Critique my website

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by keith_jones|4, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Hello,
    I just created this website a week ago and would like some input about it. It is directed towards beginners and is not a fine art site. The space on the right hand side hopefully will be for advertisers since I plan on doing affiliate marketing. Also, does anyone know where I can get a free newsletter script that dosen't require knowledge of coding?
    Thanks for your input in advance,
    Keith Jones
  2. Sorry, didn't see anything that was not a worn out cliche.
  3. Not real bad in the layout, but a little too simplistic in the article wording. There are thousands of sites with this info and so it will be impossible to ever rank above page 10-20 on Google. Don't expect much traffic. I've done internet marketing for years and made little $$ (in very specific niches too). I assume you are targeting the key phrase 'Easy Basic Photography'. Hit that and hit it hard, making sure every article has that phrase at least twice. Buy Google Adwords using that phrase only too. Find other's photo articles and re-write them in your own wording. Put them on your site, again with your key phrase 'Easy Basic Photography' in them.
  4. Very nice clean layout. Great pictures and pleasing subject, I really like it. Obviously this is not a Business website, but more of an Informational one. What are your objectives if you don't mind my asking ? One thing I did notice is that you might want to add a "Back" button, or a link to help viewers navigate. Or you can include a phrase such as "please hit the Back button to return".

    I agree with Mark though, you might have to suff your Metta Data tags with subjects that viewers might be interested in. If it was one specific subject such as Studio Lighting this might be easier, but Basic Photography is a wide subject and covers allot of territory.
  5. Keith, I've got to disagree a little with the above opinions. I think the layout is pretty bad.

    1. What's going on with the text justification on the first page? It starts toward the center and gradually becomes left-
    justified. It looks very sloppy.

    2. The borders around the paragraphs appear to be gifs!?! You should learn how to make borders using CSS. They will
    resize with text, look better, and be much easier to maintain.

    3. Probably related to number 2: you should ditch sitebuilder and learn HTML/CSS if you are serious about this. The code
    behind the site is awful. Sitebuilder seems to be putting manual line breaks after every line. This might look OK on your
    screen, but it gives me several lines with only one word where my browser has wrapped the text and then is immediately
    followed by <br> tag. You also have a whole bunch of nbsp in there for no apparent reason. HTML/CSS will dramatically
    simplify the code for a site like this making it cleaner, more accessible, and MUCH easier to maintain.

    4. On the "Articles" page you have underlined the titles, but they are not links. That's really confusing because we are so
    used to links being underlined and titles being linked. If you would just make the titles link to the article you wouldn't need
    the text that reads "continue." It will look cleaner.

    5. Also on the article page: what happened to the menu? The menu is gone on many of the interior pages which means to
    go somewhere else, you need to back out to the main page and then navigate back in.

    6. The typeface and color of the main title seems to change from page to page. On the front page is a sans-serif font with
    two colors of text mixing italic and plain. On the about page it is all italic, serif, three colors, and underlined. If your brand
    is going to be 'easy and basic' you should start by making the title text easy and basic (and consistent).

    7. I'm not really sure what the distinction between and article and a tutorial is.

    8. If you are going to have an article (or tutorial, I forget) about "Great Photos at the Family Wedding" you need a better
    photo. The photo of the champagne glasses is much better suited for an article about what not to do.

    9. If you are presenting yourself as an authority, you need to have something other than stock photos. Having an iStock
    photo of a shell ( for the first image on the home
    page is a real blow to your credibility.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but it just seems like regurgitated ideas and stock photos. Why bother if you are not going add
  6. Thanks for the input. However, I know very little about coding.
  7. Thanks for the input. However, I know very little about coding. -- keith jones
    Unfortunately, it shows. The 'look and feel' just seems overly amateurish. Also, while you are targeting beginning photographers, it reads like you are also targeting beginning readers. You really need to rethink your entire approach.
  8. Ok, I don't mind the critcism because I didn't create a state of the art, fine art photography website. However, just because I might target beginner photographers, dosen't mean that I need to address them like rocket scientists. I'm sure if the information I stated was wrong, people would jump all over me. Personally, I think people prefer easy to understand language. My writing does not read like it is targeted to a beginner reader. There is no need to write on a higher level to get people to understand basic photography principles. The simplicity is intentional, understanding is key, and my nose is not that high in the air.
  9. Didn't go through all of it, but your tutorial on depth of field shows two examples of apples, the first is 'narrow' and the second is supposed to be 'wider' aperture, but the second actually looks to me like it has a more shallow DOF than the first, and doesn't have the other apples 'more in focus' as the tutorial suggests. You should use the same setup for both shots so the difference is more clear.
    I'd also agree that the pic of the glasses on the table for the 'great photos at the family wedding' should be replaced.
  10. Looks pretty amateurish. Primary navigation bar is inconsistent. No search engine optimization.
  11. Thanks for the constructive criticism. Nathan, I agree about the depth of field and champagne glasses. I am still working on the site and will change them. Ive only had the site live for a week or so. My goal is to use this site for affiliate marketing. I am hoping to build the content for search engine optimization, rather than a fancy style website. But of course I will need to improve the style as I go along.
    Erkin, when you say no search engine optimization, could you be a little more specific?
  12. Oh, one last thing. I know my site is being rated amateurish to downright awful. But I am listening, and getting a little thick skinned in the process. However, I was wondering if anyone has ever looked at the site Http:// It comes up on the first page of Google in a lot of search categories. I'm sure it must have a ton of content. But let me know what you think of the design of the website.
    Keith Jones
  13. keith - i'm still not sure what your website is supposed to accomplish... do you want to create a site with content that is continually updated, or are you just building some basic placeholders and hoping to reap some ad revenue? people come back to sites for unique content. if you're starting a site from scratch, be prepared to give people something new that isn't already everywhere on the web. write gear reviews. share your amazing photos. give detailed explanations for planning and executing photographic vacations and trips. i dunno. there are some pretty poorly organized sites that get a ton of views (ken rockwell?) because they have a ton of content. on the other hand, without the content, it doesn't matter how nice your site looks.
    that said, if you're going to actually do a lot of regular updating, i strongly recommend an out-of-the-box solution, rather than using Yahoo! Sitebuilder, which is downright awful (and yields aweful results - I have used it in the past). These days, I build all my sites with either Wordpress or Drupal.
    You should really check out Wordpress ( I believe Yahoo! Web Hosting can set up Wordpress for you, although last time I checked, there was no option to set it up yourself (which is where you can do even more).
  14. Thanks for your response. I plan on adding content on a regular basis and then doing affiliate marketing advertising. I am currently researching seo to attract traffic. A few others have also recommended wordpress and I will be checking into that in the near future.
    Keith Jones
  15. Since you appear to not be very good at writing code (it does show), look into wordpress open source blogging platform I think it could do most of what you want to do and its a very customizable platform and would make your site a lot more professional looking, plus easy to SEO, add advertisements, and add loads of plugins and functions people have written for it (all free) go to takes a little bit of a learning curve and helps quite a bit to know some css, but you can learn as you go, and you can get something up that looks better than what you've got in no time.
  16. About the same subject (SEO) what do you recommend as the best plugin for photographers using wordpress?

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