SITE REVIEW: DeBarge Photography

  • debob
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • debob
  • Posts: 10

Post 3+ Months Ago

Link:http://www.debargephoto.com

This is my photography site for family/friends/anyone to go to and see my work, and possibly hire me for a photography job. I am looking for advice on improving the site in general as far as aesthetics, user friendliness, accessibility, and do I sell myself well enough?

Any criticism, good or bad, would be greatly appreciated.

Also, ignore the forums...I've been meaning to delete them because of the spam/lack of use so just disregard that.

Thank you.
  • Anonymous
  • Bot
  • No Avatar
  • Posts: ?
  • Loc: Ozzuland
  • Status: Online

Post 3+ Months Ago

  • kevsterb007
  • Graduate
  • Graduate
  • kevsterb007
  • Posts: 145

Post 3+ Months Ago

Alright, debob. Here's the rub.

The good:
You have a solid concept. Easy navigation. No coding errors. High contrast and good usability. Good SEO.

The bad:
Your method of coding is outdated. Tables are a BIG no-no. That is the first thing I would fix. (This is a hard site to criticize)
Honestly, the design is a little '99ish. Its time to read up on other designers and their methodology. See what other people are doing and what is successful.

The verdict: Your site works. There aren't any problems, per say. However, you need to come up with a theme that is new and improve your design's flow. Ask yourself questions that a new visitor would ask. If its a family site there is nothing wrong. If it is a promotional site then you need to appeal to people who are interested in photography: highly visual.

Start here: http://webdesignfromscratch.com/navigation.cfm
  • debob
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • debob
  • Posts: 10

Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks, kevster.

I appreciate the feedback from you and will definitely work on those things.

Anyone else wish to chime in?
  • zaiah
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • zaiah
  • Posts: 375

Post 3+ Months Ago

I would have to agree with the above statement. Honestly it works, but it kind of looks like a template. And there is nothing wrong with using them, but try to customize it at least a little. what is the actual purpose of the site?
  • debob
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • debob
  • Posts: 10

Post 3+ Months Ago

zaiah wrote:
I would have to agree with the above statement. Honestly it works, but it kind of looks like a template. And there is nothing wrong with using them, but try to customize it at least a little. what is the actual purpose of the site?


Yeah, it was semi-based off of a template I found. I've tried to customize it a little, but I'd like to make a little more appealing to visitors, I just don't know how.

The actual purpose of the site is to have a place where friends and family can come visit and see things I've done. What I'd like to develop it into, though, is a site that I can hopefully attain customers and people that would like to buy my photos or hire me for photography jobs.

Any ideas?
  • kevsterb007
  • Graduate
  • Graduate
  • kevsterb007
  • Posts: 145

Post 3+ Months Ago

This is what I would do:

1) Remove the side bar flash/image thing. It is out of place and distracting.
2) Restyle your navigation. Horizontal nav is the best, but you need to work on the color/styling.
3) Good contrast. Personally, though, I would like to see some solid focus on where the content is. Its a little muddled together. (i.e. the "news" should be a header with greater emphasis)
4) You have a good footer idea. Secondary nav should reflect the primary nav. Have contact/legal info. Style the footer different than the rest of the body. See http://studio3k.com for an example of good nav styling and footer styling.

You've got some good ideas, you just need to make it your own site (not a template) and update it.
  • neksus
  • Mastermind
  • Mastermind
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 2194
  • Loc: Canada

Post 3+ Months Ago

Your navigation rollovers introduce a new colour into the template - try changing the background to a white-grey gradient with black text or something of the like, but stay away from that blue.

Overall the site works as others have said - the only thing I'd recommend is increasing the quality of banner.jpg - people going to a photography site probably expect lots of photos; you want people to be impressed by your photography skills. The last thing either party wants is a banner which showcases a bunch of tiny jagged photos.

Also, set the text style to "Strong", or even bold the font. I <i>love</i> the font, but it looks a bit too thin in some parts, as if you originally created the image larger and scaled it down.
  • graphixboy
  • Control + Z
  • Mastermind
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1828
  • Loc: In the Great White North

Post 3+ Months Ago

Other people have covered the construction of the site pretty well, so I'll focus on your organization and visual flow from a business standpoint.

1. People who buy stock / commission photography are extremely busy. As that type of person, the first thing I want to see is your work, but on your site it took 3 clicks from the home page before I could really see anything. You need to show work right away so I can decide if your skill set/style is right for my project.

2. I think its very true that your only as good as the Worst work you show, because thats where people will base their judgment. Your gallery itself is way too big and doesn't have a focus. The use of the simple viewer is good, but I had to choose from several "preview" images before I ever got to see actual work. I would slim down your image portfolio. The typical rule of thumb is 15 to 30 of your very best images without the categories. I would try to select images that show a specific technique or style since an industry like photography is much to crowded not to focus on something specific. In other words become known for a style; make that style your calling card and don't show the rest unless someone asks you for it.

3. I'd get rid of the map of visits. Its kind of fun to see that information for yourself, but your visitors probably don't care and it takes away from space on the page that you could use to show off how great you are.

4. Finally, a pitfall that I see very frequently is that people want to sell their services, but don't provide that information to their visitors. I say you should "tell" people that you want to work with them. It can be as simple as some text on the home page that says "Now accepting assignments. Here's how you can contact us." The problem is that most people will not "offer" to work with you. They don't know if your busy, if this is just your hobby and you don't do commissioned work, etc.


Now don't get me wrong. I like your site and your work, this is just some criticism to help you grow your hobby into a business (per your posted goals above).
  • theblogdatabase
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5

Post 3+ Months Ago

1) Profile maps didn't load for me, just a box with a red x
2) Maybe make th photos bigger on the front page, it is your business after all
3) Clean layout over all, slight template feel.
4) Like the gallery, and how photo's load, very neat
5) How do I get back to home from gallery without hitting back?

Nice site
  • 8dpa23K
  • Born
  • Born
  • 8dpa23K
  • Posts: 3

Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice Site.

debob wrote:
Link:http://www.debargephoto.com

This is my photography site for family/friends/anyone to go to and see my work, and possibly hire me for a photography job. I am looking for advice on improving the site in general as far as aesthetics, user friendliness, accessibility, and do I sell myself well enough?

Any criticism, good or bad, would be greatly appreciated.

Also, ignore the forums...I've been meaning to delete them because of the spam/lack of use so just disregard that.

Thank you.
  • kevsterb007
  • Graduate
  • Graduate
  • kevsterb007
  • Posts: 145

Post 3+ Months Ago

8dpa23k, that is hardly useful. I'd reconsider my message if I were you. This section is for "site reviews". If you like it, tell us why.
  • Susan
  • Novice
  • Novice
  • Susan
  • Posts: 20

Post 3+ Months Ago

The website is not showing right now.

Post Information

  • Total Posts in this topic: 12 posts
  • Moderator: Website Reviewers
  • Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests
  • You cannot post new topics in this forum
  • You cannot reply to topics in this forum
  • You cannot edit your posts in this forum
  • You cannot delete your posts in this forum
  • You cannot post attachments in this forum
 
 

© 1998-2014. Ozzu® is a registered trademark of Unmelted, LLC.