My dance website, up for review. What do you think?

#1
Hi everyone, my name is Joel and I operate a bunch of dance web sites with some friends of mine. Things so far have been going smoothly, but very slowly. I was hoping that perhaps the members here could help me analyze what could be done to improve my web sites for the better

Lastly, please understand that I am in no way spamming or trying to get anyone to purchase anything from my web sites, I merely wanted to know how my web sites look to others.


http://www.danceartsplus.com/ <-Main Site
http://www.enchantedpageants.com/
http://www.furrytailspetpageants.com/
http://www.powerperformanceproductions.com/
http://picturesonthemove.com/
http://www.theencorestore.com/
http://stores.ebay.com/An-Encore-Store



Thanks in advance for any and all responses
-Joel
 

mamboqueen

Well-Known Member
#2
Well, to be honest, your "main" website is somewhat overwhelming to the eye (very busy). I think you could organize it a little better. I just looked very briefly, but I think "Merriden" Connecticut is spelled incorrectly. Also, it's Marriott, not Marriot. I didn't get far and only noticed those two...personally, I think the spelling police will be all over your website ;)

Good luck!
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#3
have to agree with MQ on this one, the main site is just too chaotic looking to invite lingering.

Clean up the presentation format and take care of spelling issues and it should look (and be!) much more user freindly. Best of luck!
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#5
Hmm. Thinking ...

The bright pink background on the main page is a bit too bright for my taste. I like that it's eye-catching, but if the pink were toned down a little bit, so it was more neutral, it would probably be easier for viewers to stay on the site and browse around.

This is just me. So shoot me for saying this (or others can rebut :cool: ) I tend to prefer a more rectangular, tabular sort of page layout that gives a suggestion of left to right, top to bottom. There's nothing wrong with having all your info, icons and all on the screen. But with the layout you have now, my eyes don't know quite where to go first. Several links and icons are asking for my attention all at once.
 
#8
pygmalion said:
Hmm. Thinking ...

The bright pink background on the main page is a bit too bright for my taste. I like that it's eye-catching, but if the pink were toned down a little bit, so it was more neutral, it would probably be easier for viewers to stay on the site and browse around.

This is just me. So shoot me for saying this (or others can rebut :cool: ) I tend to prefer a more rectangular, tabular sort of page layout that gives a suggestion of left to right, top to bottom. There's nothing wrong with having all your info, icons and all on the screen. But with the layout you have now, my eyes don't know quite where to go first. Several links and icons are asking for my attention all at once.
If you don't want to go rectangular/tabular a nice solid graphic element in the background could help to give your page more structure.
 
#10
Well first off I would like to thank everyone for submitting their info.
I read everyone's input, and decided to edit my page accordingly.

I'm trying to make my page look better, but I'm currently experimenting with new types of page authorization. For instance, right now I'm kinda going between hosts, so it's not the best time to show off my web site.

Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone again for their tips and support. I'll let everyone know when I'm finally happy with it.

-MrJoel
 
#12
First off, much thanks to everyone for their input. I took everybody's ideas and basically formulated a mock layout. I'm dabbling in HTML right now, so I'll let everyone know when I'm happy with the new design.

Thanks again!
-MrJoel
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#13
Let us know when. :) Also, don't forget to come back and participate in the other forums, as well. Your first day, when you were posting madly, was quite fun. :D
 
#14
Ah really? Well, I guess I'll just have to check out the other sections then.
When I have some more time tomorrow I'll check it out.

P.S. How did you go about gaining so much popularity? Just word of mouth or did you pay your way to fame?
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#15
A heck of a lot of hard work for about a year. Then things started to pick up on their own. But the first year, it was a lot of research, a lot of link exchanges with other sites, trying to find places to advertise and spread the word (for free or cheap,) a lot of moderators starting topics for people to discuss. It was hard. Hard work. It's paying off now, of course. But it was tough for a while. :?
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#16
pygmalion said:
A heck of a lot of hard work for about a year. Then things started to pick up on their own. But the first year, it was a lot of research, a lot of link exchanges with other sites, trying to find places to advertise and spread the word (for free or cheap,) a lot of moderators starting topics for people to discuss. It was hard. Hard work. It's paying off now, of course. But it was tough for a while. :?
Just to add a bit more back story: in its entire "life" DF has only paid for one actual printed ad (at a reduced rate). In the earlier days we did at times pay a very minor sum for someone to help out with some link exchanges but, as pygmalion says, it was mostly a lot of effort in the earlier times that, eventually, got the snowball rolling. While I am sure that there are many variables involved, I think that one thing which proved to be key in the long run (well, at least as far as "long" is applicable to DF) has been our efforts to have a quality site. Both in the early days and now our primary question (bar none!) has been what can we do to make the site better, not bigger. Overall I would have to say that our size has come a result of our what we provide, and not through advertising. It is easy enough to get people to click onto a site at some point. Getting them to keep coming back and participating because they want to... that's the hard part! Hopefully we get it right more often than we get it wrong, but we always try to find what we can do better.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#17
Exactly. We found the time, at the beginning, but we didn't have the money. DF is non-commercial and doesn't generate revenue. So we had to find inventive ways to get our name out there and attract people without spending a lot of cash. Oddly enough, (trying to) create a good-quality site with a pleasant ambiance has really paid off -- better than expensive advertising, IMO. Word of mouth works. But it only works for you if you have something unique and high-quality to offer.

My $0.02. :cool:
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#19
That's what I meant about quality, ddl. dancersdreamland.com is a great site. It was the first time I visited (two years ago?) and it's only improved, every time I've been back.

When you offer a quality product (in this case, website) it's easy for people to recommend you. :cool:
 
#20
pygmalion said:
That's what I meant about quality, ddl. dancersdreamland.com is a great site. It was the first time I visited (two years ago?) and it's only improved, every time I've been back.
Many thanks! I have a bazillion updates I need to make. Perhaps this weekend...
 

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