Sorry for the delay in responding here. I've been doing stuff for the site for 4 days pretty much at the exclusion of everything else...and that caught up to me this morning!
except with it being "prominant" instead of "prominent."
Thanks, Charles! Actually, I don't really like that word in there at all, except I'm afraid that if I just list "Musicians" or "bands" or something, people will just assume it's photos of a local high school band or something.
Peter...seriously....thank you for taking the time to provide such extensive feedback! You mentioned that you don't like music on a site... may I ask why? Is it that the music may not be your "style", that it might come up loud in an office setting, or something else? I ask because other feedback I've gotten has been positive re: the music...
I have to be honest, I have absolutely no idea as to how this site will play on an iPhone or such. When I bought the template a year ago, it was a bit less of an issue. OTOH, my business is not likely something that will be "found" by someone walking the street.... much as a restaurant might. Maybe I'm naive here, but my gut feeling is that 98% of my clientele, in my area, would likely be visiting the site from a home or office PC. Also, FWIW, I don't expect the site to actually generate traffic to my business from "cold searchers". I've been in a prominent location for 20 years and have always driven a van with my logo...etc. I truly think that most people that are visiting the site have already heard of us or been told of us by a friend or such....i.e., they already know about us and are specifically searching the company name and location.
Regarding the swooshing and zooming, I've been getting lots of feedback that people love it. I guess I could see it getting old if someone spent a lot of time on the site, but I don't really expect that.
The pop-up windows on the "read more" stuff ARE too small by default. I only discovered this morning that the window size can be increased, so that helps a bit...even though it's not likely to be obvious to everyone!
I can't say I'm familiar with the way Google, et al indexes sites, but I was under the impression that it was much less of an issue than it used to be, as Google made changes due to the increasing number of Flash sites(?)
I haven't done ANYTHING with a lite version of the site, and haven't even seen that option until you posted the dead link. Is this something that normally gets enabled via the site host?
If you are going to have the site take a bit of time loading, I would rather see it load larger samples of your work rather than flash.
It seemed to me that the load times were acceptable, but I went back this morning and discovered that the "background image" of three of the four tabs were running around 900k each. I re-compressed them down to about 150k each, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. Yesterday, I went through all the images and got most of the photographs, previously at 200~300k each, down to 50~70k each. Truthfully, I can't say it made any difference to the loading speed of the pages that I could detect.
This is where my ignorance comes into play: Are the "slow loading" times due to Flash itself, or is it still the content?
I'm going to try to find someone who can change the default first page and remove the "read more" from the bottoms of all the pages OTHER than the "about us". These items don't seem "editable" via the text file or the administrative panel that came with the template.
Please don't think I'm dismissive of the critiques that I asked for; I value the opinions of all. But it seems to me that for each time someone tells me that they don't like something, one or two others say they love it! I'm getting the impression...probably not surprisingly... that one website will not make everyone happy. But I do know that this website is WAY better than my existing, out-of date one, so I'm still a happy camper!