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View Kyle2112's profile

Looking for constructive feedback.

by Kyle2112
posted 09-09-2016 04:32 PM


35 replies so far

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 1268 days


#1 posted 09-09-2016 04:56 PM

I liked it, its simple and to the point. One thing I read a mention of laminate somewhere. Every time I hear that word I think cheap 1980s furniture even though that’s not the case. Youre customers might not understand that id omit that word if possible. Nice work by the way.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12950 posts in 2946 days


#2 posted 09-09-2016 06:18 PM

Agreed, straight forward and simple, gets right to the product which is good. The wood header, “We create custom cutting boards…etc.” might be a tad large but otherwise it looks great.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

139 posts in 1313 days


#3 posted 09-09-2016 06:33 PM

The only thing I would change is the quality of the pictures. On my phone and I pad the pictures seemed a little blah. The quality of work doesn’t fit the pictures if that makes any sense. The site is simple and straight forward and very easy to browse. Great work, you should be proud. I’m being knit picky only because you asked. Had to really try to find something so I asked my wife and she brought up the pictures. Leave it to her to find something…lol. Great job and be safe.

View Kyle2112's profile

Kyle2112

21 posts in 1406 days


#4 posted 09-09-2016 06:47 PM

So far, this is the stuff I’m looking for! Tabletop, knit picky is what I’m after. When I uploaded the pictures I think Weebly is doing something to them. I’m using a 24 megapixel camera, and bought special lighting and background for them to look good. Attached picture.
JWMalone, I hear you and your right…I need to find a better word. I’ve got laminate all through my descriptions.

Thanks for the input!

-- Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. www.WillowsWoodTech.com

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12950 posts in 2946 days


#5 posted 09-09-2016 07:21 PM

The pics are fine on a PC. Phones and ipads display low resolution images to save bandwidth.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 1268 days


#6 posted 09-09-2016 07:29 PM

I’m on a pc, now that’s it mentioned I don’t think the photos do justice to the work. But you’ve a really good starting point.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12950 posts in 2946 days


#7 posted 09-09-2016 07:45 PM

Could boost the contrast a tiny bit but color reproduction looks spot on. They are certainly big enough, 4218×2560. I have a 24” monitor and they are 3X the size of my screen. I would drop the resolution to no more than 800p tall.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View MaurerPower's profile

MaurerPower

21 posts in 1216 days


#8 posted 09-09-2016 07:45 PM

As far as navigation goes, it may initially confuse some customers on where to go to find your products because your home page is your shop page. A customer may come initially to the “home” page and click the shop page and then become confused that they were directed to the same page they were already on. Perhaps separating the two pages would be a good thing to do.

Also, I don’t know if you can change things because you are using a template, but if you can, it would be cool looking if you could change the CSS so that the background is (where the very light blue or grey is on the sides of the page) a collage or a picture of one of your boards. It would not be too hard to edit the CSS to do that. To me, it would be interesting to see how that looks, but it could make the page look cluttered.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6017 posts in 3379 days


#9 posted 09-09-2016 09:42 PM

I would add a very simple board, so as to have an offering around $19.99. Woodworkers are only impressed with multiple colors, banding, inlays etc., however most consumers are also impressed by simple slab cutting boards or basic 2-color boards as well.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

1080 posts in 2850 days


#10 posted 09-10-2016 04:26 AM

I agree with separating the home page from the shop page. You could maybe add a collage of boards underneath the description of your company as a link to the shop page.

My other suggestion is to find a way to have your text pop a little more. Right now it blends in with the background too much (looks template-y). Maybe a very subtle drop shadow would do the trick?

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 1268 days


#11 posted 09-10-2016 04:42 AM

Keep it simple man, that’s why I like it.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1028 posts in 2141 days


#12 posted 09-10-2016 10:28 AM

The maple looks like a white holly,and as a maple color your boards look nice,but when the maple looks like holly,to me it doesn’t look good.I’m not a photographer,but there must be a way to tone down the lighting so as to not wash out the lighter color woods.maybe a white or black backdrop and the lighting coming in from the sides. (I watched a couple youtubes about product photographing.) and insted of laminate,How about laminated. JM2C

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

45 posts in 1407 days


#13 posted 09-10-2016 12:14 PM

Very nice. 1 typo…..not a reflection of your work.

View Kyle2112's profile

Kyle2112

21 posts in 1406 days


#14 posted 09-10-2016 03:13 PM

Thanks everyone…..all good input. I agree with MaurerPower I need to have a simple home page with clear links to the shop/blog/about us. Rick and Daddy,I’ve got to do some work with the photos…I was in a bit of rush to get the site up and running and didn’t experiment with the different photo settings. Jimmiem, where did you find the typo…I’ll correct it. Pinto, this is kind of tough…shipping is free (about $10-12) so making a board for $9 is kind of hard…Although I was in retail for a few years and you are correct, something simple for sub $20 would be an excellent addition. Thanks again, everyone.
Kyle

-- Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. www.WillowsWoodTech.com

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

45 posts in 1407 days


#15 posted 09-10-2016 04:54 PM

In the Blog section. there are many way to
Would read better as ‘ways’.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12950 posts in 2946 days


#16 posted 09-10-2016 05:13 PM

Keep in mind that monitors are all different. What is washed out on one might be fine on another.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View MaurerPower's profile

MaurerPower

21 posts in 1216 days


#17 posted 09-10-2016 05:57 PM

Hey also in the future if you aren’t getting much traffic to your site try search engine optimization so that people can find your page better.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

394 posts in 1216 days


#18 posted 09-11-2016 02:22 AM

I looked at it with an iPad.
I like the home page being the product line up.
When I selected a cutting board it went to the individual product page, when I touched the picture on the product page it zoomed but did not allow me to control it.
Every time I touched the picture it would jump to another area of the board.
Normally zoom is coded so it opens a new pop up and the zoom follows your finger around the original picture.
There was no way to get back to the overall view once the picture went into zoom mode.

Overall it is pretty good.

I did not try the shopping cart.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View Luthierman's profile

Luthierman

222 posts in 1653 days


#19 posted 09-11-2016 03:23 AM

The photos were bothering me too. If your camera will do this, try stopping it down to nearly a pinhole and do some long exposures. The depth will increase immensely. It will draw the eyes in in a much more pleasant way. Presentation is everything. Maybe even try a darker background. Other than that, you have some stellar work.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2052 days


#20 posted 09-11-2016 05:13 AM

Not too shabby

Ditto on the home and shop separation

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3392 posts in 4462 days


#21 posted 09-11-2016 05:35 AM

Your boards are beautiful – no doubt about that. I have a few things that I would point out.

As for the photography – it’s a lot better than you see on many websites. With that said I really do not like the bright blue background – it is almost so much that the board is just taking space away from the background. I would prefer something a little less flashy.

I do not think the average customer would know what “up cycled hardwood” is. Actually I have never heard that term. I can only assume that it is wood that you have saved from the trash bin of a larger wood shop. Might want to define the term somewhere or use a different term that the average customer would know without thinking about it.

In the “Design” area you jump to shop safety in the midst of saying how you design the boards. While I appreciate your attention to safety, I am not sure the average customer would really care all that much. If you want to mention the safety measures you take I would probably put it in the “about us” section. But in all honesty, I think I would just delete that section. It takes up space that you could probably use better to describe how you design your boards more fully.

At the end of the Blog part 1 – I could not tell if part 2 was coming in the future or is it on the site but you have to click a link to continue to read. If it is coming in the future, I would at least put a sentence at the end in the nature of “next week in part 2 we will discuss…” If there is a link to part 2 I did not see it.

This next section could use some work:

“Many of our cutting boards may be constructed of the same wood types but due to the configuration and size of wood used, each cutting board highlights the wood’s individual beauty in a different way. This process allows us to produce a true one of a kind creation that will provide many years of service while adding a beautiful accent to your kitchen décor.”

I would change some of the wording.

I think the first sentence “Our cutting boards are generally constructed of the same 5 (whatever that number may be) types of lumber. However, each piece of lumber is unique. Because of this uniqueness the way we arrange the lumber highlights the wood’s individual beauty in a different way. What we end up with is a board that is unique from any other board you may find.

The second sentence – Our one of a kind creation that provide many years of service while adding a beautiful accent to your kitchen décor.”. (I think my sentence is a little clunky also – but kind of gets to what I think you are working towards.)

Hope that helps. I really think you’ve got some great looking boards and the fact that you are asking for advise on your websites speaks volumes about your intent to be the best.

Good luck.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

115 posts in 1430 days


#22 posted 09-11-2016 01:06 PM

You do beautiful work!

The blue background is very harsh on both my monitors which takes focus off your boards.

I like the simplistic site except for the zoom feature.

I would consider adding one more page. Dedicate that page to how to care for your (or any) wooden cutting boards.
That is something as a 1st time buyer I want to know.
While it has been a couple years since I did any form of SEO, A dedicated page can be keyword tuned and thus hopefully help bring you more potential customers. The auto fill on my search bar offered up “caring for wooden cutting boards” before I finished typing the word wooden so I suspect it is a pretty common search term.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

77 posts in 2268 days


#23 posted 09-13-2016 02:11 AM

Congratulations!

It’s only by actually taking action that you can watch your results and adjust and tweak things.

You’ve received good advice here. But I see it differently.

Your boards are great. But anybody can buy boards anywhere. Your clients are buying YOU!

That’s why, if it were me, I’d make the about page your home page. A bigger picture of both of you. But more tightly cropped – your shop isn’t all that interesting to non-woodworkers.

I’d tell the story of how you got into making cutting boards. And I’d tell the story of your processes – the wood selection, the pattern arranging, the glue, the finishes. and I’d make a point of rewriting parts to make sure I’m speaking “customer” rather than “woodworker.”

And I’d put a newsletter subscribe button on your website. Very few people buy the first time they’ve landed on a website. And even less return even if they’ve bookmarked the website. It’ll allow you to keep in touch and develop a relationship. Very useful for when they ARE ready.

HTH
Howard

View Kyle2112's profile

Kyle2112

21 posts in 1406 days


#24 posted 09-13-2016 04:14 AM

Ok, homepage will not be the shop. I absolutely agree with Howard and others that say the homepage should be about us. Also, I’ll be adding a cutting board care page…I’m thinking a video and instructions. That would be a good place to sell my board conditioner.

Pictures…today I started the ball rolling by contacting a local photographer. I think I’ll have her take some photos of us in the shop and take a look at my photo setup. We’ll look at backgrounds and picture size. I just wanted to say I talked to Weebly about the zoom and they say that’s how it’s supposed to work. Again…Weebly has a clunky interface.

SEO – Search engine optimization. I’m working on this. I’ve never been exposed to SEO and within the last two weeks I’ve gained a BASIC understanding.

Betsy, thanks for the deep dive. I can tell you took some time to seriously look at we’ve built. This group has pointed out a lot of great ideas and structure…it’s going to take me weeks to fix it all.
Thanks again,
Kyle

-- Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. www.WillowsWoodTech.com

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1872 posts in 2883 days


#25 posted 09-13-2016 04:51 AM

In the about page…

“Every dime we’ve made has gone back into the hobby. As we grow we buy better equipment and I foresee us putting all our profits back into the business for the next few years.”

Are you relaxing with a hobby or running a business? I’d recommend you think about it then make a decision. There’s a world of difference between the two. Hobbies are fun and may pull in some pocket change on a good day. A business is supposed to earn your paychecks and getting there is going to take a vast amount of time and effort.

Are you willing to make 2,000 cutting boards a year (or 5.5 per day with no vacation days)?

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1872 posts in 2883 days


#26 posted 09-13-2016 04:57 AM

One more suggestion. Do you have control of the willowswoodtech.com domain? If so, are you not able to host emails from your webserver? [email protected] looks more professional than a yahoo account.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Kyle2112's profile

Kyle2112

21 posts in 1406 days


#27 posted 09-13-2016 05:13 AM

JAAune, yes I can have [email protected] for $6 per month…little too rich for something that is free everywhere else. Every time I turn around I’m getting some kind of sales pitch. Email/apps/Ads/etc.

-- Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. www.WillowsWoodTech.com

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1872 posts in 2883 days


#28 posted 09-13-2016 05:50 AM

That is rather pricey. I’m running a server plan from Hostgator that costs $150 a year and includes the website, domain name and unlimited email accounts. The downside to Hostgator is that they’re light on customer support if you’re in need of help setting up. The good news is that their packages are excellent and I’ve had zero technical problems with any of the three servers I’ve hosted with them.

If you ever decide to go for bigger sales, it’s worth the cost. Unfortunately, one of the hardest things about selling work is getting people to take you seriously. Free emails and domains become a hindrance when you’re trying to land bigger customers because they’ll instinctively know that your cash flow isn’t great if you’re trying to save a hundred dollars a year.

Once you get a reputation and referrals working in your favor that’s not so much of an issue. That takes years though.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

6140 posts in 2286 days


#29 posted 09-13-2016 05:37 PM

Kyle, the site looks good, I’ll parallel what others have stated; It’s simple and that’s a good thing. One item I did notice is one of your reviews is by Kyle M., if that’s you I wouldn’t do that, it looks suspect at best. If it’s not then great and hopefully you’ll continue to get good reviews as your work looks very good and your prices are reasonable. I was just at an art festival over the weekend and the smallest long grain rectangular boards (~ 5” x 13” x 3/4”) were priced at $40 and one of the larger end grain boards (~12” x 17” x 2”) was priced at $275. Those I produce as gifts are close to that size and quality, I thought I would be doing great to get $150 for them but apparently they’re worth far more than I guessed.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Kyle2112's profile

Kyle2112

21 posts in 1406 days


#30 posted 09-13-2016 05:55 PM

Lol, yes not too many Kyle’s around. Actually Kyle M. is a co-worker but I see what you mean. I’ve got plenty of customer comments I could use. For my materials and shipping I feel clearing $35 a board is what I can live with. I’d like to make some real nice specialty boards and charge more but that’s down the line. I’m real interested in doing about 3 crafts fairs this year.
JAAune…could I go semi-pro? I feel I can make about 750 to 800 boards a year without giving up my fishing days and date nights with the wife. That would bring in a nice 20k/year. I am concerned though if somehow the web business really takes off. Am I ready for the volume? It’s something I’ll have to find out as time goes on.
Thanks,
Kyle

-- Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. www.WillowsWoodTech.com

View Pogo02's profile

Pogo02

1 post in 1203 days


#31 posted 09-13-2016 06:08 PM


Could boost the contrast a tiny bit but color reproduction looks spot on. They are certainly big enough, 4218×2560. I have a 24” monitor and they are 3X the size of my screen. I would drop the resolution to no more than 800p tall.

Blockquote,

The size of the pictures means nothing. Offcourse it should be big enough to view on a monitor, but apart from that it is not important. The picture you posted above is the original I think? It does not look sharp. The front looks somewhat sharp, the back of the board does not. I don’t know how experienced you are with camera’s, but you need to use a large aperture so you get a larger depth of field. When you resize the image it looks sharper, but it’s not. Also, after resizing, use the sharpen option in your photo program, that helps as well.
I hope it makes sense.

-- Bob Hagendijk, The Netherlands, www.despeelgoedschuur.nl

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1872 posts in 2883 days


#32 posted 09-13-2016 06:25 PM

A profitable, part-time business is possible. Many people are doing it. Doing it well takes serious time-management. Once you have the right volume of work how do you prevent a bunch of new orders from swamping you with work? If you start actively turning away jobs, there’s the risk that potential customers will leave and not return. That can hurt later on when business gets slow.

Though I’m running my business full-time, I’m currently addressing the time-management issue myself. My approach is to create an erasable, yearly calendar and assign time slots to every project. Incoming projects get placed in the first available slot. If I fill up the calendar, have long lead times and still fail to hit profit goals, prices will get raised.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View David Freed's profile

David Freed

113 posts in 4233 days


#33 posted 09-22-2016 08:11 AM

I think it looks good as it is. If I had to make any changes it would be:

Make this your “Home” page with no scrolling and a big button under the bottom paragraph saying “Shop Now” or something to that effect.

I would also make 2 or 3 even lines in the wood grain instead of 2 uneven lines.

-- David, Southern Indiana

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 1468 days


#34 posted 09-22-2016 09:04 AM

That blue is not doing your boards any justice, like the guitar builder mentioned using long exposure with proper lighting will make for fantastic results. Have you tried taking pictures outside? nothing better than sunlight on wood to reflect back the grain. also, when you mentioned megapixels you gave yourself away as a canon user.

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 1468 days


#35 posted 09-22-2016 09:05 AM

also your pricing seams spot on if not a little cheap. great work

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