Critique Our Website
I just got it online, so that people have a place besides facebook to check us out. I put the URL on our business cards, so I want the site to be effective, and help generate interest, and get gigs.
Please let me know your impressions, and improvements you think I could make.
Thanks for your help!
First... great start. I've found websites to be never be done. They begin, and over time they get more "complete".
The main page main picture is taking a while to load up. On the band page, the top left picture didn't load.
How about a calendar page? Also how about a facebook link? Any songs you can post?
Resize the main image to the correct size instead of doing it in the html code. I agree with slowgypsy that it takes too long to load.
You need another program, Photoshop preferably, and the knowledge to optimize images for fast download.
Building websites is complicated, hard work to do right. It's going to be difficult to make a good site if you can't optimize images, that's web design 101. If you're going to do it yourself, look up some tutorials online.
Whew... I've been building sites for years and its hard, tedious work. Don't believe everything Danica Patrick tells you, she's there to separate you from your money. :p
Sorry. Reality man....
OK, I optimized the image using Photoshop, and it seems to load faster.
What next? I LOVE hard, tedious work!
Haha, I should have said "building a GOOD site is hard tedious work." :p
So you figured out Web Design Skill Number 1. Hmm, there are a few more...
Like was said above, you need FB, RN, GigMasters, etc links. I like to use the FB widget that shows your number of likes with a like button right on your site. Plus having reciprocal links on your site is crucial for building your google ranking.
Speaking of ranking, you have a lot of hard tedious work to do loading keywords if you hope to get above page twenty or so. I had my current band on page 1 after about 2 weeks online but it was a lot of hard, tedious work. >whew<
I would make custom rollover buttons for the links. Text links are sooo 1995. The overall layout is a little "undeveloped"... I would have the links across the page, under a header, or at least farther down the page.
The latest in page style is a self-centering box format that auto-resizes for different browsers and is always centered, and always maintains the same relationship between all the objects. (Figuring out how to do that was Serious Hard Tedious Work™ and I am dead serious). When I resize your page, everything squirts around differently. On my iPad, the right half (or, your left) of your face is cut right down the middle of your nose.
Black background is overdone, it's the obvious choice. Try to be a little more creative with your background, maybe a large dark-ghosted band shot, one that scrolls with the page.
Let me know when you have that done, there's more...
Okay, the photos are working better.
A website, as I mentioned before, is always a work in progress. I think you've got a good start, but it's short on content. Someone visits your website, and then what? You need more information, or content, to keep your viewers happy.
Some content suggestions: Facebook link, calendar, song samples, more photos, etc... and I know this takes time.
Also, the "contact" section is a bit user unfriendly. You're asking folks to supply everything but their SS numbers. Really... what are you wanting to get from this section? All my band wants is an email address so we can put you on our mailing list. And we give an email address for folks to get in touch with us. Nothing else is really needed at this point.
Thanks! Good, helpful suggestions. I don't need to get too fancy, but I would like to be able for things to re-size. I can't post videos yet, because we haven't shot any with the new drummer, so this will be a work in progress.
I definitely don't want the text links. I am using GoDaddy's self-designer thing right now, but I figured once I had it halfway decent, I would copy the html, and try and get back to basics. I did a Photography Site years ago that was pretty good, and as I recall, spent thousands of hours on it, using a designer I had on the computer.
I forgot almost everything I learned, but it looks like everyone is getting serious about this band, so I guess I have to put in some time. For now, all I want is that someone who we give a card to sees a website, sees how to contact us to book us, and a couple photos, and descriptions.
no offense, but it kinda sounds like a porn site... other than that, I would add a main page where you put everything, and a background that is just a solid color or picture (different from the main page). Also, you should put all the links in a navigation bar right under the title/logo, which is at the top of the page. It is pretty easy with some basic html, or even other web editing methods.
- A hot female (which you've got) will always pull more eyeballs and keep em there longer. I would push her front and center in terms of number of pics unless you have determined as a band that everyone gets equal exposure and/or you're not comfortable as her husband doing that.
- Testimonials are huge. If you can get 2 or 3 people to say great things about your band that's gold and you should put them up there prominently.
- A schedule is always good - IF youre relatively busy. Otherwise best to leave off until you get to that point.
- The typeface is pretty small. This has really become a thing with me as I get older. Also while the black background is cool image wise it makes the text harder to read.
Thats my 2 cents. I probably know less about Web design than almost anyone on TB but I am in the marketing profession so take it for what it's worth.
BTW props for doing a proper Website and not just a Facebook page. Separates the men from the boys AFAIC.
Heres how my band approached ours FWIW...
The first thing you should do is replace the main photo with one in which all current members were present; the drummer seemed cropped from another photo and added later on - and it's visible.
The second thing you should do is ditching any html editor (especially any free one that adds their own promo tags - that doesn't look proffesional) and write the thml code yourself. It's very, very easy to learn basic html (if you know how to make a table and a link while keeping in mind that EVERYTHING you open must also be closed, you're pretty much set).
Third, you need to learn to work with an image editor (Photoshop - if you can afford it, or anything similar). You need to optimize all images for web and it's also uselful for making an ordinary website look cool and unique. Custom graphics always pay off.
Forth, you need to make a list to what's relevant regarding your band and implement it into your website. The idea is to create a visual business card, and that means having all the important info in full display, and also provide enough and detailed info for your visitors and future clients/partners.
What I consider mandatory these days:
- FaceBook / YouTube / Twitter / Soundcloud / Bandcamp / etc. links on your main page or incorporated in your website menu. You need to build an audience and these platforms offer free advertising environment.
- a well featured media section: songs, videos, reviews, interviews, photos (with a dedicated gig/shows/live section), etc. It's of great help to let ppl see how you look and sound on stage. This might get you a few extra gigs simply 'cause someone liked your stage presence.
- a press kit (high resolution promo photos, a detailed band history, high resolution band logo, accolades, links to all band's extra pages - Facebook and the like and of course contact details). If for ex. someone wants to write on his/her blog about how cool your last show was give them something to work with.
- a tech raider (in which you present what gear your band has and/or can provide for shows and also what is the minimum equipment needed for a proper show). This might save a lot of time and hassle in the future.
- an event calendar (shows and whatever activities your band is involved in).
Best of luck :)
I realize that professional photography is very expensive and it may not be viable to have that picture re-shot but maybe there's a live shot or something of the full band with its current membership that could be used.
I'd move the image up a little, maybe by reducing the spaces between it and the headers at the top. The main part of the page that you want people to see should be above the 'fold-line' of the page, just like the front pages of newspapers.
I'm not a professional but I have been making graphics and designing web pages for something like twelve years, so I can try to make something for you if you like.
I like it, it's simple and to the point.I also like the artists you cover.
I left your page with a good understanding of what the band is, it would drive me to go to one of your shows.
You also have to consider that a lot of people are now using tablets (iPads, etc.) to surf the Web as much (or more than) a traditional desktop computer or even a laptop. Tablet screens are a lot smaller so you have to consider how your site will look on those devices as well.
FWIW I actually pulled up your Website last night on my tablet first, and am looking at it on a PC just now. It looks fine on a PC, but is a little quirky on my tablet.
Heck, forget tablets, you need a mobile site with a QR code on all your posters, flyers, table talkers etc.
I built a pretty nice mobile site for us, but it was even MORE back-breaking, sweat producing hard labor. And I am NOT joking...
And there is nothing cooler than having your own QR code... :p
menu... You could make this text instead of images. Georgia font, lose the "DL" on the left... An unordered list would be better for SEO. Having actual text for your menu would be better for SEO. Had no idea "Get Your Lixx" linked back to home page until I hovered over it. Text is ambiguous.
Logo should always link back to the home page.
home page... menu should go above "get your licks" graphic. Lose the counter. Band picture bigger, logo smaller. Graphics, in general, are too large (in kb, not WxH). For regular pictures, use jpg. No need to use .png for anything that doesn't have a transparent background.
The Band... Each member doesn't need their own page. In general, pages that have no navigable purpose (can't get to them through main, sub, or tertiary nav) should be combined or omitted. In this case, combine them. Each person gets a picture and a paragraph. Again... Text instead of images for SEO if you're going to keep the different pages and sub nav. I don't think you need to.
About... Bigger pictures, less text. In general, people don't read the Internet.
Other stuff... You're a cover band. Make an entire page devoted to your set list. Aside from actually playing the music, it's what people will look at when booking you.
You need sound samples. You need video.
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