Looking for feedback on my website...

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by dawssvt, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. dawssvt

    dawssvt TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to improve my overall wedding photography business, so I would like some inputs on my website.

    www.photographybydawson.com

    1. What are the things you like about the website?
    2. What are the things you don't like?
    3. How can I make the website better?
    4. Is there anything you feel that is missing?

    Thanks for your help!

    11/1/2009 Update: Thanks for the feedback everyone! I have made several changes to my website and published them. Check it out again and let me know what you think!
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey, Dawson.

    I think you have a fine website. There will be some here that will tell you a flash site is a mistake... that it too slow. But it think it's a great choice for consumer photography.

    Looks good.

    -Pete
     
  3. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    I think it will be more than just "some" telling you it's a mistake. (Depending of if those that won't visit will bother to tell you about it, that is.)

    I don't do flash only sites. Reasons being is that I have to enable java on sights I don't know/don't trust, and it's too damn slow.

    My suggestion would be create an HTML only version of the gallery if you want to reach out to the other 30% of us that won't go to flash sites.

    No matter HOW big you make the notice telling us we need it to view your site simply won't matter...

    We already know. :p
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    and, oh.... I should mention that some who believe flash sites are bad feel really strongly about it.

    My customers love mine. I'm sure glad I'm not selling to photo enthusiasts.

    -Pete
     
  5. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    I've hated flash since before I was a photo enthusiast. It's more about smart browsing.

    Flash is dangerous. It requires you to open your computer to things it really shouldn't be open to (Active X, Javascripts etc). When you spend as much time on the net as me, you learn to be careful what you allow to happen to your browser, especially considering I don't use a firewall and don't use Anti Virus software. I use No Script and Ad Block Plus to filter out crap that could allow my computer to be compromised and am careful where I browse to. I only enable it for sites I trust.

    Don't get me wrong, the resultant pages are often nicely done. (Often not). They're just too risky for some of us, that's all.
     
  6. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

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    I think it looks really good. Not to jump on the exact same flash bandwagon, but flash hurts you in google searches. It will be hard to make it high in the google list with a Flash site, so if you were counting on people googling you out you may need to find a balance of flash and HTML.

    Also I couldn't find your location on your site in my quick skim. People may want to know what areas you cover.
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Looks good, BUT loads very slowly. Having both Flash and HTML 'sites is a must.
     
  8. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    There are problems with flash, most notably

    a) slow loading for some
    b) lack of flash viewer (and/or thus making it only viewable through download)
    c) poor SEO; text is flash, etc.

    These can be 'fixed' but will not be so effective. Of course, flash also has benefits such as the look and smoothness of it all.

    I'm more worried, though, about your album prices!
     
  9. dawssvt

    dawssvt TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, man I appreciate it.

    Thanks for your comment. I thought it over when first going with a flash site about the slowness factor as well as knowing that not all computers have flash. I probably didn't think about it as much as I should have - I was just hooked on how it looked!

    So, I think I have a solution for this problem... My dad and I shoot weddings together very often, so we have shared the Smugmug site for proofing since we started shooting weddings. This is the reason for the different look/feel/prices on the smugmug site that was linked to my website. I went ahead and started my own Smugmug site today (Captured Moments - Photography by Dawson - Las Cruces, NM- powered by SmugMug) and I will be using that for proofing. My goal is to have it look similar to my flash site. Also, for people without flash - the page that comes up saying you must have flash you view this site will have a link to the smugmug site with the same information as my flash site (pricing/galleries/bio/ect.).

    So, in reality, I would be running two websites. I think this would also help with the Google search problem. Hopefully I can get better search results with this new Smugmug site. I've only been doing this for about a year and a half, so I'm trying new things for advertising. I think getting higher on the Google results will drastically help.


    What do you think of my idea of adding a Smugmug site with all the same information to my site? A link to this site will be on the flash warning page of my current site.

    As I mentioned above, I think the new Smugmug site will help with the Google searches (this is definitely an area I need to improve on). I went ahead and updated my Bio page including my location and where I provide services. Thanks for your comment!


    What about my album prices are you worried about?

    Wedding photography has really been a side job for the past year, but I am trying to pick things up to make it a full time job for me. I have been looking into new vendors for wedding albums. Currently I just use Blurb books, which are pretty simple to make and not very costly to get printed. Here is the last book I made...

    Ray and Ashley June 20, 2009 | Book Preview

    Are there any wedding album vendors you you would suggest?
     
  10. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, I think most people won't follow the link to the "other" site. My browser prevents re-directs to off-site locations, and forcing me to click over there prolly won't happen.

    I think your best bet is to create your "second" site as an HTML only version of your original site, on your original domain. You can automatically load the "second" site if flash and/or javascript is not detected. Also, you reap the bene's of SEO and searches.

    My opinion. HTH.
     
  11. twozero

    twozero TPF Noob!

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    About ATVs might be the safest, most secure internet user of all time.

    That said, it did load very slowly for me and SEO is a factor with flash, but for most of the general public your site will be more than enough (especially with as cheap as nice computers/laptops are right now). The initial "ooh, that looks nice" is almost as important as anything else.

    personally, i prefer non-flash sites. but you can't please everyone...
     
  12. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I use Flash only for my site and I have never had a problem.
    I have designed my site for the majority of internet users, I think saying 30% of people dont use flash is like saying 90% of all statistics are made up.
    There may be some people that will not view it because of that but I am not going to spend more money designing for the few. It is not worth it to me.

    I have never had anyone complain.
     

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