As one who almost ALWAYS looks to the Web for a product FIRST, both in my professional capacity and in my hobbies, I will list the things I will NOT tolerate when I am surfing with money to spend:
1) Slow! I have mega-high speed at work and 36K dialup at home but I will not tolerate waiting. Keep the primary pages simple, clean, and FAST. Leave the heavy graphics load for very specific pages, ideally with a warning as to the size.
2) Poor index, site map, or search functions. I know what I want and the first question I have is whether or not you have iti (or similar). If that question isn't answered in 30 Seconds, I AM GONE!
3) Too many "phone for price" or "price on request". I am there to shop and if you wont post your prices, I don't have time for you.
4) Information (links to other pages) too hard to find - they should JUMP right out at me when the page opens. Remember, I know what I am looking for - I probably got there thru a search engine and there's 7,000 other pages I can look at if your's doesn't grab me.
Now I will say there are different styles of Web pages: some for entertainment, some informational, some aimed at sales. Make sure your Web page caters to those you are willing to spend you bandwidth on!
You've started off the correct way. Figuring out how you want your web site to look and operate is the absolute first, most important and primary thing you can do. If you can reduce your concept to specifications then you should be able to communicate these to a web designer. Failing that, there is nothing quite like doing it yourself. I started with a six week course at the local community college for web design. I was able to construct a simple web site as a result of the course. After a year of playing with it, I upgraded my site. Web site construction is pretty easy. It's the image preparation and photoshop skills that are the time killer.
My site is very different from other photography web sites. My stats show that web traffic dropped off after I launched version 2.0 this July, but traffic is now starting to pick back up. Most people are staying longer. Still, it's amazing the percentage of people that spend less than a minute at a web site.
I recommend Jean at: http://www.welltempered.net/
Originally Posted by dphphoto
Just make sure you let her know you really want what you say you want.
You can also let her know jvarsoke sent you.
Here's a couple that seem rather nice and straightforward; No comment on the images. I'm on a DSL lite connection so both loaded very fast.
Likes and dislikes:
1. I don't like having to go thru alot of clicking to get to pictures in a particular category.
2. I don't particularly like images that open so large that I have to scroll to see them on my 15" monitor. I can never see the whole image.
3. I do like categories or images in a frame on one side opening to images on the other.
4. I like to see properly exposed pictures where important details are not lost in shadows. Quite a simple thing, except some people don't know what consumates a good picture.
This is the guy who did my built my web site, per my design. http://www.wired-web.com/
He is very knowledgable and I believe reasonable.
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Steve there's something about that dead space at the top on the second page that I don't like. I do like the fact the whole image on the second page can be seen. I think the images need to be moved up tho. Btw, I don't personally read copy except, place, type of print, cost if being sold etc, unless, your writing a travel column with images; I'll read that.
Dphphoto, why do you still deal with designers? I had the same problem as yours until I found that there are many programs which do not require any knowledge of HTML (which I had started learning at some time, just for the sake of making the type of site I want) . I personally use sitekreator.com as its free and offers a lot of decent and simple templates for the site. Simplicity makes your content stand out! You have the option to change the template whenever you want, to arrange the content on your pages however you want and even pass protect some of the pages or your whole site. Check it out.
I have an old friend who referred to this as "dancing baloney." I still giggle when I think of that term.
Originally Posted by dphphoto
Sorry, I can't help you find a designer, however.
I'm having Debbie Parker do mine (actually 2 different sites) ... it will be up and running soon and I will be able share with you all....she is very efficient....contact thro Satin Snow...Dave's wife...
Dave in Vegas
[QUOTE=Logic]why do you still deal with designers? I had the same problem as yours until I found that there are many programs which do not require any knowledge of HTML QUOTE]
You deal with professional designers for the same reason you deal with professional photographers. Quality.
You shop them the same too. Look at their portfolio of work, find what you like.
Doing your own site with an automatic program .... Looks and runs like an amateur wrote it with an automatic program.