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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Website Suggestions
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10/30/2006 05:48:15 PM · #1
I was hoping to get some honest feedback on our website if at all possible. It is Blueline Photography. We had someone design it for us. I realize it is not Flash and I also realize that Flash is somewhat popular now. When I uploaded the photos I didn't convert to sRGB. I was thinking of going back and doing that and sharpening as well. My main question is:

Do you think it is necessary to convert all the to the proper color space or does the whole site need a make over?

I'll admit out attempt at marketing has been pathetic at best but I would still like to at least get honest feedback on the site.

Any help or suggestions are welcome. Thanks for your time.
10/30/2006 06:08:20 PM · #2
1) A non-flash site is OK, very OK, in fact, I HATE flash sites for a large number of reasons (which I will not go into here).

2) Converting to sRGB is probably not a bad idea. To see if it's an issue, visit your mother's/neighbor's/non-technical friend's house and view the site on their monitors. If you are satisfied with the color, don't worry about it. Regardless, understand that no matter how much work you put into it, some monitors will make your photos look crappy.

3) General thoughts on the site:

- The home page feels heavy. There is a large use of raster graphics, and the page seems to load slowly. Try compressing the guitar and navigation images a bit more.

- My personal pet peeve is when navigation changes across a site. In this situation, you have one nav system for the home page, and another for the rest of the site.

Just my 2¢
10/30/2006 06:11:53 PM · #3
You can't go wrong with having images in the proper color space. Some look over saturated. Some images also look quite soft. Others look just fine. I would go back and edit them to be in the correct color space and sharpen where necessary.

Might also consider a design that doesn't give as much space to the thumbs so you could make the actual image larger. Just a personal preference on my part.

Lastly I would make sure I have enough solid images to fill up the allotted spaces for thumbs. Having some sections half empty could give me the impression you don't have enough good work. Not a good idea when trying to attract business.

Pages render fine but there are some basic errors in them that should be cleaned up.

EDIT: Forgot to add my 2 cents on Flash... I'm with zanfar, forget about Flash. It can be a good thing when done right and used appropriately. More often than not though it's not used appropriately and not done right.

Message edited by author 2006-10-30 18:14:53.
10/30/2006 07:13:54 PM · #4
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I agree that the site looks half done or that it looks like there is not enough work to fill the spaces. In truth, there isn't, as we didn't end up shooting many pets or products. Mostly portraits. I will work on filling these slots and will definitely go through and correct the color space. Wish I had gone over the "preparing images for DPC" tutorial before I submitted the photos. Sharpening a bit probably wouldn't hurt either as you both mentioned. Thanks again for taking a look at my site and taking time to respond. It is much appreciated.
10/31/2006 04:58:44 PM · #5
I wouldn't sacrafice looks for load time. The menu text pictures are too compressed right now.
11/15/2006 07:44:00 PM · #6
Full flash websites are pretty retarded, especially when you put an intro. No one cares about your intro. It doesn't make you more professional, in fact it makes me think you are less professional because you feel the need to put an intro.

Maybe put Gallery above Studio...cause, that's what really matters. Emphasize that.

Put portraits first, since that is what you have the most work of. Make a good first impression that way.


11/15/2006 08:17:46 PM · #7
I like it a lot -- very nice!

My only nitpick is that when you go to a gallery, there are tabs that say, "Artistic, Product, Pets and Portraits." The way they're positioned, it implies to me that the shots below them would be of that category, when that's not the case. I would have made those links line up differently so they're not associated with images below them. Maybe it's just me.
11/15/2006 09:15:21 PM · #8
Originally posted by zanfar:



- My personal pet peeve is when navigation changes across a site. In this situation, you have one nav system for the home page, and another for the rest of the site.



Seconded - Keep navigation consistent. Other than that it looks good. Non-flash sites are nothing to be ashamed of ;)
11/16/2006 01:04:32 PM · #9
Once again thanks for the advice. I am working on your suggestions and appreciate the feedback.
11/29/2006 01:03:22 PM · #10
You've heard lots of comments about Flash. Here's another one from a web development perspective:

- Flash allows you greater creative control over the site. If you're picky about how you want your site to flow, or if you want pretty stuff flying around the page, then flash is for you.

- Flash is harder to maintain. More people understand HTML than Flash. In other words, unless you're using a Flash product specifically designed to be modified by a non-technical person, then it may be more difficult (and more expensive) to modify your site when it's in Flash.

- Flash and search engines don't mix. If you want your page to rank higher in search engines, use HTML with text that search engines can read. Images and Flash aren't readable by search engines and therefore will be ranked lower.

Now, if I may comment on the non-flash part of the discussion... :)

- I like the main image on the homepage. Yes, it's saturated, but you're hearing that from photographers who understand nuances. For a "common" person, I'd think that they'd like the eye candy. I'd probably convert the text on the homepage into text, again for search engine optimization.

- Navigation. I'm with the gang - I'd like to avoid the blank squares, and it'd be nice to have smaller thumbnails and larger images. I'm intrigued by some of the pics, but I'm not sure they're large enough to get me out of my chair and into my wallet.

- Marketing. What is your desired audience response with your page? Is it designed to be one of those necessary evils when doing business, or is it designed to get me to drive over there to visit, or is it designed to have me call you for more info? All of those can be reasonable answers, but it seems like the "necessary evil" is what you're achieving. One suggestion: add more information about the photographers, and make that a distinct service from gallery rental. That way, your two audiences know where to go: professional photographers looking for a space click on gallery, and retail customers know to click on you and your CV/portfolio.

Anyway, these are just thoughts! Good luck!
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