Looking good Donald! Now all you have to do is "tweak it" over time.
I think it is much improved as well. The neutral colored theme immediately steps the tone for viewing photographs. No vampires lurking in the corners!
Here's a few more suggestions:
On the opening page, think about making the image itself link to your directory page. A lot of people are trained to immediately click on the biggest thing on the page to get from the opening page to the main content of a site. Doing this makes it easier on your viewer to navigate.
Maybe give your pages more discriptive titles - like "Donald Miller Photography - Index" instead of plain old index.
And definitely put captions on all your images. You can use the html alt tag to put a caption on the image so that will if you mouse over an image, it will pop up a title or description - what ever you want. This will help search engines like google images that index images.
You may not like the look, but I would go ahead an put a little "© 2006 Donald Miller" in the corner of each image. You can use complimentary colors and a drop shadow behind the text to make the text readable yet not too intrusive. This will remind people that use your images from the net where they came from. Or at least make them do some work to get rid of it...
In your meta tags for your keywords, you use meta http-equiv="Fine Art Photography, Black and White Photography, Photography" content="100">
In no way am I a html guru, but I think <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="oranges, lemons, limes"> is preferred. (Must be a Front page thing...)
Go ahead and call them "meta name="keywords" content="photography, ..." so the search engines understand that's what you are using them for. And remember you can have different key words for each page to help people find them. I have an image on my site that is one of my highest visitor rates, and people are finding it directly through search engines because of the keywords and text on the page I think.
Here's a handy tool -
Notice the validator did not like the 2 lines for your keywords, and you had some spaces in front of commas that it doesn't like as well.
Remember, you are trying to sell photographs. Go ahead an put your most favorite or best sellers on pages that you currently don't have photos. Like on the Directory page. It's all text right now and looks boring. Put a single image on it to spruce the page up. You want them to see as many photos as possible before they leave your site. As it is now, from the index page, to see another photo, the viewer has to click enter to get to the directory page, and then click on portfolios to get a listing of the galleries. And then click on one of thr galleries. That's 3 mouse clicks to get from your really nice opening shot to any thumbnails. You may lose a lot of traffic in that time... Give them some treats along the way! And there's no photos on any other pages except the POM page.
By the way, I'd like to suggest the idea of having a standardized navigation menu on all pages (except the first). Take a look at my site www.keyesphoto.com There is a menu bar on the left side that is on all the pages. Not only does it make it easier to move around from place to place in the site, but it also gives the viewer an idea of what the general content of the site is, no matter which page they are on. (And more than half of the traffic to my site does not enter from the home page.)
I used to have little gif icons for the navigation buttons, but I recently converted then to a table with CSS divisions so they are all done in text and not images so it will speed up my page downloads. You and do it either way.
I also use a navigation menu on the bottom of each page, in case the person has to scroll down the page and the top menu bar is not on the screen, they can get the same links on the bottom of the page. You don't have any really long pages, so you may not need to do something like that.
The begin buttons are a good improvement. But I would suggest being more descriptive - how about "Begin Gallery Tour" so the viewer knows what the are going to "begin" when they click on them. I know you tell them in the text what the Begin button does, but they may not take the time to read the description.
Your "Tours" look good, but if you click on the thumbs in the galleries, you get the images but on a bright white background. You are linking to the image jpg, and not the html page you made for each image. Change this.
Heres another coding suggestion - on the Previous / Image Title / Next links, you use a lot of "  ". That's the hard way to do it. Make a little table, 1 row and 3 columns in size. Set the border to zero so the table is invisible. Center the table along with the image. (And center the copyright statment too, while you are at it.) Put each navigation/title item in the appropriate cells and then align them left, center, and right. This is much cleaner and if the tables are the same size on each page, it will allow the Next link to always be in the same place horozontally on the page so the viewer will not have to move the mouse much to navigate.
The images do look much better now than last time. But some do download slow. Keep playing around to get the smallest file size that still has acceptable quality. "Portal", "Chalk Cliffs Succulent", and "Shore Acres" are over 400K, but "Doorways" is under 100K. I've heard some people claim that if it takes more than 8 seconds to download a page, you will loose 1/3 of you viewers. I don't know how accurate that is, but it is something to keep in mind. I try to keep my pages (with images) around 200K or less if I can. But it is a real trade-off with larger images like we both have.
"Window Peeling Paint" has a white stripe on the top edge - a print boarder that needs cropped?
"Rock, Kansas" and "Bender Hills One" have a weird purple color on the top edge? Is it me, or do you see that too? "Rock, Kansas" could use some spotting still.
Overall, your images do look much better - no digital noise and better spotted. Much cleaner!
I kind of like the "Forms and functions" text on that gallery page with the two different fonts for the capital "f"s. Perhaps you could maintain that style on the other pages, like the portfolio page.
Remember when I mentioned tables to align stuff - use one on the Purchase page. There's a lot of non-breaking spacing going on there!! A table would make this much easier and then things will line up better too.
Well, that's about all I can think about now. I think your site is much improved from the last version. Soon you will be able to get back to photographing instead of playing with this html stuff!
Kirk - www.keyesphoto.com
O.K...made some changes. Added frames to images, moved navigation links up on the page, added more images to information pages, and added a come to Jesus page.
Any recommendations on a shopping cart set up? Someone mentioned using Paypal...that makes sense to me. Alternatives have a monthly fee as I understand it.
I appreciate all of the help that has been extended. Thank you.
Well organized and thought-out. I found it very easy to get around.
Originally Posted by Donald Miller