Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Website review

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  • #978958
    Virginia G
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    • Total posts: 24
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    Hi!

    I’ve recently revamped my website (away from the chocolate/stone look that was popular a few years ago)

    I design and create wedding stationery (everything from invitations, place cards, menu’s church books to thank you’s) for couples getting married for over 12 years. I advertise in an annual wedding magazine, and do 2 major bridal expo’s a year (Feb & Sept) at The Syd Ent Centre & Syd Convention Centre. I understand that my product is something that can be “done at home” and won’t make the bride look gorgeous on her day :(

    Prices for invitations start at $8.00 ea up to $15.00ea. (I don’t publish prices on my site due to competitors having a poke around)

    In addition to wedding stationery, I design and create greeting cards that I sell at two well-known craft/art markets in Sydney (Paddington & Eveleigh). What sets me apart from mass produced cards, is I personalise the front of the cards while the customer waits (usually takes 5-7 secs – which always surprises them how quickly they’re ready!). While a customer is looking at my cards, I try and make sure I’m personalising something and tell them I offer this as a free service that they’re welcome to avail themselves of :) Prices are $7 ea or 4 cards for $25.

    I would appreciate a fresh pair of eyes (or a few pairs) and welcome constructive criticism on my website!

    http://www.theinvitationstudio.com.au

    Cheers!
    Virginia

    #1111025
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi Virginia,

    I’ve moved your post over to a new thread all of its own so that it gets the attention it deserves.

    Good luck for your review :)

    Jayne

    #1111026
    Paul B.
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    • Total posts: 119
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    Hi Virginia,

    Good work recognising the need to update your website!

    Although Im no seasoned expert in web design,I have a few comments to make and im going to be as honest as possible.

    – My first impression when your website loads up is that is is very basic. There is very little use of graphics when the website first loads up. I think you would benefit from a logo. I also find the heading to be quite mediocre and boring.

    – Your landing page (and most other pages for that matter) is very elongated. I dont like it when I have to scroll too far down the page. I think you need to refine your information so that most of it viewable without scrolling too far.

    – I wasn’t able to identify exactly what you do or what you can offer from the landing page. I pieced it together from the pictures and links but it wasn’t as effortless as it should be. I like that you contact information is accessible but I have no idea on what im contacting you about!

    – I personally have an issue with advertising free website templates on my page. Its just unprofessional. There is nothing wrong with using templates – just dont make it look like one!

    All and all the website looks very ‘geocities’.

    Please take this criticism as constructive. You have an obvious talent for design so it is vital that this translates through your website.

    #1111027
    Virginia G
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    • Total posts: 24
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    Hey Paul!

    Thanks for taking the time to review and reply! ALL your feedback and honesty is really appreciated – that’s why I asked! :)

    I’ve already made some changes (what I could do myself quickly):

    – removing free website hosting links,

    – adding more info to the first paragraph on my contact & first page (which I assume is what you mean by the landing page)

    – As far as elongated – I know what you mean – there are limitations with this do-it-yourself website – I wish there was an option to spread out a little. Having said that, I will work on reducing the info to make it less wordy :)

    – Graphics on first page, do you mean images? What do you think would look better the images at the top and push the awards further to the bottom??

    – “I also find the heading to be quite mediocre and boring.” – I’ll put my thinking cap on and see what fonts are available to me (I suspect that’s what you mean)

    – Logo: that’s tricky – but I’ll certainly put some thought into it (any suggestions?)

    – not sure what you mean by “goecities” but I’ll get around to working that out.

    I’ll work on getting those other points refined :)

    Thank you again Paul, if anything else comes to mind please feel to tell me!

    Cheers!
    Virginia

    #1111028
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hello Virginia,

    I like the background, it looks classy.
    i would get rid of the bridal expo countdown or perhaps put in the date
    I would get rid of the clock
    and I would definitely get rid of the page counter.
    there are some big gaps near the end of the page that don’t seem to be there for a purpose
    I think you have done well with the paypal integration and the menu on the left also looks classy.

    Steve

    #1111029
    Virginia G
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    • Total posts: 24
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    Hey Steve,

    Thank you for taking the time to look around and provide your feedback – I really appreciate it! All points taken into account and adopted :)

    Appreciate the compliments too!

    Cheers
    Virginia

    #1111030
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi Virginia well done looking better already.

    Steve

    #1111031
    BlackCoffeeComms
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    Hi Virginia

    Sorry, I don’t have time for a big look around, but quite honestly, I probably wouldn’t bother if I arrived at your landing page organically. I use a reasonably small laptop screen and all I see is dull grey colours, a huge banner (with no logo and in a quite dull font) that takes up half the screen, a note about enquiries and social media buttons.

    You are a designer and I see no designs. You would be much better off with a smaller banner, then some scrolling (or even stagnate) designs – then the enquiry/social media stuff. And maybe a big visible “Buy now” that goes to the e-shop.

    I hope you don;t take all this too personally – and I’m sure it’s all stuff that can be easily fixed.

    Cheers

    Nicole

    #1111032
    My Wedding Concierge
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    • Total posts: 109
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    Hey there, I’ll give you some feedback purely from a designers perspective…

    Overall the feel of the site is not exciting, and unfortunately isn’t professional looking. The site definitely has a ‘home made’ feel and I don’t mean that in a good way.

    You have a number of different fonts, sizes, colours, alignments, and different layouts from page to page which impacts the cohesiveness of the overall design.

    You’re not showcasing what you actually offer properly, especially on the home page. When I get to that page I should feel like “WOW this stuff is amazing, I want to see more”.

    There’s a lot to talk about but I think maybe I will just make some recommendations for you to implement, but honestly I think you should try to hook up with a designer and have them help you.

    – Brighten up the design, make it feel more creative and inviting

    – Choose one font for the body text, and stick with it, don’t go using different font sizes or colours

    – Pick a layout for each page, and use it for every single page

    – Focus on presenting only the most important information that you want to show to people… On the home page for example you waste a lot of space thanking brides and showing awards. Visitors who come to your site aren’t interested in seeing you thank brides (on the home page anyway) so don’t show it to them. If you must have that stuff on the site then move it to a more appropriate page.

    – Get ride of the gimmicks like the site counter and clock, nobody is interested in seeing that.

    – Improve your logo / banner, reduce it’s size

    FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS on showing people your PRODUCT! I want to see all the amazing examples of things you sell! Make sure that the photos are taken in a consistent manner, and beautifully presented, as these are the things that people want to see, and that will have them calling you and giving you money :D

    Hope that all makes sense, feel free to ask if you want more advice, I’m happy to help :)

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