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Author Topic: Updating my website  (Read 3766 times)

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« on: March 29, 2009, 05:15 »
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I've spent the past few days updating my website. I tried to keep it easy, simple, and fast - take a look: http://www.strathdee.net

Any comments/suggestions/problems are welcomed.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 05:18 by sharply_done »


« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 05:42 »
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Any reason as to why there is just a link to your iStock portfolio?

RacePhoto

« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 05:46 »
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Yes, two useless comments and one maybe helpful one.

I hate flash sites that take time to load and like other people I'm easily bored waiting. Second I hate sites with music. (thank God you don't have that!)

You might add some instructions on the Portfolio and Archives pages about what to do after those thumbnails come up.  ;D I was sitting here watching nothing happen, after watching the thumbnails slowly pop up, (takes 35 seconds with average speed DSL) one by one... and the "transferring data from..." was still showing in the bottom of the browser. Finally I took a chance and clicked on an image, to see if it would zoom in. Then I didn't know how to get back to the full screen. (click anywhere)

Went to archives, which takes just as long, and didn't do anything for a few minutes. It still says "Transferring data from..."  ???

Liked the About page and easy to find "Home" link on the top of every page.

As your name suggests, Sharply Done! Nice straight forward, clean design.

« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 06:08 »
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Any reason as to why there is just a link to your iStock portfolio?

Because I make the most money from iStock sales.

« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 07:18 »
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...
I hate flash sites that take time to load and like other people I'm easily bored waiting.
...

Sorry about the flash, but I wanted a bit of, well, flash to the site. The old version did much the same without flash, but required more time to maintain (which is why I let it slide for so long). This version is going to be a piece of cake to keep up to date.

Dunno what's up with the speed - things seem okay from here. But maybe that's because my browser has everything cached.

« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 08:20 »
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The site is fast for me.  Nice clean design.  It would be nice to be able to keep clicking on the next photo, after I have clicked a thumbnail.  I can get to the end of a row but then it goes back to the thumbnails view.

« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 09:01 »
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 It all depends on who the site is for. If it is to get commercial work I agree with the first post stay away from slow flash entries, Ad's won't sit through them have you thought of a bypass to the opening to save viewers time. The other thing is going through your images there should be another way rather than having to click each photo to get back to the others, another slow down for the viewer maybe some sort of continuation button. Last don't canter your work this will drive art directors crazy, they never print images cantered and it doesn't help the image.
 If it is just for you to show your friends and fellow photographers then I think you can do whatever you want and have fun with it. The idea is it is a tool to help attract buyers and there have been many write ups about what agencies dislike. These three comments are on the top of the list for them.

« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 10:19 »
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I personally like the thumbnail presentation / navigation. It's nice and clean and I believe it allows the visitor to choose whatever photo they want to enlarge for viewing, instead of having them all presented in a predefined order.
What I would suggest though is to create a logo for your name. Verdana looks a bit amateurish :) Also, the buttons for navigation should be placed right above the thumbnails and not on the top left corner, for a better usability. And last, maybe the main navigation on the homepage should be available on each page, in order to avoid going back each time.
I presume you built this site as a simple showcase / portfolio and not for directly selling your images (you do that on iStock). Therefore, in my opinion, it perfectly serves its purpose.

« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 12:18 »
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Personally, I hate Flash portfolios. Too gimmicky, and too slow. (I have a very fast cable connection)

« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 12:23 »
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Sharply,

I like the design, and I don't mind flash at all.

I am only confused on what is "portfolio" and what is "archives".

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 12:51 »
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Flash is slow, SEO unfriendly and 95% of the buyers hate it (ref: photoshelter web design study amongst 500+ image buyers - ask copy of the detailed report by email to PS).

In short, Flash is great for a site intended for other photographers/artists and to show off. It's counter productive for buyers and personal marketing.

« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2009, 14:12 »
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Sorry have to agree with others, for me the thumbs are to small and having to click each one to enlarge as the navigation is not to clear leaves a bad user experience, the different layouts were off putting.

Websites are about user experience, so my advice for what it is worth would be, keep the theame, visit a few stock and photographers sites and try to take a customers perspective, navigate around them and note the ones that give you a good user experience and why, then try to use some of these features on your site.

Other considerations are who is the site for, how will they find it, what would they expect, from a marketing perspective flash sites are hard to index for search engines, so will that be a problem if someone is looking for a local photographer.

On your about page you say "Commercial Stock Photographer", so your site should be aimed at image buyers, these would expect a gallery style site with good thumbnails and a mouseover for larger images, also would you want a buyer finding your site and then downloading the presentation images from Istock for a few $$, maybe remove the word stock, flickr and istock references from the about page, then you are a "Commercial Photographer", put up a couple of collections one with images that cannot be purchased from Istock and a prompt for any buyer to contact you for a licence which should be priced a good few more $$ than stock prices, you could have a stock collection as well but seperate these from your prime images, stock sales will come from Istock the better sales should come from your site.   

Just my overview, to me it is a Photographers site for Photographers and not aimed at buyers, this is a typical scenario with a lot of Photographers sites.

David (just my views)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 14:36 by Adeptris »

« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2009, 16:05 »
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Okay, I've addressed the speed problem as much as possible - it's about as fast now as it's ever going to get.

...
Other considerations are who is the site for, how will they find it, what would they expect, from a marketing perspective flash sites are hard to index for search engines, so will that be a problem if someone is looking for a local photographer.
...

The purpose of the site is to direct potential buyers to my iStock portfolio. I intend to do this by leveraging my exposure on Flickr and Twitter, which is why those three sites are mentioned.

I'm not interested in search engine placement because I'm not trying to attract local clients - that's what the previous version was for, and it's something I'm no longer interested in doing. Getting local business is dependent upon networking and relationship building skills, as well as having a reputation for meeting/surpassing client expectations - a website plays a very minor role in this.

I am only confused on what is "portfolio" and what is "archives".

'portfolio' means 'collection of images representative of my work as a whole'
'archives' means 'everything else'
It's only in the microstock world that 'portfolio' means 'everything I have online at this site'.


Thanks for the comments, everyone!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 16:16 by sharply_done »

« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2009, 15:20 »
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Might I suggest a small dot or other marker under each image that directs the viewer to the download page of each image.


 

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