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#253255 - 03/23/09 10:36 AM Any Freelance web designers out there?
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
My website is ridiculously out of date and I might be looking to finall replace it in the next month or two. I don't see any reason to go with someone local for something like this, and wanted to see if anyone here does this.

If so, PM me! I'd ove to see samples and get an estimate!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253267 - 03/23/09 11:54 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
PM'd.

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#253330 - 03/23/09 07:53 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Kruncher]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13325
Loc: Iowa
Mark, nothing wrong with your website in my opinion.
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M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#253336 - 03/23/09 08:31 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: SirQuack]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Mark has a website in your opinion? He's more talented than I thought. ;\)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#253341 - 03/23/09 08:52 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: SirQuack]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Randy, I think you must be looking at the wrong site!

Mine is horribly outdated. It's been on my list of things to do for three years, yet I've (thankfully) been too busy to change it.

I've decided to go for something much smaller yet use Flash, etc.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253450 - 03/24/09 02:40 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
So you are resorting to flashing your prospective clients, I would think this would scare them away ;\)
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#253476 - 03/24/09 04:28 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: jakewash]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Actually, I'm hoping they'll be really, really impressed.

I'm wondering now about templates...I had never really considered them before!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253485 - 03/24/09 05:16 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
The biggest problem with templates is choosing one. There's a lot of good work out there.

Have you considered running on Wordpress too?

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#253487 - 03/24/09 05:23 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Kruncher]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
I haven't.

I'm blissfully ignorant of web stuff. Eight years or so I hired a web guy and let him do what he needed to do. Even if I went with a template setup, I'd STLL likely hire someone to put on 4-5 hours getting it set up, take care of the details and manage it. At the very least, I'm seeing amazing templates for photography, and some OK ones for videography, but nothing great yet that has both. So I'm likely to need some tweaking / extensions to templates as well...

My mind is running in a thousand different directions as I'm trying to first determine which is the best path to take.

Your recommendation was fantastic Sandy, and I very much appreciate it. I haven't contacted him as of yet because I don't want to waste his time till I determine that direction first!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253508 - 03/24/09 09:02 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
If you're looking for a low-budget solution, I highly recommend Wordress with a professional template. There are many available for very reasonable prices (<$100). When I was setting up my wife's website, I purchased a template called Thesis from http://diythemes.com/ and have been very happy with it. I've only customized it a little bit, but you (or a hired web designer) can do a lot more tweaking. (See the samples on the diythemes page.)

The benefit to using a professional template with blogging software (e.g. Wordpress) is that all your pages are easily editable by you from your browser.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#253515 - 03/24/09 10:12 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: pmbuko]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I'm a soon-to-be computer science grad. I don't really like doing smaller design stuff (more of me pulling my hair out about small design decisions), and more of web-application stuff. But if you would like any help...feel free to ask me questions.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#253646 - 03/25/09 01:55 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: danmagicman7]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Hey Dan:

I might just take you up on that!

Here's what I'm thinking, and I'd appreciate ANY advice to tell me whether or not I'm off-track here. I throw myself on anyone's mercy. I'm ignorant. I'm not worthy. I hired a guy the first time around so I wouldn't have to learn this stuff. I don't really think I want to use the same guy.

I'm considering buying a Template, and like this one in particular. So I don't have to take time learning this stuff, I'm thinking I'd like to hire someone who knows this stuff to "oversee" the project. Paying someone else for 5 hours time beats me spending two weeks trying to figure out what the acronyms mean.

So I buy this template, my new web guy says he needs content for the various pages...logo, photos, video clips and text. I find out if my current hosting company supports it.

If I want to replace a photo in one of the galleries, will it likely be a simple as uploading a new photo with the same file name into a folder to replace the existing one?

Any thoughts on the site above? I like the fact that it already has sections for still photos and video, and it has some style, yet the navigation, to me, is straight forward. I really like this one as well, though I would have to add a page or modify something to show video clips and samples.

I'm not looking for tech support here...just wondering if pursuing the templates is even a good direction for me.... I've been embarrassed by my current website for so long, I've stopped other forms of marketing because I don't want potential clients to see it!

I'm also looking for "civilian" opinions on the two sites above!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253674 - 03/25/09 03:36 PM Free! Win Gift Card! Girls! Girls! Girls! [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Well, no one was looking at my post above.

I thought a new subject line might help it get noticed!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253675 - 03/25/09 03:38 PM Re: Free! Win Gift Card! Girls! Girls! Girls! [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Where!! where!! aw c'mon, that's not right.
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#253679 - 03/25/09 03:46 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The first thing I'd do if I were using that template would be to kill the music. <bork!>

As for replacing content, that depends on whether it is built upon a CMS (content management system) or whether it's based on static pages. If it works in conjunction with a CMS, then you'd be able to to the changes via some sort of admin interface directly on the web. If it is based on static pages -- hardly anything is anymore -- then replacing files with same-named new files would certainly work.

Also, I strenuously recommend against using Flash as the primary element of any site unless you're a flash designer and need to show off your skills. Search engines can't index flash, so you have to use other tricks to get your content indexed. Used sparingly, e.g. for an animated header, flash can be quite effective at adding pop and wow to your site, but the fewer things you have flying around, the snappier your site will feel. I hate having to wait for a site's user interface to catch up with me.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#253682 - 03/25/09 03:55 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: pmbuko]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Excellent, excellent, excellent! Thank you very much Peter! That's exactly the type of stuff I need to know!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253689 - 03/25/09 04:19 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: pmbuko]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Also, I strenuously recommend against using Flash as the primary element of any site unless you're a flash designer and need to show off your skills. (...snip...) I hate having to wait for a site's user interface to catch up with me.
Testify, brother. One of the marketing companies I work for has the hoggiest corporate site ever. It's like watching an entire commercial break until I can get to (whiz-bang-crash) the page to find the odd spelling of one of the principles' names.

My other pet peeve is that new Apple iInternet application or whatever that does the "full screen" viewing of thumbnails. It's so cookie cutter.

Bren R.

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#253692 - 03/25/09 04:23 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Mark, I can't recall if you're a Windows or Mac guy, but when I had to learn how this CMS/Wordpress stuff worked, I learned that I could install a program called Xampp on my Windows box so that I could install Wordpress and play in private, without sharing my struggles with the world while using my host's software and setup. I had no idea how all this stuff worked, and didn't know anyone else who did either.

It took a little while to read through some stuff, but in the end it was really pretty simple to actually do. I know that the task seems a little (OK, quite) daunting, as I cnn now say "Been there, done that", but it can be done without needing a Comp Sci degree. Google is your friend.

I still use the local copy of my site for making layout tweaks from time to time.

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#253695 - 03/25/09 04:29 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: BrenR]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
My initial thought was that all Flash would be a bad idea, but the templates were loading pretty fast and the sites themselves seem pretty small in terms of number of pages. I'm also wondering about my average client not being as nearly tech-minded, very likely located somewhere here in town, and looking us up because they've already heard of us. Different than Googling to find a national or web-based company?

I'm not disputing the expert advice I sought.... but I wonder if it applies as fully to a business like mine...(?)
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253697 - 03/25/09 04:33 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Kruncher]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Hey Sandy:
I wiki'd WordPress (I'm so ignorant re: authoring for the web I didn't even know what it was!) and I got a strong impression it was more for blogging than a graphics-intensive site design?

And Windows, BTW!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#253699 - 03/25/09 04:44 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
While likely used primarily for blogging, you'll find that as a CMS, as Peter indicated, it's a bit of a case of "it is what you make it".

It's often used for photography sites, probably in conjunction with special plug-in software that extends the basic functionality of Wordpress.

In the end, you have to make the choice to open Pandora's box and use Wordpress, or to try another tool. Wordpress has been in use for some time, and is constantly being improved upon, but I wouldn't call it perfect. Peter?

Perhaps it's worthwhile to have someone set you up and then just teach you how to use it day to day.

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#253706 - 03/25/09 05:05 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Kruncher]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The template is to your experience with Wordpress as speakers are to your experience with an HT System. It's the most important part.

Have a look at this one, Mark. They even sell an optional hand-hold package. \:\)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#253912 - 03/27/09 12:30 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: pmbuko]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
You can either do one of two things...

1. Do it yourself with wordpress or dreamweaver. By wordpress you can do what the others have said above. You can use a WYSIWYG editor (What you see is what you get) like dreamweaver with some templates.

2. Pay someone else to do it for you.

I would go with the do-it-youself method if you can find a good application thing online (flash or otherwise) to display your pictures. Might find something in wordpress, might find some free thing online.

Or you could pay someone to do it and make a custom template and design just for you...it's all how professional you want to go.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#253930 - 03/27/09 08:54 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: danmagicman7]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Thanks, Dan.

At the moment, I'm trying some software called Sitebuilder, supplied by Intuit/Homestead. Since installing the latest version of Quickbooks, they keep sending me stuff to remind me I can have a free website. I assumed the capabilities would be pretty lame, but so far it's not that bad.

My existing site is woefully outdated. What I'm thinking is that I can use this software to build a temporary site that, while not very impressive technically, is at least adequately up-to-date with the services we offer. It's still under construction, but I published it here for the moment.

It's not exactly my dream site, but it might do for awhile. I'm thinking that I can do a redirect under my domain name to this site, with a "please excuse this temporary site while our main one is being rebuilt" type text notice on the homepage.

this template is still my front runner of choice. It still has some Flash, but not as much as the other one I was looking at. It meets the "must haves" that many templates don't meet:

- Laid out for both photography and video production

- Maintains aspect ratios for photos (I don't want a site that forces vertical photos into a horizontal window as the large majority do)

- I can get the template written so the photo that serves as the background for "about" and "contact" can be forced to a particular image instead of it randomly choosing one from the gallery images.

I'd really like to get opinions on that one and the theme of my "temporary one" linked above!


_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#254258 - 03/29/09 06:06 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I think the theme of your "temporary one" looks just fine, my only complaint with it now is that the photo slide thingy is a tad bit annoying.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#254381 - 03/30/09 07:50 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: danmagicman7]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
I agree. The problem is that I would be limited to five pages and the only way to show a few categories of images via thumbnails would mean a longer, scrolling page.

I haven't done anything with it through the weekend, but want to re-arrange the pages a bit as well as put up a few "real" video demos.

Thank you for your input though, Dan.... I really do appreciate it very much!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#254401 - 03/30/09 09:36 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6250
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
The site looks excellent, as do the photos. You really are good at what you do.




I particularly like the nudes (you dirty old young man, you ) . I may be old, but I'm not dead!




Personal P.S. - Mark, I think of you every day when I pass the plaque you sent me. I am truly thankful for the gift.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#254421 - 03/30/09 10:51 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Ajax]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Thanks for the feedback, Jack!

I truly can't tell if the temp site will be good enough for awhile, or if I'm seeing it with "glass-half full" optimism because I might come out of this without spending $8,000. \:\)

I'm still curious in that other template is "too much flash", but I'm glad I have options.

And, you're welcome! \:\)


_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#254491 - 03/30/09 04:05 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
After a second look, I really like your logo and the house picture, but I feel that for it to fit with the template, it should be a "lighter" template with a more clean feel to it.

I do think a lot of your photography is really good. That woman's got game! Uh...your other pictures are good...too.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#254495 - 03/30/09 04:16 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: danmagicman7]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
 Originally Posted By: danmagicman7
I do think a lot of your photography is really good. That woman's got game!
And right around the same area is a picture of Vince Neil. There's a real beauty and the beast deal.

Bren R.

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#254540 - 03/30/09 06:38 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: BrenR]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Which is which?
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#317987 - 08/08/10 08:59 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Well, after a year, I've finally gotten around to the new website: here . It's not "live" yet, so I'd like to get as many people to check it out as possible in case there are issues that pop us with certain browsers (for example). So, if you have a minute, check it out and let me know what works or doesn't work for you.

A couple of things that I still need to change are that I want to make the first page "About us", and I need to get rid of the "read more" on all the pages except the "About us" page!

Thanks for your input....and yes, I already know Peter won't like the music! smile


Edited by MarkSJohnson (08/08/10 09:00 PM)
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#317994 - 08/08/10 09:50 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11171
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
It's looking nice. I didn't have any problems... except with it being "prominant" instead of "prominent."

Too bad you don't live here. I'm going to need someone to take decent photos of my home theater if I ever get it looking good. Of course, being the photographer you are, you'd probably make it look good even if it wasn't very good.

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#318006 - 08/08/10 10:43 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Mark, the following are my opinions and my opinions alone. Here's my feedback.
  • I love your photos and think you have a fantastic business that deserves a great site.
  • Music that auto-plays when the website loads usually bugs me. On the plus side, the pause button is easy to find here.
  • Websites that require Adobe Flash (or any third-party plugins) are on the way out. More and more people are accessing the web from their phones (and iPads). Most of these cannot view Flash content. If you're designing for the future this should be a big consideration.
  • The swooshing and zooming of the photos gets old quickly, as does the click noise when selecting categories from the bottom menu.
  • The windows that pop up on the About Us page when you click a Read more link are way too small.
  • Google and other search engines cannot index a Flash website. This is all a search engine will see:
    Quote:
    <!--meta--><meta name="keywords" content="photography, commercial, portrait, video, production, duplication, conversion, conversions, portrait, portraits, business, CD, DVD, videotape, Concord, NH, New Hampshire, product photography, concert"><meta name="author" content="Mark S. Johnson"><!--/meta-->

    Can't see a website?
    Not a problem! Just download free Flash player from Adobe website and enjoy.

    The website is also available in a non-flash light version here: light version of website.

    Also you can check our news and contact information.
  • I tried clicking on the light version link and it didn't work. I assume that will be in place before launch. It should not be an afterthought. Make sure it has all the content as the Flash site does for the benefit of search engine indexing and those who don't wish to use Flash.

I do have a thing against most Flash-based websites (if you couldn't tell...). Rarely do their interfaces not feel like an obstacle between me and the content. To temper this criticism, please remember that the majority of internet users aren't anal geeks who once considered a web design career and still keep up with web technology and design blogs like me. I don't think most people (of which some could be prospective clients) would agree with my opinions.

But there you are.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#318011 - 08/08/10 11:52 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: pmbuko]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
I agree with Peter for the most part.

From a marketing perspective, a page should load quickly and get to the point quickly. The overall design is clean and that is very good.

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.

One of my most favourite ads ever was the VW Beetle (the old one) ad that Ogelvie Mather did back in the late 60s or early 70s. The only things on the page were the caption 'Volkswagen, the peoples car' and a small picture of the beatle. It was black and white and there was mostly white space.

The point was simple. This is a car for the common folk. Its small and inexpensive. The ad sold a lot of Beatles and won a lot of awards.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#318020 - 08/09/10 03:09 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
SatKartr Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 608
Loc: Dallas
I like the content but there were some slow page loads even with a normal desktop/normal DSL setup, so I think Peter's comments deserve lots of consideration, if I had an iPhone (much less the Curve 8330 that I actually do have) the content would have been largely inaccessible.

Tonight I was accessing via Chrome which should be speedier, unless there are Flash issues with Chrome (can't recall)?

To me it would be better if the main pages would load more quickly, and maybe for select pages to be available with high visual resolution for those so inclined but not "in the way" of the main info, so to speak.

Just my nonexpert/naive impression; good effort, good luck with the business.
_________________________
"If you try to turn toward it, you go against it."

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#318024 - 08/09/10 06:56 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3270
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Is the music how Beethoven's 5th sounds in your square room? Geez. Now I understand! smile

Good work. May be a little too empty in the middle, but it might be the current fad (we pay a VP of marketting to come up with our web-content stuff so we can ignore it!).
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Audiobytes! 2M22! 2VP150!

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#318051 - 08/09/10 02:31 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: EFalardeau]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
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!

Originally Posted By: Charles
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.


Originally Posted By: Peter
Here's my feedback.

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?


Originally Posted By: Fred
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! smile
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#318054 - 08/09/10 03:36 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Mark, my understanding of computers and setting up websites is virtually nil compared to yourself and some of the guys here. However, fwiw, you could give the user the option of turning the music off if they wish and reg slow loading times...instead of a black or dark background, maybe you could have something to distract the user from watching the "loading" times, maybe have an interesting shot you've taken, covering the whole background of the screen(landscape, castle, stormy sky ect)(black and white pic might look cool!)
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#318062 - 08/09/10 04:42 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Adrian]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Adrian, believe me, I don' no nuthin' 'bout this stuff!

The basic structure of the site was purchased as a template....basically, I just add the text, photos, video etc... to make it my own. I don't really have control over that level of changes unless I hire someone to re-build the "structure" of the template.

The music can be turned off or changed via a little control in the bottom left.
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#318066 - 08/09/10 05:32 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Silly me. I thought Ultraman had some kind of super power or sumth'n.
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#318067 - 08/09/10 05:33 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Adrian]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Able to wear tight tights.....

That's pretty much it. frown
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#318069 - 08/09/10 05:45 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
I hope that suit is stainless. Rusty nuts could be a problem.
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#318092 - 08/09/10 08:33 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Please don't think I'm dismissive of the critiques that I asked for; I value the opinions of all.

[/rant] For some reason, the internet seems to have changed the meaning of some words drastically. Opinion and suggestion are two. Opinions and suggestions are things you can choose to implement or ignore as you choose. For some reason, net-folks seem to think that once an opinion or suggestion is given, it must be implemented and get greatly offended when you do not. [rant]
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#318116 - 08/10/10 11:11 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: fredk]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Originally Posted By: Me
This is where my ignorance comes into play: Are the "slow loading" times due to Flash itself, or is it still the content?


I hate to be a pest, but does anyone know the answer to this? My employee told me that she tried the site at home last night and it was VERY slow.... to the point of not wanting to wait for galleries to load and the video clips wouldn't play.

For those of you that say the site was slow... are you saying it could be a bit snappier... or it was really almost/definitely unacceptably slow?

When we've done these "speed tests" here, I never seem to have impressive numbers so I thought my cable connection was slower than most...not to mention those sites only put me in the middle on a good day.

But I've knocked the photo file sizes down about as low as I can, and I'm now wondering if it's Flash itself slowing things down, and whether or not those load times are unacceptable or not(?)

The url again: http://66.147.242.177/~joymark1/


Edited by MarkSJohnson (08/10/10 11:12 AM)
Edit Reason: added url
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#318117 - 08/10/10 11:20 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3270
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
At work, with 150Mb/s up and 150Mb/s down link (OC-3 optical to our facilities measured at 89Mb/s up/down at my computer using speed tests), it takes 11 seconds while seeing "loading galeries". That sounds like a lot to me.
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#318119 - 08/10/10 11:23 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: EFalardeau]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3270
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
It's down to 5 seconds on additional attempts until I close all instances of IExplorer and start again.
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#318127 - 08/10/10 12:38 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: EFalardeau]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I tested from work using Firefox. From when I hit enter in the address bar to when the photos showed up took 12 seconds.
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#318128 - 08/10/10 12:41 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: pmbuko]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17754
Loc: NoVA
The first set of photos loaded pretty quickly, but the Other, Musicians I and II all seemed like they took awhile. I can tell why it does that, since it appears to be pre-caching all the pictures. So the longer the gallery, the longer it's going to take to get to ANY picture.

Also, I agree with Peter on the music and flash fronts. Obviously, you're not going to throw away all the work you've done on the flash site, so you can disregard that commentary. But websites that play music are an instant no-go for me. I just close the window. Very irritating.

Um... just realized I didn't say anything nice. I do like the layout of the site; it's very clean, and disregarding my distaste for flash, the galleries are pretty slick.


Edited by kcarlile (08/10/10 12:44 PM)
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#318129 - 08/10/10 12:45 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Ken.C]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5820
Loc: Some random location
There's only 1 web site that I like that plays music.

McPherson Guitars

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#318130 - 08/10/10 12:49 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: CatBrat]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17754
Loc: NoVA
See, I'm not even going to click that link.
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#318131 - 08/10/10 12:52 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: EFalardeau]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8280
Loc: Tacoma
I'm using the current version of Firefox on a 15Mbs (pretty fast) cable internet connection at home. We don't use the cable for TV and there are no other apps running on my PC (which is a dual core Vista). I see INITIAL load times for the galleries of 5-8 seconds depending upon how large they are. When I then switch between galleries, response is almost instantaneous.

HOWEVER, the initial load times under IE 8 are at least twice as long, which I do think is probably "too long" for the bigger galleries. Again, after they are initially loaded, response becomes almost instantaneous.

Just for laughs, I checked it in Chrome, too. Initial load times were somewhere in between Firefox and IE8.

I think you should limit the number of pictures per gallery to about 22-24. Having more than that means that - even on a wide screen monitor - you don't have access to the first or last image when the gallery loads. It would also help your load times.

It doesn't look like you have your watermark on all the musician photos (which I know we talked about already). I think "consistency" is good for its own sake.

To again reiterate our earlier conversation, I would like to see the font size on the section footers be a little bigger. I really like the idea of the "read more" link/box. Again, though, I think the size of the box and size of the font could be a little bigger.

I really like the pictures you've chosen for each of the sections.

I share Peter's concern about the Flash, but you obviously already have quite a lot invested in this and I don't think it's worth scrapping it for a whole new model.

Personally, I don't like the auto-play music. Usually, if I'm at my computer - whether home or work - I either want it silent by design, or am already playing some audio from another source. In either case, the soundtrack from accessing your site is somewhat of an intrusion.

Just trying to "help". You asked for it, eh? grin
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#318133 - 08/10/10 01:04 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: Ken.C]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
I too like the clean look of the site Mark. It speaks well to the beautiful work that you do.

But I'd be concerned with the load time, which seems long even with the ridiculously fast connection that I have available in the corp office here.

And instant-on music always reminds me of some old Geocities site from the '90s that some kid built that loops a midi track. I know that's not the case, but that the association that I have now, and it triggers my close-this-window-now mechanism.

The mute/pause button should do the trick but FWIW consider locating the music controls in the top left corner, where people tend to look first. But maybe people are less sensitive to this perceived problem than we're giving them credit for and it's really a non-issue, personal preference thing...

IMO if you can get around the load time then basically you've got a winner. Personally I've always liked the approach of using a collection small thumbnails that click through to high res pics. Loads quickly and the user knows that a bigger photo is coming and might take a few seconds to render completely on screen. I know it's "old-school" Internet but it works, and can still look very nice and be usable. My $0.02.

Good luck with it. I hope that it provides you with much recognition and success.

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#318134 - 08/10/10 01:08 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: CatBrat]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5820
Loc: Some random location
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
There's only 1 web site that I like that plays music.McPherson Guitars

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
See, I'm not even going to click that link.


Chicken!


Edited by CatBrat (08/10/10 01:09 PM)

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#318140 - 08/10/10 02:24 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3270
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Just tried from home on a much lower speed link, but way better computer. Loading first time took 4 seconds, 3 seconds subsequent calls.
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Audiobytes! 2M22! 2VP150!

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#325337 - 10/11/10 09:44 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: EFalardeau]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH

Does anyone know what the little icon thingies are called for web pages/tabs, etc.? I'd like to see if I can have one for my site. I assume it's something I'd need to do with my site host, but I don't even know what to call them to Google any info....


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#325338 - 10/11/10 10:00 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
favicon
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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#325340 - 10/11/10 10:02 AM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: ClubNeon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10856
Loc: Central NH
Awesome... thanks Chris!
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#325377 - 10/11/10 11:35 PM Re: Any Freelance web designers out there? [Re: ClubNeon]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
favicon

Didn't Count Dooku have a bunch of those dudes hanging around all the time?
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