Please critique my new website!

Discussion in 'Personal and Professional Photography Websites' started by Tim Ray, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Tim Ray

    Tim Ray TPF Noob!

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  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Like most Flash sites it's kind of slow and clunky, Blog and Raves go to the same blog site in a new window (another pet peeve of mine). The thumbnails should always be visible, I just happened to mouse over that area and they popped out. They are also kind of small so it's hard to get an idea what the photo is.

    I do like the look if it's any consolation.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Over and above anything else, the music hit me. Using copyrighted music on a website is a HUGE no-no. Just like you don't like it when someone steals your pics... the artists do not appreciate you stealing their music.

    ... and when it comes to music, had you done your homework, you would have known that 70% of viewers turn off the music immediately. 90% of that group, if they cannot find the "off button" within 2 seconds, close the site immediately.

    Music + wedding sites = lost clientele. You either do not play a song that matches their taste, they are at work and are not in a position to hear it or reminds them of something negative. Your photos do your singing for you... if they cannot... no music you put on your site will help anyways. ;)
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Home page: The photo you've picked for your "portraits" seems to have something weird going on around the face. It doesn't look sharp. And have someone edit the text. Some people think I'm too picky but bad use of english turns me off. Same with the rest of the site.

    When I click on the blog button on the home page it takes me there without opening a new window but if I try from the portraits area it opens a new window which, like NOYZE, I don't like. And why does the raves button take me to the blog?

    When in the portfolio section, clicking families takes me to photos of children where there are only five photos. After 18 years in business, it seems you should have more in your portfolio...

    I don't have the thumbnails problem that NOYZE seems to have however I don't quite like the way they cover the right side of landscape images.

    Why do some pages have music and others don't?

    Some images have the same kind of problem as the portrait on the home page which I find annoying. Being brand new to digital photography and totally in the dark as far as website construction, I don't know why that is but it needs to get fixed.

    Also, I would put the home button in the menu rather than by itself at the bottom.

    The blog doesn't do much for me but I'm not a blog person. I find most of them boring.

    Other than that, it is nice looking if a bit slow.

    I imagine some of those problems are due to the fact that it is not finished.
     
  5. Andrew Sun

    Andrew Sun TPF Noob!

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    #1 - Too flashed up, too slow = no
    #2 - Auto-Playing music = no

    If a site includes those 2, then I have no reason to click around any further, I simply close it.
     
  6. Tim Ray

    Tim Ray TPF Noob!

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    My site is a showitsite, and it is my understanding that they are currently slower in Australia.
     
  7. Tim Ray

    Tim Ray TPF Noob!

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    The site is still under construction, but the wording on the homepage is only there for SEO.

    The image of the girl on the home page is shot wide open with a 50 1.4 lens to create bokeh in the background (throwing the background completely out of focus) this was done intentionally. This image wouldn't have the same impact with a sharp background.

    I still have to add the family portrait images to portfolio part of the site.
     
  8. Tim Ray

    Tim Ray TPF Noob!

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    I know blogs can be boring, but the purpose of my blog is to generate word of mouth advertising. When I post a clients wedding images and slideshows, I email the link to the post and they email it to all of their friends bringing many potential clients to our blog and website. I have booked as many as four sessions in one day just from our blog.
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    SEO? No idea what that means. Sorry.

    As far as the portrait on the home page, I am not talking about the background, I am talking about her face. On my computer it looks weird. OOF. And some of the other photos on the site have the same problem but if I'm the only one mentioning that, it might be a Mac problem. We do have problems with some sites. However, Mac problems with websites are bad designs as far as I am concerned. From what you say on your site I imagine you are not too far from the MD panhandle which means you have two university towns nearby and university areas usually have more Macs. They also have students getting married right around graduation time.

    Couldn't tell you about Morgantown, but I do know that Frostburg has an art department and most of those students use Macs. Why shut them out?

    Of course, since you will do weddings in any part of the world, I could be wrong about where about you are. :lol:

    I understand about the blog even if I don't like them. However, your site is a business site and the first thing I saw on the blog was what I would call a personal blog. Mentioning Father's day is fine but not with just your and your wife's dads. Mention the dads you've met over the years doing weddings or something like that. Make it professional.

    Now, let's talk a bit about music. I don't know for sure but I think that Andrew Sun must have an awful lot of sites he doesn't visit. Music and other noises are all over web sites which is why I keep my sound turned off until I get to a site where I want to hear the noise.

    On the other hand, JerryPH has a very valid point with copyrighted music. If you haven't paid for usage rights, don't use the music. One, it could get you an expensive lawsuit and, two, I don't think you would appreciate if I used your photos on my site... I did not talk about it in my last post because I do not know this music and, for all I knew, it could be your wife singing.

    The rest of what he says, I really don't know anything more than most website music annoys the hell out of me. I guess that means he could be right. Definitely something to think about.
     
  10. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    SEO.... You have a Flash site. A flash Site is the absolute hardest thing in the world to get indexed. Your site is not searchable and therefore will never make it anywhere near a respectable spot on a search engine. I do this stuff for a living. It is good to have a two fold website. Incorporate both flash and Html. Your site is good for studio purposes, but if you want any kind of traffic outside of direct traffic, you need to change it. Flash does not work well for SEO.

    Just FYI to those who do not know...
    SEO= Search Engine Optimization .
     
  11. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Hey Tim. Love the look of the site. I am currently working on designing my own website, and by working on I mean that I am doing bubble diagrams and looking for a web designer. But what I can tell you is I know nothing about web design so take what I say from a purely non technical standpoint.

    B Likes -
    I love that you have the 3 links to navigate from on the main page, this is exactly what I want to do with my site. (like exactly, and this was the first real time i was the same concept I'm looking for). So thats a huge plus for me.

    I also like the simplicity of the design, it looks nice and neat, and it isn't very hard to navigate.

    I like that the blog opens in a new window

    I like the gallery picture viewer, loads fast and easy to click on which pic you want to see.
    [EDIT] One thing I don't like is that the thumbnails disappear when the cursor isn't over them. They should be seen at all times IMO.

    I like that you offer the option of going full screen in the picture viewer and not just making it do that automatically - nice job, I like that feature.


    B Dislikes -
    So these dislikes are things that I want to try and avoid when I have my site designed (of course IMO). I prefer, like the others, that the music doesn't play right away. I would almost prefer to see a little media player that I can choose if I want to play the music or not. I feel that when you click on either the wedding or portrait link that it shouldn't open straight into a slideshow without any text/description of the area that you're in, etc. Your about me section is great, nice text/picture, I just wish your site would have a bit more text about who your company is, what you do, etc. Obviously tailored to which link you click on, either wedding or portrait.

    I don't like that the title bar is different in the weddings and portraits links, I think they should be consistent with each other

    Under About us, you have the link for blog in the title bar as well as another link, I don't think you need both.

    I feel you should highlight the "client ordering" a bit more, and have that link offered on your main page for those who just want to go straight to their pictures and not have to navigate to find how to get them.

    Also I like the home link at the bottom, but I feel (like others) that it should be in the title bar at the top.

    Under portraits, the "info" tab doesn't do anything

    Under weddings, your logo doesn't link back to your home page

    The contact part takes forever to load.

    Also - I don't know if it would help adding some captions to some of the pictures in your portfolio section. Like a little description where you were, what you were looking for, etc. To kind of explain the shoot, give it a little more of a story.


    Sorry for the long response, but I took a long time looking at your site, I love the layout and it was very similiar to the layout I'm actually looking for, so I'm using your site as a learning experience for myself. All-in-all I love the site, just a few of the minor things I've noted, I would personally check out. BTW as a side note I also think you take great photographs. Hope this helps, and good luck putting the finishing touches on it.

    [EDIT x 2] There's something wrong when you go under portraits and click on the couples link - it takes you to "amazing details" under weddings and not to the couples gallery
     
  12. Tim Ray

    Tim Ray TPF Noob!

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    Actually our site is a Showitsite, and is very different from a conventional flash site. To learn more click here to go to their site.

    So this site incorporates both flash and Html, and gives you the best of both words, the emotion created by multimedia, and the deeplinking possible only by Html.
     

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