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Website Critique Needed


caryfh
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OKay, so I have liberally applied my thick skin and am ready for any good or bad comments any of you might have. I have begun the rebuild process for my website. I still have no idea where I have found the time or energy for this, as I am playing "single mom" to two boys (2.5 years and 3 months old) while my husband is serving in Iraq, but I am making progress. Thank you to whomever it was that suggested I invest in a photo light box - it's awesome.

Okay, so please take a peek. www.westroadcandles.com . and let me know what you think. I have only uploaded a handful of the pictures of the candles at this point - and am just using a stock photo as a filler for some of the scents, but the style of pictures will be the same for all the scents, with only color variations and different background/foreground props. I was thinking this would be a good time to solicit advice since I am still knee deep in this big job.

Thanks in advance!!

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I would lighten those pics up just a bit more, but the layout is great!

Also, the font you used for the top menu bar can get distorted, try enlarging it slighty. It's a font and size that would be tough to make out for someone with sight issues.

Change the home page title instead to your company's name instead of "home".

Under contact us, I would also include a separate email link underneath as well. Some people, for some odd reason, don't always like the straight inquiry box.

Little things of course, but looks very good! Very pleasing colors to shoppers too. Muted, not in your face-make your eyes pop out of your head craziness. Simple and elegant.

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I bought the lightbox off of ebay, but after reading about the "shilling" with those candles, I think that might have been happening with those too, as I was quickly outbid, but then as soon as the auction ended I was immediately offered a second chance thing. Anyway, still got a decent deal on one, even if they were plotting to up the price.

Thanks for the tips so far. I have made some of the changes to the site for the top toolbar, home page title, and the "contact us" page. Keep 'em coming!!

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I love the site. I think the pics could be a bit brighter as others have said but just a smidge. Because the page colors are muted colors I think the dim effect in your pics works. Keep the pics of the candles rather than using the logo. I think your site has a real upscale feel and the muted colors add to the ambiance. Great job.

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just to clear things up a bit, the slightly blurry pictures with the lit candles are just an old picture (you can see why I decided to take new pics) I had that I'm using as a filler until I get the new pictures of each scent uploaded to the site - so try to ignore those for now. But I'm glad that the others seem appealing.

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On the front page I think your candle shot is too crowded, too dark, and too "dull" somehow. And please tell me your yellowish candles are not actually the color of baby poo cause that's how it comes up on my computer. I think it's that the pic just isn't bright enough.

The dull an crowded thing is true for your Mulberry pic too. Also the angle is not pleasing - I suspect you did that to fit all the pieces in but to me there are too many items in the pic. I myself don't think it's necessary to have every possible option in the picture.

I like your banner, but you might want to fade the background a bit more maybe - it's challenging to read the company name, at least for my poor tired eyes.

And I'd suggest cutting down on the number of fonts you use. Your banner, the links to the various pages, the dropdown scent menu, and your content each has a dramatically different font. (you also have different ones where your scent pics for the candles are posted but I think you are working on that page).

ETA: oh and don't forget to put your banner on the contact page!

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"And please tell me your yellowish candles are not actually the color of baby poo cause that's how it comes up on my computer."

HAHAHA. Wow, I guess I really do need to brighten that one up. What, you don't think baby poop would be a pleasing candle scent??? It's actually more the color of coffee with cream.

Do you think it would be better to have just a couple candles in the pictures at the top of each scent page with more props, or just less candles and minimal props? I wish I had more of a creative edge for doing that sort of thing.

Unfortunately for my website I'm a bit limited in the font choices. So the banner, I made up on my computer and saved as a jpg so I could highlight the font I use for my labels. Then I liked the look of the toolbar font (kind of like my handwriting), but I don't have that option for anything else, so for everything else I used Tahoma. I think it looks a little different on the products page because some of the are in all caps as I upload them. Not sure how to get around this without just switching to Tahoma for everything but the header.

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I love the options you give for the gift tags, along with putting a photo of the candles, along with the dimensions. I've seen some websites with the containers all grouped together in one photo (like on your main page), but with no individual pictures or measurements listed, so you really weren't sure which container went with which price.

I also love your e-fundraiser idea. You may not be the first person who's done that, but it's the first time I've noticed it on a site and I think it's great.

Since I don't have a website of my own, I can't help with the technical suggestions as others have, but I did want to point out some of the things I really appreciate as a shopper.

One other thing I just noticed is that I can't find your physical location, and I always look for that information before ordering to give me an idea about shipping.

Good luck with the site.

Jane

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I love the options you give for the gift tags, along with putting a photo of the candles, along with the dimensions. I've seen some websites with the containers all grouped together in one photo (like on your main page), but with no individual pictures or measurements listed, so you really weren't sure which container went with which price.

I also love your e-fundraiser idea. You may not be the first person who's done that, but it's the first time I've noticed it on a site and I think it's great.

Since I don't have a website of my own, I can't help with the technical suggestions as others have, but I did want to point out some of the things I really appreciate as a shopper.

One other thing I just noticed is that I can't find your physical location, and I always look for that information before ordering to give me an idea about shipping.

Good luck with the site.

Jane

Thanks for the tip about the physical location. I think I need to add a whole bunch of stuff like that to our "Contact Us" page so people can snail mail us, or call, or fax. Oops. Thanks for reminding me!!

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