Care to check out my site?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Johnboy2978, May 9, 2010.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello all. I recently decided after about 5 months of not having my site that I kind of missed it, even though I don't update it very often.

    I was wondering if you would mind to check it out and give my your opinion of it. First, I am not a pro, rather an enthusiast who occasionally makes some gear money from the hobby. The site was primarily created to give a prospective client an idea of what kind of work I do. As such I created the site completely on my own w/ my rudimentary knowledge.

    Second, I like to have a flash intro. I know many hate them, but I did leave in a SKIP button if you don't want to look at it. I would like to know if it takes an inordinate amount of time to load for you though.

    Any other critique is appreciated.

    Address is in my sig.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well that's disappointing. No one has the time to check and comment? I'll give you a virtual dollar :)
     
  3. Beatnik

    Beatnik TPF Noob!

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    Hi John,
    I'll be the first to bite the bullet and say what I thought.

    I watched the first couple of slides of the intro then hit the skip button.
    Good on you for building it yourself and I know it's hard to take criticism
    on something you put a lot of effort into.

    But once you get past the intro it looks outdated and cheap. To a lot
    of clients this could be a big turn off. I don't intend to be mean just honest.

    Here are some examples of websites of other pro/am photogs I've come across in
    different photography forums. They are simple yet effective and a similar look
    can be achieved yourself using web based programs without having to hire a web designer.
    Sidd Rishi Photography
    Coffs Harbour Family Portrait Photography|Model Portfolios|Fashion photography | Emma Rhoades Photography
    RSW Images
    welcome

    Hope that helps mate. By the way I had a look at your photos while
    I was on your site. Great stuff.
     
  4. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    Here's my input as a former website designer of about 10 years.

    I watched a couple of the intro slides, then hit the skip button. I usually hit the skip button the second I see one as I feel an intro page is a waste of my time.

    I was a little jolted to see people pictures in the intro, but see a water drop picture on the main page. I was confused as to whether you specialize in people or other images.

    It was also a little annoying to see all of your pages with white backgrounds, then go to the gallery page and see a completely different design. You need to keep the same "look" throughout your site, or visitors may think they've been taken to a different site.

    Your gallery looks like you have two businesses here. A local stock site and a portrait site. Visitors are easily confused, so maybe have an intro page to your images, and let people choose between portraits and stock/location shooting. These are two separate markets (individuals and businesses) and people my get confused.

    I also found many of your color images to be a little flat, but a few seconds in Photoshop will fix that.

    You're photographs are nice and professional, I just think you need to organize your site a little differently. Remember, never make a client think. Take them by the hand and lead them where you want them to go, then tell them what to do when they get there. You have no call to action (go here, buy this). Stress the benefits of working with you. Don't say you have nice pictures, tell them you can meet their needs, easily and quickly, and give them a professional product in the end.

    The pricing page was a little confusing. Don't put negative things on your website, just tell them to contact you for pricing. Saying that pricing is "[FONT=&quot]very cumbersome topic due to the endless array of options[/FONT]" will scare many people away. Never give a client a reason to leave. Tell them it's easy, a simple phone call or e-mail can answer all of their questions.

    While the white pages were clean and neat, they were a little stark for me in a site focusing on a visual medium.

    Over all, I like your site and images, I just think it needs a little work to blend all the pages together, and make it an easy place for clients to visit.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  5. HikinMike

    HikinMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I took a look last night, but didn't comment. You have some great photos, but the website needs some work. I don't like splash pages and you basically have two. Pick one. I want to see what you do and where you're located on your home page. You do say that your a hobbyist, but wouldn't mind making a few dollars so, I suggest doing a search for 'SEO'. Right now your home page (Intro page) says "SWiSH Movie - index.swi - www.swishzone.com" to search engines. You really need to change that to something like "Southwest Virginia - Wedding and Senior Photography". Adding some text would help too. There's no continuity on your navigation links. If I click on your "About" page, you can't go to your "Pricing" page without going back to your Home Page. Speaking of that, you have two different style fonts on your home page links. Hope this all makes sense. :)
     
  6. Rrr3319

    Rrr3319 TPF Noob!

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    just a quick note: as soon as i clicked on the link and your page came up, the first thing i see is someone's butt while they're bent over right in the middle of my computer screen. ;) i think maybe if you re-ordered the pictures in your intro, it might not be a bad thing. just a thought.
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I appreciate each of you taking the time to make some thought provoking comments. You have each mentioned things I didn't think of and I will come back to the drawing page eventually and correct and tweak some of the things that you mentioned. Thanks to each of you.
     
  8. SmilingSunflower

    SmilingSunflower TPF Noob!

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    I agree with the above posts. The intro thing was ok, but a little long. I hit skip right as it went to 'enter site', so that's when my patience wore, so maybe trim it down a bit?

    I'm not saying this to be biased towards people with weight issues AT ALL, Lord knows I'm trying to drop 35 lbs myself as we speak. But, I personally wouldn't put the overweight lady as your first photo. The walking with the little boy is super cute, but the weight was honestly the first thing I saw. I'd always put my best foot forward and that includes the subjects of the images looking their best. Again, just my opinion and I mean nothing mean towards that lady. (I wouldn't let you put a pic of my behind on there either!)

    Building it yourself is cool and all, but it doesn't flow too well once you get past the white pages. You should check out PhotoBiz - Online Proofing Solutions for Professional Photographers. I have a site there for $15 a month and can put 200 pics on it and it's great. They take care of most of the work for you and you just customize your site how you want. You can see my site at Brandi Greenwood Photography - Serving the Northeastern Cincinnati area and neighboring cities if that helps.

    Good luck!!!
     

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