Which would you want?

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MacNoobie

macrumors 6502a
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Mar 15, 2005
545
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Colorado
I'm pretty new to web design in general, css seems to confuse me to no end on creating a pro looking web site. Anyways I've been doing a site for a client of mine and this is what I came up with:

Shotmakers Photography

Shotmakers Photography new site

Yes I used Rapidweaver and the new site looks nice but its still UNDER CONSTRUCTION so not pointing out that images and flash content fail to load, links and urls don’t work, stuff is not in line with the page as I'm taking content from the old site and slowly converting it to fit in the new page. I'm using dream weaver for the old site and the layout and colors are all the client’s idea so yeah it looks ugly but I cant argue if it makes the client happy. With Rapidweaver the templates look really professional and its a fairly easy and rapid (no pun intended) program to make a site that looks good.

My question to you all is which one would you expect to see if you were paying for the site? Also any other programs maybe a little more flexible then rapidweaver but still nice to work with, I use rapidweaver and CSSEdit for now and a little dreamweaver on the side, I tried Freeway Pro and its ok it reminds me too much of pagemaker and the like.

Please critique too I don’t want to get too involved in web editing but I want to give the client something nice and worth the time and money.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,532
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Is there way you can "blend" the two sites? I feel like the first link is more commercial and the second link has a feeling that anyone could have such a template. But what I like about the second link is that it is a bit "quieter" on the eye... For the first link, I don't really like the mountain range image or the blue background.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
I wouldn't show the client #2 yet, it's not ready for prime time. The left hand links look unfinished -- they should look like a seamless part of the overall design.

"welcome to shotmakers photography" is throwaway wording. lose it, it's taking up valuable space

"to view your photos online" -- does this mean that clients get to view and order their specific photos online? Pretty good idea, but you need to explain more specifically what's going on. Does it also mean that *I* can browse through all the Denver Girls 8-10 Little League team photos online? That would be a Really BAD Idea(TM). If you are putting specific people's shots up, it HAS to be password protected.

Does the photographer have model releases for the identifiable people in the pictures?

You need to have at least one stunning photograph on a photographer's home page. Or perhaps several blended together.

You must explain what the client does and why people should go into the site. The front page has to SELL people on the idea that they need this photographer and no other, for their event.

The new design is tidy, in a muted way, but there is absolutely nothing in the design that says "Photographer" -- the design would work just as well for the annual meeting of the American Snail Parasite Researcher's Federation.

The old design, although messy and in need of much better writing, at least has action photos and group/awad type photos which give the viewer a better feel for what the business is. Unless they do significant business in landscape prints, then the long shot of the rocks behing the golf course should be replaced with something more relevant.

What does this client DO better than anybody else? Answer that question on the home page convincingly and with some impact, and the site will be 200% more successful.
 

MacNoobie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
545
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Colorado
devilot76 said:
Is there way you can "blend" the two sites? I feel like the first link is more commercial and the second link has a feeling that anyone could have such a template. But what I like about the second link is that it is a bit "quieter" on the eye... For the first link, I don't really like the mountain range image or the blue background.
I like the second one and yes it has a template look to it but imho looks better then the first page. Everything’s basically done by my client and what I mean by that is I do all the graphics and layout but I consult with her about colors and photos which is why you see the golf image at the top as the center piece and the blue background. I had a different concept that seemed to blend the two together had the blue background and the golf course image but had a white box with the content inside aka everything that’s there now but I showed it to her and she didn’t like it. Is there any way to convince a client that you're willing to stand your ground so to speak on the way a page lays out? I liked my concept site I made but it’s really hard when you want to just please the person and go on with it. I'm not doing web design for a living I just want to earn some extra cash and practice my hand at it maybe learn a thing or two in the process.

I'm really stuck because for me when I look at the site its definitely not happening for me, I don’t mind the look but it seems to be so ugly so to speak that I just try and find ways of putting it off, I really want to do this site and be proud that I actually finished something and my client is happy and I'm happy and the site looks like something I'd want if I was a client and someone designed it for me. The second v2.0 site is far from done but I want her to maybe get a jest for how it would look with rapidweaver which I can definitely customize it as best I can if she wants but imho I think it looks better then the site I've done so far. I just don’t want to have her be like well we spent so much time on it already and I like it and that’s it.
 

MacNoobie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
545
0
Colorado
CanadaRAM said:
I wouldn't show the client #2 yet, it's not ready for prime time. The left hand links look unfinished -- they should look like a seamless part of the overall design.
Agreed

CanadaRAM said:
"welcome to shotmakers photography" is throwaway wording. lose it, it's taking up valuable space
I'd have to agree but she kind of insisted on something being there.

CanadaRAM said:
"to view your photos online" -- does this mean that clients get to view and order their specific photos online? Pretty good idea, but you need to explain more specifically what's going on. Does it also mean that *I* can browse through all the Denver Girls 8-10 Little League team photos online? That would be a Really BAD Idea(TM). If you are putting specific people's shots up, it HAS to be password protected.
I might ask her on that because she hosts the images on a place called photoreflect and the way she showed it to me is that it seems like anyone can view any photo posted on it but you do bring up a valid point, even if its not anything major I wouldn’t want someone taking photos of me and anyone can see it online so password protections a must, I'll discuss it with her.

CanadaRAM said:
Does the photographer have model releases for the identifiable people in the pictures?
Unknown I don’t get into the politics of how they run their business, the people I've meet and the people they deal with don’t seem to mind it but I'd imagine they do a form for the actual events and they agree to having their photos and company logos on things like the panoramic folders and what not but no actual model release forms that I’m aware of.

CanadaRAM said:
You need to have at least one stunning photograph on a photographer's home page. Or perhaps several blended together.
The golf course at the top is kind of a stunning image so to speak, I don’t mind the image but I agree nothing stands out on the page.

CanadaRAM said:
You must explain what the client does and why people should go into the site. The front page has to SELL people on the idea that they need this photographer and no other, for their event.
What’s funny is most of the people end up calling them to book an event, it seems as though they are widely known in the town and in the city at events and things like that. I have to agree the site has to sell the products and services they offer but the site as I've interpreted it from my client is just more of if you need more info or to look at a product rather then sending them the actual product as a sample they can go to the site and look at it and decide if its something that they want. Also my clients actually have gotten more business contracts for stadium photographs by companies looking at the web site. :eek:

CanadaRAM said:
The new design is tidy, in a muted way, but there is absolutely nothing in the design that says "Photographer" -- the design would work just as well for the annual meeting of the American Snail Parasite Researcher's Federation.
I'll admit that it looks more of a template something maybe for a local church or organization and I could take dreamweaver and customize it more but I think it looks decent and more presentable then the other site so far but you do have a point.

CanadaRAM said:
The old design, although messy and in need of much better writing, at least has action photos and group/awad type photos which give the viewer a better feel for what the business is. Unless they do significant business in landscape prints, then the long shot of the rocks behing the golf course should be replaced with something more relevant.
I think the client and I need to do a 180 so to speak on the current site and ask real questions about what they offer and what they do because they actually do event photography for things like family events, sporting events, golf events, social events etc as oppose to like landscape photography. The folders on the site show maybe a group photo of a group at the golf course, a corporate logo and a photo of the golf course they were playing at. The fact that you mentioned landscape prints and what not gives me a serious wake up call in changing the course of the site, getting it to be more refined and telling people what it is that they have to offer and do.

CanadaRAM said:
What does this client DO better than anybody else? Answer that question on the home page convincingly and with some impact, and the site will be 200% more successful.
To my knowledge around town no one else does event photography that I'm aware of, there is one company that only does ski/snowboard photos on the mountain so you can capture the ski/snowboard day and take it back with you.
 

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