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ravenswood1000

Is My Website Ok?

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For me it is a little busy. Too many images and a distracting background. The home pages is ok as it is but the gallery and stuff being in the same layout is a bit distracting for me. Still saying that it is good for somebody who classes themselves as terrible.

 

My biggest problem is the background and small images in the gallery before you click on them.

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I found the background distracting, a little on the dark side visually and a dreary feeling, it gives your site a outdated look.  The rest of it was great, I really liked your dialogue it was upbeat  You might be able to find out with a little research what background colors and patterns are the best for grabbing peoples attention on-line.    Denice   

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You have some good images that give me a strong sense of your forms and colour aesthetic. I second that your template is doing your content no favours. I enjoyed my experience with weebly, because they have a boatload of free templates and lots of instructions on how to use them, and how to plan a website. I had never built a website, and I found that part to be very helpful. Wix is apparently another provider that is along the same line.

Those pictures of that crock made me curious to know more of that story, and other things about your studio life.

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Focus on your positives. You have some beautiful raku pots. Make them the center piece dont feature so many pots in tiny little images that no one can see the beauty of them like that. State something simple then have clear direction for your navigation. Currently you have to look to try to find the gallery, its bit awkward.

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I don't mind the overall format, but as others have said, the background is a little distracting.  I'm also not a huge fan of the tan color for some of the text boxes.  In regards to the font, how about using a sanserif type?  I find that many serif fonts, and the blue font color used in the navigation menu, make websites look like they are from the late '90s.

 

Great pottery though!  Nice forms, great glazes.  I like the crackle on the Raku.  That's something that I've been looking for, that the commercial glazes, just aren't giving me.

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Who is your website aimed at?

 

I couldn't decide if you were aiming at customers who want to buy your wares, or if you are aiming at other potters/potential potters.

 

Have a clear aim, then organise layout/menu structure to suit.

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Your header with the pottery wheel picture below, looks really good and should be at the very top.

To keep it simple have this header at the top of each page.

 

The extra pottery pictures makes the layout look cluttered and confusing.

I would make the page taller, so you can scroll down the page, this will allow you more room and reduce the clutter.

Make your directory large, Bold and easy to click

Put your pictures in a group, and then group each group.

You glazes should be on a taller page with sample pictures of the glazes, not individual pages...Individual pages are for different ideas.

 

If this is you first go at this, your doing fine. Web design is a beast.

It might be a good idea to focus on no more than three main things per page. for example: Header, easy to use directory, and a large picture with a brief description, might be used for your main page.

It might be helpful to ask a teenager, they are usually web savvy.

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I agree with all of the above comments.

 

I would also suggest that you shoot all of the photos of finished pottery in a more consistent way ... same backdrop and same lighting. This will add a lot of polish to your "look."

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Thank you all so very, very much for taking time to look at it and send back observations/comments. I've been looking at them all and then the website and believe I clearly see where improvement can start. I'll be taking it apart and putting a new one up as soon as I can. 

 

The crock, yea that was one of those stories that I'm hideously ashamed of but at the same time, it can happen to everyone. The piece was absurdly heavy (in my book) but was made to an exact standard. To bisque I figured that an 8 hour candle would be a good thing so the kiln was set for 8 hours at 180F. Unfortunately I forgot to put the thermocouple in it so when I left the building for a couple of hours and returned there was this very odd noises coming from the kiln. Realizing what had happened I put the thermocouple in and it was at 1500f so I shut it all off and let it cool down. The resulting sand from the explosion which I am sure rocked the building was quite liberally embedded in the soft brick. Dry though!

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I think it is quite frustrating when clicking a new page, to see only 1/4 of the page changing. Usually, websites have a banner and a footer that stay the same on all pages, but most of the page would change to show new content. On your website, the area dedicated to the "new" content on each page is very small. If you can, try to give more space to your picture, cause you have some really nice pots in here :)

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I also agree with most of all of the above..and add that I wouldn't use the word "dabble" when you are trying to strut your stuff.

 

I use Weebly Pro and LOVE it. It is easy to use, the tech people are great, and the cost is minimal. Mine is twostepsforward.net, and has a section for Ceramics. (I am not selling anything--just getting back to clay after retiring from the detour of a career in another field.)

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Another thought:  How will people find your website?

 

A while back there was another discussion here talking about searching websites - but I can't find it right now.

 

I took some of the advice and got a book from the library on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and in the 7 months of this financial year I've doubled the number of customers compared to the 12 months of last year.  Non-pottery business, but same would apply to all businesses looking for customers.)

 

So, you not only have to have a good website, people have to find it too.

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1. Make sure, if you purchase a template or a Web service, you get a layout that works on ALL sizes.

2. Phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and everything in between.

3. Choose a base color for your site, something neutral. Then a secondary color for call out boxes, and a third color for a highlight to be used sparingly.

4. Look at websites you admire, really LOOK at them.

5. Make the navigation intuitive, not a guessing game.

6. Showcase your work, that's what will keep your customer on your site.

 

I was a Web designer for years, and the less you actually SEE the design and more you see the product, the better. Go look at Apple's site. Good design only looks easy. :D

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