Cake Websites: What Do You Like, What Do You Hate?

Decorating By imartsy Updated 21 Oct 2008 , 12:41am by aligotmatt

imartsy Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:22pm
post #1 of 76

Soooo many people have cake websites out there to showcase their products. Some of them are awesome, some of them leave you wanting a lot more.

I'm benchmarking some cake websites and I'm wondering what you all think. What do you love? What do you hate? For example:

Love:
* Cake Galleries
* About the artist
* Flavors
* Pricing information

Hate:
* Flash websites with no "non-Flash" option
* Itty bitty pictures of cakes or just a piece of a cake so I have no clue what it might be and must click on it to enlarge it just so I can have a clue
* "Splash" pages... that page before you actually get into the site that usually says "Enter here". It's basically a page that says "are you ready for my site? I don't think you are... so here's a page to prepare you for the wonder you are about to see - are you ready to see it? If so, you must click "Enter here" (can you tell I really hate these?)

So what are your loves and hates or stuff you wish was on a website sometimes that you don't see much of. Do you like it when people have blogs too? Do you think business websites should have tutorials or any recipes - even if there's not a lot of them?

75 replies
Petit-four Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:00pm
post #2 of 76

Thanks for this post. I would be very interested in the responses.

Would something like "Wedding and tiered cakes are vary in pricing, due to design, but average $2 to $3 a person" be helpful, or not?

I have read suggestions here on CC to avoid including pricing on website and brochures. I was wondering why this was...?

I was thinking about including a FAQ section on my website.... any thoughts?

I agree- some of the very elaborate web sites seem to highlight the skill of the web designer more than provide information (though, like cake designers, they probably want to show off a bit too!)

jen1977 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:09pm
post #3 of 76

I hate music on websites. I always keep my sound turned off on my computer so I don't have t oworry about it!

msauer Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:12pm
post #4 of 76

This is a great thread (I'm working with someone to launch my new and improved website soon so I'm anxious to see what others have to say!)

Personally for me (as with any website)- I really don't care much for music.

-Michelle

bathoryjones Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:13pm
post #5 of 76

I like when websites have pricing info- even if all if has is a minimum price guide. We all know the more complex the price will go up but if you at least have a base price it helps. I agree that I hate the music on websites. I think it is also helpful to include delivery/set up info and prices. I am getting married in a month and I know that I tended to move past websites that didn't have these basics on it.

SUELA Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:16pm
post #6 of 76

If you have someone on the fence about a cake...if they have to contact you, you would be more likely to talk them into the cake or provide an alternative within budget. If the price is included, it's easier for them to walk away without knowing why the price is what it is. I would also think it allows competitors in your area to undercut you, which isn't a big deal if quality suffers as well. I know I use a website for pricing ideas on the rare occasion I sell a cake. I would avoid a blog as most business websites don't have them. Recipes might be an idea, but of nothing you make, maybe a recipe of the month club, or a newsletter highlighting new trends or new options?

summernoelle Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:17pm
post #7 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by jen1977

I hate music on websites. I always keep my sound turned off on my computer so I don't have t oworry about it!




Oh ditto that. I also hate the "splash" pages where you have to wait for it to load before going onto the site.

Doug Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:22pm
post #8 of 76

Boo Hiss:

anything Java based (security & speed of loading issues)

ditto to music, splash pages

over reliance on "cute" effects.

hard to navigate galleries.

-----

BRAVISIMO!

online contact and order forms

complete contact info -- not just phone and email --
City/ST/Zip at least.

calendar showing availability.

some type of system to post messages to clients about payment due dates, appointments, etc.

easy on the eyes colors (and could PINK be declared verboten!!?!???!???!???!???!)

clean crisp choice of fonts that are easy to read (both style and point size)

very easy to use navigation menus (either in sidebar or top bar -- not at the bottom!) should never be more than one click to change pages or get back to home.

travelingcakeplate Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:34pm
post #9 of 76

I like the ability to order online. However, if you don't have set prices or prices always vary, how can you include the shopping cart feature? Can you help with that?

BakingGirl Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:43pm
post #10 of 76

Hate busy background patterns, flashing banners and patterns and music.

Love galleries which have a page of tumbnail pictures which will show up big when you scroll over it, instead of having to click on each individual picture and wait for it to load.

imartsy Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:57pm
post #11 of 76

Thank you all for your responses - and keep them coming!

As soon as I posted, I went to another cake website and it had music! AUGH! I hate hate hate when people put music on websites. UNLESS you are a band or performing artist, there is NO need for music. Just b/c you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.

As far as pricing, I like knowing an average amount or a starting price when I'm looking at other's websites. I'm thinking of putting something like "Area pricing suggests $ - $$ per slice, but each cake is a unique creation and prices can go above that amount depending on flavors, fillings, and designs chosen"

That's pretty vague, but my personal site is really just going to be a place to send friends and family to see my stuff (and is also a part of a individual development plan for my work - the real reason I'm doing it in the first place).

I'm loving hearing what you all think! Thanks so much for sharing! I think this thread can be helpful to anyone with a current website or anyone starting one.

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:06pm
post #12 of 76

no music. I read that many brides are sneaking away at work to browse websites for their wedding and music alerts the boss that she's goofing off ... so if you have music, the potential client is going to click out immediately.

SOME kind of gen'l pricing info is good. Brides have told me, "If a website has no pricing info, then I'm clicking out and going to the next one." This is the age of the internet .... the instant information age ... brides are browsing the internet looking for INFORMATION ... they don't want to make lots of calls to ask "how much is this how much is this how much is this?" Most understand that pricing can depend on the design ... they just want to know a general ball park.

Bad grammar, spelling and bad writing in general is SUCH a big turnoff! It totally takes away from whatever talent and skill and level of professionalism you're trying to achieve. If you're not comfortable in your writing, have 2 or 3 other people critique it for you. I think this is the biggest problem I see on websites ... people who THINK they know how to write. (p.s. narrative critiques on my site are ALWAYS welcome!) thumbs_up.gif

Agree on the no-splash pages ..... yes, I want in your website otherwise I wouldn't have come this far! Don't make me think I've stumbled onto a porn site where this is my last chance to avoid displaying naked boobs on my screen! icon_eek.gif

I like being able to browse photos at MY speed ... not at a predetermined speed set on the website. I may want to look at this cake longer ... I may want to look at that cake not at all. This bugs me a LOT!

Too many categories for cakes irritates me. What the difference between a Celebration cake, a birthday cake, a special occassion cake? icon_eek.gif I've seen these categories on one website and it just makes my mind go into "geesh, I just want a cake!" mentality! When a site makes it too hard to find what you're looking for, it's too easy to move on to the next guy.

The "About Me" page should only be about one paragraph and I don't really care how you made your first cake at the age of 7. What are your PROFESSIONAL attributes that make me want to select YOU to make my wedding cake?

Agree on the non-busy backgrounds. The site is about your cakes, not the pretty wallpaper. Also, after setting up your website, go back and print screen a few pages. I came across a website that was beautiful, but when I printed the screen for my paper file, the font was all blurry and the background seemed to be on top of the narrative stuff. Bad. Very bad. What looks pretty on screen doesn't always transfer well to paper.

Petit-four Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:48pm
post #13 of 76

Thank you all -- so helpful!

OK -- I see what you mean about general pricing. I'll add that.

Also -- Doug -- CC has a lot of pink, or is it mauve? icon_wink.gif

Doug Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:57pm
post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petit-four

Thank you all -- so helpful!

OK -- I see what you mean about general pricing. I'll add that.

Also -- Doug -- CC has a lot of pink, or is it mauve? icon_wink.gif




dusty rose

and pale dusty rose

icon_rolleyes.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:19pm
post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug



easy on the eyes colors (and could PINK be declared verboten!!?!???!???!???!???!)




*AHEM?!?*

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:24pm
post #16 of 76

In todays I want it 'now' I think it's good to have information out there. That's why brides come to your site - for information.

I want clients to find out as much about my business as possible before contacting me. I like having my 'general price' list up. This helps to weed out the WM shoppers. My price is CLEARLY posted and is not negotiable. My website helps me to keep my 'backbone' when giving out quotes especially if you contact me via email because I'm SURE they visited my pricing page.

Each page doesn't have to be filled with tons of information. Some general information is all you need to help answer some of the 'regular' questions. thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:33pm
post #17 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by poshcakedesigns

Each page doesn't have to be filled with tons of information. Some general information is all you need to help answer some of the 'regular' questions. thumbs_up.gif




Which reminds me, a good FAQ page that helps with the weeding out process and helps save you time by not having to answer the same questions over and over again on the phone.

JodieF Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 9:18pm
post #18 of 76

My biggest pet peeve is having to scroll over to see the entire page.

Seems like a tiny gripe, but it makes me crazy!

Jodie

chutzpah Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 9:23pm
post #19 of 76

music and any kind of moving stuff.

Flavor menus that are centered...... line 'em up, please!

Cutesy fonts, busy background with lots of color.

"naming" every cake. Ugh

antonia74 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 9:38pm
post #20 of 76

I really roll my eyes at the "Feedback/Comments" pages. icon_rolleyes.gif I mean really, nobody is going to post a letter from anyone saying that the cake was dry or late to the venue. It's pretty irrelvant to me if I were a customer.

I also get bored with the same old, same old "Artist Introduction" pages. (Yawn!)

"Nancy found her love for baking at the tender age of three when she got her first Easy-Bake oven. After deciding to make her sister's wedding cake in 1992, friends and faily persuaded her to give up her job in advertising to be a full-time cake decorator...blah, blah, blah." It's as if people are just copying off each other. I must have seen that same blurb 50 times online. It's when I run across one that's light-hearted or satirical that I bother to read it. thumbs_up.gif

Bad spelling and grammar are inexcusable, music is very annoying and stolen photos from other people's sites make my blood BOIL! icon_mad.gif

I don't care for Flash too much because photos can't be saved easily icon_wink.gif ...but I completely empathize with the fact that they might have to do it to protect their images.

What I do like is originality, a clean layout, any really "different" approach to the website (thinking of Charm City, interactive, modern or totally retro feel, lack of typical "romantic" themes, etc.)

Listing prices can only be a good thing. It weeds out the inquiries from people who aren't in the same budget AND it doesn't waste the baker's time either.

Oh, and banners that advertise other goods and services online at the top. I know some build-your-own websites unfortunately have these as a prerequisite, but I find them distracting and not very professional-looking. thumbsdown.gif

nefgaby Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 9:47pm
post #21 of 76

I love this thread, PERFECT! I've been wanting to "improve" my website and have been having a couple question's as of what to change/do?!?

So I was wondering... can I have all your honest opinions? I really need them... Let me have it!

www.sweetartshop.com

(I don't think I have any of y'alls pet peeves but please, do let me know if you think I should change something) icon_smile.gif

And hope you all are having a GREAT 4th!

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 10:11pm
post #22 of 76

Pretty site!

The only thing that was kinda off on my computer screen was the
serving size chart you had. It just seemed real busy and was a little hard for me to understand. Maybe line it up using a chart or something so your eyes don't get lost with all the numbers.

But other than that it looked great. icon_lol.gif

LeanneW Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 10:15pm
post #23 of 76

I HATE fonts that are difficult to read. I won't even bother to try and read them.

Easy navigation is a must.

I like the "less is more" train of thought.

A photo gallery is obvious, but it doesn't need to have 200 cakes in it. 20 of your best is sufficient in my opinion.

Maybe you don't need to have an extensive all inclusive price list but give your customer some idea of your pricing.

One thing I hate is irrevelant links, for example, your friend may have a website/blog, you shouldn't link to it unless it is revelant to your customer.

For example links to bridal shops, photogs, caterers makes sense, but linking to a mechanic or your daughters spring break vacation diary does not make sense.

I think most importantly you need to know your target market. find out what they like. young brides in your area may love floral backgrounds and music, not likely, but a super trendy website may not be what your brides want either.

I have one note on professionalism. I don't want to offend any body, but... I think it is unprofessional to use a my space page and the like. Web hosting is cheap! there is no need to use tacky obviously cheap alternatives.

antonia74 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 10:21pm
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by nefgaby

So I was wondering... can I have all your honest opinions? I really need them... Let me have it!




Okay, right off the bat...take out all of the exclamation points. Sure, one or two are cute for important phrases, but you have them after nearly every line or title. It's as if you are shouting everything excitedly. icon_confused.gif

I really like that your pictures are clear and large enough to see, but that you can also click on each one to get a better view. That's well done.

Your work is gorgeous, by the way. I really like that you watermark ALL of the pics. It protects you from their theft and it lets me save a photo and still know where it came from if I want to refer back to your site. thumbs_up.gif

spoonfedcake Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 10:24pm
post #25 of 76

oh i hate music because I look in the middle of the night and the speakers are up so loud it scares the heck out of me.

imartsy Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 10:27pm
post #26 of 76

I'll go ahead and give you two responses to your website, nefgaby.

First, your cakes, cookies, etc. are lovely. You are definitely talented.

1) WAY too much space at the top..... Your logo does NOT need that much space around it - I don't like that you have to scroll down to get to the menu

2) PLEASE pick a different font. That one is difficult to read and definitely not dark enough on a light background.

3) Just personal opinion - I don't like the first picture on the site being crooked. I'm not sure what you were going for there, but I think it's a lovely cake and would look much better if the picture were right side up.

4) Lastly, it's better to left align your text than to center everything. A few centered items can be okay as a "call out" like a quote.... but not everything.

Look at all the wonderful stuff we're learning about websites for cakes icon_smile.gif Yeah!

fiddlesticks Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 11:16pm
post #27 of 76

nefgaby Hey ! I just checked out your site and I thought it was wonderful ! I dont really understand the crooked cake right at the beginning ( but its a beautiful cake )Other then that it was very pleasing to be on and you can see the pictures very well ( good size ) You work is beautiful. All of the colors in the back ground were nice and easy to look at . I would go back to it often as a customer , nice job !

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 11:26pm
post #28 of 76

Your work is wonderful! I agree with the above post ... change that font to something simple.

Petit-four Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 11:43pm
post #29 of 76

This is a great thread...keep the ideas coming!

And nefgaby -- I PM'd some ideas (you do beautiful work!).

loriemoms Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 11:58pm
post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petit-four

Thanks for this post. I would be very interested in the responses.

Would something like "Wedding and tiered cakes are vary in pricing, due to design, but average $2 to $3 a person" be helpful, or not?

I have read suggestions here on CC to avoid including pricing on website and brochures. I was wondering why this was...?

I was thinking about including a FAQ section on my website.... any thoughts?

I agree- some of the very elaborate web sites seem to highlight the skill of the web designer more than provide information (though, like cake designers, they probably want to show off a bit too!)




Not putting up prices use to be a way to sell stuff. TO make the customer call you and ask you for prices and you can sell them. This kind of thinking is really old fashion, and I never understood it. I always always posted my prices on my web site, and have that the price may change due to cake size, design changes. It also prepares the customer for when they ask for quotes and keeps away the Walmart Compare-ers. Even when i do bridal shows, I put the price next to the dummy cakes! I cannot tell you how many brides tell me how much they appreciate that.

So yes, Post prices! At least starting prices!

(PS Yes, my web site currently has no prices on it, because I am no longer taking any cake orders. Its just there for the gallery right now, since its already paid for...)

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