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Topic: My website
Message: Posted by: magicman414 (Jul 31, 2006 04:23PM)
Please tell me what you think of my website.

Message: Posted by: Neil_Brown (Aug 1, 2006 12:23PM)
I'll be honest, Cameron- it's a worthy first attempt if you have never written a website before, but I don't think it's really suitable as a marketing effort, for several reasons. I've tried to distinguish below between the things which I think affect the site from a marketing point of view, and then things which irritate me / strike me as having technical / code problems:

Marketing issues:

1.) You're using a free domain, on free hosting, which, to my mind, would immediately raise questions as to your status- even if you need to use a FreeWebs hosting, you could always redirect your own domain name to this, or else use one of FreeWebs' commercial packages. However, web hosting is pretty cheap, especially as, from your current site, you don't require anything fancy on the server, so, I'd suggest that this would be a good first step.

2.) You've got GoogleAds at the top- are you trying to encourage people to purchase your services, or make a bit of cash from visitors to your site by sending them to other magicians? If you're just doing this site as a "test-run", without intending it to be seen by the public, then, sure; if however it's supposed to be a commercial site, I'd lose these pretty quickly :)

3.) Hit counter. Unless you are going to get loads of hits, and want to show just how popular your site is, I'd avoid using a hit counter. Currently, it's only showing 300-ish hits, which, if I were a prospective hirer, would probably make me think that you aren't particular popular as an entertainer.

4.) birthdayparties.htm: there's no attribution to the quotation, so, even more than usual, I'd be likely to think that you'd just made them up.

5.) prices.htm: particularly irritating- why have a page purporting to offer pricing information, when actually it just says to contact you? I'd probably suggest just having a page for "Further information", and say on there that a prospective is welcome to contact you with details of their party, so that you can prepare a competitive quotation based on their needs, or something like that.

6.) grandillusionshow.htm: if I'm honest, I don't think that the descriptions do much for your show. To my mind, a "grand illusion show" has flashly lights, it has smoke- basically, it has an incredible atmosphere in which amazing feats are performed- and a page of text just doesn't do this any justice. I'd suggest adding some photographs (see comment below on gallery), showing your show in action, and trying to capture the atmosphere. At the end of the day, to my mind, people book a magician to be entertained, and I'm not sure that they're generally that fussed what "tricks" you perform. Unless you have a "signature" routine, which everyone will recognise (from TV appearances, press discussion etc), then, I wouldn't bother mentioning tricks in particular. (If you do decide to stick with text-based description, it might be worth considering how you describe things- "You are assured she is still in the box by her shadow on the front curtain" just makes it sound a bit fishy to me (why not just have the girl in full view?), but, that might be the "magician reading dealer advert" in me talking

7.) pictures.htm: the gallery didn't work properly for me in FireFox- I just saw a lot of blank boxes. Do you definitely have "thumbnails" enabled on the server? I can't tell what software you are using to be able to offer further assistance. If you're going for a professional appearance, it would be worth ensuring that this works, as a picture can tell the story of a thousand words- which saves a lot of typing on your part. By opening the pictures in a full screen, I was able to view them- I'd reinforce my suggestion about getting some "professional" shots, as the photos don't have great composition etc.

General layout etc.

1.) The layout looks fine to me, as is consistent throughout, which is great

2.) I'd have a think about you choice of fonts and colours- light fonts on a dark background is a bit of an acquired taste, and, to my mind, does not look as "clean" as dark fonts on a lighter background. This is my personal preference, though. However, I'd also consider which fonts you are using, and their sizes; they seem particularly large, when compared with most other websites. Also, I'd suggest a more "professional" font; I appreciate that you are playing on the "By a kid for a kid" angle, but, I am not sure if the font really works in your favour here.

a.) A particular point on this is the use of capital letters in your index page- under the "Welcome" banner (not a fan of animated titles either- boy am I a grumpy webmaster!)- posting in all-caps is the equivalent of shouting, in web lore, and I'd avoid it, personally.

3.) If your site is regularly updated, you might like to adjust the (c) tag at the base of the page, to include 2006. It doesn't affect the protection, but, it does make the site look more up to date.


1.) The "no right-clicking" doesn't appeal to me- it suggest that you're concerned that your prospective clients are going to steal your content. If someone's intent on copying stuff, they're going to work around it (it only brought up the message box in FireFox- it didn't stop me accessing the right-click context menu), and I would have thought it just generally annoys most people.

2.) kidzcorner.htm: do you have permission to be using the images to which you are linking, because they appeared to from other magicians' sites. Even if you do have permission, it would be worth considering hosting them on a server under your own control- that way, you aren't left with a blank if their server goes down, or, worse, and offensive image on your site should they change the image at that location on their server.

3.) Do you have any newspaper articles etc which you could reference online? If you are going for the selling angle of "By kids, for kids", you might be able to get some free publicity from this. Otherwise, the concept is really embodied in the site, other than through textual descriptions. Also, I would have thought that a good head-and-shoulders shot would be quite useful.

As usual, I've focussed on the negative rather than the positive, so it's worth bearing that in mind. However, to my mind, I think that there are several areas for improvement, or at least to bear in mind if you consider a restructure in future.

If you've got any questions, please do post back.
Message: Posted by: magicman414 (Aug 1, 2006 05:02PM)
First let me say I can't afford my own web browser or whatever. I can't get the google banner to go away. I didn't put the no right click thing on there.(I think) Those comments were from real people.(I should place there names and place of buisness. I don't have any newspaper clipings, even though I have been a magician, I never did publicity type stuff because I have done birthday parties or special events for friends and family or my local school and aquarium. The (c)2004 is when I started the website.(I might be able to change it)

All in all I am not that website savy.

Thanks though,
Message: Posted by: magicman414 (Aug 1, 2006 05:41PM)
Opps I just got my own web domain it will be up within 3 days.
It is http://www.MagicofCameron.com
Message: Posted by: BalukMagic (Aug 1, 2006 07:08PM)
On 2006-08-01 18:02, magicman414 wrote:
I am not that website savy.[/quote]

Visit http://www.cuttingedgeproductions.ca :)
Message: Posted by: Neil_Brown (Aug 2, 2006 01:55AM)
[quote]I can't get the google banner to go away. I didn't put the no right click thing on there.(I think)[/quote]
These could be part of the FreeWebs set-up, then.

[quote]All in all I am not that website savy. [/quote]
I presume that's why you posted, though, so that those who perhaps have more experience in the computing / Internet world can comment, as well as people who have more marketing relating experience. As I say, if you have any questions, please do let me know - I can't promise to be able to answer them, but I can do my best!
Message: Posted by: magicman414 (Aug 2, 2006 04:04PM)
Thanks alot. I might be writing back with questions

Message: Posted by: MagicB1S (Aug 10, 2006 04:59PM)
The Google Banner is part of free webs.... I also use free webs as a web site. Not because I am cheap but because I do not need a web site. I thought at one time I needed one so I played around with one on free webs to see if it was useful to me. it turns out I have enough work with word of mouth advertising. needless to say I did enjoy what you created but then again I am not a marketing expert....
Message: Posted by: Noel M (Aug 10, 2006 09:51PM)
In addition to the suggestions made by others, I think you should have a good picture of yourself on the home page.
Message: Posted by: Phil C (Aug 13, 2006 12:06AM)

If it is your first attempt, I think it is not bad at all!
Keep learning and improving :)