View Full Version : Website up and running - Critique welcomed!

Nick martin
02-02-2014, 02:20 PM
Afternoon everyone,

Knocked up a basic site for my home based jewellery designs today. Just a basic affair, but its a start and something I've been delaying doing for months now.

Critique, suggestions, or abuse all welcomed!



02-02-2014, 02:49 PM
Congratulations Nick, on getting your web site under way. It seems churlish to be critical at this stage, but to me the image is of a well established commercial company, such as for instance Links of London and that one that has all the bracelets.

That might of course be what you are aiming for, but if I were selling hand made studio stuff, I would go for a less formal and more arty presentation.

That said, I might be just my rebellious self, because there are probably plenty of others who will like your stile. Regards, Dennis.

02-02-2014, 02:57 PM
the photos…. really do not do your work justice. some of them seem to have weird lines across them as well. I think they are too small, don't show the detail very well and are not very well lit or presented. I don't think a photo has to be particularly flashy or anything but customers do need to get some kind of idea of the product. The site generally seems pretty functional. it's not exactly screaming luxe or class, but I really think if the jewellery is good (and from the stuff you have posted on here, yours is) then a swish site isn't necessary. I really like that it doesn't use flash. I nearly always click off flash sites.

Nick martin
02-02-2014, 03:11 PM
Thank you both. I'm attempting to give the site a semi professional look and feel, for two reasons.

Firstly as and when my skill levels increase, and I start selling my jewellery online from the site, I need it to look credible in order to inspire customer confidence.

Secondly I'm trying to future proof the site a little bit, so that I'm not continually updating it. I purposely didn't use flash so that I can minimise compatibility issues with different platforms, browsers, tablets etc.

Having said that the tablet and mobile phone versions of the site will be up and running in a couple of days time too, so that will also help.

Not sure what the lines across the images are, as I'm not seeing that my end on any medium I've viewed the site on.. But I think you're right that I could improve on the photos.



02-02-2014, 03:18 PM
the lines are on the grey backgrounds. they show up on the same pictures in your interest board.

I don't think making it look business-like would increase credibility. I think what Dennis is saying is emphasise the fact that your stuff is handmade, not mass produced. I think once you are ready to sell online, you will want to change the architecture of the site. I suspect it might start clunking once you have a shop.

Nick martin
02-02-2014, 03:25 PM
Ah.. The lines on the main image at the top of the page are meant to be there. It's the texture on the background sheet.

Appreciate the feedback, but have to disagree on the credibility point. Firstly if I visit a website and it looks shocking or too amateurish, then there's no way in hell I'm placing my card details into it, and market research tells the same story. Subjective though I know.

There's also lots of references to my stuff being handmade, including imperfections, amongst the text on the site so I think I've got that pretty well covered.

Really want to keep the site as clean and uncluttered and uncomplicated as possible so that it's very easy to navigate and read.



02-02-2014, 09:50 PM
I think it does exactly what (I think) you intend: it walks the line between a professional looking site and stating exactly what you do is individual handcrafted. Tidy.

03-02-2014, 08:05 AM
I would not put a website online with so many vital pages 'in development'. The look is business-like and I like that but as soon as I try to go to anything but the home page the whole thing falls down and I wouldn't go near it again
However I do agree about the need for business-like. I would not shop at an overly homespun site, or one which was twee or cute. .
Consider having the same background for all your photos.
remember you must comply with all the Distance Selling Regulations if you are going to sell through the site - though there is no evidence of a shop. You also need to display the online Hallmarking Acts sign if you are selling precious metals

03-02-2014, 08:23 AM
I've never heard that about the hallmarking sign before.

03-02-2014, 09:08 AM
Yeah as part of the hallmarking act you need to display at your point of sale a "dealer's notice" which will tell your customers all about what the hallmark means. This could be on your shop counter, or at a fair, or on line. You can download one for free from our downloads section on our website www.assayofficelondon.co.uk The other offices do the same too, so for example if you're registered with Birmingham and want to show the anchor on your dealers notice instead of the leopard's head, then you can get a dealers notice from their assay office. We each have our own one!

03-02-2014, 09:21 AM
I know nothing about websites or their sales efficiency, but looking at your site Nick I have a few observations. The first is it's on screen size, I have a 24 inch wide screen and your webpage shows as a small square in the centre of a black edged screen, then your work photos run on a smaller section of this square, why waste the opportunity to fill the screen with photos of your work or information?. There are no details of each piece shown, I would have liked to be able to click on a photo to see an enlarged version along with details of the item and a price.
This is all from someone who has never sold his work online, I was on the Goldsmith's Company website for 6 years before my retirement; http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/exhibitions-promotions/who's-who-in-gold-silver/ and in that time I didn't get a single enquiry via the website. But I must admit I do a lot of shopping online these days.

Good luck with it anyway. As a final comment looking at photo 10, the ear studs, I would prefer not to see the snipe nose plier grip marks on the wires of a finished product. ( spoken as an ex workshop foreman / manager )


Nick martin
03-02-2014, 09:43 AM
Thanks everyone, there's some very good points there that I need to think about.

I wanted the site up, or should I say a web presence of sorts so I had a proper email address and contact point, but I definitely understand the point about it being unfinished.

Didn't know about displaying my hallmark either, so that needs amending. Knew about it in a retail environment just not online!

The photos. They're not meant to be 'for sale' items but just an example of items I've made and some are sold, therefore I can't reshoot photos.
The site is designed on a size of 1024 x 768 which sort of hits the middle ground on monitors and that's the idea.. You're just showing off with your 24" behemoth James!

Good point on the ear rings too.. Oops!

Thanks everyone, back to the drawing board in ways but I'm grateful for all feedback.


04-02-2014, 01:10 PM
A great start, Nick! I know what is like wanting to get a website up and running. Although mine is not quite finished, I find myself directing people (99.9% are friends and family) towards it because I want people to know I'm out there and doing something!

I echo some of what's been said already and can maybe add that it would be great to see perhaps a gallery of work that you have done rather than one slideshow where you have to click the next button or wait for the slideshow to move to the next image. It's then much easier for a customer to navigate. If they wanted to show a friend the heart ring you've made, it takes more effort to get to the image than if you were to have a page with all the images on which someone can click on to enlarge.