New Website...could Use Some Critique!

Business By gr8cakemaker Updated 19 Mar 2009 , 9:21pm by KoryAK

gr8cakemaker Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:41pm
post #1 of 22

So this is my website icon_biggrin.gif I am very proud of it but am wondering what others think. Any advice would be welcomed. Trying to make it look as professional as possible. (yes I am a licensed and health inspected bakery in NC). Thanks guys! icon_smile.gif

http://customcakecreations.org

21 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 3:50pm
post #2 of 22

I think it is laid out really well.The only suggestion is to buy a program or use a special booth to photograph your cakes as the backgrounds in some pictures are distracting.I too need to do this with my photos but I need to find a progam..I think photoshop is one I have heard of. Other than that I really like it!

Wait..I am looking at them now and most of the photos are photograped against a cloth etc..I would still buy a software program to tweak them up! thumbs_up.gif

pastrychef22 Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 4:33pm
post #3 of 22

All that is see is that I think you need to redo the word "info" and change it to the word Information and make sure it is capitalized.

juleebug Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 4:44pm
post #4 of 22

I would suggest that you hyperlink your pictures to larger images of your cakes so that potential clients can see more of the details.

imakecakes Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 4:49pm
post #5 of 22

Your website looks great to me! Maybe adding another color with the green accents would give it a little pizzaz? Although it's very nice the way it is.

I wish you would put more of your photos on here. I would love to add some to my favs--you do great work!!

jillmakescakes Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 4:51pm
post #6 of 22

A few things I noticed

*The pages appear to be spaced wrong- there is a large green block on the right side of each page. The wording on the home page isn't centered.
*The contact us page doesn't have address or phone info. It also doesn't have a direct email address.
* I'd suggest reordering your navigation bar. I'd also retitle your gallery navigation buttons so that it is obvious that they will find photos on those pages. I thought I would find info about your wedding cakes on the cakes page as opposed to the photos.
* Your "INFO" page isn't really info, its just flavors. You may want to retitle this.
*It is a good idea to have your contact info on each page, maybe as a footer. This allows people to find you no matter what page they are on.
*Consider putting something on the gallery pages "These are just a few examples of what we can do. Contact us to start planning your cake today!" or something like that.
*do you offer tastings? how much notice do you need for your cakes? what are your prices? All of this can be done in a FAQ page.


Ok, so I know it sounds like a lot, but I know that I had the hardest time getting my site right, so I hope that this helps you.

gr8cakemaker Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 4:52pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by juleebug

I would suggest that you hyperlink your pictures to larger images of your cakes so that potential clients can see more of the details.





I would so love to do that, but unfortunately have no idea how. I am using a program called microsoft office live for my website. If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. thanks so much!

butterfly831915 Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 4:54pm
post #8 of 22

Very nice website.

lisa5573 Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 5:14pm
post #9 of 22

Very nice site. My only suggustion echos a few other comments. I didn't see a phone number on the website at all. I agree that putting your contact informaion, maybe an address and phone number, on the bottom of each page would be very helpful.

juleebug Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 5:15pm
post #10 of 22

I use MS Office FrontPage. I don't know if MS Office Live would work the same but what I do is right click on my thumbnail images and a pop-up box comes up with a list of options. Down at the bottom is "Hyperlink" Click on that and a box comes up with a list of the contents of my image folder. I click on the corresponding file and that's it. Now, when someone cllicks on my images, the page loads a full size (640 x 480) picture of my cakes.

HTH

gr8cakemaker Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 5:26pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes


*do you offer tastings? how much notice do you need for your cakes? what are your prices? All of this can be done in a FAQ page.


Ok, so I know it sounds like a lot, but I know that I had the hardest time getting my site right, so I hope that this helps you.




wow, thanks for all of that. Very useful. All of the information about tastings, advance notice for cakes and prices is on the "prices" page.

-Thanks everyone for the help! It is truly appreciated, thats why I LOVE CC. Keep it coming....

beck30 Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 8:22pm
post #12 of 22

You can use picnik.com to fix your pictures. I just started doing this myself. Photography makes a big dif. Overall your website looks pretty good.

loriana Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 8:26pm
post #13 of 22

I do a *tiny* bit of web design. Ok a few things:

1) you need to add your "Copyright 2009" on there. It's your domain, your material and therefore your copyright.

2) I would make it a bit less boxy and stay away from greys. Greys tend to look "default" with whatever program makes click boxes and such. Pick a color scheme and make all of your fonts, backgrounds, menus, etc... match.

3) consider using a program like Paint Shop Pro (my personal favorite) or Adobe Illustrator (a bit more complicated and expensive) to make a logo. Use it whenever possible on your webpage.

4) every webpage MUST have an idex at the bottom that has links to the rest of your site. Make sure one of those is "Index" or "Home".

Hope a few things help with your design, but you have a good start. Note: I am working on my website right now (and took down a lot of pictures, etc...) but if you look at my main page, that is sort of my ideas I described above:

http://www.lmk4.com

TonyaBakes Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 8:41pm
post #14 of 22

Nothing more that I can add, everyone else had wonderful suggestions. You are off to a great start. I'm in NC too - Asheville area. I have some friends and family your way. I will be sure to let them know about you! Congrats on your site! icon_smile.gif

dawnns Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 8:47pm
post #15 of 22

I'm not much on web sites but my first question would be, Where are you located? Figured somewhere in Ny because of Yankee cakes. Beautiful cakes.

JenWhitlock Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 9:05pm
post #16 of 22

very good clean site...
I'll echo what others have said but here's my additions....

I get that you are going for a monochromatic green color scheme. which is nice and works with the cake that you chose, but you need an accent color to make the page 'pop' I would suggest an orangie bright pink in just a few choice spots.

as for your logo, I would look for a font with a little more personality. (keep it as simple and readable as possible though!!!!) do you want it to feel more elegant or funky? which is your target? -you can do a websearch for some freefonts.

I'm visual (a cake decoator visual, whoda thought?) and I don't read much on sites I look for pictures... that said I like your 'cookies' page with the image in the middle ot the page. it draws me to your work more. (note that you used pink and orange on this page and it really 'pop's on the green background)

oh, and a real basic deal. your logo should always (ok almost always) link back to your homepage. similar to the logo, you should have contact info on every page and the copyright. (my program 'DreamWeaver' has a function to create a 'library' item that I can then place on every page and if I update the library item, it updates every page - yours should have something similar)

ok, like others said, reorder the nav info, bring your images and pricing up. if I'm looking at your page, first I want to fall in love with your work then I want to know how much it's going to cost me. (rename some of the headings like PP)

and as for the larger images, like previous poster said your program should have some sort of 'hyperlink' button. select the thumbnail add the hyperlink and point the link to the .jpg (there are prettier ways to do this but this is a very good start) you will likely have options to open it in a new window, which I would do so that people don't navigate away from your contact information.

good luck and if you have any specific HTML questions feel free to PM me

feel free to fire back at me, my site is due for an update...
http://www.posh-pastries.com

loriana Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:15pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenWhitlock

very good clean site...
I'll echo what others have said but here's my additions....

I get that you are going for a monochromatic green color scheme. which is nice and works with the cake that you chose, but you need an accent color to make the page 'pop' I would suggest an orangie bright pink in just a few choice spots.

as for your logo, I would look for a font with a little more personality. (keep it as simple and readable as possible though!!!!) do you want it to feel more elegant or funky? which is your target? -you can do a websearch for some freefonts.

I'm visual (a cake decoator visual, whoda thought?) and I don't read much on sites I look for pictures... that said I like your 'cookies' page with the image in the middle ot the page. it draws me to your work more. (note that you used pink and orange on this page and it really 'pop's on the green background)

oh, and a real basic deal. your logo should always (ok almost always) link back to your homepage. similar to the logo, you should have contact info on every page and the copyright. (my program 'DreamWeaver' has a function to create a 'library' item that I can then place on every page and if I update the library item, it updates every page - yours should have something similar)

ok, like others said, reorder the nav info, bring your images and pricing up. if I'm looking at your page, first I want to fall in love with your work then I want to know how much it's going to cost me. (rename some of the headings like PP)

and as for the larger images, like previous poster said your program should have some sort of 'hyperlink' button. select the thumbnail add the hyperlink and point the link to the .jpg (there are prettier ways to do this but this is a very good start) you will likely have options to open it in a new window, which I would do so that people don't navigate away from your contact information.

good luck and if you have any specific HTML questions feel free to PM me

feel free to fire back at me, my site is due for an update...
http://www.posh-pastries.com




Hi Jen, I just had to hijack the thread for a moment: Your cookies are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I have seen some GREAT cookies in my time and your's rate up there with the best I have ever seen. I especially love your cartoon cookies like the Dr. Suess gift basket. You sure have an amazing talent. Have you been to Eleni's site in New York? You must be her long-lost twin sister icon_smile.gif

JenWhitlock Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:46pm
post #18 of 22

HA! Funny you should say that... Not that my cookies are as good as hers, but I think TracyLH and I must have been separated at birth :LOL:
Thanks!

(and yes I've seen Elenis' site - totally Fab!)

Paul353 Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 7:29pm
post #19 of 22

It looks like you are using the original image as your thumbnails and therefore the page is much slower to load. (example:http://customcakecreations.org/images/halloween08.jpg)

You should resize the images using Photoshop Elements or a free version of Photoshop called Gimp. Unless you have another images editing program.

Thumbnails should enlarge when clicked.

You don't need to give as much prominence to the SiteMap. It should be in the footer links or at least at the bottom of the list.

I agree with others that the images should all be in one navigation button with some sub-navigation.


Info should be called "Flavors, Frostings and Fillings" or something more descriptive than "info"

Pricing should be moved further up on the list. That is what most customers are looking for after images.

Avoid using italics and keep your fonts consistent throughout the site.


Good luck. PM me if you need further assistance.

gr8cakemaker Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 7:48pm
post #20 of 22

thanks Paul353, unfortunately I have been working on my site for most of the day and you probably saw some crazy things going on today. I have been trying to apply the things suggested and it has taken me quite some time to fix it, but if you check back soon it shouldnt be such a hazardous site LOL

thanks again guys!

JenWhitlock Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 8:51pm
post #21 of 22

Great job! it's looks better already!
(I know it takes a lot of work, but once you are done, you should be able to take a breather)
I like your homepage so much better! thumbs_up.gif

one other thing that I forgot to mention... (it's a little pet pieve of mine)
is your page titles should include your biz name.
i.e. that text on the window title bar should say "Custom Cake Creations - Wedding Cakes"
that way when someone bookmarks it they recognize it later (if they forget to rename it as I often do - but I'm getting better icon_lol.gif )

KoryAK Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:21pm
post #22 of 22

The layout looks very nice. Just a few bits tho...



1) very first sentence... s/b "client's" not "clients"

2) each order is given... the three ands at the end make it a bit confusing

3) palette is for artists... palate is your taste icon_smile.gif

4) "info" in the menu bar is not capitalized

5) I really really hope you don't take this the wrong way... but there are cakes on that site that look more amateur than a lot of others (which look great) on the site. As a baker, my guess is that some are older and before more practice. But as a customer, it makes me think the cakes are hit-or-miss. As much as you want your site chock full of pix, you may want to scale it back to just the best ones and keep uploading more best ones.

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