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Wedding Photographer - New site design

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by Aden Priest, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Aden Priest

    Aden Priest New Member

    Hi Guys,

    New around here so thought I would say Hello first. My names Aden, im one of the photographers over at Henden. Recently I've been getting rather frustrated at our website, its just not up to standard comparing with the quality of work we like to produce. Due to my amounts of free time in the week I have plenty of time to do things on my own and one of these is teaching myself website design.

    Our current website which you can see here :

    This was my first design using prophoto in wordpress. We had the idea we wanted the website to be simple drawing more attention to the photograph's. Ever since though we have had a substantial drop in organic google results (this is another area I'm planning to focus on).

    My plan is to produce a website that ticks the following

    - Clean design that sets itself apart from the rest - nothing like the template websites most photographers use.
    - Rich in SEO so we rank highly in the target areas.
    - Ease of viewing for our galleries/portfolio
    - Links to social media well.
    - Fast loading and mobile friendly.

    So far I have come up with this design in Photoshop.


    I would love some advice on the design I have come up with so far, or maybe an alternative direction I should take? I feel I have a ton of things I can learn from everyone here and if there is anything I could offer in return with regards to photography - im always around via private messaging!

  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    First off, welcome to the forum...I'm not going to comment too heavily on the template because I personally feel that's the wrong direction for a photography company to take... it just seems bland and rather generic if I'm honest.
    If I was looking for a photographer the first thing I would be looking at is the images, everything else would be secondary so I'd suggest maybe going towards a full screen 'photo' background affair where the work is front and centre from the moment you load the page. A parallax style site could also work well too....
    Inspiration can be found below :)
    full screen
    And don't worry if a design is shot down by us, were a picky but friendly bunch when it comes to critiques (I'm sure you're the same with your photos) but we try and help as much as we can, be it positive or negative :)
  3. Aden Priest

    Aden Priest New Member

    I love a bit of both in terms of critique!

    I hear what you are saying about the full screen design. I have one restriction and that is the logo... I have been talking about changing it to suit the new design but my partner wants to keep it as it is since we have alot of printed documents with it on (such as leaflets in the thousands and other companys sharing our logo).
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    You could add a 'tab' that comes from the top with the logo on it which floats above the background. There's loads of options to integrate a logo into the design, you'll likely need a menu too so you could combine them into a 'bar across the top' even.
    I will warn you (I'm in the process of redesigning my business site), you'll likely spend more time figuring out all the seo side of things than designing the site design lol
  5. Aden Priest

    Aden Priest New Member

    Ok taking onboard your advise, I had a browse through a TON of designs and felt rather inspired. Just churned up a quick design of 2 pages, home and portfolio.

    Im not 100% on portfolio page but I really do like the Home page, works well with our logo. The whole design wont be scrolling its just like that so you can see both pages (reference image)

  6. Gianluca Teti

    Gianluca Teti Member

    Welcome Aden,
    I hope you will have a good time here with us!
    Designing a website is a long process, especially if this is not what you make for a living. The current website is much better than many things I have been seeing throughout the years. The fact that you want to improve what you have now is a sign of a certain research for quality. Quality in design is achieved by thoroughly planning. You decided to do the work on your own. So you and you partner should write down a creative brief that can give you a direction and would also tell you if it's the case to change the logo or leave it as it is. My opinion is that in your specific situation a portfolio WordPress theme is a cheap, fast, and ultimately great solution.
    Keep us updated!
  7. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Sean, forgot to say the lightbox pop up is broken for me...
    Aden: The second design is better in my opinion although I can still see areas to improve and play around with. Things like the below just pop out to me.
    the menu - How will it translate onto another page? First thought I had was the menu could be transferred in like on an slr's viewport, I know my nikon/minolta both have an overlay of some sort with shutter speed, aperture etc.
    lack of text for seo - you need something really to help google reference you.
    clarity of the white text on a lighter background for example - maybe consider a darker/lighter overlay (opaque layer) to bring the text out more.
  8. Aden Priest

    Aden Priest New Member

    Im currently stuck in a hole. I like the whole idea of fullscreen website but the more and more i read into it (thanks for comments above regarding it) the seo lacks massively.

    I need to come up with a balance of SEO and amazing design. Grrr :D
  9. Aden Priest

    Aden Priest New Member


    Here's the latest design, made it more SEO rich, this is only the first page but it incorporates the larger image still full screen but the text content will be below. Using a slider i'll be able to get more content into the design also on the first page for SEO purposes. The other pages will follow the central orientation of the menu and content etc.

    The whole design will also scale to different designs with the image scaling and the central body of the menu and bottom content will always centralize to the browser.
  10. Looking good but you need to sort out the bottom section, it looks strange and isolated as if it wasn't planned to be there in the first place.
    I would start by making it full width, like the rest of the content and increasing the size of the text. Really you need to try and find some more content to fit in there.
  11. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Design 2 could easily be adapted for seo by doing a single page site which scrolls, slides etc to the next section.

    Design 3 - I agree with Sean about the bottom section but I can also see this design working with parallax scrolling...
  12. Aden Priest

    Aden Priest New Member

  13. The bottom sections is still not working, it feels like a magazine page. There's very little in the way of information hierarchy and that's something that absolutely has to be fixed otherwise people are not going to spend time reading it all, and whilst images are great, you need people to be more interested in your website and not just the pretty pictures. Look at how other websites display their information and see what you can do!
    Also the two thin arrows you've used between Linconshire Weddings and Our Most Recent Wedding is not symmetrical, the centre point needs to be raised by about 2 or 3 pixels.
  14. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    That body copy just isn't working for me. It looks like a free font found online. I'd stick with a classic Google Font, Ubuntu, Open Sans...something along those lines?
    I think the font you have works nicely for titles and other such things, but for the body copy, I'd like to see something different.

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