Hello everyone! I haven't been on much lately (sadly) because I just had my second son in August and have been a little busy trying to raise two kids! However, I found some time to create a webpage for all of my cakes and pastries that I have made so far since I started baking and creating pastries! I was hoping that I could get some advice from all the experts and beginners alike! It's not however a webpage for a business. I have no where to work from and am still investigating getting my kitchen inspected! Therefore there are no order type forms and nothing on any pricing! Right now I'm doing stuff for friends and family just to get practice and build up my skills! Now, onto the webpage, alyssascakes.weebly.com and please be honest! I really would like this page to be as professional as possible! Thank you all again for any help!!!
I don't have any advise, but just wanted to let you know that it's lovely!
Very nice! I sent you a PM.
It looks very neatly layed out. Great Job They can be so time consuming. Good luck on passing your inspection.
Your cakes are beautiful and you've done a nice job on your website. My only suggestion would be for the viewer to have the ability of clicking on each cake so they can get a closer look. I almost always click on the pictures so I can see the details. Good luck on passing your inspection!
I think that it is good. I love the colors of your home page. I am not sure that I like they way that you set up your gallery. It is just a personal preference, but I like seeing them all lined up and then clicking on the picture to get the details and to see a larger version of the picture to get a look at the true details. Also, I would include a little more about who you are and your passion of baking cakes and treats. You may also want to work on posting some more interesting pictures in your "Other Treats" area. I don't believe that these truly show off your talent. I wish you all of the luck in your inspection and developing your website and business!!
Thanks everyone! It is definitely time consuming. And I hate to say it but I have forgotten what the flavors were for some of the older cakes. This site helped a lot with the more recent cakes I've done. The orange roses cake someone actually thought I covered with fondant and it's just buttercream. That was a real self-esteem booster! Should I do all of my cakes as a gallery, and then you can click on them to get a closer look and info on the cake? So people don't have the read about the ones that don't interest them? Or I could do columns so there's 2 rows of pictures, or I can do 2 pages also. Thanks again for all your help! I have some free time today so hopefully I will be able to work on this!
I made some updates to my page... it's not complete (which it probably never will be because I'll always be doing cakes and baked goods) but I was hoping you guys could tell me if you like the gallery set up before I change everything over!
tell me if you like the gallery set up
I like it. Less scrolling than before. Larger close-up view than before.
You have the start of a lovely website! Congratulations on a job well done.
If I read your initial post correctly, this is the start of what will hopefully become a business website. With that in mind, I have a few tips. (i have been in the web design and seo business for 15 years)
This is actually the best time to start a real website, with a real domain name and real hosting. This can be done very inexpensivley and will pay off when you start your real business.
It takes a while for search enignes to discover and rank a website. To build one now and slowly increase the amount of information you provide as you do "friends and family" cakes, will pay of in much better search engine visibility when you actually do start taking orders.
You have a good eye for design and the site is lovely. As a practical tip I would get rid of the stats counter at the bottom and install Google Analytics. Its free and give you a huge insight into who your visitors are and what they are looking at.
I would also change "a bakers collection" to read "blog". Visitors then know this is the place they can interact with you. I almost missed this thinking it was another image gallery.
I am a caker only for fun and have learned so much from so many on this forum. I am always thrilled when I can use my 15 years of web expertise to help those that have helped me.
Yes, hopefully someday this will help me start my own business! Although I wouldn't mind either if it helped me to get a job working at a place like Jacques' Pastries in NH either, it's only about an hour from where I live, and I like to think something like this would show my capabilities as a baker/pastry chef! Owning a business scares me a little, since I have absolutely no knowledge of business what-so-ever. But I learned to bake, so I suppose I can learn to run my own little company as well!
I'm surprises you noticed the counter at the bottom, I thought it was pretty discrete! I wasn't sure what google analytics was, and I still actually don't, but I'm assuming it's similar to my w3counter.com thingy! And I am so glad to get your advise on my page since you are in web design! Are there too many galleries? If you almost mistook it for a gallery, I'm assuming you were debating not clicking on it... I plan on putting your suggestions into place asap! Except for buying my own domain, currently, while being a stay at home mom and the potential for my own business being many years away (or whenever I get a kitchen I can legally work in) I just can't budget that measly little $5 a year it costs... Maybe I will have to talk to my husband though, because when I word it like that it makes me feel like there is no reason I can't budget $5 a year for a future endeavor! Thanks again for the tips!
scratch that whole domain price thing... it's like $30 or something for a year...
another FREE alternative is a business Facebook page. You can use this to showcase your talents to prospective employers and build a fan base on facebook, which could easily be transported to a website when you are ready. Do keep it very separate from your personal facebook, treat it like an online portfolio.
I noticed the counter straight away...but then again, they are a pet peeve of mine I have blogged abit about Google Analytics, I will pm you with the blog post that explains how to install it. The analytics program will really give you an insane amount of detail into your visitors and what they are looking at on your site.
For a business site, there may be too many galleries. For a site to showcase your talents as you start out - its just perfect.
and one final note on the facebook thing, you are doing free cakes for friends and family - so make sure they recommend your facebook page and pass along some praise for your work. If they are not paying you, they can at least help with your marketing!
I almost did a facebook page too! I'm not sure what really made me change my mind, probably because I didn't think about the fact that you can make a business facebook page. I don't actually have a personal one, my husband does and I use it once in a while. Hmm... it stinks that I just put all that work into the weebly page if a facebook page might be better... I guess I will look into it more! Where I am just starting out, if I'm going to switch this is probably the best time. Would I still be able to use Google Analytics if I use facebook? Or do you know if they have some sort of visitor insight?
You did not waste time with your weebly page! A facebook page (or any other social media page) is complimentary to a website, not a replacement. You have done a ton of work for your website that will translate to anything else you do online, you have your pictures uploaded and classified, you are starting to write your blog, etc. This is all very valuable stuff. Do not for second think of it as a waste of time.
Analytics is not used on Facebook, but there is no need. With facebook, you know who is a fan and you can see all the details you need about who is checking you out. Get familiar with your husbands account and understand how it works and when you are comfortable, set up your own for your business/resume.
There is no hurry, the best approach for your online marketing is doing a little bit every week and that little bit grows on itself till you have alot of information available.
I actually use his facebook pretty regularly! I think I might start my own page soon though, for my cakes that is. The only thing is I don't have a business and although I don't mind doing cakes for close friends and family, I'm not totally comfortable doing cakes for people I don't know. I am worried someone might claim they got sick from something I made or something and try to sue me. I guess I will try to create a resume? I'm not really sure how to do that but I will try! Thanks for all of the advice on the webpage, and all the recommendations! I actually just consolidated my cupcakes page into my other cakes page! Hopefully this all goes well!
I'm not sure I understand this facebook thing. I started to make my own business page but it just linked up to my husbands facebook. Do I need to have a regular facebook first? Or maybe I should just do a regular page. I just don't want to get tagged in unrelated pictures, or have people post unrelated stuff on my wall.