Check out my website: www.staffoflifebread.com.
I'd like to include more information, but I'm at a loss. Any input would be appreciated!SOL
How about adding an "About our breads" page? Then for each type of bread you sell regularly you could include a photo and some information about it. Maybe not your entire formula, but at least whether it is enriched or whole grain or what not. Nutritional type of information that customers might look for.
"About us" would also be much more personal if you included something about who us is. Perhaps a photo so folks know who to look for at the farmers' market? I realize I'm hardly one to talk here since I don't have a photo of myself anywhere on the site, but TFL has no physical presence (yet).
Actually, I think I have a shot of you blowing out birthday candles in an old blogpost here somewhere when I baked you a cake :)
That said - as a love-to-shop-at-farmers-markets person, I'd have to agree about either a picture of you or better yet, a photo of your booth so folks know what to look for!
Gosh, I'm not a web designer and I was looking for a walking stick. Are you the entire staff? No need to include more information, just set up a link to The Fresh Loaf and let your customers see how easy it is to bake bread. Is that what you mean?
There are a lot of negative statements in your site, why not keep just the positive ones? Then there would be more room for positive statements about your bread. Reads like need to put others down to push your product up. Somehow in reading I feel personally attacked and prepare myself for defense. (example: I am being told that the choices I make, instead of the choices offered, cause cancer.)
Got to get back to the stuff of life, bye, Mini Oven
I agree with Mini in that there are so many negative statements you are missing the chance to show your products. I would slash the text to 30% of what it is now and have links to the various styles of bread you make then say a few words about how wonderful your products are. One page full of text is putting me to sleep.
You have made a good start to your site, but a full critique is beyond the scope of this forum, so, a few pointers if I may.
1) I suspect you are using MS Office to create the site whoch is not a good way to do it. Office was designed for documents, not websites. You might want to look at getting Frontpage or Dreamweaver, or similar, to build the site.
2) Lose the Live Search function, you are sending people away from your site.
3) More pages, more white space. You need lots more information about you and your services/products, but try not to cram too much into on page.
4) More pictures. You need to show your potential customers what your bread looks like whilst at the same time trying to convey what it tastes and smells like. Have a look through some fo the great photos from members here to get some hints.
5) You also need to look into optimising your site for the search engines. The best advice I can give is pop over to www.WebmasterWorld.com and start reading. If you stick to the basics of what you find there you will be off to a flying start.
6) Perhaps the best advice I could give about Web Design would be to byt the book "Don't Make Me Think!" by Steve Krug which has the essence of building an intuitive website in a small book designed to be read on a one hour plane flight.
I concur, "Don't Make Me Think" is a wonderful book.
Thanks for the input! I actually did absolutely zero of the web design myself; my mom is a computer junkie and this is her first attempt at a site.
I can see what you're saying about the negativity. I should find a more upbeat way of saying what is/is not in my breads. I have been extremely busy lately and basically jotted down a few facts about bread, others' and mine, and my mother took it from there. (Nothing against my mom, she is very kind to help out!)
I also was planning on putting a pic of myself on the about us page (more accurately, it should be 'about me'), but I am, ahem, less than photogenic, so I tend to stay away from cameras. I also thought about taking a pic of my stand at the market, but because of the way that we have to park there, my van is always prominently displayed in the background and I'm not too keen on how that looks.
Very few of my customers know about this site--just a few longtime ones or computer gurus, so I have a chance to work on it before I begin encouraging more to visit.
Let me know if you have any more thoughts!SOL
Sounds like it's time to dress up the van (a wandering billboard) and get yourself some kind of "uniform" to match your style and unify appearances. An investment that pays in the long run and you will be happy to strut before the camera. Organize just how you want to come across to your customers and go for it. Nobody expects a baker to look like a model, I would expect to see an Artisan Baker with quite a few rough edges! Because you're dealing in food, clean is essential and you also want to show it. :) Mini Oven
Sol, your reply puts a completely different light on the subject.
Building a professional website that not only works as expected but also draws qualified traffic is a mixture of science and art taking a lot of study and practice - much like baking loaves of bread. I am sure none of us baked perfect loaves on our first attempt. (In fact, I am still waiting.)
So, with all due respsect to your Mum (Bless her heart) perhaps it might be best to engage a professional designer to build a site for you to the same standards that I expect you have for your loaves.
Just a thought.
There are many places on the Internet where you can buy ready made templates and just pop your information in. You would need either Front Page (microsoft) or Dreamweaver to work with them. I have used them for my brother's website ...(he plays in an oldies band and teachers guitar). It took about an hour to do the simple design that's there. The template cost was about $90 but worth it in time saved, I think. I have Dreamweaver Software and I think it's pretty easy to use.
I mentioned your comments to my mother. She had pretty much the same response to your comments I did--why didn't we think of that?
I think I may put the website idea on hold for right now then. Even seeking out professional help takes time, as does trying to relay what I would like to include on the website, and time is something I don't have right now. I have many of my customers requesting a website to visit, but I'd rather have none than one that is less than professional.
I'm starting to sell loaves at a little gourmet market. As soon as the market season tapers off, the demand at the store will swell because of the holidays, but come January, I'll take a week or two off and work more on this side of the business.
Thanks for your help!