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Archive 2013 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?
  
 
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Hi all,

During the last months I started thinking about changing my current site and blog to something more 2013 like.

My current site was developed as a custom solution (me + a web developer + a designer). and it is online like this since 2009. The blog was also a custom development that was reworked about two years ago.

Here is the site: http://www.adimage.ro and this is the blog: http://www.adimage.ro/blog

I know that I have not posted on the blog for quite some time (and this is probably a big minus). Also the site needs some update on the text/images. I invested about 1500 Euros into the blog and the site, and now I am feeling that maybe I should have better gone for a template site for about a quarter of that money.

Many photographers use wordpress based platforms like the ones offered by http://www.prophotoblogs.com/.

I have basically two questions:
- does my current site look dated and not appropriate anymore to today's standards?
- should I feel like I am throwing away my initial investment (of 1500 Euros) to replace it with some cheaper template site (at about 200 USD)?

Maybe worth to mention: I am changing my sales strategy. Back in 2009/2010 I was getting too many emails about the price. Most of those were from clients looking for cheap photographers, and I was about 3-4 times more expensive than a cheap photographer (I still am there ). I wanted a site with a lot of info on it (prices, packages, a lot of text as info). This served me well in the past as some of my clients appreciated the fact that the site had so much info, but it seems that many customers now are simply comparing prices and not looking too much at the product. I feel that the site is actually working a bit against me. This weekend I met with three couples (about 2h/each meeting, and only gave them a few generic ideas about the price before the meting). At the meeting I showed then nice images, great albums, we talked about all kinds of stuff and they seemed thrilled with my presentation. As a quick result I already booked two out of the three. So, I plan to adapt the site to have less info about price/packages upfront and be more of a lead to meet me in person. In such a scenario, probably this "corporate like" structure will not work, and the main part of the site should be some nice, big images with impact. The current form does not help with that.

So, what do you think? Should I drop the separate blog/site ideea and migrate to a combined blog-site like prophotoblogs?



Jan 15, 2013 at 02:23 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Sorry for the text not being in enghlish. Here is a translation for the main site sections:
- Galerie Foto = Photo Gallery
- Testimoniale = Testimonials
- Despre mine = About
- Intrebari frecvente = FAQ
- Preturi = Price List
- Albume = Albums
- Zona clienti = Clients area

On the mai page of the site are some snippets from the various sections, like some kind of overview.



Jan 15, 2013 at 04:16 PM
jbrandt378
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Hey there,

I don't think your site looks dated, due to quality of your work. There is a "heavy" feel when I look at the site though. I think if you change the background from black and grey to a brighter color or even white it would do a lot. The only real complaint that that I see is that it takes a little while for each image to load. I also would like to see more galleries of images. I did notice that you can look at your testimonials and click on the image but it takes you to the same gallery.

Are you only using insert albums with prints and mats? I think that that is the most dated thing on your site. I think that almost all brides today are looking for an album that is a bit more up to date.

I hope this helps a little.

Jason



Jan 15, 2013 at 06:51 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


When I look at them I feel like there is too much coming at me at once. I prefer the minimalist look but it's possible I've just been conditioned to that preference.

brad



Jan 15, 2013 at 07:35 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Thanks for the input.

About the albums: Actually that albume type is quite rare here and I work with good quality albums. This can set me apart from the crowd who is using low quality flush-mount albums with bad designs . Many of my customers choose me also because I do a different type of album compared to the rest, but indeed, in the pictures on the site these may look dated. I also do flush-mount albums, but I did not put pictures of those on the site.

What I was thinking about is to remove the "Clients area" section - this is not used anymore, the "Price List" and the "Albums" sections and maybe change the color scheme. Albums can be presented during a live session, and having a few pictures + words about them on the site is not helping too much probably.

I also feel that my homepage is too crowded with not really relevant info. I would probably think now that a short slideshow with bigger images or a bunch of large thumbnails to lead to some galleries would do better for grabbing attention. Having too much info on the home page can be deterring potential customers.



Jan 15, 2013 at 08:08 PM
 

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Right now I am inclined to make the switch, but I'm not sure if it will look better/more professional than what I have now. I do not want to invest too much right now in the website. Most of my customers come to me by word of mouth.



Jan 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM
paparazzinick
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Here's the thing. If you have a blog, keep it as a blog and have a killer site with it. If you have a site and your blog has a lot of the same info on it as your site, then it is pointless.

If you have a blogsite, make sure it looks like a site first then a blog.... I say go the blog site route. But design it like a site first then link the blog in.




Jan 16, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Chris Fawkes
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


The site itself looks dated. I would look at prophoto.


Jan 16, 2013 at 03:22 PM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Should I change my site + blog to a blogsite?


Yeah, the prophoto solution seems like a good step for me now. I can create a few galleries to serve as portofolio, put more emphasis on the images and less on the text and too much info and also have a blog functionality while keeping it look like a whole and not like two separate things.

I'll take this week to complete the image selections for the new site/blog and create some nice and concise text and then decide on which design solution I will integrate it all.



Jan 16, 2013 at 03:40 PM





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