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Sara*s Pixel Studio

saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
edited March 2009 in Website Critique
Hello to all the willing website critics out there!  I would like to submit my site(s) for your consideration and critique.
My website is Sara*s Pixel Studio (http://saraspixelstudio.com) and it is the umbrella company/headquarters for my three avenues of expertise:
-My Pixel Shoppes where I offer custom website design services
-My Pixel Creations where all of my graphics and pre made items are sold
-My Pixel Prints where customers can find full service professional printing
I designed all of these sites myself and it has taken me nearly two years to get this far in business.  Pre-January 2009 I operated under one website but things were very cramped and hard to find so I split them up into more visitor-friendly sites (at least I hope so).
75% of my business generates from these sites (the other 25% comes locally from word-of-mouth) so these sites are VERY important to my business and I wish to put my best foot forward.
I would love advice on SEO, organization strategy, copy and ideas for more products/services.
So essentially I`m asking for a 3-in-1 critique.  If you aren`t up to critiquing all three please feel free to just do one.  Thanks in advance!!
~Sara Brooks
Owner/Designer for Sara*s Pixel Studio


  • VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    I`m not feeling particularly crumudgenly today - I couldn`t find anything on your site to take issue with.  Well done.  I would like to see fewer menu options on the drop-down, but that may just be me.  Also, you don`t need to explain the history of your sites on the home page because most new visitors won`t care.
    What did you use to create the sites?  Also, I am curious to why do you recommend GoDaddy for the domain registration but not their hosting?  I have over 100 domains registered and hosted there and I am extremely pleased with their service.
  • saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you so much for your critique! 
    For the home page and My Pixel Shoppes I used plain old HTML/CSS.  For My Pixel Creations and My Pixel Prints I use Zen Cart and put in my own graphics and CSS to match.
    Typically the websites I design are hosted on sites that have the shopping cart built in (ShoppePro/Papa Shop) in which the customer only needs to buy a domain name, but I never considered their hosting for information sites.  I will add them to the hosting list
    As for the menu drop downs are there too many different drop downs or just too many options under each?  What could I do differently?
    Thanks again for taking time to review my sites!!!
    ~Sara Brooks
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    Overall I think the concept you have in place is good .... the one thing I have trouble with ( and this could just be me as I`m extremely tired ) is that all 3 of them have color schemes that are hard to look at for long .... the coloring and contrast actually make my eyes work so hard that after a minute or two, I simply need to quit looking at them .... and some of the text could be made slightly larger for ease of reading.
  • saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you for your critique Webline!!
    I recently upgraded computers and realized the color schemes were a bit bright and have slowly been working to correct them.  Apparently my old computer had a dim resolution or something.  Anyway I will try to correct this soon.
    As for the text I`m having a hard time with the sizes.  14pt on one browser looks good but terribly small on another.  Any suggestions or particular problem areas?
    Thanks again!
    ~Sara Brooks
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    You could try using em instead of pt. I think 1.0em is close to 12px; The decimals with the em usage give you a lot of control on the font size, so you could use sizes like 0.7em, 0.95em, 1.1em, etc. as examples.
    Some people also set a fixed body font size in their css, then the classes for different fonts are set at a percentage of the fixed font.
  • saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
    Great!  I`ll try that.  Thanks!
    ~Sara Brookssaraspixels3/10/2009 8:56 PM
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    The text shifts slightly when I mouseover the post-its.
    Re: GoDaddy hosting - their hosting does cause some problems with various scripts (like ZenCart).
  • saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you for your critique!
    It shifts because of the black border I have set for the mouseover.  I couldn`t figure out a way to keep it from shifting.  Any ideas?
    ~Sara Brooks
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    GoDaddy can also be a total hassle trying to set up htaccess and url rewriting, if you ever get into that.
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    Thank you for your critique!
    It shifts because of the black border I have set for the mouse over.  I couldn`t figure out a way to keep it from shifting.  Any ideas?
    ~Sara Brooks


    Border shift - you can try adding a white border with the same dimensions to the <a> style or changing the margin on the <a hover> style.  OR use a different mouse over approach... like the one I used on this CPA website or swap out the image.
  • saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
    I`ve changed the images to use a simple mouseover script so the page doesn`t shift now.  Thank you for your suggestions!
    Thank you for pointing those errors out!  Both were caused when I moved my sites around.  I`ve fixed them both.  Please let me know if you find any other errors or have any other suggestions.saraspixels3/11/2009 1:52 PM
  • saraspixelssaraspixels subscriber Posts: 1
    I wanted to sincerely thank all of you who critiqued my website(s) and pointed out the areas that needed work!!
    To anyone else interested in critiquing my site(s) please feel free to do so
  • knowonderknowonder subscriber Posts: 0
    I like the sites individually but I see what you mean with too much info and needing to split the sites.  I had a tough time going between the products/services between the three.  But, once I was in one of the three, I could find what you were offering.  It`d be nice to better integrate the three.  Maybe you could have another link in the header that would take the user to http://saraspixelstudio.com/ ("Home") or even a link to each home page of the three sites?  That may be a way to add some consistency for your users between the three sites is the location of those "home page" links in the header.
    Your fun,
    creative style comes across and prospects can see some diversity from
    that in your portfolio.  As someone that is in mid-creation of the
    public pages of my site, when I looked for web/graphic design, I liked
    actually visiting the websites because the thumbs were too small -- so maybe add a link to the different domains.  Some graphics for your business cards, envelopes, etc would be a nice add too. 
    I understand the time involvement.  My tool for the real estate industry, UpdateLane, is two years in development.  I finally launched the beta in January but it`ll be a while until all functionality is done and I start billing for the service. 
    All the best,
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