Help Building A Website... Lot Of Help Needed!!!

Business By Claudine1976 Updated 7 Sep 2007 , 8:46pm by MichelleM77

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 6:40pm
post #1 of 31

Im trying to build my own web, but my lack of experience in this enviroment is making this task almost impossible to finish! I HATE MY WEBSITE... I think is horrible... but I have no way to pay to have it done, or somebody to help me... beside all the nice people from Cake Central.

Please feel free to take a look of my disaster web... I need all the help I can get.

My computer skills are very basic., very , very basic.. and as you can notice I not too good spelling and writting!!!

I think Ill desist on the idea of getting the site done, especially by myself....

www.claudiascakes.net

Claudia

30 replies
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meredetrois Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 6:54pm
post #2 of 31

First off, your cakes are STUNNING! I want that Nemo cake and I'm an adult lol. I think the website looks fine. You might want to change the colors, maybe a brighter pink and a chocolate or a taupe color. (I don't know how to do that either.) I like how you can click through the cakes without it popping up another web page.

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 7:03pm
post #3 of 31

Thanks for looking! Im going to try to change the color combo, Now that you said it, yes, It is kind of dark.

Claudia

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beccakelly Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 8:16pm
post #4 of 31

i noticed that your pricing/flavors page seems to just list links to the other pages, and not prices/flavors.... have you just not finished it yet? and i agree the colors are a little drab. good start though! i like the direction your taking.

i can't stress enough though how nice it is to have someone design your website for you. i posted on another thread my website that i had my DH do, because he's a graphic designer. he did such cool things, i know i would have never thought it some of that stuff myself! im a big advocate of getting a designer to do your branding if at all possible, and if you're at all serious about doing this professionally. people will recognize a professional website and it will give your cakes more credibility.

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shalderman Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 8:28pm
post #5 of 31

Well I feel the overall look is good so far ~ what are you feeling its lacking or what are you wanting that's not there?

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 8:37pm
post #6 of 31

I whish I could pay for a web designer profesional... but I can't, so I have to do my best... Im trying to change the color combo, but I dont have a lot of options this is a free web hosting with microsoft live. Thanks for the advice... ahhh bec, you web is just amazing!!!! congratulations!!!! can I borrow your DH for a while??? icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Claudia

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FlowerGirlMN Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 9:29pm
post #7 of 31

Two words of advice:

Get an email addy to match your domain - @yahoo.com looks really unprofessional. No offense!

Secondly.. go on Craigslist, post an ad that you need a website, can't pay, etc - that you're looking for a student or someone wanting to build their portfolio.

For that matter, you could also post in the barter section and offer to make a cake in exchange for the site.

No matter what you do, the site NEEDS to be pro, and needs to be a priority. No matter how you do the rest of your marketing, your website is the face of your business 24/7.

Hope this helps!

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ccr03 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 9:36pm
post #8 of 31

I updated mine not too long ago (I'm more of a geek so I did it one night when I was bored at home.)

Anyway, I searched for free wedding templates. They are designed for bridal couples, but you can change them to fit your needs. IF you like anything about my site, please feel free to PM.

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Shaela Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 9:44pm
post #9 of 31

Ok... I am going to go against the grain here... I built my web site and have had professional site builders and many, many others tell me how wonderful it is... and believe me it is not because of any web design talent... here is the secret... use HOMESTEAD!!! It's all drag and drop... makes me look like a genius!!! AND... the aren't that pricey... DON'T pay someone to do what you can do yourself... I don't want to have to pay a web designer each time I need to make a change or want to freshen my site... On Homesteads web site they show examples of their clients web sites too...

if you are interested... here is my site:

www.sinfulcheesecake.com

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daisygurlvb Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 9:51pm
post #10 of 31

Okay, I am a professional proof reader, so if I come across as anal retentive, I apologize. However you needed some opinions, so I thought I would chime in with mine.

On your "About Us" page...1) it's too wordy. There is one run on sentence that could easily be broken into 3 sentences. 2) in the first line, you have "I'm being engaged" and I believe it may read better as "I've been engaged".

Also, down at the end of the paragraph you go on to explain what types of cakes you make. It's pretty wordy. I would shorten it to read something like "I create cakes for any occassion. If you have an event, I have the cake" or something creative like that. No need to list every celebration on there.

And in the final line, you have "Make" capitalized and it shouldn't be. If for whatever reason, people have read enough and can see the picture, they might not scroll down lower to read that bottom line. To be on the safe side, I'd move that line above the picture.

I do NOT mean to offend in anyway just wanted to point these things out.

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ChristineMarie Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 9:55pm
post #11 of 31

I also used office live and you can check out my site at www.dessertstogo.net i also had to do it on my own because i cannot afford anything else right now. its "ok" but one day i will improve it..

There is this site my boyfriend told me about that I just love. Its not too expensive and looks very very professional. www.entheosweb.com/photoshop_templates/cakes.asp

Check it out and maybe youll be able to buy a template from them that you like.

Hope this helps

Christine

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 10:18pm
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerGirlMN

Two words of advice:

Get an email addy to match your domain - @yahoo.com looks really unprofessional. No offense!

Secondly.. go on Craigslist, post an ad that you need a website, can't pay, etc - that you're looking for a student or someone wanting to build their portfolio.

For that matter, you could also post in the barter section and offer to make a cake in exchange for the site.

No matter what you do, the site NEEDS to be pro, and needs to be a priority. No matter how you do the rest of your marketing, your website is the face of your business 24/7.

Hope this helps!




Yes! I will take my yahoo out! thanks!
the craigslist is a terrific idea!
thanks... icon_lol.gif

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yummymummycakes Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 10:25pm
post #13 of 31

Firstly let me say that I think you have done a wonderful job and your cakes are awesome. My birthday is Sept 13, think you could ship Nemo to Aust for me?.................. please icon_biggrin.gif

If possible the colours need 'perking' up, they just dont seem to fit the personality of your designs.

I also noted that you do not have an address listed under the Contact Us page. Is that because you work from home?

I would remove the @yahoo address if you really dont need it. I don't see the sense in having to check two email accounts if you can avoid it. Time = Money remember. icon_lol.gif

Also up the top of the page where you have: Beautiful decorated cakes for any ocassion.......... doesn't occassion have two C's? (I get confused sometimes with the American spelling)

Also I cant get the page to come up that is supposed to have the prices and flavors icon_cry.gif

In addition the About Us page has a couple of errors to it. I have copied your wording (for ease) and they played with it a bit. See what you like.

The spelling mistake I have highlighted in red.

Your wording:

Since I was a little girl, I'm being engaged with many forms of art expression,
from painting to sculpture, and now I feel passion for sugar,
and what stared as a hobby has become my obsession, I truly feel love for what I do!.
I create birthday cakes, bridal shower cakes, baby shower cakes,
anniversary cakes, baptism cakes, children's cakes, groom's cakes, party cakes, celebration cakes,
custom designed cakes and wedding cakes.

My play on your words:

Since I was a little girl, I've been engaging in many forms of art expression.
From painting to sculpture, which eventually lead me to combining all my passions into sugar work.
What started as a hobby has become my obsession.
I truly feel love for what I do!
I create cakes for all celebrations and parties, whether you require cake for a bridal shower, wedding and groom's cakes, anniversaries, baby showers and baptisms.

Simply advise me of what you require or alternatively I can custom design a cake for you.

Let me make your dreams a reality!

Hope this is of some help to you.

Cheryl

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 10:27pm
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr03

I updated mine not too long ago (I'm more of a geek so I did it one night when I was bored at home.)

Anyway, I searched for free wedding templates. They are designed for bridal couples, but you can change them to fit your needs. IF you like anything about my site, please feel free to PM.




Kity I love your web is so alegre (fun)!!!! I like the stream of pictures on your home page!

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 10:35pm
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaela

Ok... I am going to go against the grain here... I built my web site and have had professional site builders and many, many others tell me how wonderful it is... and believe me it is not because of any web design talent... here is the secret... use HOMESTEAD!!! It's all drag and drop... makes me look like a genius!!! AND... the aren't that pricey... DON'T pay someone to do what you can do yourself... I don't want to have to pay a web designer each time I need to make a change or want to freshen my site... On Homesteads web site they show examples of their clients web sites too...

if you are interested... here is my site:

www.sinfulcheesecake.com




Thanks for the good advise, Im going to give it a try at microsoft live, if this does not work for me.. Ill try homestead!

Thanks!!!!

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Claudine1976 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 10:48pm
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisygurlvb

Okay, I am a professional proof reader, so if I come across as anal retentive, I apologize. However you needed some opinions, so I thought I would chime in with mine.

On your "About Us" page...1) it's too wordy. There is one run on sentence that could easily be broken into 3 sentences. 2) in the first line, you have "I'm being engaged" and I believe it may read better as "I've been engaged".

Also, down at the end of the paragraph you go on to explain what types of cakes you make. It's pretty wordy. I would shorten it to read something like "I create cakes for any occassion. If you have an event, I have the cake" or something creative like that. No need to list every celebration on there.

And in the final line, you have "Make" capitalized and it shouldn't be. If for whatever reason, people have read enough and can see the picture, they might not scroll down lower to read that bottom line. To be on the safe side, I'd move that line above the picture.

I do NOT mean to offend in anyway just wanted to point these things out.




Thank!!!!!!!!!
This is the kind of advice I need!!!!!! English is my second language, and even Im doing my best to use it in a correct manner, still have a long way to go, Thanks!!

You do not offend me at all, Im changing my web now!!! icon_lol.gif

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daisygurlvb Posted 23 Aug 2007 , 12:08am
post #17 of 31

Best of luck. This is why I love CC!

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Claudine1976 Posted 23 Aug 2007 , 2:13am
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherylweddingplanner


Since I was a little girl, I've been engaging in many forms of art expression.
From painting to sculpture, which eventually lead me to combining all my passions into sugar work.
What started as a hobby has become my obsession.
I truly feel love for what I do!
I create cakes for all celebrations and parties, whether you require cake for a bridal shower, wedding and groom's cakes, anniversaries, baby showers and baptisms.

Simply advise me of what you require or alternatively I can custom design a cake for you.

Let me make your dreams a reality!

Hope this is of some help to you.

Cheryl




Thanks a lot Cheryl, I did use your nice wording un my "about us" page... It sound much better now... Thanks a million...
Claudia

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supremecakes Posted 23 Aug 2007 , 3:16am
post #19 of 31

It is possible to have many of the benefits of a web site,
without doing the work or spending the money:

http://www.supremecakes.com/cakegallery19.html

http://www.supremecakes.com/cakegallery30.html

It does help to have a domain name that forwards to your pages.

BOB

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ccr03 Posted 23 Aug 2007 , 1:15pm
post #20 of 31

Thanks Claudine!!

Shaela reminded me of something else. I am the web designer for a school and church and I use Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting from them. Yahoo has different Web Hosting options, and for a monthly fee you get the hosting, email addresses, and a SUPER easy drop and drag web design software - absolutely NO Web design experience needed. I love it! Eventually when I am more established/have more business, I'll probably switch over to them.

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Claudine1976 Posted 23 Aug 2007 , 9:12pm
post #21 of 31

Thanks all for the suport, the main reason I like microsoft live is because I can have my domain, no hard to remenber word atached to it, like my old web (www.freewebs/claudiascakes.com) and The best part is FREE, It not that hard to use, is just my lack of web design computer skills. I did some modificacions last night.
I Think is looking better now, but still does not look near professional as I would like it to be.
Something tell me Im not going to be able to make my own web and love it at the same time! well Im going to the library today to get some web books! thumbs_up.gif
Claudia
the librarian is going to be in shock whe she sees me getting a non cake book! icon_lol.gif

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abeverley Posted 23 Aug 2007 , 9:46pm
post #22 of 31

www.bravehost.com is another site that you can do really good websites with. You can either have a free website or upgrade the hosting for like 5.95 a month for any possibilites, email address, etc.

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BrandisBaked Posted 24 Aug 2007 , 7:46pm
post #23 of 31

I paid a fortune for my website... but if I had it to do over again, I'd have used www.templatemonster.com

I know a few people who bought templates from there and they are great.

As an aside, I HATE websites with music. I don't work outside the home anymore, but when I'd surf online while at work and a site had music on it, it would seriously cheese me off. 1.) there's no need to push your musical tastes on someone else, 2.) volume levels vary for things we DO want to listen to (I watch news clips and youtube videos) - and imagine my surprise when your tune suddenly blares out of my speakers unexpectedly, and 3.) it slows down the load time (there are still some people who use dial up! Imagine! LOL!)

The music is my only real gripe about your site. I just don't revisit sites that have music.

ETA: I just realized how b*tchy that sounded. LOL! That's what I get for typing in a hurry. It was in no way intended to sound condescending. But I DO hate music on website. Hate! Hate! Hate!

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MichelleM77 Posted 24 Aug 2007 , 10:49pm
post #24 of 31

[quote="FlowerGirlMN"]Get an email addy to match your domain - @yahoo.com looks really unprofessional. No offense![quote]

You really think it's unprofessional? I have an @yahoo.com website for my business and never thought of it as unprofessional. It's my business [email protected] As long as it's not [email protected] for a cake business (unless you just make pretty pink horse cakes!), then I would think it would be fine.

Now I'm getting paranoid about my email address. icon_cry.gif

I guess that's what makes the world go round, we each have an opinion.

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kpargola Posted 6 Sep 2007 , 4:24pm
post #25 of 31

HI,
My husband & I use www.1and1.com to host our site. We have a site www.pargola.net, which was originally for our wedding info site but now for pictures and stuff for family and friends to view. 1and1.com is not too expensive. We pay like $20ish a year. It has easy to use software and lots of templates. We get like 500 email addresses with it. so i have [email protected] and my husband has his [email protected] I have a subdomain for my cake business (which wont be legal til we move but my family likes to see my cakes and orders from me). www.creations.pargola.net and i have an email [email protected] www.1and1.com is a great site for hosting. PM me if you would like more information.

Hope this helps.
Katie

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vickster Posted 6 Sep 2007 , 6:12pm
post #26 of 31

I don't care for your logo being printed across all of your cake pictures. It distracts me from seeing your GREAT looking cakes.

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kpargola Posted 6 Sep 2007 , 6:20pm
post #27 of 31

A lot of people print the logo to copyright their pcitures because unfortunately there are some people out there that will take others pictures and use them as their own.

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peacockplace Posted 6 Sep 2007 , 7:31pm
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

I paid a fortune for my website... but if I had it to do over again, I'd have used www.templatemonster.com

I know a few people who bought templates from there and they are great.

As an aside, I HATE websites with music. I don't work outside the home anymore, but when I'd surf online while at work and a site had music on it, it would seriously cheese me off. 1.) there's no need to push your musical tastes on someone else, 2.) volume levels vary for things we DO want to listen to (I watch news clips and youtube videos) - and imagine my surprise when your tune suddenly blares out of my speakers unexpectedly, and 3.) it slows down the load time (there are still some people who use dial up! Imagine! LOL!)

The music is my only real gripe about your site. I just don't revisit sites that have music.

ETA: I just realized how b*tchy that sounded. LOL! That's what I get for typing in a hurry. It was in no way intended to sound condescending. But I DO hate music on website. Hate! Hate! Hate!





Me too! I thought I was the only one. I hate sites with music. I will usually leave a site if music comes up and look for something else.

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JanetPlanet Posted 7 Sep 2007 , 4:52am
post #29 of 31

Well you really made my day! I've learned so much from you all on this thread that I won't be afraid to give this a try too. Thank you for posting this and thanks to all that responded!

I was expecting to see some really rough website and I think you are WELL on your way to a nice, clean, easily-read website. Personally, I wouldn't change servers, templates etc ~ just fine-tune what you've started. I really liked the font and the font SIZE. I'm a web-addict and I've seen a million confusing sites (lots with cakes). It just gets annoying when there are too many "bells and whistles" like gawdy colors, too many different fonts and font colors, flashing words, and hard-to-find links to the inner pages (hidden in images of cakes, etc).

What's most important here is that YOUR CUSTOMERS be able to easily navigate your site. Some people seem to get off on an ego trip with much, much more information than is necessary, and page after page of thumbnails. Don't lose a customer because they became overwhelmed.

These are my comments:

Your colors are very "easy on the eye" ~ what I saw was CHOCOLATE!... heh heh, I mean brown and pink, and I like that you kept it uniform throughout all the pages.

Re the music ~ I also vote no ~ it bugs me every time I hit a site with it. I immediately start searching for the OFF button lol.

I noticed that "occasion" is misspelled ~ don't feel bad; there's a nationally-known hot-shot cake decorator from NY City that has it misspelled on her website too.

There were different watermarks on your photos ~ I'd make them all uniform, and use the smaller script that was on most of the cookies (it's also low on the photo itself). I didn't think it detracted from the photos at all because it's somewhat transparent.

In your sentence about "what started as a hobby has become my passion...", I'd change that to "what started as a hobby became my passion" ~ I think that makes your cake business sound more established (which to us is obvious enough by your photos ~ your cakes are awesome ~ I was just checking them all out the other day!).

I REALLY liked that I didn't have to "click on thumbnail for larger picture", or as was mentioned, deal with pop-ups to get a nice view of your cakes.

On the upper right side of your banner ~ could you incorporate something more "cake-y" there, but still muted? I don't even know what I have in mind ~ I like the way it's "quiet", but nothing says "cake".

There's my 2 cents, and again, thank you for this post!!!!
~JP

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FlowerGirlMN Posted 7 Sep 2007 , 1:29pm
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleM77


You really think it's unprofessional? I have an @yahoo.com website for my business and never thought of it as unprofessional. It's my business [email protected] As long as it's not [email protected] for a cake business (unless you just make pretty pink horse cakes!), then I would think it would be fine.

Now I'm getting paranoid about my email address. icon_cry.gif

I guess that's what makes the world go round, we each have an opinion.




Yes, I definitely think it looks unprofessional.. and I'm really not alone in that. Take any marketing/promotion courses or seminars that at ALL involve internet, and you'll hear it from the pros. It's the email equivilent of having geocities.com/your_business_name_here, or tripod, or anything else like that. Fine for hobbyists, but if you really want to make a living at it, having your own domain and using it projects a professional image.

In this day and age, your website is every bit as important as storefronts are/were, and you wouldn't make your marquis sign with cardboard and crayolas, right? Domains (both for the site and email) really are that important.

I'm trained in webdesign, though, and have done a lot of reading about things like consumer view on company image regarding website issues. Ultimately, it's up to you whether you want to use yahoo or not, but having your own domain is cheap and easy, so why not.. ya know?

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