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  • Website Critique

    Hi all!
    Just wondering if anyone would be happy to give me some critique on my website. I have had a couple of variations because I had to get it up fairly quickly. Now that business is starting to beam I thought I really should go back and make it more professional and appealing to the client. I would love if I could get some feedback and some ideas on how to make it even better. My client's are important so want to know that the place is very easy to navigate etc.
    http://www.catherinereid.com.au

    I don't mind if you tell me negative stuff. Knowing what doesn't work is a means of becoming better so don't try and spare my feelings

  • #2
    Just had a quick glance and i love how quick and uncomplicated it is, very user friendly and no sitting for ages waiting for pages to load,and my internet connection is slow so thats saying something that i didnt have to wait. Will have a longer browse later, but so far i'm impressed.

    Comment


    • #3
      G'day Catherine

      Most impressive site - uploads quickly via my wireless USB modem - where in contrast, some of the big-name city websites take 30 seconds for a page to load
      I like the way that an image is displayed in its own window after you click on it - looks good that way
      and - keep adding new images to the display

      cc if I may ... your Home page / Our services has 4 typo / grammatical errors. I did not detect any others elsewhere - it all looks very good

      Regards, Phil
      __________________
      > Offers Digital Photography workshops in outback eastern Australia
      > recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

      Comment


      • #4
        Pretty good design overall, but there are some details that need working on, in my humble opinion. I'm not saying I'm a great authority necessarily, but see what you think.

        The 'HOME' page, the page with 'HOME' in the title bar, looks good. But there is a link to click on under the horse picture, labelled 'HOME' as well. Bit confusing. Did you mean 'Photography'?, because this is the page it goes to, and the menu at the top refers to 'PHOTOGRAPHY'.

        One thing I've noticed is that your logo, the 'catherine reid PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGNS' bit moved about (A little bit) as you navigate from page to page. Would be good if it was locked down in the same position on every page. Looks consistent and professional. On the very opening page for example, there is a lot of white space above the logo bit, and you have to scroll down a way to see the entire page. The copyright notice on the bottom is in a larger font here than on other pages. Consistency needed.

        The other pages. I feel the contact phone number bit at the top on the left looks rather clumsy. Font too large? Not stylish.

        Your text boxes - the areas where you have writing - don't look crispy clear. I worked out why. They are jpgs. But you knew that!

        The other general point I would make is that your pages lack a stylistic consistency. They all look different, stylistically. Different fonts, font sizes and so on.

        Do you work with style sheets? The way to go to achieve constsiency.

        Good luck. I hope that you found my comments helpful.
        Charles

        My indecision is final, I think.


        Comment


        • #5
          HI Catherine, back again.

          I like your web site, but it could be cleaned up a bit in one or two areas.

          Sejac has nailed most of the points. There is a lack of continuance from page to another.

          Did you use Wordpress to build your site, if not it would be a good idea to explore Wordpress and Woo Themes for different ideas in building a site.

          The other more important thing I noticed is your page title do not describe what you are trying to market in the web site. This is an important part of Search Engine Optimisation, all the crap the experts charge for fortune for, but is quite easy to do if you follow a few simple guide lines.

          I have built quite a few web sites for my businesses in the past and always managed to get placed on the first page in Google.

          Your domain name http://www.catherinereid.com.au says a lot about you. It advertises Catherine Reid, but it does not advertise what you are trying to promote or market in your web site.
          For instance if some did a search for catherine reid your web site would come up. But if some one does not know you or what you do, then your web site misses out. However try if you try and think what you would be searching for if you were looking for an equine photographer in google. Your search would probably "equine photographer south east queensland," If you were to use similar phrases in your page title, Catherine Reid Equine photographer Toowoomba, Catherine Reid Dressage consultant Darling Downs, Catherine Reid large animal photographer, etc etc then people doing a search would have a much better chance of finding your web site on the net.

          Years ago my business was The Stables Yanchep my domain name was Stablesyanchep.com.au, but the title of the first page was "Horse trail riding in Perth Western Australia." We had people coming from all over the world to our business, and I managed to maintain poll position in Google search engine for many years.

          Do a search in Google for "Wildlife and Action Photography" just those 4 words, my web site should come up number 2 or 3, with no mention of my name or business. Then take note of the page title and headline on the first page. Its not quite as quick as I would like it to be because I have a lot of images on there and it needs cleaning up a bit. I built the page using Wordpress and Woothemes, I forget who I got to host this page.

          Hope you find some of my comments useful, if you need a hand to write the headlines for Search Engine Optimisation let me know. There is an email link from my web site or you can find me on line here.
          Canon, 5D MK3 5D Mk11 300mm f2.8, 28-300 f3.5-5.6, 70-200 f2.8, 100 Macro.

          Gordon
          Excreta Tauri Astutos Frustrantor

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Catherine - The first thing I would ask by looking at your website is "What exactly do you do?" Is it Design and photography on the side or Photography and design on the side, my suggestion for your website would be to pick only one. Domains are cheap, set up another website for design. If I was looking for a designer I don't expect to see photography alongside, and vice-versa, it doesn't add any credibility in my opinion, in fact it kind of detracts from it and reminds me of an old saying "Jack of all trades, master of none" (this in no way is a reflection on you Catherine, just a generalisation).
            As a photographer I enjoy taking landscapes and pets and the odd event, fine art and commercial photography, but I don't show it on my business website. It would seem to me that your focus is equine photography I would only be showing that, otherwise people get confused by what it is you specialise in, even though you say it on the front page and a confused mind says "NO". As pointed out there are some grammatical errors that need addressing on the front page.

            Should the "About Us" page be "About Me" - it is after all Catherine Reid Photography and I don't really see any mention of business partners, it would make more sense to me anyway. The images you have on the page don't really seem balanced, a bit top heavy perhaps and I can't really even see you, consider getting a photo of you on there so we can see who you are, if you are displaying vertically they should be the same width, if you are displaying horizontally they should be the same height. I think there is a little too much to read on the page as well, look at condensing it. I'm going to get a bit picky here Catherine, you mention "I find the best photography of a child is that of one at play", however when I look at your portrait gallery I can't really find an example of this?? You have to be able to back up what you are saying with images that reflect your words.

            The portfolio is the lifeblood of a photographers site and should only show your best work. First thing I would mention is that I tried clicking on the image to take me to that gallery but I have to click the name, not a biggie but something to consider. As I mentioned before I would probably drop the nature gallery, it doesn't really fit the site.
            I really don't like the gallery design Catherine, the layout is a bit random and your event gallery has a slideshow but the others don't and the slideshow covers your menu.

            Some advice I once received that made a lot of sense to me, was that if you don't have it, don't show it, meaning that if you can't showcase that genre with a minimum of 10 different images of different subjects, don't display it. Looking at your animal gallery, this would fall into this category, you have two almost identical shots of the same white dog, and 2 shots of the puppy that are not really that uniquely different, so I would think about dropping that from your site until you have enough work to show. You have a similar problem with the portrait gallery, 6 shots of the same girl from the same shoot does not really showcase versatility. I don't really want to sound like a broken record but your event gallery appears to be showcasing one event with 28 images, all I am trying to get across is that it doesn't suggest that events are your strongpoint if you've only covered one, it doesn't instill confidence in your potential client.
            The equine gallery has the option to enlarge the image but the others don't, is there a reason for this Catherine? This is your clearly your strongest gallery and what you should focus on in this website. But I would suggest looking at some more professional looking galleries and as Gordon mentioned consider Wordpress and templates for your website it makes the whole site look a little more polished and managing content is pretty straight forward.

            There is more I could go into regarding design and technical aspects of the site but I don't feel that I am suitably qualified to comment.

            Catherine, none of what I have said is personal, simply opinion based on personal preference and teachings from industry professionals.

            Hopefully some of my ramblings may make sense.
            Cheers
            Darren
            website

            Comment


            • #7
              Had a really quick look and it is quite impressive.
              Would it be possible to have an online form that can be filled out on the page and sent straight to you. Means the person isn't going to start the process and get distracted and forget to finish it. Even having to save it and email it to you means more steps so increases likelihood they get distracted.
              Adrian

              Gear List

              Comment


              • #8
                OMG thank you all soooo much. Nope, that has given me so much to go back and work on and I am truely thankful. Would any of you mind if I asked again in a short while after I make the changes? I really value the feedback and you have given me heaps to work on.

                Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The others have made many good points I would agree upon. In particular there seems to be a different style of gallery on each page. I find that a little confusing, so I guess other people do.

                  I'm not a very good proof reader, but on the home/photography page in the text I think you mean "site" and not "sight" and I guess there should be a space in "professionalphotographer". I didn't really read any more of the pages, so there could be more.

                  Love some of your horse photos

                  Comment

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