My Website (Work In Progress)

Sep 1, 2007
1,400
7
35
Belgrade, Serbia
I just wanted some feedback on my website while it is still a work in progress. Any advice or comments?

http://josh-clarke.weebly.com (Yes, I used Weebly ... so what?)
I will be purchasing a domain when the site is done.

I do know html and css, but I don't want to use them. I'm happy with Weebly.

Thanks!
I know it's a work it progress, but there are so many things wrong with it.
First of all, your logo. If you look at it for more then a second, your eyes start to hurt. But you have to look at it for longer than a second in order to realize what it says. Kill the neon color and put something less eye poking. Also the card suits are making it more difficult to read, and don't add anything, so I would rather put those before, after or between your first and last name, instead of being a part of it.
Second, your Videos section needs to have better videos. Aka more live performances and less web cam performances. Also both live and camera performances need better quality, much better quality, or you end up looking like an amateur (unless that's what you're going for). Also, putting the actual names of tricks as the video titles is a big no no! Remove those asap. If your videos need a title (which they really don't), put a date when the video is made, or the location, not the name of the trick.
Third, try to actually put pictures of you in the picture section. No one cares about pictures of cards and advertisement cards on a fence. However pictures of you performing will be much better.
Fourth, remove the Link section all together, asap. Do you really want people to know that you buy your tricks online, and to actually be able to go there and see your tricks being sold for $10? No one needs those links, magicians already know about them, and lay people shouldn't know about them. Links to other magicians web site is also pointless.
Fifth, Contact section should be about your own contact information, not about people leaving their information to contact you.
You are missing one of the most important part of the web site, your Bio. This web site tells us nothing about who you are, where do you work at, why should we care, why should we hire you, etc.

I don't know the main reason you decided to make a web site, but if it's for promotional purposes and to get bookings, it's not nearly as good as it should be. If it's just for other magicians, then I don't really know what to tell you as I find that pointless in the first place.

Tell us the main reason for making this web site, and we can help you more.

Cheers!
 
Toby, thank you so much for actually taking the time to comment. I'll try to explain some of the issues your brought up.

1. The logo - it doesn't hurt my eyes, but I could see how it could. The reason for the suits is that the "S" is on the Spade, the "H" is on the Heart, the "C" is on the Club, and the diamond is in the middle to complete the set.

2. Videos - At the moment I have a lack of video content. The Fall Magic video is something I'm proud of, but it was shot when 480p was the standard. Nothing I can do about that. As for the names of tricks as the titles, you're right ... bad idea. I didn't think of that. Thanks.

3. Pictures - I do plan to put up pictures of myself performing, but again, I have a lack of content at the moment.

4. Links - After reading your advice, I will remove them. It was more for myself I guess, but now I see that it is pointless on a website.

5. Contact - I felt it would be easier for a potential client to fill out a quick form than to compose an email, but maybe I am wrong. Also, my phone number is listed at the top of every page and there is a link to my email address also at the top of every page.

6. Bio - You are absolutely right, I need a bio. It's something I plan on adding, but I'm having a hard time writing about myself. I don't want to come off as arrogant.

Thanks again for taking the time to give your advice. Do you have a website I could look at to compare?
 
Oct 13, 2012
128
0
Lithuania
Hey there,
It's always way more difficult to create a good website than it seems in the beginning. I totally agree with Toby(like 99%), because, you know, people should think of magic like a big secret and you actually are showing them where and what to learn (however, you did not intend to do that, I guess).
But I'm much better at design than this so let's move to it. Logo would be ok (even with these colors) if you only left outlines for the card suits deleting fill. Obviously, you would have to change it a little bit then. But, wait! Why don't you create something more original?.. Suits! They are on everyone's logo. Try to think of something, that every single visitor will remember (;
The design of the site itself is nice. But I have a nice idea. All of your pages are short, this is the reason why the white background looks slightly strange, for me personally. What about replacing it with thin diagonal stripes of white and very light grey colors. http://bios.weddingbee.com/pics/148739/gray_and_white_diagonal_stripes_background_seamless.gif
It's far from what I exactly mean, but I hope you understand me (stripes are smaller and closer one to another, grey is lighter). Think of it, you may like this idea. The text could be in white boxes then.
http://ruscentras.wix.com/tricks This is the site I was designing for my friend. Take a look at the background. Doesn't it look better than white?
Good luck!
 
Apr 6, 2011
540
6
Lansing, MI
6. Bio - You are absolutely right, I need a bio. It's something I plan on adding, but I'm having a hard time writing about myself. I don't want to come off as arrogant.

That is a never an easy task. Finding the balance between arrogance and selling your talents can be very difficult. I would recommend going to and reading plenty of the working professionals webpages, and learning what you can from their bios. I have done this before, and a surprisingly large number of them are not well written or well thought out. I don't think they communicated precisely what the authors were aiming for. I would suggest going to as many sites as you can, and reading with an open mind. At the end, judge exactly what you think of that magician based on nothing but his bio. From there try and figure out what it was that made you feel that way, and start building how your going to talk about yourself from there.
 
Hey there,
It's always way more difficult to create a good website than it seems in the beginning. I totally agree with Toby(like 99%), because, you know, people should think of magic like a big secret and you actually are showing them where and what to learn (however, you did not intend to do that, I guess).
But I'm much better at design than this so let's move to it. Logo would be ok (even with these colors) if you only left outlines for the card suits deleting fill. Obviously, you would have to change it a little bit then. But, wait! Why don't you create something more original?.. Suits! They are on everyone's logo. Try to think of something, that every single visitor will remember (;
The design of the site itself is nice. But I have a nice idea. All of your pages are short, this is the reason why the white background looks slightly strange, for me personally. What about replacing it with thin diagonal stripes of white and very light grey colors. http://bios.weddingbee.com/pics/148739/gray_and_white_diagonal_stripes_background_seamless.gif
It's far from what I exactly mean, but I hope you understand me (stripes are smaller and closer one to another, grey is lighter). Think of it, you may like this idea. The text could be in white boxes then.
http://ruscentras.wix.com/tricks This is the site I was designing for my friend. Take a look at the background. Doesn't it look better than white?
Good luck!
Thanks for the input! It's hard to tell, but the white area has a paper like texture to it. It's not completely white.
 
That is a never an easy task. Finding the balance between arrogance and selling your talents can be very difficult. I would recommend going to and reading plenty of the working professionals webpages, and learning what you can from their bios. I have done this before, and a surprisingly large number of them are not well written or well thought out. I don't think they communicated precisely what the authors were aiming for. I would suggest going to as many sites as you can, and reading with an open mind. At the end, judge exactly what you think of that magician based on nothing but his bio. From there try and figure out what it was that made you feel that way, and start building how your going to talk about yourself from there.
This is awesome advice! Thank you so much!
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,400
7
35
Belgrade, Serbia
Toby, thank you so much for actually taking the time to comment. I'll try to explain some of the issues your brought up.

1. The logo - it doesn't hurt my eyes, but I could see how it could. The reason for the suits is that the "S" is on the Spade, the "H" is on the Heart, the "C" is on the Club, and the diamond is in the middle to complete the set.

2. Videos - At the moment I have a lack of video content. The Fall Magic video is something I'm proud of, but it was shot when 480p was the standard. Nothing I can do about that. As for the names of tricks as the titles, you're right ... bad idea. I didn't think of that. Thanks.

3. Pictures - I do plan to put up pictures of myself performing, but again, I have a lack of content at the moment.

4. Links - After reading your advice, I will remove them. It was more for myself I guess, but now I see that it is pointless on a website.

5. Contact - I felt it would be easier for a potential client to fill out a quick form than to compose an email, but maybe I am wrong. Also, my phone number is listed at the top of every page and there is a link to my email address also at the top of every page.

6. Bio - You are absolutely right, I need a bio. It's something I plan on adding, but I'm having a hard time writing about myself. I don't want to come off as arrogant.

Thanks again for taking the time to give your advice. Do you have a website I could look at to compare?

1. Oh, I see. Yeah makes sense now. See, the point of a logo is to be simple and recognizable immediately. If I have to think about it for half an hour to figure it out, or if someone else has to tell me what it means, it's not simple enough. Just look at the most popular logos in the world: McDonalds, Nike, Addidas, Reebok, Puma etc. those are extremely simple logos, a 2 year old child could draw them, and yet they are recognizable everywhere. Think about that when creating a logo.

5. It's good what you have on the contact page, but just add your info too. So first put your info at the top of the page, and then the comment section at the bottom. If I have to look through every page to find scattered pieces of information, and find your phone at the top left, and your email at the bottom center and your message box on another page, it's too confusing and no one will bother. Just have a "Contact" page that will contain all of your contact info, plus a comment box if you wish. All in one place.

6. As for bio, it's not a page to brag about yourself. It's a page of facts. Pretty much like a resume. When have you worked before, where have you worked before, and what have you done. That's it. It should be the easiest page to write because you are just throwing out facts. Now if you want to brag, that's what "Testimonials" page is for. Have some people write something nice about you, and put it up there. That way you are not bragging about yourself, but other people are bragging about you.

As for some other sites, there are plenty, but here is one from one of our members here, Rick Everhart. Pretty simple design, yet very effective, and has everything it needs: http://everhartmagic.com

p.s. While we are at it, Rick, please remove a blue backed bicycle card from the "Calendar" page, it's completely out of place and it doesn't look good. Maybe replace it with a picture of yourself, cause you always look good :)
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Moderator
Sep 14, 2008
3,655
465
43
Louisville, OH
Not a bad start, but right away the font on your Entertainer and Contact page "screams" teenager. I would definitely change that to more of a standard font that looks classy.

To me it seems weird to have a Gallery page yet it is empty. I would put 1 or 2 good solid pics of you on the Homepage and then take the rest to the gallery for people to view. Just my thoughts.

Also...you have the bottom middle picture "linked" to an article about you. Don't make it difficult for others to find that article by them only being able to get there by accidentally clicking on the pic to navigate to the article. I just happened to stumble upon it.

Testimonials....get them and post them. These and the pictures are your selling points to potential clients.
 
OK. I have taken all of this wonderful advice and updated my site. The overall design is the same and I didn't change the logo (because I like it).

Here are the changes I made:

1. Videos - I found the closest thing I had to the original footage of my Fall Magic video and I re-encoded it at a higher quality. I also removed all of the other videos because they were performances for a camera, not for people.

2. Pictures - I removed all the previous pictures and put up pictures of me performing for people.

3. Links - I removed this section all together.

4. Contact - I added my address, phone number and email address above the contact form.

5. Bio - I added a bio page and typed up a (hopefully) quality biography.

6. I PURCHASED A DOMAIN! http://www.josh-clarke.com

Any other suggestions? Is the site better now?
 
Sep 26, 2007
592
5
Tokyo, Japan
Good start. Ways to go. Keep up the good work!

Are you primarily trying to get clients through this site? What I mean is, is this website your primary means to getting new clients?

If so, you do not need the information about your inspiration in magic. What you need is more information about the content of your shows / professional work. It clearly states in your bio "full-fledged professional career" and although difficult to find, also has the phrase "booking inquiries".

There are several ways you can express the type of magic / shows you do on your site.

ONE: via the pictures in your picture gallery. From the pictures on the site, I see that you do casual wear magic performances on the street and in the park and for free (from what it looks like). I do not see you doing magic for the United States Postal Service, or in locations that would lead me to believe you do professional work around the United States.

TWO: You can clearly state and make very "easy to find" bold statements about the type of magic or services a prospective client can expect were they to hire you.


In addition: fill your blog content with information related to professional work that you have done, or meaningful volunteer work.

If you don't have store page yet, dont even put up the link.

A lot of links to pages with minimal content is a big no no in web design. Combine your videos and photos page into a "Media" page.

Generally, abbreviations for page links is a no - no. Recognized acronyms like FAQ are ok, but "bio" should be changed to "About Josh" or "Biography".

However, the best way to fix this minor problem, is to make your biography your home page. Right now, your content is so minimal, that the extra step of going from your current home screen of a simple quote about you and picture, is an unnecessary step and offers no real added information for the client.

I suggest taking your curent bio page, simplifying it a bit, and making that your home page. If you like the large picture and quote on your current home page, there is no reason why you cannot keep them. But, as of now, there is not enough beneficiary content to warrant your current home page and to have a separate bio page.

Although I do not like the design of this site, here is a magician's site that has his content organized in a way that is easy for clients to find, and with information that sells what he is offering. In addition, the media (photos) he has supports his professional services, eg. wedding gig photos on his wedding page and photos with celebs on his celebrity magic page.

You mentioned that you do not have many current photos or videos to choose from at this time... but there is nothing wrong with going out and staging some photos. Get in a nice suit, find some adults (friends of parents, etc...), have them dress up a bit, and take some pictures of you doing magic. Post the pictures, call it a corporate party, etc...

These are just a few ideas on how to keep taking the page in the right direction.

I understand the urge to put on as much interesting and important (to you) information on a new page... but this can harmful to the site's objective.
 
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