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Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Hi all
Have hew business and launched a Web Site with Web Site tonight on "Go Daddy"
To cut a long story short, I think my lack of web authoring skills and more so the lack of creativity that this web authoring package permits has perhaps cost me some clients.
I have only begun to touch on SEO and I think that I have made a few errors with site optimisation however the site has started to attract some hits. My clients thus far have been over the moon with there products but the web site may be letting me down as far as future prospects are concerned. Go Daddy was a great start tho and very low cost.
Heres the thing, I have very little budget at this time to change the site however, I have found a rather nice Flash template for sale on the net. I can afford this.
Is it possible for me to have someone add my details to this template, optimise it and launch it on Go daddy? I have two domain names so I would like to keep the existing site for corporate clients minus the "wedding page", the new site would be just for weddings. Anyone interested in a charity case?? Or perhaps I could offer my services in return for some Web help, I would be more than happy to come to an arrangement. I will even entertain your quotes.
I have a strong background in Commercial TV and Radio and now work alone offerring Corporate video, Wedding Video, Marketing/Music on Hold etc. If there is anything at all that needs to be shot on standard or High Def we can do it in a professional manner from concept to presentation in any format.
Cheers and thanks!
www.emotivemedia.tv
Mike Currell

PS walked into my local creative graphics come media come print place the other day (they did my business cards) and had a look at their new site which they were gloating about - in a nice way. It had a rotating "flash" type graphic wall controled by the mouse that really blew me away. I thought the design was fantastic and unique. The guys intimated that it was all there own doing and that they could build me a site. Quote was minimum $1000 for just a few pages magazine style, but for something that was media rich with videos and similar effects to there own, it would cost upwards of five thousand! I appreciate that we are here on earth to make money but imagine my suprise when I stumbled on the same template (A papervision 3D engine design) for under 200 dollars! I realise that there is a lot of work to stylise the 3D wall etc but hey guys....keep it real!

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

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Originally Posted by emote View Post
PS walked into my local creative graphics come media come print place the other day (they did my business cards) and had a look at their new site which they were gloating about - in a nice way. It had a rotating "flash" type graphic wall controled by the mouse that really blew me away. I thought the design was fantastic and unique. The guys intimated that it was all there own doing and that they could build me a site. Quote was minimum $1000 for just a few pages magazine style, but for something that was media rich with videos and similar effects to there own, it would cost upwards of five thousand! I appreciate that we are here on earth to make money but imagine my suprise when I stumbled on the same template (A papervision 3D engine design) for under 200 dollars! I realise that there is a lot of work to stylise the 3D wall etc but hey guys....keep it real!
Hi Mike, your post made me smile ... for a few reasons. First of all, I cannot help with the whole 'charity case' thing, but maybe you'll get some other takers (grin).

Anyway, I found it funny that you discovered a template that was exactly like the site they intimated was original. That's a bit of 'egg on face'. Bear in mind that although what you described does seem like a bit of a con, most of us are pretty transparent about these sorts of things.

I would hazard to say that with the downward pressure on the market and with Joomla and other Open Source systems becoming part and parcel of the way many webbies do business (myself included although I love creating custom sites), don't be surprised to find an increasing number of templated sites around.

Having said that, it's also reasonable to expect that there will be a fair few hours involved in customising a template. You often have to edit Photoshop files, tweak tweening (the motion bits in Flash), etc. Also, even if clients say they love a template, they often decide they want changes and every change takes time.

Before you go down the Flash path (and I do love a bit of Flash), you might want to consult a few of the SEO experts around as Flash sites are notoriously deemed as being hard work where keyword searching and SEO are concerned.

Oh and I wanted to say a word about CMS (content management systems). Although I quite like the extra dough involved for website updates, it's extremely important for small business owners to have control of their information and thus destiny. Having a CMS doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself, of course, as I'm happy to do the updates, but it gives you the *option* to do so without learning HTML, CSS, Flash, PHP, etc.

OK, I hope this helps clarify things and I really wish you luck with your project. Oh and one more thing, please loose the creepy computerised voice on your site!

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Renée Barber
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Rising Star Designs & Communication
specialising in creating big brands for small businesses
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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Thanks Renee!
Creepy voice will go. Just having a bit of fun in my studio - maybe the brides dont get it!
I'm hoping that that was the only thing you really disliked?
Mike

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

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Originally Posted by emote View Post
Thanks Renee!
Creepy voice will go. Just having a bit of fun in my studio - maybe the brides dont get it!
I'm hoping that that was the only thing you really disliked?
Mike
Hi Mike, I guess I'd have to know a bit more about your target market to really assess your site from a prospective client's viewpoint, but my first impression of your site is that it seems a bit 'myspace'ish and/or the website for a goth musical artist. I don't mean to be harsh, but that's what I felt. I also believe that some of the pages are too crowded with images in general and also that they might not be the most appropriate images.

Here are some other suggestions based on a quick inventory:
  • Please do not centre body text. This is one of my pet peeves.
  • The animated line separators on your Links page are a bit old hat.
  • Make sure the font is consistent throughout your site and you may wish to choose something else as it's a bit stodgy.
  • On the Contact page, I'd move the form up and shift the calendar elsewhere (if you really need it at all).
  • Your homepage should be less about who you are and more about what you can do for the person reading your page. Really put yourself in their 'shoes'. This caveat goes for every page on your site, apart from perhaps the 'About' page where you get to show off a little (from the perspective of showing why you're the best person for the job).
OK, those are my quick impressions. I hope they help.

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Renée Barber
Writer. Editor. Designer. Strategic Marketing Adviser.
Rising Star Designs & Communication
specialising in creating big brands for small businesses
w: www.risingstardesigns.com.au
e: renee@risingstardesigns.com.au
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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by emote View Post
........a rotating "flash" type graphic wall controled by the mouse that really blew me away. I thought the design was fantastic and unique. The guys intimated that it was all there own doing and that they could build me a site. Quote was minimum $1000 for just a few pages magazine style, but for something that was media rich with videos and similar effects to there own, it would cost upwards of five thousand! I appreciate that we are here on earth to make money but imagine my suprise when I stumbled on the same template (A papervision 3D engine design) for under 200 dollars! I realise that there is a lot of work to stylise the 3D wall etc but hey guys....keep it real!

Hi Mike

Not sure about the godaddy side of things but I might be able to give a bit of help pointing you towards a great FREE flash carousel menu.

Try this site: http://www.flshow.net/

it has the rotation and mouse movements

A a comparison, have a quick look at my site - I used this tool for my flash graphic - so it will give you an idea of just how much of it can be customised.

I'm happy to be upfront about using tools created by others more skilled than me! I did a LOT of research into carousel menus and flShow's was the the best I found.

Let me know if this was the sort of thing you meant


Heidi

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Really appreciate the feedback.....not harsh at all Renee, my wife and I tend to agree with your points.
I think one of my problems is that I am trying to cover too many markets on the one website. While wedding video's are destined to be my cash flow, we have a full blown vision and audio suite so Corporate vids, Marketing/music on Hold, Voice overs for radio and Tv, etc etc ...it's all possible with my background and the studio I have. Thats why I think I need two sites. The wedding site has to be more "lacey" and "soft" and the Corporate stuff can be a bit more "techy". To this end I have the dot TV name and I also have a dot BIZ name.......see where I am going with this? I couldn't get the dot COM but I think the other two sit well as long as Tuvalu does't sink into the ocean.
Heidi, thanks for the info, I will go and check it out. My prob is that I cannot put a website together unless it is a WYSIWYG. I have no programing skills.
My offer is genuine by the way. If anyone would like a good looking corporate video or wedding video produced in return for a site I would be more than happy to do so. Dont judge my work by my site too much, as I have explained, as far as websites are concerned I am a rank amateur.
I used to have a great deal of fun working in Television as a Producer Director and know what I am doing with both a camera and editor. Sorry I'm my spacing again!
Cheers and thanks again for the support
Mike

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Hi again
Thanks Heidi. Your site is terrific. I really only wrote re the Papervision engine as my friendly "Grapho's" were attempting to pull the wool over my eyes. Im not sure I need such a thing on either site.
Just for fun here is the site I was looking at and obviously the place where my creative lads got it from.
http://www.mytemplatestorage.com/aff...=20361&skin=17

Also here is a link to the wedding template that I am excited about - tho now I am told that It may not be SEO friendly. (scratching head with furrowed brow)
http://www.templatemonster.com/flash...tes/20614.html
I wouldn't change the structure of this template apart from having a video to show my wedding promo. The first page (home) could have freeze frames from weddings and maybe a subpage for the video? The rest of the site really just needs to have my words re contact - about - links....surely it would be a fairly simple job??!!
However if it is not search friendly, I need to think again.
Mike

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by emote View Post
...the wedding template that I am excited about - tho now I am told that It may not be SEO friendly. (scratching head with furrowed brow)
Yep Mike - flash sites can be right buggers to SEO-up properly. Not impossible, but quite often they need a lot of 'behind the scenes' (yay got a joke in!) work. Unfortunately, Google can't read what is in flash

re the template you are considering buying: I tried to have a look at the flash landing page but it will not display - the template has been written for a specific version of flash (the source code didn't say which) and 'apparently' I need to download the latest version. Funnily enough, I have it. What this means to you is that you will probably need to have that part of the template re-coded. Just so you are aware!

The other thing is - with flash you really need to be careful of the time the site takes to load. Many many visitors just cant be bothered waiting, and will leave if it takes too long. Not trying to turn you off flash because used well it is an amazing tool.

Although the Adobe Photoshop Homepage Screenshot looks very much like a standard, inbuilt, Photoshop Gallery to me. And personally I would not have the thumbnails disappearing off the bottom of the screen

re splitting the site: I would recomend two sites - they are targetting two completely diferent markets, and having them combined (IMHO) would risk missing the mark for both.

Quote:
I wouldn't change the structure of this template apart from having a video to show my wedding promo. The first page (home) could have freeze frames from weddings and maybe a subpage for the video? The rest of the site really just needs to have my words re contact - about - links....surely it would be a fairly simple job??!!
I guess it comes down to do your potential customers want to see a flash splash page - or would they prefer to go straight to a home page that shows the quality of your work and how you can take the stress and worry out of this part of their wedding?

Happy to answer any questions!


Heidi

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Old 27-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Thanks Heidi....all good points.
As an editor of vision I was always taught "colour and movement" I guess I'd better settle down a bit when it comes to my website and certainly my current budget. But you just gotta love sites like these....
http://www.x-prime.com/fr#home
Hope it loads for you. Put your seatbelt on and try and think FRENCH.
Mike

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Old 28-03-09
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Default Re: Need to get my Web woe's sorted!

Mike, that French site is ... très magnifique! (That's the extent of my French so I hope it's remotely correct.)

While I definitely agree with Heidi that Flash has its place, nowadays I generally try to avoid it for navigation and definitely wouldn't recommend it for an entire site. Used correctly though, I don't think it can be beat for adding movement, verve and interest ...

Again, I'm with Heidi on the target markets. Brides and corporates will need a different 'look and feel' to connect and also believe your services will hit the mark.

I have to say one of your posts made me smile again. This was the comment:

>surely it would be a fairly simple job??!!

I think that statement might be the most dreaded/hated phrase in the world of a webbie/graphic designer.

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Renée Barber
Writer. Editor. Designer. Strategic Marketing Adviser.
Rising Star Designs & Communication
specialising in creating big brands for small businesses
w: www.risingstardesigns.com.au
e: renee@risingstardesigns.com.au
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