My Turn- Website Advice?

Business By HappyCake10609 Updated 28 Jul 2011 , 12:06pm by HappyCake10609

HappyCake10609 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 1:14pm
post #1 of 17

So it's my turn, finally! I've seen posts from people asking for feedback on their websites and i would like to do the same. After what feels like forever, I'm meeting with the Health Inspector at the kitchen I will be renting (next week), she said she's been there several times in the past few months, so this is just formality and she will be issuing me my license at the meeting! I am beyond excited.

So now I'm trying to get some stuff taken care, including my website. I had previously made a website on wix.com, but after some good advice, I have decided to build a website in html format to be better viewable/searchable to a larger audience. I built it myself and I there was only so much coding I could figure out (it's a template from weebly.com-but I didn't want it to look like anyone elses site). It's not as "flashy" as my flash site (OK that was terrible I know...).

I would love any feedback!

A couple of things to note-
I haven't committed to the wording on the Home page, still trying to work out something better.

Once I have more cakes in my portfolio I will separate the pics out into a more traditional gallery, for now it is a slideshow, but if the common recommendation is to separate it now I will (cause I'm waffling).

Once I have my license I will be adding my location to the main page and my contact number to the Contact page.

http://www.happycakesbyrenee.com/index.html

Thanks!!

16 replies
ShaunPepe Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 2:50pm
post #2 of 17

Well I don't have a website myself, but first glance at yours I am impressed. I like the colour combinations. Your cakes are very well done. You are very talented. And your photos look professional. As someone less experienced in the business word, your site is somewhat how I would like mine to look someday.

Spuddysmom Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 3:18pm
post #3 of 17

You built this yourself? I'm impressed! My SIL is still working on mine. Loved the look on the homepage - the color, background scrollwork - sets a nice tone, love the cake (roses) on the top, but I'm not lovin' the photo of the wedding cake. The cake itself is wonderful, but that brick background really detracts from the cake and the page. I know NOTHING about photoshop but can something be done to change out that backdrop? Also, can you change the exposure or something so you can see the quilting better?
Personally, I'd like to see the photos separated, but maybe that's no big deal. Your cupcake photos are really nice - that rainbow is too much fun!
I think your wording is almost there. If I were a potential client, your website would definitely appeal to me - fun, clean work on cakes, "approachable", makes the client feel like you care about them.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 3:43pm
post #4 of 17

Great job on the new site. I don't think the brick background on the cake picture detracts from it (in fact I didn't notice it until it was mentioned by the previous poster), but you may want to modify the damask background, maybe tone it down to something like 50% opacity.

I'm also a believer in starting out telling potential customers why they should buy from you (your competitive advantage, mission statement, etc.) and including links to other important pages on your site embedded in the copy. You may want to consider a separate "About Us" page.

Did you use Weebly to create and edit the site?

Let-Them-Eat-Cake08 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 4:05pm
post #5 of 17

It's a great page, very professional and your cakes are beautiful! I also love the logo.

I would just suggest that the damask in the background is toned down or something...it's kind of blinding to the eye.

HappyCake10609 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 17

Thank you for the replies! I did use Weebly to create and edit the site (all by myself icon_smile.gif ), I pretty much just Googled "CSS Code" for the things I want to change... I didn't even think about trying to change the Opacity of the background (it had been mentioned by someone else that it was "stark"), but I really love a business card design with the damask pattern and want my website to have the same feel... I think adjusting the opacity is a great compromise, rather than trying to pick a new background all together!

I chose that cake for the front page because it was black and white and matched the background (I've tried, unsuccessfully to change the background and I assembled the cake on-site so I couldn't pick a different backdrop). I haven't done many wedding cakes and this was my tallest and neatly done, so I felt it was a good initial representation of what I can do. I will change the photo when I get a better cake to present (thank you for the suggestions).

I like the idea about having a separate About Us page... I think that's why I'm not happy with the home page, I don't want to get "personal" right off the bat, but so many people as "How did you get started with this" so I think having the information there, but not "in your face" is a great idea!!

traci_doodle Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 4:39pm
post #7 of 17

I agree with everyone so far. Your cakes are beautiful and I think your website looks great! I want to order a cake from you!

I also agree with many of the suggestions so far: I would make the history of how you got into caking/competitions you've entered on a separate "about us" tab. I also agree that making the damask background less obvious would bring attention back to your cake and the important content. If you're able to play around with the opacity/transparency and tone it down (play around with it to see what you like) that would definitely help. I also think it would be fun if you could make it bigger/more zoomed in (I'm thinking like 300-500%), so you could see more details and less "pattern", although that is just a personal preference.

And lastly, I think a page is easier to read when it is divided in "thirds". Just looking at the box on the home page, in which you have your picture and text, the picture takes up maybe 1/4 of the horizontal spacing and the text takes up 3/4 (does this make sense?) If you could make your picture bigger (and I would probably crop the picture a little more to take out some of the dead space around the cake) so that it takes up closer to 1/3 of the page, leaving 2/3 of the box for your text, the lines of text will be shorter and easier for the reader to follow.

However, I'm really nitpicking here, because your website is already beautiful!

Cakegirl74 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 4:51pm
post #8 of 17

I really like your site, you did a great job.

I agree with previous posters that you should tone down the backdrop I think it is lovely but a little too dark so that would make it perfect. I also like your idea of having it match your business cards.

I also like the suggestion of a separate 'About Us' page I think it was a valid point.

The biggest thing for me is the picture gallery. Your pictures are great but I don't like the slideshow display. I think it would be better if you had the pictures just on their own and you could click on the thumbnail to get a larger view or something.

All in all I really like your site, and congratulations on your new business and best of luck with it.

HappyCake10609 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 5:09pm
post #9 of 17

I can't thank you all enough for all of the great advice! This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I have made some of the changes already. I couldn't figure out coding for the opacity of the background, but I was able to edit it in a photo editor and make it a light gray color instead of black. I agree it is easier on the eyes. I would love to be able to enlarge the photo, but it is a small graphic to begin with, so I'm pretty sure it would just get pixelated. I separated the "About Us" page from the main page, although I still need to work on the wording and content of those pages. And I was able to crop and enlarge the image of the cake on my Home page.

I completely agree about the photo gallery, and I probably will separate it out icon_smile.gif

Thanks again! And any other suggestions are more than welcome!

Cakeuhlicious Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 5:10pm
post #10 of 17

The website is beautiful and easy to navigate. I love the options and combos under the flavors section especially. The only snag I ran into is that I couldnt figure out how to navigate back to your website once I clicked on your blog. I assume the blog is hosted elsewhere. It would be good to add a link on your blog that takes you back to the main website. And I always like to see some general pricing, personally. Otherwise, it's awesome.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 5:19pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakeuhlicious

The only snag I ran into is that I couldnt figure out how to navigate back to your website once I clicked on your blog.



You could also set the blog to open in a new window, using the target="_blank" attribute of the <A> tag for that link.

Spuddysmom Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 6:01pm
post #12 of 17

Like the changed - enlarged? wedding cake photo - you can see the detail better and how clean it is.

HappyCake10609 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 6:02pm
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakeuhlicious

The only snag I ran into is that I couldnt figure out how to navigate back to your website once I clicked on your blog.


You could also set the blog to open in a new window, using the target="_blank" attribute of the <A> tag for that link.




Sigh, yes, I had noticed that problem... there is a link on my blog back to the site, but you have to look for it. My blog is through blogger, and I tried adding a tab on there to link back to the website, but couldn't figure it out.

Weebly has the option to add a link to an external website to the navigation menu, however, they do not give you the option to open it in a new window (which I would LOVE to do). I tried looking at the html code to change it as Jason suggested, but the links are not listed, under navigation it says %%Menu%% which I think directs to the menu Weebly automatically sets up. Regardless, that kind of coding is beyond me- I only know what I was able to google, LoL.

I guess my work around, at least for now, is to remove my blog from the navigation bar and add a link elsewhere, maybe at the bottom of my home page- links within the main content of the site I CAN designate to open in a new window. The blog is already listed on my contact page and really isn't critical to the purpose of my website...

Thanks again, everyone... I can't express how much this valuable advice is appreciated!!

gb89 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 6:40pm
post #14 of 17

I'm late to the game but wanted to give feedback....Nice site. It's clean, concise, engaging and the images are crisp. Good job. I wouldn't change a thing.

mcaulir Posted 28 Jul 2011 , 9:46am
post #15 of 17

Can I be a grammar and punctuation pedant? icon_wink.gif

There should be commas after clean and smooth on your home page. Wedding, birthday etc, and cupcakes and cookies shouldn't be capitalised. This sentence: 'The cake is home-baked, the flavor and filling of your choice.' needs a 'with' after the comma.

On your 'about us' page, 'portfolio' in the last sentence doesn't need a capital letter.

Of course, feel free to ignore all this! Your website is really lovely. icon_smile.gif

traci_doodle Posted 28 Jul 2011 , 11:45am
post #16 of 17

Looks great!

One suggestion: I was bummed you moved the phrase, "My cakes are always a hit!" to the "about us" tab. You could totally keep that on the home page. I think it shows confidence in your abilities! If you move it, I would put it at the end of your first paragraph on the home page. Other than that, I love all the changes and your website looks amazing! Good luck with everything!

HappyCake10609 Posted 28 Jul 2011 , 12:06pm
post #17 of 17

Thanks again everyone... Grammar and punctuation have always been a weak point of mine, so I really appreciate the help with that!

That's a good idea to move that line "my cakes are always a hit" to the front page! I will! I'm considering the wording and content of those pages (I just cut and pasted the text for now), so it may still change. As soon as I have my license I will definitely be adding my location, contact number and probably some pricing info as well. But, I like to know what people do like about it as is!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions!!

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