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winstainforth

Website Critique Please.

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Neat and accurate at first impression.

As for me I would have called the Stock photography - Travel or Editorial photography.

Congratulations on the new site! )

 

One more moment.

Smugmug gives you the opportunity to sell prints and some other goods on the basis of your images directly from the site, so why not to use this opportunity?

I know that the e-commerce option is rather expensive, though.

Edited by Broken Pixel

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Looking for honest blunt opinions please. Still work on layout and adding of galleries to be done. 

 

http://www.robertstainforth.smugmug.com/

 

It depends on what you want to gain from the site, i.e. who is it directed at. In general it has a nice 'feel to it.

 

I would get your own domain name and redirect.... dot smugmug is not a great sign. If looking for people to contact you for work or stock use, you need to have basic contact info/redirect on each page in footer....make it as easy as possible and drum in your email/contact info to visitors.

 

Splash page font is very small........very indistinct on large monitor. Also no cookie info..... if it's commercial, you need it.

 

Arrangement of menus should reflect what you want out of the site and who it's directed primarily at (if anyone in marketing terms). I don't know what the site is about (other than your images which might be all you want it to be)...are you trying to sell stock, trying to do event work......it's not clear and also without much SEO at moment....words, words, words......

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Thanks for advice, I will be taking all on board. Also need to label each image.  

 

It's only 5 days old, much work still needed....

Edited by winstainforth

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Thank you for not having music! That always drives me crazy. I like the look of it. You aren't using our Alamy homepage option that allows people to search so I would do that differently if it was me. Also, no way to get back to you after being on Alamy except by going back in my browser. The same in the contact page. I suppose I shouldn't say this since my avatar here scarcely looks like me these days but I would have like to see a photo of you that lets me see you. Otherwise, just dispense with the photo, I think. Just my first impressions.

 

Paulette

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my avatar here scarcely looks like me these days

 

 

What?? You mean you don't look like that?

 

Alan

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Just a quick typo: you don't live in "a Tring" ('About' page) really, do you? :)

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my avatar here scarcely looks like me these days

 

 

What?? You mean you don't look like that?

 

Alan

 

 

It's my "inner child". My very favorite picture anyone has ever taken of me.

 

Paulette

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Robert, I realize that there is no way to make it easier for someone to get back to your website once you send them to Alamy but your Contact page should include, I think, a way to go back to other parts of the website.

 

Paulette

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I’ve been involved in web development for about 14 years now.  I sometimes feel that the more I do, the less I know.  So, speaking from a position of ignorance ...

 

1. Five days work.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

2. You don’t appear to have any marketing intentions with this site. (A good thing.  Photographer websites are outpacing Bovis homes.  But there is a demand for homes)

3. Smugmug, hmm...

4. Type in the middle of the screen. Ho-hum

5. Where’s the story? What’s the plot? I’m another bored viewer, but your desert shot has caught my attention (good).  The next image works, but then they trail off into stockiness.

6  Full-size images that snap to the edges of the window I like, but you have to work very hard to make them work at that size on a big screen.   

7  Is Alamy paying for the free advertising?  (Remember it is known as the agency that phogs get into because they can.  So if you do have any serious marketing intentions ...)

8  The best websites have a bespoke feel.  Photographers are taking you into their world without giving away too much.  Like Smugmug,  Alamy.   (bargain basement, anybody can do)

9.  Anyone thinking of going anywhere with a website needs to spend quite a bit of time ... studying websites. It's an art form

10  Here is a starter pack.  Some simple, some complex, all interesting, some inspirational, either simply for imagery displayed in an unpretentious way, or pretentions that work, and in one case whacks you round the ears

 

http://www.advlemmix.com

http://www.koendemuynck.com

http://timflach.com

http://georgesteinmetz.com

http://photocomma.com

http://www.simonstanmore.com

http://nickcobbing.co.uk

http://www.davehillphoto.com

Edited by Robert Brook
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That's a lot to think about Robert. I will certainly try to take on board what I can. I will spend time looking at other websites. I may decide a link my Alamy photos doesn't help the site. But it shows people my full collection.

 

Money and limited website building experience being the reason I went with smugmug. So far I'm happy with them.

 

Ultimately the site will succeed or fail on how I present the photos. To keep people interested.

 

Thanks for the honest advice and your experience.

Edited by winstainforth

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That's a lot to think about Robert. I will certainly try to take on board what I can. I will spend time looking at other websites. I may decide a link my Alamy photos doesn't help the site. But it shows people my full collection.

 

Money and limited website building experience being the reason I went with smugmug. So far I'm happy with them.

 

Ultimately the site will succeed or fail on how I present the photos. To keep people interested.

 

Thanks for the honest advice and your experience.

 

You're welcome.  One thing to bear in mind, perhaps not for now but for the future, is that, providing you don't use any features or functions that need to interact with the server, making websites by hand is a lot easier than it was and getting easier. The tools you need are HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  The bad boy here is javaScript which is what puts all the dynamism into web pages, and the head-shaped dents in the wall.  It is essentially an OOP (object orientated programming language - if that sounds formidable, well it is).  Nowadays you don't need to write any JS, you use jQuery to access JS functions, so it is barely any more difficult than the markup languages (HTML is based on the old printer's markup language and CSS is a much more refined and accurate way of positioning elements on the screen).  All this will only cost you if you drink a lot of coffee or tea.  And the price of an annual hosting service.  You can get these for free, but for peace of mind, $100 a year plus a com domain name - around $10 - and you are well sorted.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML

http://www.w3schools.com/html/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JQuery

http://jquery.com/

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I had a look through the website links, some are amazing, all very impressive and well beyond what I could do. I also tracked down your website which I liked a lot. I made my own website years ago, using frontpage! It did the job but not professional. 

 

Your post really got me thinking about what my site is about. 

Edited by winstainforth

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I had a look through the website links, some are amazing, all very impressive and well beyond what I could do. I also tracked down your website which I liked a lot. I made my own website years ago, using frontpage! It did the job but not professional. 

 

Your post really got me thinking about what my site is about. 

 

Actually wysiwygs are a lot better than they used to be.  Frontpage was discontinued, but you can now get Dreamweaver on subscription which web developers use for small jobs.  It would be a good compromise.  You only hit a brick wall when you want to do any advanced stuff involving server-side scripting. 

 

http://www.thesitewizard.com/html-tutorial/learning-html-vs-using-wysiwyg-web-editors.shtml

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Really like your pictures. The only thing I really really hate is that you talk about yourself in the third person. This sounds really awkward. 

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Really like your pictures. The only thing I really really hate is that you talk about yourself in the third person. This sounds really awkward. 

 

The funny thing is, I changed that yesterday as a lot of websites I viewed seemed to do that. 

 

I've got my own domain name, updated the CNAME yesterday, hopefully will work tonight. 

 

At the moment the point of the site is to showcase my work, to help get accreditation for events. Seems to have worked as I've got my first house-photographer gig tomorrow. 

 

I'm moving into event photography, I want to attend as many as possible to build experience and a good portfolio. 

 

Exciting times. :)

Edited by winstainforth

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Great photos but you're not selling yourself.  Bear in mind that I'm only looking only at your stock page with my writer and business advisor heads on:

 

Lets start with.  'Robert has over 10 years experience shooting stock images. Published works include, national and local newspapers, text books, magazines, TV spots and the advertising industry.'

 

Change it.  Make it personal.  Sell it.  For example:

 

'I have over 10 years experience shooting and selling stock images to a wide spectrum of commercial clients.  My work is used regularly (daily/weekly/monthly?) by national and local newspapers, text books, magazines, TV spots and the advertising industry.'

 

Then look at 'Robert has made it into top 500 contributors for the last three quarters in 2014 at Alamy where the bulk of his collection is.'

 

Bad grammar - and who cares anyway.  Who are Alamy?  Tell your potential clients.

 

'Consistently among the top 500 contributors to the highly respected, UK based, Alamy stock agency, the bulk of my work can be viewed and licensed on their website.'  Use the text 'website' as a link to your image collection on Alamy and add another link further down.

 

Hope this helps.  Good luck for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks John, selling myself has never been my strong point.

Most creative people can't sell themselves.  As an ex-advisor with the old Business Link service (since replaced with one nowhere near as good) I met many creatives and the common thread is that they were great at what they did but had great difficulty in selling themselves.  Don't be afraid to ask for outside assistance.

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Many thanks John, infact a big thanks for all the comments, very much appreciated.   

 

I've done some updates on the stock page including adding some new photos that aren't in the portfolio pages to show a greater range. I've also added a tear-sheet. 

Edited by winstainforth

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That's a lot to think about Robert. I will certainly try to take on board what I can. I will spend time looking at other websites. I may decide a link my Alamy photos doesn't help the site. But it shows people my full collection.

 

Money and limited website building experience being the reason I went with smugmug. So far I'm happy with them.

 

Ultimately the site will succeed or fail on how I present the photos. To keep people interested.

 

Thanks for the honest advice and your experience.

 

You're welcome.  One thing to bear in mind, perhaps not for now but for the future, is that, providing you don't use any features or functions that need to interact with the server, making websites by hand is a lot easier than it was and getting easier. The tools you need are HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  The bad boy here is javaScript which is what puts all the dynamism into web pages, and the head-shaped dents in the wall.  It is essentially an OOP (object orientated programming language - if that sounds formidable, well it is).  Nowadays you don't need to write any JS, you use jQuery to access JS functions, so it is barely any more difficult than the markup languages (HTML is based on the old printer's markup language and CSS is a much more refined and accurate way of positioning elements on the screen).  All this will only cost you if you drink a lot of coffee or tea.  And the price of an annual hosting service.  You can get these for free, but for peace of mind, $100 a year plus a com domain name - around $10 - and you are well sorted.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML

http://www.w3schools.com/html/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JQuery

http://jquery.com/

 

I'm sure I am not alone in thanking you for sharing your experience here.

I have been undecided which route to take on building a website for some time but have been wondering how best to go about it yet retain simplicity of appearance and displaying stuff how I want to. This is really good stuff

Best Wishes

John

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That's a lot to think about Robert. I will certainly try to take on board what I can. I will spend time looking at other websites. I may decide a link my Alamy photos doesn't help the site. But it shows people my full collection.

 

Money and limited website building experience being the reason I went with smugmug. So far I'm happy with them.

 

Ultimately the site will succeed or fail on how I present the photos. To keep people interested.

 

Thanks for the honest advice and your experience.

 

You're welcome.  One thing to bear in mind, perhaps not for now but for the future, is that, providing you don't use any features or functions that need to interact with the server, making websites by hand is a lot easier than it was and getting easier. The tools you need are HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  The bad boy here is javaScript which is what puts all the dynamism into web pages, and the head-shaped dents in the wall.  It is essentially an OOP (object orientated programming language - if that sounds formidable, well it is).  Nowadays you don't need to write any JS, you use jQuery to access JS functions, so it is barely any more difficult than the markup languages (HTML is based on the old printer's markup language and CSS is a much more refined and accurate way of positioning elements on the screen).  All this will only cost you if you drink a lot of coffee or tea.  And the price of an annual hosting service.  You can get these for free, but for peace of mind, $100 a year plus a com domain name - around $10 - and you are well sorted.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML

http://www.w3schools.com/html/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JQuery

http://jquery.com/

 

I'm sure I am not alone in thanking you for sharing your experience here.

I have been undecided which route to take on building a website for some time but have been wondering how best to go about it yet retain simplicity of appearance and displaying stuff how I want to. This is really good stuff

Best Wishes

John

 

 

Thanks.  I might add that - for anyone who wants to learn to code - you don't need to learn much HTML at all.  I only use a handful of tags - in fact many tags are becoming redundant.  CSS (cascading style sheets) is the one to master, particularly absolute and relative positioning.  

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Very interested in what you are doing here as I am considering a similar project myself to fill the days of winter.

 

I gravitated to your video portfolio page as I do video work too. I found that the video display was rather blurred and showed what I think are compression artefacts. I guess this may be to do with the way Smugmug stores and presents the videos, but I'm not sure it is the best advert for the quality of your work. Is there an option to display videos at a lower resolution so the  effects of compression aren't so noticeable?

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