Our Website

Business By Sweet_Guys Updated 20 Nov 2008 , 2:55am by JenWhitlock

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Sweet_Guys Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 2:33am
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We've been running our website for almost two years now. We created it ourselves using Sitebuilder on top of starting the business, baking, decorating, delivering, and working at our full-time jobs. Did I mention we also keep up the yard and the house?! LOL

Anyways, we could use some constructive criticism. Please let us know what you think would make the website better. We aren't looking for flashy---just eye appealing!


Paul & Peter

62 replies
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mouse13 Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 4:12am
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Very nice. Great job.

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jillmakescakes Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 1:08pm
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Nice to meet anoter Sitebuilder!! I used that for my website too and I love it!!
Ok, so here is the constructive critisicism (sp?)
1 The info that you have listed on your home page should probably be on a "About Us" page. You want your home page to entice people. It should be more about the product and less about you IMHO.

2. Your logo should be more prominent. Your logo is kind of small in relationship to your navigication bar.

3. On your contact us page you may want to link your email info to allow the clients to just click on the link to open their email.
4. You may wish to provide a general explanation of your favorite links. As a cake muggle icon_lol.gif they may not understand who these folks are. (example: Colette is a famed cake design who has worked for Tiffany's and the White House.)
5 On your cake fillings/ cheesecake fillings etc , you should keep your header and navigation bar on the page. It makes it easier for clients to find what they are looking for if they always have the option of going to any page in the site. (if you save your home page as a template, then you can easily change the info that is on it as another page)
6. This is a big problem for me too, but you may want to look into getting better quality photos of your work. I had to 'thin down" my photo gallery because while the product was good, the photo wasn't good enough.

Ok now that that is out of the way, let me say that you have done a really nice job on your website. Given the amount of time it takes to work on it AND do everything else in your life, it really does look good. Your products look really yummy. I hope that nothing I suggested offends or upsets you. I truly mean it a constructive way. icon_biggrin.gif

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Sweet_Guys Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 2:24pm
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No offense taken! Those are some really great suggestions. We'll give them a shot...when we can...LOL

Paul & Peter

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mommicakes Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 11:37pm
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Hey sweetguys, Just hopped to your site. It's not too bad. (I mean that in a good way you know).

I only have a couple of suggestions, like one of the previous posts,

you should invest in a camera and tripod, this will make a world of difference in your photos. (trust me, DH takes all my pics now, because mine just sucked ! icon_redface.gif )

Also your logo should be a little bigger.

There may be a few things I have missed, but I will go and look more.

Keep up the good work, I expect to see much more from yous.

My site is still a work in progress, I still don't like it 100% yet, maybe I will someday. DH & I are always tweeking it, yours will be where you want it soon too.



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Sweet_Guys Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 3:56pm
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Cute cakes! We loved them!

We have a few questions for you:

1. Where did you get that incredible display for the wedding cupcakes or cheesecakes?

2. How do you get your pictures to print out with your company name stamped on them?

3. What type of camera would you or your DH recommend? We use a Samsung Digimax 4010.

4. Recently, we've been taking pictures on a cake stand (we're going to use a lollipop holder for chocolates) in front of a white board. Would this consistency be better than the counter pictures and the blue cloth pictures you've seen?

Paul & Peter

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Melvira Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 4:08pm
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One small note, if you do create an email link on your website, be prepared to get a boatload of spam. I finally had to remove the link on my site. There are companies and people that use software that just scans the internet looking for email addresses and once it gets one it starts to flood it with junk. I was getting upwards of 50 or more spam messages a day, and they were coming in as though they were orders! You can imagine how frustrating that was! At first I just removed my 'email me' link, then I had to remove several other things that were letting them still get through. Just an FYI! If you're like me, you are too busy to sort through that kind of junk, and you'd be pretty upset if a legit inquiry was throw out in the junk because you didn't see it!

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Sweet_Guys Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 8:40pm
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You don't know the half of it with SPAM! Just when we got the mailbox under control the computers went haywire with spam. Now that we've got THAT under control (knock on wood!) we're getting more and more junk in the mailbox.

As technology evolves, we get inundated with more and more from the "experts" who think they know what we need!

Paul & Peter

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Melvira Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 9:58pm
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Oh man, you guys, I totally feel your pain, and empathize!!! thumbsdown.gif

I did have a few suggestions, and I mean them with the most sincere respect and attitude of helpfulness... and this is all based on my web design degree, this is what I think when I first go to your site...

It's lacking *something*. Please let me expound on that. You have that solid background, which is fine, but it's not a very flattering color, it is a little bright/dark for what you're doing. And the navigation buttons don't seem to really 'go' with it. There is no real theme or feeling bringing it all together at this point, it's just some pictures on a page. I think that if you start by finding a nice, subtle theme to go with, you can start there and really fly! (My website is just a quickie I threw together in FrontPage, but aside from the little problem I'm having with the images in my nav bar, it's served me quite well.) You guys are most obviously artistic and creative, and you want to reflect on that with the design of your site. Maybe go with a color palette that is more 'cake-ish' if there is such a thing. Not that it needs to be pink and purple pastel, but you know what I mean! (I hope!) Just something a little softer and more 'confectiony'. If you want it to be a little more on the manly side, you can go with shades of chocolate, etc. Perhaps a pale ivory or light tan background with shades of brown detailing. Also, find a nice way to frame your pictures, to make them seem a bit more 'part' of the page. You can select a border for them, and then just pick a color that goes with the color scheme you've chosen.

I also like some of the other suggestions you've gotten already, especially the one about making an 'about us' type of page that tells more about you both, how you started, what you've done, etc. (Feel free to check out my site to see how I've incorporated that if you'd like.) On your home page you want to draw people in (as has been mentioned) and you can do that with current news, announcements, links to what is going on right now, just something to pull them straight into the 'meat' of your business.

As I said, feel free to visit my site to see some of the things I've done. Not that my site is out of this world awesome or anything like that. I haven't had time to really make it "amazing!" (new baby, cake business, spending my only free time here, etc.!) but I have some basic elements that I've mentioned here that kind of make it work. I'm just about ready to make some major functional changes, but it's still pretty ok for now.

I think with just a little design flair, and some basic structural changes you guys will have an amazing place to display your edible art, and draw customers in! It will make them really want to order from you!!

The best of luck to you!!

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Melvira Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 10:01pm
post #10 of 63
Originally Posted by Sweet_Guys

As technology evolves, we get inundated with more and more from the "experts" who think they know what we need!

I really had to laugh at that statement... it seems the experts know more than we realize. Apparently, I am not able to 'please' my girlfriends, and need immediate 'enhancement'. This is news to both me, and my husband!! icon_lol.gificon_cry.gif

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weirkd Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 10:13pm
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I also use sitebuilder for my website and design it and update it myself. It really is one of those things that you have to play around with and see what works and what doesnt. When I first got it, I had such a tough time getting things to show up the way I wanted them to! My husband fooled around with it and got it to work and I left it alone for quite a while! I was just afraid that I would screw it up! But I eventually saw other sites that I wanted mine to be more like so I started playing around with it. And believe me, once you do, you will be surprised what you can come up with on your own!
Im still trying to find a way to words to pop up and then disappear and then also a way to show my portfolio without using slide.com. I really love Marina Souza's website (Just Cakes of Monterey CA www.justcake.com) and was trying to do something to that effect with it. But like I said, I would love to have some words popping up but my hubby said that I needed a special program to do that and it was something that was very expensive to buy.
But I really suggest that you take some time and just play around for awhile. You will be amazed what Sitebuilder can do!

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sugarwishes Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 10:48pm
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The website isn't too bad at all, it just needs minor improvements. The most important I think is the pictures. You should not have any pictures with the date stamp on them. I also noticed that a couple pictures can't be enlarged. Its probably not a big deal, but I dont like that every time you open a picture, it has to open a new window. Hope this helps.
Good Luck!

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mommicakes Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 10:55pm
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I just tried to visit your website, it says it's not there. Just wanted to let you know.


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Melvira Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 11:10pm
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Donna, I'm sorry about that... I am right in the middle of trying to fix the nav bar issue I mentioned and I deleted the entire site from the server am currently republishing the entire thing in hopes that the issue will be fixed (fingers crossed). The site will be back up and running within the hour!! icon_redface.gif

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mommicakes Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 11:16pm
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Thanks Melvira, I thought it was my system AGAIN!!!!! icon_redface.gif

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CakeMakar Posted 25 Oct 2008 , 11:32pm
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Hi! Though I'm an amateur cake decorator, computers and websites are my niche. I wish the cakes would come as easy to me. Haha.
I think you'd do well investing in (or borrowing) a simple website/ web publishing book. Try the For Dummies or the "In a Week" series are great. They're made to be quick, 10 minutes or so lessons and they really teach a lot. The "In a Week" series were actually my college textbooks! Knowing the new "language" you're learning to speech really helps, whether its CSS, HTML, etc.

For the pictures - Try a Canon Digital Rebel. My brother got one for me (he's a photographer). It's a really nice, easy to use camera, and not too pricey. (Don't tell him I looked!) I was excited to see Bakerella has one too! http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2008/09/cupcakes-and-cameras.html She also gives some great shot pointers.

You're site has a great start! I agree with the suggested clearer pictures, logo, and navigating suggestions. I think your logo needs to be "one" with the background, not within a different color block and definitely more prominent. I think a major appearance factor is that your layout should also use the whole screen, it sort of stops 3/4 of the way.
I LOVE your company name! And those cookie dough truffles sound sinful! Yum!

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Lynnzee Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 1:20am
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It was great to see someone that I recognized here on cake central. I am a fellow memeber of CAGO. I just wanted to let you know that I think your site looks great. They always seem to be works in progress. LOL icon_biggrin.gif

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liapsim Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 1:40am
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I'm with the others....some type of different background and the pics need a little help. Other than that, I think it's great!

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Sweet_Guys Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 9:26pm
post #19 of 63

Thanks, everyone, for your great ideas!

The pictures will be a work in progress and we will change them out as we take new ones. Also, we'll start taking pictures without the date stamp.

We've changed the background color to a coral pink hue. We've been able to enlarge the logo. Still trying to find the CD that will have the image where we can make it larger.

We also changed the link bars to a more "romantic" cakey look.

As soon as we get things changed, we'll save it and upload to the website. We don't want to publish yet until it's all done.

Paul & Peter

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Sweet_Guys Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 9:27pm
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Did we meet you at CAGO? If not, we'll be there in November for the gingerbread making activity.

Paul & Peter

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Melvira Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 10:04pm
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Oh, I can't wait to see the changes!! I think it's really going to make a huge difference! Congrats guys!

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missmeg Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 7:31pm
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Addressing the photos -

You have the right idea in regards to a plain background. Try not to take the picture from such a "hovering" perspective. If you have great side details, make sure you show them!

If you look at the pics in my gallery, they were all taken by my dad. He's a crack photographer. He purchased a reflector to make use of natural light. We have a couple of cloth backgrounds and use the one most appropriate for the cake. My dad then photoshops the pics to bring out the brightness and color correction. I understand that might not be possible.

You have a great start - I can't wait to see the improvements!

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mommicakes Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 7:50pm
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Guys, I can't wait to see the changes you have done. Sounds like you are just about ready to unveil it. icon_smile.gifthumbs_up.gif


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Sweet_Guys Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 11:47am
post #24 of 63

We're getting there, everyone! We have SO many chocolate pictures since that was the area we first got started in professionally.

We found a template we like which means we're starting almost from scratch. However, last night we were finalizing a couple of the templated master pages and hopefully we'll be able to crank out all of the photo pages soon.

Thanks for all of the advice! Need to run to work!

Paul (& Peter)

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cms2 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 9:02pm
post #25 of 63

you can avoid the spam by changing how you word it on your [email protected] SPAMsweetguys.biz (remove NO SPAM). This way people can see what your email is and contact you without your email being pick up for spam.

Computer geek hubby taught me that one. thumbs_up.gif

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Melvira Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 9:15pm
post #26 of 63

Yep, that's what I had to do essentially. Then I ended up just making some permanent changes. Aren't those computer geeks great? Hehehe. Oh wait... I'm one too. Crud. icon_lol.gif

I always 'blame' my husband for turning me on to geeks. I used to date a very different type of guy, but now I just love his 'type'.

Ok, waaaay off subject, sorry! icon_redface.gif

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Sweet_Guys Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 10:09pm
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We didn't know people out west thought like that?! LOL We all need a good laugh every now and then, don't we?!

Paul & Peter

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antonia74 Posted 29 Oct 2008 , 10:33pm
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1) put at least one or a few photo on your Home Page! People want to immediately SEE what you do, not take the time to read about it.

2) more colour! If you do classic work, keep the colours in the neutral palette, if you're crazy and wacky...show me that! icon_lol.gif

3) invest in a camera that is able to take macro photos, close-ups are great...but only when it's in focus icon_razz.gif

4) I agree with everyone else, I couldn't even see your logo? icon_confused.gif Make that way more prominent.

5) no more photos with the date-stamp thumbsdown.gif

6) watermark your pics. If anyone comes to your site and saves them, they know where they got them from at a glance. (Also deters theft of photos in cyberspace. icon_rolleyes.gif )

7) might be nice if your photos started to have the same neutral background. Maybe you can set up a favourite cake stand or backdrop and try to photograph your items in that same location. I've always wanted to do that, but my wedding cakes are only assembled on site at the reception....all my backgrounds are different. It does look really pro though. I think www.jacquespastries.com has a website that showcases this idea well. All of their cakes are photographed in front of a plain/neutral colour. Really beautiful!


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missmeg Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 12:44pm
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hey Antonia -

Thought you'd like to know, Jaques Pastries is one of my local 5-Star competitors icon_lol.gif. Well, not really a competitor, as I would be considered a fly speck on the wall compared to him - but I see his work featured all the time around here. Great stuff, and he does have amazing photos.

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sarahpierce Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:14pm
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I have a question. Your shaped chocolates that you put in the baskets (hair stylists, baker, etc.) are you making these or buying them? If you are making them, where do you get the shaped boxes? Also, crop the pictures as the PPs said. Also, I would include some sort of price on your site to give people the general idea of what your charging. For me personally, if there is no price listed for something I probably can't afford it and I move on to the next guy.

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