Lampwork Etc.
 
TrueDesign on Ebay

LE Live Chat

Enter Live Chat

No users in chat




Beads of Courage


 

Go Back   Lampwork Etc. > Business as usual > Website help and critique

Website help and critique -- Get assistance with your website.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 2018-03-09, 8:10pm
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default My new website

I am in the process of building a new website specifically for the glass penholders I make. Due to time limitations - as well as my own serious HTML coding limitations - it is going to be fairly basic. In the not too distant future I intend to add some more photos, Paypal buttons so ordering can be done directly from the page(s), as well as flesh out the text a bit.

But I figure it's roughly 80 or 85% done right now, and if anyone wants to take a look and offer any suggestions/critiques, I would appreciate it. I'm not trying to have the greatest website ever made, just one that is functional, reasonably informative, and simple to navigate and use.

As a little extra incentive to take a look, I'll also give anyone who might like to make a purchase a 20% discount off any order they place.

You can find the website here - http://penholdercentral.com

Thanks,
Brad
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2018-03-10, 9:04am
Val Cox's Avatar
Val Cox Val Cox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 13, 2005
Location: Newport VA
Posts: 676
Default

Love that glass work, but the website, layout and fonts kind of look like something from the 1990s. Can you use a website builder like Squarespace and not try to do your own html?

I think your photography is very nice. A bit of the text in the negative, does the deer/motorcycle need to be on the main page? More photos, less words.

I’d also like it see a beautiful fountain pen or lovely ball point pen as the example, not a $1.25 Sharpy. Getting close, keep going! Val
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Val Cox; 2018-03-10 at 8:38pm.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2018-03-10, 10:01am
EmeryLawson EmeryLawson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2016
Location: Denton Texas
Posts: 60
Default

I don’t have a website, and have not built one, but I found the font hard to read on the ordering page from my phone. It is pretty, just not easy to read.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2018-03-10, 10:02am
EmeryLawson EmeryLawson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2016
Location: Denton Texas
Posts: 60
Default

I donít have a website, and have not built one, but I found the font hard to read on the ordering page from my phone. It is pretty, just not easy to read.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2018-03-10, 10:03am
EmeryLawson EmeryLawson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2016
Location: Denton Texas
Posts: 60
Default

Not sure how I managed to post that twice��
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2018-03-10, 6:56pm
Speedslug's Avatar
Speedslug Speedslug is offline
Phill
 
Join Date: Mar 21, 2009
Location: Winnebago, MN
Posts: 1,890
Default

You once posted an image of your book shelf of glass chemistry books and I was thinking that a faded picture of that would be a good background to the printed word on your home page.

You might also try white lettering.
I read somewhere that the optics with black lettering cause the image to blur and that white lettering optics makes it seem to be a larger font to the brain.
__________________
So, What Do We Do Now? We continue to try to make a difference when and where we can. Because that's what we do.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2018-03-10, 7:09pm
beckd beckd is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 16, 2009
Posts: 56
Default

Brad,

you have done a good job on your website ! It is basic -easy to use -and to the point.

Congratulations.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2018-03-11, 11:42am
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
You once posted an image of your book shelf of glass chemistry books and I was thinking that a faded picture of that would be a good background to the printed word on your home page.

You might also try white lettering.
I read somewhere that the optics with black lettering cause the image to blur and that white lettering optics makes it seem to be a larger font to the brain.
LOL on the white lettering. I started with white on a dark background, like my StrikingColor.com site, but changed it because I have heard exactly the opposite - that black on a light background reads better. It was a graphic designer who told me that. So who knows? It's possible (probable?) that different people will have different reactions to white on dark or black on light.

I really like the idea of a photo of my bookshelf as a background image. I was trying to think of an image to use and that sounds like a good one.

Emery, you certainly make a good point that I need to consider the way things look on a phone or other mobile device. I personally hate to access the internet on anything smaller than a laptop computer, and never do, so the font readability on a phone is something I hadn't considered.

Val, I agree with most of your criticisms, especially the "1990s look", lol. That's a pretty good assessment of where my website design and HTML skills are still mired. But it's also what I personally like - as beckd said, "basic -easy to use -and to the point". I've spent too many years in too many places that had garbage internet connections to be comfortable with a graphics intensive, slow loading site. (And I'm just lazy too.)

I actually did try to find and use a website builder initially, but found it too time consuming, so just fell back to doing a quick conversion of my other website instead. I certainly won't try and argue that the site looks as good as it could. Perhaps I'll try to transition into the modern world when I have more time. I was loading the first website I built over a 2400 (maybe even 1200) baud modem, so maybe it's time to lose a few of my old prejudices on slow loads. But even now, I still have crap internet, so I like to keep things simple.

The deer/motorcycle comment is on there since most of my potential customers and other people I know are aware of my motorcycle accident a couple of years ago, and that it kept me from making glass for a long time. I'm not sure how many know that I am now making glass again. It's also there as a warning to any potential wholesale buyers that I might have some production/supply issues if they want to place a very large order. (Although these days it would be my Dollywood job interfering with production more than the aftermath of my motorcycle accident.) But point taken. I'll may drop that from the main page in one of the newer versions.

And I agree with your comment on the Sharpie completely. I used it for two reasons. One, virtually everyone knows how big a Sharpie is, so it's a good reference point for the size of the penholders. And two, I don't own any good looking pens to use for a photograph. I like nice pens, but am far too prone to losing things to own any good looking ones. But maybe I'll try to hunt one down just for some better photos. It would definitely look nicer than the Sharpie.

And speaking of better photos, thanks for your compliment on mine. Trying to photograph the penholders with the metallic surface is an absolute nightmare. I finally had to just set up outside in natural sunlight to get anything close to useable. Photographing the other ones is a lot easier.

Thanks very much to everyone for the comments and criticisms. They have been helpful.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by glassmaker; 2018-03-11 at 11:54am.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 2018-03-11, 12:58pm
Speedslug's Avatar
Speedslug Speedslug is offline
Phill
 
Join Date: Mar 21, 2009
Location: Winnebago, MN
Posts: 1,890
Default

Putting a coin in the shot can be used as a size reference Brad.

As for the lettering go with what the designer said.
My forgetter has gotten so much better than my rememberer that I don't trust most of what it tells me anymore.
__________________
So, What Do We Do Now? We continue to try to make a difference when and where we can. Because that's what we do.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 2018-03-11, 1:27pm
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
Putting a coin in the shot can be used as a size reference Brad.

As for the lettering go with what the designer said.
My forgetter has gotten so much better than my rememberer that I don't trust most of what it tells me anymore.
Yeah, but I've never liked using a coin as a size reference for anything but beads and other small items. The Sharpie may not be very classy, but at least it provides a well know reference point while at the same time showing the penholder in use.

I tried your idea about the bookshelves for a background and, unfortuately, it doesn't look right with the penholder photos. The transition from the photo background to the bookshelf background is too abrupt, even when the background is pretty faded. I think I'd have to edit the penholder photos quite a bit to make it look good, and I don't have the time to do it. It's too bad, because I liked the idea too.

But here, you can have a (non-faded) photo of them anyway.



While I was at it, I took Val's advice and removed the motorcycle/deer reference from the page. It was only two lines of text, but she was right, the page does look better without it.

Brad

P.S. if you want to see a full size bookshelf image, go here.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by glassmaker; 2018-03-11 at 1:42pm. Reason: Shrunk the grossly oversized bookshelf image to something that doesn't mess up the thread.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 2018-03-12, 2:07am
Speedslug's Avatar
Speedslug Speedslug is offline
Phill
 
Join Date: Mar 21, 2009
Location: Winnebago, MN
Posts: 1,890
Default

Aye, I commiserate with you in trying to work this out.

For what it's worth, the image that flashed in my brain to start with was of one shelf, probably not even 3/4 of the full width, extremely faded and almost washed out to a water mark with lettering over that.

I get it that 'designing web pages' and 'marketing' stuff is a full time job even for those that have spent half a decade studying the field in college with professors that know what they are doing.

Which is why you don't see me selling anything besides my 'charming wit'.
There isn't much of a market for anything else of mine at present and I refuse to run for elected office because I am afraid I might actually wind up with a job and that is a four letter word to me these days.

Stay safe and stay as sane as the law will allow.
__________________
So, What Do We Do Now? We continue to try to make a difference when and where we can. Because that's what we do.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 2018-03-12, 9:33am
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
[snip]
For what it's worth, the image that flashed in my brain to start with was of one shelf, probably not even 3/4 of the full width, extremely faded and almost washed out to a water mark with lettering over that.
[snip]
Coincidentally enough, that's the same conclusion I came to after realizing that the full photo of the bookshelves wasn't going to cut it. I used the top right shelf and tried to fade the image as much as possible while still being able to see they were actually books. Seemed like a good idea, but still didn't look right in practice.

Although the current design may not have the "modern" look of many canned websites these days, I'm happy enough with a simple, old school look for now.

I do appreciate the comments and suggestions that everyone has offered.

Thanks,
Brad
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 2018-03-12, 5:03pm
Val Cox's Avatar
Val Cox Val Cox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 13, 2005
Location: Newport VA
Posts: 676
Default

I think you are doing great! Get a PayPal link in or maybe a simple shopping cart and you are ready to go. A couple photos of your studio; or you in the studio might be nice to add.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2018-03-12, 10:44pm
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

I've added a Paypal shopping cart button below each style of penholder - standard, rainbow metallic, and agate glass, instead of just the single button at the top of the page that I added last night. Unfortunately, I haven't yet figured out how (or if) I can get Paypal to automatically generate a 10% discount when someone orders three or more. So I may have to do a manual refund after a purchase, which obviously isn't ideal.

I did find info on adding other types of automatic discounts, but not a percentage discount above a certain quantity. If anyone knows how to do it the right way - i.e., automatically - I'd appreciate hearing about it.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by glassmaker; 2018-03-13 at 10:47am. Reason: Added new info
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 2018-03-13, 10:35pm
Frit Diva's Avatar
Frit Diva Frit Diva is offline
MacGalver
 
Join Date: Oct 15, 2006
Posts: 9,570
Default

I'm curious ~ the last example on the front page refers to "agate glass" ~ what is that? Is that a color you are formulating for sale? it's gorgeous!
__________________
Jo
Frit Diva website
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 2018-03-14, 12:44am
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frit Diva View Post
I'm curious ~ the last example on the front page refers to "agate glass" ~ what is that? Is that a color you are formulating for sale? it's gorgeous!
Thanks. "Agate glass" is really just another name for the StrikingColor silver glass I make. I figure that very few potential penholder customers will be glassblowers/beadmakers, so if I call it "silver glass" most will wonder why the color of the glass itself isn't silver. Another more common name for the glass would be chalcedony, or calcedonia. However I figured that "agate glass" would probably be understood by the most people.

As far as the silver glass penholders go, I usually make them either from the bottom of a pot after pulling cane, or make them with a silver melt that didn't work well for cane. The glass at the bottom of a pot tends to have an unpredictable COE so I don't use it for cane. (Except sometimes for my own beads which I make out of solid StrikingColor anyway so I don't need to worry about the compatibility.)

And oddly enough, glass that isn't good enough for cane sometimes works very well for the penholders. The glass I used for the penholders at the bottom of that page worked pretty poorly for cane, mainly giving shades of dark brown in beads. But I absolutely loved the way it looked when used for penholders.

Just one of the many oddities of making silver glass.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 2018-03-20, 6:04pm
Val Cox's Avatar
Val Cox Val Cox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 13, 2005
Location: Newport VA
Posts: 676
Default

I'm so glad you changed the script text on the supporting pages, it's much easier to read now!

On the first listing you have a drop down menu listing colors, but it's not clear which is which. For example you list white as an option, but I don't see a white one. I think the next two listings with the agate and metallic holders are much more interesting. (beautiful!!) Can you put those first, and have the blue ones below?

Also, you have two links under construction, Photos and Specials. They aren't active, can you hide those tabs until something is there?

On your Contact page, your first line (If you have a Yahoo, MSN, or other free e-mail account and you make an inquiry...) umm, that's going right back to the 1990s again...that shouldn't really be an issue these days, do you think?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 2018-03-21, 8:48am
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

Thanks Val. All of those are good observations/suggestions. One or two I've thought of but just haven't had tine to address yet due to other distractions (color menu without examples of corresponding colors and the unfinished photos page, for example).

I also did consider moving the rainbow metallic and agate penholders up on the page, but decided to put them in their current order because that is also the order of their likely availability. I normally have more of the clear/colored ones available at any given time, and if I run out while I'm at my seasonal Dollywood job I can rent time in a local glass shop to make more. (Dollywood doesn't allow us to make outside work there.)

The other two styles I only make in my own shop since the base glass is a color melt, much of which is silver glass. But I did take your suggestion and move the rainbow ones to the top of the page. I have a lot of them in stock at the moment since I made a bunch recently, so unless I get a large wholesale order I'm unlikely to run out soon.

As much as I like the agate glass penholders, they are the most difficult to sell online because of the wide variations in color, and the limited number I have at any time, so I'll keep them last on the page, in spite of the fact that they are my personal favorites.

I've changed the contact page to replace MSN and Yahoo with Gmail and Hotmail accounts. That probably isn't what you meant by the "1990s" look of that line, but I do sometimes run into messages getting blocked due to spam filters of the large email providers. And I've had a few people that I know of (and probably more that I never heard about) think I was simply ignoring them when they didn't receive a reply to an inquiry.

Regarding the Specials and Photos pages - the specials page isn't under construction, there simply aren't any specials at the moment. But I think it's best to leave the link (and page) online so people know that there may occasionally be specials. I agree that I probably shouldn't have had a menu link to the Photos page until there was actually something there. However, I should have some photos on it within the next couple of days, so removing it now is somewhat counterproductive. But point taken.

Thanks for your observations and suggestions. I appreciate it.

Brad


Quote:
Originally Posted by Val Cox View Post
I'm so glad you changed the script text on the supporting pages, it's much easier to read now!

On the first listing you have a drop down menu listing colors, but it's not clear which is which. For example you list white as an option, but I don't see a white one. I think the next two listings with the agate and metallic holders are much more interesting. (beautiful!!) Can you put those first, and have the blue ones below?

Also, you have two links under construction, Photos and Specials. They aren't active, can you hide those tabs until something is there?

On your Contact page, your first line (If you have a Yahoo, MSN, or other free e-mail account and you make an inquiry...) umm, that's going right back to the 1990s again...that shouldn't really be an issue these days, do you think?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 2018-03-21, 10:53am
Val Cox's Avatar
Val Cox Val Cox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 13, 2005
Location: Newport VA
Posts: 676
Default

You are doing great! Your open-mindedness refreshing! I agree with all your points. Keep going!
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 2018-03-21, 11:32am
Lorraine Chandler's Avatar
Lorraine Chandler Lorraine Chandler is offline
Salt Box Beads
 
Join Date: Oct 23, 2005
Location: Heading to Paradise
Posts: 4,124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckd View Post
Brad,

you have done a good job on your website ! It is basic -easy to use -and to the point.

Congratulations.
I agree, uncluttered and simple so the product stands out. NICE job
__________________
http://sewvintageuniqueboutique.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 2018-04-05, 9:05pm
glassmaker's Avatar
glassmaker glassmaker is offline
Lizard rescue squad
 
Join Date: Apr 02, 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,118
Default

Still haven't been able to find the time for much more website refinement, but I did pick up a couple of pens that look better than the Sharpie I used for the initial photos. Here's a photo of one of them in a metallic rainbow penholder. I think it's a definite improvement.

__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 6:13am.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Your IP: 54.81.158.195