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Old Aug 23, 2007, 8:23 PM   #1
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http://aicphotography.tripod.com/index.htm

Any comments appreciated.

Ira
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 9:20 PM   #2
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The galleries and photos are fine. However, the front page and the page with the gallery categories aren't all that nice looking. Just my 2 cents.

Robert
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 12:08 AM   #3
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Fabulous photos as usual, Ira.

I do agree with Robert about the layout of the site. The style of the navigation pages does not match the style of the flash gallery view. If your intention of the site is for commercial purposes, I would consider hiring a web designer or start with a more polished template. Also, you may want to consider getting a paid web host and get a .com domain to really flaunt your professional photos.

Other than that, you have real potential here to get some good web exposure.

- Jason
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 6:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments, I am struggling with the design of the navigation pages. A graphics artist is out of the question with my current budget, basically the site is just for sharing content with anyone wwho is interested. Over the next couple of weeks I may redo those pages again (and again and again and...).

I appreciate any input.

Ira

Did a small, but significant, rework of the pages this morning. The front page is now a simple design with a photo and simple text links. I left the header since it is a common theme for all of the navigation pages. Only the sample imagespage still has a button style... still thinking about that one. I think it is a big improvement over yesterdays version, maybe I can eventually get this right.

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Old Aug 24, 2007, 9:58 AM   #5
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Well, keep working at it. Web design is tricky and different than almost any other design processor. The more you play and do the better you will get.

Robert
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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I am gonna buck the trend here Ira, as usual.



Leave the site as is. It works wonderfully well. No thrills, bel, whistles, just a good honest site showcasing some excellent images.



The flash sections with the buttons not only work, but the whole site is very fast. I can judge this, as it can take up to 30 secs to change pages in Steve's forums on my work machine!!



Keep it up, and keep it simple.



Dal



BTW - The above is just my 2p worth
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 12:43 PM   #7
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Don't worry, I don't intend to dress it up with a lot of pointless frills, I am just looking for a nicely professional look. I am happy with the home page, and fairly satisfied with the prices and contact-us pages BUT... I am still not sure what to do with the sample images page, not really happy with the current "buttons" (I know they aren't real buttons) but I am not sure how to best deal with it.

Thanks again for the comments and suggestions.

Ira
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:38 PM   #8
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No frills and thrills is fine, but it should look good too. Otherwise a poor looking web site gives a very bad first impression. Looking good and frills and thrills are two totally different things.

Robert
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:50 PM   #9
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Ira, I've gotta side with Dal although I think I'm seeing the updated version. The image selection process is wonderful, and the simple design is very inviting and unintimidating. The only bit I could offer would be to condense the links for the categories and leave out the empty ones, maybe smaller buttons, so that the whole page appears for those with different monitors/screen sizes. Maybe a horizontal row of buttons rather than the column?
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 5:06 PM   #10
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Hi Ira,

Several thoughts....

First - excellent initial attempt. Most people usually crash and burn on the sub pages, - the galleries, however, I believe that you have nailed them on the first pass. On the galleryies, you have a loading bar, which will buy time with your visitors, while you load. Images are large and time consuming to transfer, your technique here is perfect along with the sizing.

Second, the front page and getting to the galleries. The galleries are going to produce the income, so they need to be accessable directly off the front page. I feel you need to redo the initial page and bring everything up a level. You also have confused the visitor with the navigation across the top and then subsequently along the left hand side. On the Sample Images page you have navigation buttons down both the left and right hand sides. I would recommend. loosing the sample page tier and bringing everything up to the main page. Simply your studio name across the top, and then the types of imagery down the left hand side (Architecture through birds) then ending up with prices and contact us. The balance of this front page would be your best image, or getting fancy, your best 2 or 3 on a rotating basis.

Three - you might want to consider a .com address. Go to GoDaddy.com - there you can get just a .com address for $9.00 a year. They are just about the cheapest around - put it on your credit card and they will remind you yearly and bill automatically - thus you will not loose your site name if you go on vacation. You can even call them up and they will set everything up. You can use - say ACIPhotography.com or ACIStudios.com or ACI-Imaging.com. They offer other services, but you want to stay low cost, so just bypass the rest. With the .com address they also include linking, ie once you have your .com address then you can point it to your website, then everyone can get there via your .com address.

Four - and this can come with time, but you may want to consider some site instrumentation. What I mean by this is some statistics, screen sizes of your visitors so that you can set up you screen sizes approperiately Here is a free one http://extremetracking.com
with this you can track your visitors, where they come from, what operating system, you can guess if they are dial up or broadband, etc. This does help a lot.

Fifth - Do some looking on other websites for an opening page design that you like, and then work yours into that model.

Hope that helps....
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