Lay My Hat home page Lay My Hat Forum
The forum for holiday rental owners


 
  FAQFAQ    SearchSearch    MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups    RegisterRegister  
  ProfileProfile    Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages    Log inLog in 

Constructive criticism/feedback on our new site please!
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Lay My Hat Forum Index ->
Website reviews
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Astorchamonix



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 91
Location: chamonix, French alpes

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Constructive criticism/feedback on our new site please! Reply with quote

Dear LM Hatters,
We are getting close to the finishing the construction of our new website and would be extremely grateful for your input to improve it.

Www.astorchamonix.com

We have tried to take advice from other website reviews and (hopefully) have got the basics such as iphone/tablet compatibility correct (please let me know if not!), the website is constructed via the promote my place website so pretty easy from that perspective.
We still have some content to put on, mainly on the 'things to do' tab and aim to add to this as time allows.
We are a mid price, mid range 2 bed in the French alps, with a summer and winter season.
Could we please ask for your feedback on the website in general, a few points that sprung to mind:
1) photos: too many, too few, too photoshopped?
2) ease of use
3) general look and feel
4) is it easy to find out how to contact us to book? We are not keen on a book now button as would like to pass on bookings to our rental agent (we pay less commission this way)

Also, any advice on maximising traffic? I've tried clicking in links on the sticky but some don't work any longer, are there any other useful sites for traffic/seo optimisation for novices?

Many thanks in advance.

Laura and David
_________________
www.astorchamonix.com
www.facebook.com/astorchamonix
www.twitter.com/astorchamonix
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be curious as to why you've paid for your own domain name and then used hotmail for your contact email. I tend to shy away from businesses who use gmail, hotmail outlook,com etc as they are prime targets for hackers.

The general look and feel is quite effective and you've managed to deviate slightly from the standard PMP look. The instagram photo effects work well for the design but I wouldn't use then in a future photo gallery.

I do wish PMP would catch up with the times though. They give you a desktop and mobile site but seem to forget there's a whole world of devices in between. Their layout does not seem to have changed since I started using this forum in 2007.
_________________
www.samoensalpineholiday.com
www.websiteproud.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jimbo



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3581
Location: Charente Maritime

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Constructive criticism/feedback on our new site please! Reply with quote

Astorchamonix wrote:
1) photos: too many, too few, too photoshopped?

When you own a rental property in a stunning location, you really should up the ante in photo quality. Your competitors will. I'd imagine that most guests go to a ski resort for the skiing; therefore whilst the quality of the rental property is important, the quality of the location and the skiing is absolutely paramount.

Quick thoughts?

1. The three rolling lead photos should be atmospheric and sparkling ski/location-type shots. Not run of the mill gite-type shots. Reel 'em in!
2. Only one shot of Laura and David (lovely as you obviously are). If I'm coming to you, I want shots of what's on offer for guests - snow in all its beauty/great location pix/terrific runs/adults and children skiing/tutors teaching/jolly people queing at lifts/crowded bar with everyone raising a glass - all the tangible stuff that makes a ski holiday resort magical and memorable. If, truly, "Chamonix is one of our favourite places in the whole world", you need to show more clearly why.
3. Too many interior shots of indifferent quality. White should always have some tone (unless it's a shaft of sunlight). Pictures should always be sharp, unless there's a good reason why they shouldn't be - the lead balcony shot comes to mind.
4. Those obtrusive mustard-coloured chairs from my grannie's bungalow - the horror! Brightly-coloured throws would transform them.

Good luck, it's a lovely property in a great location!

Quote:
Constructive criticism/feedback on our new site please!

The only sort that you'll receive on here. Now it's up to you to stay on board, contribute and return the favour.
_________________
Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7005
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick glance and a few thoughts.

I would remove the photo of you from the front page to an about us page. It feels too personal and I'm booking a holiday so I want to see what I'm booking rather than a photo of the owner.

Spelling mistakes and typos - find someone you trust to proof read it or go through it with a fine tooth comb. Scenary and approximatley for starters.

Gallery - I like to see all the photos at a glance rather than having to scroll through.

Photos - weird effects, I felt like I needed to rub my eyes as they were blurry or had artistic effects. Good, clean sharp photos are what I want to see.

Links page - too generic. Pages with meaningful and relevant links would be better - things to do, places to eat, equipment hire etc.

A great start though and much to build upon.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kyreniagirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2320

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a couple of bloops that I noticed below. But the others posters are correct, your pictures really do not sell it. Also, lovely as you are, a large pic of yourselves centre of the home page is not what potential guests want to see.


Closet supermarket

An great place to go with both friends and family

Good Luck, you obviously have the enthusiasm for it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pmagowan



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 198
Location: Tuscany

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great. I agree with others re photos. The decor is a matter of taste and I like it. I wanted to put scrolling photos on my website because I could but I have gone off them as being slightly distracting. I think one really good photo is better than a few OK ones.
_________________
Large villa with pool near Sansepolcro, Tuscany
Tuscany Blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2170
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see someone else in Chamonix! Smile

The site looks nice & the colours are fresh. It looks like a really nice property in a great location, and I'm sure you'll have no problem getting lots of guests! A few thoughts....

- "A stylish 2 bedroom boutique apartment in Chamonix centre with underground parking and WiFi" is great but perhaps add how many it sleeps as I had to look around a bit for this.

The light grey text is a bit hard to read, might be good to make it a bit clearer?

- The quality of the pictures looks very odd on the home page - are they sized up from a low res picture or something? I would look at doing them again or at least resizing them carefully.

- The photos of indoors, the whole building, and the view are great, but I would move the picture of you to another page (though it's nice!)

- Navigation order: I'd maybe order it: Photo Gallery, Location & Travel, Availability and Rates, then the others. "What Makes the Astor Great" is a nice idea and something I've been meaning to do for years! But this page is just Apartment Details really, and should maybe be titled as that.

You could do another page of "What Makes the Astor Great" and talk about the central location, great views, personal service etc etc? The things that make it special.

Things to Do is useful but most people have an idea of that already. It's the apartment stuff that's priority, so I'd move this across a bit.


Pics: could do with some editing as Jimbo says. I'd separate the Chamonix pics from the apartment pics, or at least put them last. No-one needs to see the loo! Wink
I don't think the slideshow works that well, I prefer a long page, so I can get back to the picture I want easily, and pull them out to share and send.

The floor plan is really useful, I'd add that to the Details page.

Contact - it's clear enough, though I agree that a hotmail address is not ideal. The form is a bit complicated! I'd just go for name and message. People don't always have set dates or numbers.

Verification codes are a big pain for users, better to just get good spam filtering.


Pedant's corner:

"Chamonix's newest venue" the MBC??? Smile Also "A great " rather than "An great"
Brévent rather than Brevant
Scenery not scenary

Just a note of caution about transfer companies.
"Contact one of these trusted transfer companies"
I would perhaps reconsider this wording as if anything goes wrong (and it does, from time to time) the guest may feel that you have personally guaranteed it. Perhaps something like: "We use these transfer companies ourselves and are very happy with their service." Just a thought. Transfers can be a real minefield and when they go wrong, some people will look around for someone to blame.

They might also be better as a bulleted list as there is no punctuation at present.

The 3d flythough idea is great but a bit tricky to use. Could you export a movie of this? It would be really useful, I think.

Happy Hour list is a winner for content! I'd get that out on Twitter etc, great idea!

The location is great, I would probably make a miniature map and put it on the front page.
Location page - perhaps add a Google Maps link to this. And perhaps a link actually within the page to the "Getting to the slopes" section.


These are all small things though. It looks great & good luck with it! Smile
_________________
Chalet la Foret, Chamonix
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Astorchamonix



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 91
Location: chamonix, French alpes

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much to everyone for your really helpful advice.

We will go over our typos, which is rather embarrassing!! (er, just had to google embarrassing to check spelt right then!)

We will remove our photo from the front page, it is a bit wierd with retrospect. Also this weekends work will be reordering the website so the content is more structured, and split the photos into the flat and the area.

It so useful to have 'outsiders' look at it, you end up spending so much time on it you are sick of the sight of it!!

I quite like my brand new Ikea mustard chairs......but I suppose they are not for everyone.....my dad says they are like something from the 70s but I wasn't born then so wouldn't know Laughing Laughing Laughing

Thanks once again!! After getting lots and lots of hints and tips from the site I'm trying to 'pay my way' and contribute back with little nuggets of information i'e picked up along the way!! And yes, nice to meet a fellow Chamonix-lover Martha! Yes, MBC not so new any more I suppose! And good point about the wording of the transfer company advice, I suppose you don't really think about these things until you get stung by a bad review for something completely beyond your control.
_________________
www.astorchamonix.com
www.facebook.com/astorchamonix
www.twitter.com/astorchamonix
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jimbo



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3581
Location: Charente Maritime

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astorchamonix wrote:
It so useful to have 'outsiders' look at it, you end up spending so much time on it you are sick of the sight of it!!

This insight applies to the photography, too. One reason why a professional photographer often produces fresher and more exciting images than an owner isn't necessarily that the pro is a better photographer, but rather that he/she is seeing the location for the first time. Just as your guests will and you did when you fell in love with Chamonix. Over-familiarity with subject matter can be a killer.

Why not spend a few days pretending to be magazine photogaphers sent by an editor to Chamonix to produce a stunning set of photos for publication that will extoll the beauty and excitement of winter Chamonix over other ski resorts. And that your fee depends on your pix being good enough for a spread in the magazine - and your editor is one of the most difficult people on the planet to satisfy (most are!). I'd be surprised if your picture quality didn't improve by leaps and bounds!

Quote:
I quite like my brand new Ikea mustard chairs......but I suppose they are not for everyone.....my dad says they are like something from the 70s but I wasn't born then so wouldn't know

I'd guess that your Dad and I are of similar vintage. I well remember my Welsh grannie having these chairs in the 1970s. Her cat would catch mice in the garden, eat them under these chairs and, when my grannie cleaned underneath, mouse heads would come rolling out like a row of marbles. The horror has never left me!
_________________
Jim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Astorchamonix



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 91
Location: chamonix, French alpes

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great ideas re: photography, thanks very much Jim, I will get my creative hat on when I next visit in April and go out on a 'location shoot!'

Now......i'd better get searching under those chairs for The Astor mouse.....
_________________
www.astorchamonix.com
www.facebook.com/astorchamonix
www.twitter.com/astorchamonix
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2661
Location: Andalucía

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimbo wrote:
I well remember my Welsh grannie having these chairs in the 1970s. Her cat would catch mice in the garden, eat them under these chairs and, when my grannie cleaned underneath, mouse heads would come rolling out like a row of marbles. The horror has never left me!


*shudder* Makes me VERY glad that my cat is not a hunter!

I actually quite like the chairs as it goes, but then I don't have flashbacks when I look at them Mr. Green
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Astorchamonix



Joined: 25 Dec 2014
Posts: 91
Location: chamonix, French alpes

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi LMHatters,
I've spent a bit more time on our website trying to incorporate all the helpful advice.
I've just got to wait till we are back out there to improve my collection of photos.
Is there anything else content wise that you feel people would find helpful but is currently missing?
_________________
www.astorchamonix.com
www.facebook.com/astorchamonix
www.twitter.com/astorchamonix
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
teapot



Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 762
Location: Loire valley

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a little two cents worth, everyones covered the pictures but the shot of the balcony with the wine, a bit of fresh paint as it's right in the centre of the shot next to the bottle, dark areas of dirty paintwork/render, just a clean up Wink
_________________
Passivpool Energy "A" rated Swimming Pools, the most efficient, lowest running cost pools in the world
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
casasantoestevo



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 3815
Location: O Saviñao, Galicia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teapot wrote:
Just a little two cents worth, everyones covered the pictures but the shot of the balcony with the wine, a bit of fresh paint as it's right in the centre of the shot next to the bottle, dark areas of dirty paintwork/render, just a clean up Wink


Or photoshop!
_________________
Ian and Irene

Never try to out-stubborn your guests.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2170
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep nothing a quick photoshopping wouldn't fix, until you can get the paintbrush out!

I quite like those chairs Smile
_________________
Chalet la Foret, Chamonix
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Lay My Hat Forum Index ->
Website reviews
All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group