, Unique Imprints

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Angela Jones, Design By Ange.laThis home page communicates clearly and concisely what Media Temple’s product offering is – web hosting that grows with you. Every individual or business looking for a hosting service would like to think that their business will grow and they will need something scalable. The tagline “Built to Scale.” appeals to this idea – whether or not the intended audience actually needs to scale anything in the future. The imagery illustrates the tagline well and also provides an image of technology that’s slightly daunting, but still approachable.

The gray and blue color scheme is also highly technical and masculine, but still soft enough that it feels simple and approachable.

For a company selling a high-tech service to consumers who may not be so high-tech, access to support should be easy to find – and it is. The support telephone number appears at the top and the bottom of the page as well as the assurance that someone will answer your call 24/7.
~ Angela Jones, Design By Ange.la

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Demian Farnworth, The CopybotGood clean design. I think their Unique Selling Proposition is clear and focal to what they are selling: they can handle the most robust traffic. There is definitely a sense that this is where people go if they want a website hosted by the most reliable provider around–no matter the size.

Their list of clients supports that claim.

I also like they have the website migration service front and center…this means they are aware that their target customer probably already has a website…so (mt) is addressing an obvious and important pain point the customer has.

However, I’m not sure what exactly their call to action is. Is “learning more” about domain migration the most important? Or the “Search for a domain name,” which is down and to the right?
~ Demian Farnworth, The Copybot

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Kristi Hines, Freelance WriterMy immediate impression of this company based on the first thing that gets my attention – the Built to Scale image – makes me think this company sells server hardware.  While the rest of the page does well to convey this company’s main service, the first image in the slide show does not.  Not in my mind at least, but it could be because I have researched sites to get the best deals on servers in the past.  A simple change to the text to say Scalable Hosting would fit the image and the services.
~ Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer

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Naomi Niles, ShiftFWDI’ve always liked what MediaTemple has done with their home page. It’s clean and easy to understand. It’s especially well done branding-wise. I very much like that they have an upscale feel although I miss a more prominent call-to-action in the top slider area.
~ Naomi Niles, ShiftFWD

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Danny Iny, Firepole MarketingThe three best features of the design (in my opinion) are:

1.  The explanatory line about a specific feature under the rotating banner graphic (which does a good job of calling attention to the key features that are presumably attractive to their target audience),

2.  The prominent client logos with the “Explore Our Clients” button, which creates social proof and draws visitors into the site (and, presumably, case studies of success), and

3.  The large phone number with the heading “24/7 Global Support”, which communicates that this company will be there for you when you need them.
~ Danny Iny, Firepole Marketing

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Joseph Putnam, Blog TweaksMedia Temple does a great job of displaying client logos to build credibility and trust. The placement of the logos make them easy to find and see, and the use of logos such as Starbucks, ABC, and Volkswagen immediately reinforces that Media Temple is a credible, reliable business.
~ Joseph Putnam, Blog Tweaks

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Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy RobotsThe first sentence of the introductory paragraph is great it its complete simplicity. “Media Temple hosts websites.” It might seem basic, but it’s amazing how often companies fail to make the service they offer absolutely clear. Stating things in this way makes me feel confident that the company is focused and confident in its core product.
~ Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy Robots

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Russ Henneberry, Tiny & Mighty MediaThe social media icons in the bottom right hand corner are incorporated into the design in a subtle way.  Media Temple knows that these are important but not primary goals for the company.

The copy in the image carousel “Built to Scale” addresses a pain point that web developers and business owners experience.  That pain point is “Will my hosting company be able to grow along with my website?”  It addresses this pain point with one three-word statement and an image.
~ Russ Henneberry, Tiny & Mighty Media

We at The Daily Egg know that many of our readers are experts in design and marketing as well.  We would love to hear your critique of the Media Temple home page in the comments!

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6 COMMENTS

Abe Bellini

Great tips from everyone here. Consistent branding per website page strikes a cord with me personally. Knowing what to expect from a company gives me a comfortable feel when I return to their website.

Clean design is always appreciated. Look at the top performers in every industry and find similarities on their websites.

January 13, 2012 Reply

Niall Mackenzie

Some very interesting, well made points on what is overall a really nice page. I’m in agreement however, with Kristi re the first image and ‘Built to Scale’. This says more ‘server storage’ to me than hosting.

The three (too many?) CTAs are somewhat secondary. I would have expected to see a prominent call (or at least begin funnelling) towards the primary goal of the site, which I guess is to choose an appropriate hosting package, and start hosting your website today!

I look at the page and think, what do I do now? Which section/page should I look at first? I shouldn’t have to think, I should instinctively know where to go next.

Perhaps it would be worth testing changing the ‘Built to Scale’ headline to a benefit driven CTA, encouraging the user to click on one of the three hosting options. And as for those options, I shouldn’t really have to try rolling over things to see if they’re an active link. Again that should be crystal clear. As always though, testing is the key. I could very well be talking nonsense :)

January 13, 2012 Reply

    Niall Mackenzie

    Apologies for the formatting above, I did use paragraph breaks? :/

    January 13, 2012 Reply

Lance Jones

From a pure visual design perspective, I agree with most of the comments above. However, if this critique was about the copy and how well Media Temple communicates on its home page (is that not part of good design, designers???), I would expect to see more critical comments. “Built to Scale” is a nice catch phrase or tag line, but it doesn’t say much to me. One of the most powerful and effective ways to connect with first time visitors is by prominently displaying your value proposition — which should be highly desirable and unique. “Built to Scale” is neither, if that is the site owner’s intention with that copy (i.e., to communicate value to the visitor).

January 16, 2012 Reply

Joanna

The comments around design are great to read – thanks. From a copy perspective, however, there are a few points to be addressed. Kristi touches on these nicely, and Niall and Lance also do in the comments thus far.

For example, Angela pointed out that the “Built to Scale” message speaks to the (mt) value prop, which she described as “web hosting that grows with you”. IMHO, the line Angela wrote is much more meaningful than “Built to Scale”, which reads like a tagline. Why make visitors interpret your copy? Put plain language on the page.

It’s also worth noting that the body copy is (mt)-focused. Every sentence begins with what (mt) does… not what the user/customer gets. Marketing 101: nobody gives a hoot what you do – they only care about what they’ll get. I wonder how many people stop reading after the line “big and small”.

January 16, 2012 Reply

    Joanna

    sorry for formatting — i put bs where i meant to put brs. :)

    January 16, 2012 Reply


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