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Need a Critque (Sites are Under Construction)

sbaslysbasly subscriber Posts: 3
edited August 2007 in Website Critique
Sites are under construction. It is an ongoing project to long to explain here. If interested checkout my other postings in the New member forum near the bottom of the forum list page...
Anyway.. I do graphics and am a former programmer. I am trying to make a living creating original art clocks and custom personalized clocks for my customers.... who most don`t even know I exist....
I am about penniless and probably will be homeless in about a month....and moving in with a relative....so I don`t have booku bucks to make this work...
Any simple and "free" suggestions to improve the website, what I am doing wrong (remember I know there are a lot of links that dead end at the moment), what I can do to improve the look ... etc....
I`ve got one main site and two others... It has been suggested that I consolidate and operate one site featuring items from the other sites... any comments on that?
Here are the sites:
Personalized Clocks from Your Photos and Original Art CLocks...http://www.picturemyheart.com</A>
Military oriented clocks of original design...as well as custom personalized:http://www.militaryclocks.us</A>
My officially licensed Western Michigan Sports clock site where I feature my licensed Football clock design as well as adding other sports clocks...this one is really "rough" at this stage...http://www.wmuclocks.com</A>
Hey thanks for your feedback... I can create great looking clocks and prints, and have a good feel for design.... but am not really sure on what i should be putting together as a site design that sells....
I tend to want to be creative and graphical, with some nice presentation art rather than a cold store type catalog...(maybe that is my downfall)...
Also any additional tips on how to promote and market the site on a ZERO-any type of budget...remember, I am nearly penniless and almost homeless!!!
LOL...kinda as I manage to halfway smile!
Thanks In Advance for contributions.... I do appreciate it!.
Stephen M. BaslyPICTURE MY HEART, LLCKalamazoo, Michigan 49001[email protected]</A>


  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    I only looked at the first link, very briefly, as the page took a long time to load. In viewing the page source ...1) Too many keywords in the metas, and many run together ( no space after the commas, the description meta is the same way )2) Shorten your title3) Move the javascript to another file and import it.4) Images need alt tags, links need title tags.5) Get inbound links from other sites.In viewing the site ....It is a dark theme. I`m not sure that the dark really comes across for your subject. I think that you should get the images of your work right up to the top; the large "Hot" image just seem out of place at the very beginning, and is almost, to me, too "intense".Your nav menu isn`t the same on each page, which can throw people off when browsing.
  • VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    Really slow loading.  Way too many images on the home page.It wasn`t until I clicked on the second URL that it was clear what you do.Your home page should not be the whole sales pitch - just tell the viewer what you do, show an example, and lead them deeper into your site with targeted pages.  Gifts, sports, military, etc.  Not all on one page.
  • stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    Hi Stephan,
    I like your product. From a non technical point of view, I would brighten it up a bit. Just some lighetr colrs so your neat product stands out. I love the tears of joy testimonial , it caught my attention. I actually recieved a gift from someone who put my daughters picture on a clock.I loved it and put in at my downtown office. You have a great product, just brighten it up a bit. Also what shopping cart will you use...there ae plenty of resonables ones out there, also ecrater has a free one.
  • stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    I hate to hear that you have this dream and that it may be squashed because of becoming homeless. If you need any help plugging this along, let me know. I know the life of being homeless, as a kid I spent years living on the streets and trying to act like a normal kid. It can be devestating. So make a plan and don`t give up.
  • sbaslysbasly subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks... This really helps and gives me some direction.
    I had a line like, "It`s More Than A Clock, It`s Art!!! ClockART by Picture-My-Heart"  ...I`ve used that on a version of my business cards... and kinda elude to it on some of the webpages....but maybe need to make more use of it.
    As far as the big ugly out of place image at the top... I just added that about a week ago... I wasn`t sure what I was doing so I thought I would spice it up a bit...originally I just had the "Clock Art" header with pictures of the small clocks.
    Below that I had  the "copy" that is now midway down the page, just under the "Wedding" section/image, which starts out like:
    We go beyond creating a clock with a simple logo. If you are looking for more than the ordinary, our unique gifts will satisfy your dis-   criminating tastes. These "one-of-a-kind" items are "THE" gift for    Business, Corporate, and Personal Giving!
    Maybe I need to move this back to the top.
    I also added some of the audio clips to the home page regarding testimonials...maybe I should move that to the testimonial page, and let the customer "play" it if they want to from that page while reading other testimonials...
    I guess I just tried to cram to much on that home page....
    Maybe I should redo it as an entry/splash page that is basically a nice graphic with some samples, and more copy about what i do... and try and hook them with that copy to enter the site....then the page which is now basically my home page would then be the second page to come up...
    What do you think?
    Thanks again so very much for responding!
    Stephen[email protected]</A>
    ps....I also use DSL and Firefox (along with IE) and it seems to load fairly quickly also....But I can imagine it can be slow on dial-up. Maybe having just a "splash" or "intro" page with a nice graphic and descriptive "copy", that loads faster would be the way to go?
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    You webpage is over 55K in size (for the page code) then add the image files that need to be downloaded... and that can make the site slow to load.
    Also using freeweb and geocities can affect load time becuase of their servers` response time and connection quality.
  • sbaslysbasly subscriber Posts: 3
    Okay Guys....
    Reworking the "home" page. Not so sure as it is so much a home page as a splash page...but it will be the "index" page (1st page to come up).
    This is just real a real rough draft... less busy, less graphics and all that on the home page.... and a lighter "cheerier" rainbow background.... Don`t try the links...they don`t work yet....
    You can compare this look to the current home page at: www.picturemyheart.com</A>
    The idea here is minimalize the graphics and links... just have a nice graphic that shows some different clocks, maybe people holding there`s, blended with the Dad and Baby graphic from my testimonials page....etc. ....and that`s it.
    You will note that this appears to have a media player on this page...but it is just an image so the page loads quickly.  I figure I will have a duplicate page that has the "real" media player on it...and by hitting the hotspot links on the image from this splash page you can load the "video" page...
    So if you don`t want to see the intro or wait for it...you won`t...you can gather what info you want from the simple graphic and the copy...then hopefully either play the video, which loads the video page....or simply "enter" which loads the "real Home" page with additional links and images...(I will be re-vamping it as well as creating this new "Intro-Splash-Index" page.
    Here is two Versions of  what I have so far, before adding additional images to the main graphic composition.... I just want your opinions on the "look" so far... if it is cleaner...if looks like it will work...etc.....
    Version A has a bacground similar to the main image...http://www.freewebs.com/picturemyheart2/INDEXTESTA.html</A>
    Version B has a white background without a semi-transparent image:http://www.freewebs.com/picturemyheart2/INDEXTESTB.html</A>
    Which of the two do you like best? And what do you think of these as compared to the original page at www.picturemyheart.com</A> ?
    Remember this is just a rough basic layout with an unfinished graphic..and the links DON`T WORK yet!...Just wanted some thoughts before I continue on... or start over again! LOL!
     sbasly2007-8-26 19:5:23
  • sbaslysbasly subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for the words of advice...
    Hang in there my friend.... the clock images are coming on the next "revision" of the main page graphics.... Remember...this was just a rough "advance" look of what I am doing...to get your comments, and a feel for the direction I am heading as I re-design this.....again thanks for your comments.
    Yes this will have elements of being a "splash" page... but it will be a home page showing product...in fact there will be some images of happy customers holding their orders blended into this main image.
    Should have something loaded later tonight or tomorrow. Right now I have to go finish a couple clock orders.
    Anyone else with advice or comments? They are welcome!
    Stephen[email protected]</A>
  • sbaslysbasly subscriber Posts: 3
    Okay ....
    Not going to say anything... until you tell me what you think....Here is the latest revision to the 1st page and it`s image...
    Thanks for your feedback.
    Stephen[email protected]</A>
  • WeblineWebline subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    All in all I like the graphic, but I would suggest making some of the text stand out more; it blends with the background just a little too much.
  • sbaslysbasly subscriber Posts: 3
    Okay Ladies and Gentlemen....
    I`ve been taking feedback and making a few changes and have come up with 4 variations of the "RAINBOW" graphic for my homepage image.
    Now these are just quicky designs I did in a hurry, and I will clean it up when I get a winner! Pretty much the same with some text variations. The background is changed slightly between a couple, where I pulled out clocks and replaced with a lady crying with joy after receiving one of my shadowbox clocks that featured her family....
    Anyway...you will see the differences ...text, composition, etc... If you would take a "perusal" of each and give me your opinions, I should be able to come up with a winner...or one that is nearly "there" and requires a slight adjustment...
    So get out  your scorecards at have at it....
    Thank you all for your feedback... it is very helpful. I appreciate it!
    Stephen[email protected]</A>
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