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  • My website

    This is shamelessly self serving, but would anyone be interested in critiqing my site for me?
    Please be brutally honest. I can take it.

  • #2

    i went back quickly just now to make sure it was as i remembered it; but i am of the opinion i formed when i first visited it: it's great. i particularly like the abundance of examples and the way you have them set up over there on the left.

    i said somewhere else earlier that if i had remembered where it (your site) was, i would have posted it myself in this thread.

    your text is very clear and helpful.

    i really don't see anything that needs changing.

    i guess it could be good to have more non-optional large side by sides; but i know that might be a matter of real-estate and longer downloads. the comments of someone who knows something about advertising will prob be more helpful, and i admit to being so fond of your work that i can't see any problems with the site, so take mine for what it's worth. i tried to find fault, but i couldn't.

    oh i know. when i first saw your site, i always assumed that was you on the cover of time. i have been grateful you posted your picture to disabuse me of that notion.


    • #3
      Thanks Kathleen.
      I was hoping it wasn't too bare/sparse. I know myself, I like to see a lot of examples, so that's what I focused on.

      I'm not sure what you meant by this....
      i guess it could be good to have more non-optional large side by sides;
      Again, thanks!

      Oh, the cover page photo is my brother. It was one of the first restorations I did. Because this turned out pretty good, I think that's what hooked me.


      • #4
        Hi Vikki
        I really like your website. It is easy to navigate and easy to read. Unlike some that put words against background colors you have to strain to see. I especially liked your details page where you list the "What we can't do". It really clears up a lot of confussion about what restorers are capable of and what materials the client needs to provide if damage is too bad. And your ideas about how to send the photo was good too. I wondered how to get over the customers fears about sending the original photo. Having it locally photographed or scanned is a great idea. I really think it turns off alot of potential customers when they think they have to send their precious originals through mail. Great site and well thought out.


        • #5
          hey vikki -

          i thought that might be vague when i wrote it. an example of what i meant is the little boy's school photo. a big before and after that is there for your perusal sans clicking anything.

          and i went back again - you meant that your brother is that home page restoration, right? the magazine cover i was talking about was biography, not time. i knew i remembered that as a woman (you). (not).

          i frequently assume people know what i'm talking about. dangerous assumption for someone as obscure as i often am.

          i did not think it sparse at all as a web site, but reproduced exactly on paper as a brochure, it would be. also many pages long. but for the web medium i think it's just right.


          • #6
            Thanks DJ and Kathleen.
            It's important to me, as I use the site as a portfolio for potential business, and have it on my business cards. The site itself does not generate any business! So much for ebusiness.
            I'm not really concerned about getting business off the web, but thought maybe it was my presentation.

            Kathleen, that woman is a friend of mine. I made that as a birthday card (8x10 though). I have a lot of fun doing those.

            I do have a lot of pages, and I'm working on more. It's really time consuming to update the site. But I'm trying to be more disciplined about it. I'd like to get all of my work online soon.


            • #7

              I agree with the others. Don't change a thing! I also especially like the way you have the samples available for clicking on the left side. The site looks great, as does your work. Keep it up.



              • #8

                I have to agree with others. I checked out your site a while back (looked for any members who had websites listed) and really like how you have it laid out. I don't think it's too sparse at all - there are too many websites that are "too busy" in my opinion. The way you present your work allows viewers to focus on one thing at a time. I think that's important in this line of work. I also like how you describe what people can expect from you - and what they can't. I think that's really important to include - not only to set your own limits, but also to set customers' expectations.

                I find it interesting that you haven't gotten any business off of the web. I know that some other members of this forum have websites as well. How would the rest of you rate your website in terms of the amount of business is draws in for you?



                • #9
                  I think your site is very nice. It covers all the bases,with information,prices and well done before and after samples. It is very easy to navigate as well.
                  Great looking restorations also!!!


                  • #10
                    Vikki, Very nice. Tasteful, solid and well laid out. Enough examples to show your considerable talent but not overwhelming. I really like it. I really cant find anything to improve upon. Tom


                    • #11
                      Thank you all so much for your critiques.
                      From your comments, I feel the site does what I intended.
                      Now I'll quit thinking about how I can "redo" the site, and get more examles up there.


                      • #12
                        Hi Vikki,

                        I happened onto your site a while back and remember it well in fact have it bookmarked as I thought it was a very well done site.

                        I looked again at the site but this time putting myself in the shoes of a person who is not familiar with photo restoration and found a couple of ideas that you might think on;

                        Under the policy area you mention the customer obtaining a signed release. I didn't know if you have a signed release you provide to your local people or not, but as a person not familiar with restoration and all the particulars of it maybe a link to another page with a printable signed release that they could printout, take, and have signed might be helpful. I know the shop I work with has a release form they give to their customers for any work that needs it and the customer gets it signed and brings it back. Just an idea on this as it would be convenient for the customer so they wouldn't have to figure out where to get a release or even with some people what one was. Wouldn't want to deter anyone from pursuing restoration because they didn't know where to get a release.

                        Also, in the second item under policy you need as "l" in professional photographers.

                        You might mention on the left side of the examples page right under the instructions for viewing the gallery that pricing is there as well, ie. "view before and after photos as well as pricing". Some people need a little extra hand holding when they visit sites.

                        I think you have plenty of examples for people to look at and a good variety as well. I don't know if you've done any but maybe under the photo fun a collage example would be good. Like three or four different ages on a child with a nice background as well as their birthdate and name or parents surrounded by their children.

                        Hope this doesn't sound critical on my part but I figured when you said you really wanted it critiqued you meant critiqued. I know I have asked people in the past for opinions and was very grateful for any ideas or opinions I could get.

                        Again it's a wonderful site, direct and to the point without a lot of hype which people don't want to take the time to read. Very nice job!


                        • #13
                          By the way Vikki,

                          If I ever can make it out your way I'll be knocking on your door for some restoration don't fantastic work on the extra hard pictures!

                          How 'bout you and DJ getting together for an online course...I keep telling DJ she needs to get an online course going and here's a chance for you two to get after it..LOL!

                          I'd pay for sure!


                          • #14
                            Hi Vikki,

                            I have a few suggestions.

                            Main Page:
                            The navigational tabs stacked on the left pull your page off balance. Try stacking them in a horizontal line at the bottom of your page to finish framing the page or in a vertical column on the left of your page. You also might want to center your copyright information with the rest of the page. I like your banner and the example lets the customer know what quality of work this site offers and entices them to see the other examples and look around your web site.

                            Examples Page:
                            I like the framed page set-up and the fact that you can view the thumbnails to select which ones you want to enlarge to view in more detail.

                            Overall I think the site is well designed, is easy to navigate, provides excellent information and sets a professional tone.



                            Your examples are fantastic…a great representation of the quality work you do.


                            • #15
                              T & Chris,
                              Thanks for your suggestions. I've decided to redo the "Details" page. I want to make it a little less wordy. I'll check for those spelling errors! Good point also about the copyright release.
                              Someone else mentioned that they hadn't notice the "pricing". I guess I do need to make that more visible, but that involves some major html rework, so that may take me awhile.

                              I'm not seeing how the tabs are causing shifting......but, perhaps moving them over to the left would be a good idea anyway. I don't want them at the bottom as I want those options available right off the bat (not having to scroll). Centering the copyright notice is another good idea.

                              Thanks! This is great.

                              PS: about the lessons.....I'm a terrible teacher. I would suggest to anyone - buy Katrin Eiseman's (sp) book. She knows what she's talking about. Do each lesson.

                              Also, this next statement was an idea I had for a thread, but haven't had the nerve to start it. Here goes.....I hope this doesn't sound mean, but the critiques on the challenges need to point out the good and the BAD. What or where there seems to be a problem or technique change needed. Unless you know where you're going wrong, how can you improve?


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