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cobratoys

Your advice is welcome. Thanks

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I would really appreciate any feedback (good or bad) on my newly created store. This is my first attempt and as such I am still learning. The address is www.cobratoys.com.au and of course this is a LIVE store.

 

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help.

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Hi Brad,

 

I love that site. No real security issues so it looks like you did your homework. The only thing I would suggest is an SSL.

 

 

The only functional issue I found was two broken links in the information box.

 

Good Job.

 

 

 

Chris


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the website is too heavy with graphics, you need to optimise the graphics.


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Chris,

 

Thank you for your kind words, The two links have now been fixed and I will now begin researching SSL.

 

Thanks again

Brad

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the website is too heavy with graphics, you need to optimise the graphics.

Forgive me, but i am not sure I understand, do you mean the product images need to be smaller or the overall design is too graphic reliant?

 

Regards,

Brad

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I suspect that what @web-project was saying is that your product thumbnails are displaying very large images (e.g., 600x800 pixels) scaled down by the browser to about 100x140 or so. This is wasteful of bandwidth and takes longer to download a page. The solution might be to look into some add-on that creates properly scaled "thumbnail" images to go along with the full size product images. That way, only the small thumbnails get transferred, until you're on a product page, where you can transfer and show the full size image. Even then, you might want to make your product images a bit smaller (unless being able to see fine detail is important). Faster page loading and a lower bandwidth bill make everyone happy all around.

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I suspect that what @web-project was saying is that your product thumbnails are displaying very large images (e.g., 600x800 pixels) scaled down by the browser to about 100x140 or so. This is wasteful of bandwidth and takes longer to download a page. The solution might be to look into some add-on that creates properly scaled "thumbnail" images to go along with the full size product images. That way, only the small thumbnails get transferred, until you're on a product page, where you can transfer and show the full size image. Even then, you might want to make your product images a bit smaller (unless being able to see fine detail is important). Faster page loading and a lower bandwidth bill make everyone happy all around.

 

MrPhil,

 

Thank you I think I will look at both options as I do sometimes need to have the higher detail images.

 

Regards,

Brad

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From a design perspective you have varying sized images on your home page - the thumbs in the 'new products for august' section are creating different sized boxes and it looks a little untidy. If you could get the size of your pictures uniform it would definitely help...the same issue when I list 'other collectibales' - because you have the alternating background colours (blue/black) the differing sizes are accentuated.

 

oh, you have the software category still? is this from the default set up?

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From a design perspective you have varying sized images on your home page - the thumbs in the 'new products for august' section are creating different sized boxes and it looks a little untidy. If you could get the size of your pictures uniform it would definitely help...the same issue when I list 'other collectibales' - because you have the alternating background colours (blue/black) the differing sizes are accentuated.

 

oh, you have the software category still? is this from the default set up?

 

More good advice, thank you. I think I need to look at the way I take the photo's and ensure a consistant size. The software category was put in on purpose I am just waiting on the developers to complete it, I guess for the moment I should remove it to make it look cleaner. Thank you

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If you're taking your own photos the best way I find to get the images more uniform (eg, so the bears are roughly the same size in each photo) is to give myself a frame to work with. I would be better at explaining this visually then with words! Like a marker to help you hold the camera in the same position each time... a tripod makes it easier but if that isn't an option then you need a marker to guide you. If you can go to a second hand store and buy some old 70's print they only want a few dollars for...take out the picture and retain the frame, then each time you take a photo position the product in the center of the frame and position the camera so you get the edge of the picture frame in your photo... it takes some practice but it does work - if you do that ontop of a large piece of white card (A2 would be sufficient, can probably get it from Kmart or a newsagency) then your background should be smoother as well

 

Do you have a program such as photoshop? It would be the quickest way to get the current images uniform.

 

As for the software category - if you plan to use it, keep it - maybe just add a dummy product called 'coming soon' with a bit of a description so customers know you're planning to launch a new range

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The backgrounds, the raised panels are very nice, and really add dimension, which is impressive. However, try and carry this visual on with the product frames. The flat white 2D background, dilute the effect of the panels. You have made progress matching things up with the rounded corners and shadow effect. But you need a bit more to get it to a professional level. I suggest dealing with the background of the products. It should be the same as the white color of the product frames. In other words pull the products off their grey backgrounds. This will mean reshooting the photos, specifically so the background 'dissappears', as if the product is floating. If does not look like they been run through photoshop or anything, either


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Thank you to everyone, I am really liking all this feedback, it really is most appreciated. On the images though, I take the photos in a light tent with a white background, that is turning out that greyish colour so I suspect it must be a setting on the camera I need to play with, it is really important that the colours of the cars is identical to the actual item as that is a factor in peoples purchasing decision. Also getting the images an identical size is proving real difficult as the products are all varying sizes and if I adjust the images too much it distorts the images.

 

Thanks again to all

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Brad, if you would like to email me a few full size images I would be happy to see how easy they are to manipulate in photoshop. If you have the original unscaled photos I can experiment with them and then provide you with files. send me a PM if you like and I can give you my email... I just can't promise I will get to them quickly (currently trying not to completely kill my own shop...I can work with images but not php!) The background may not be as important if you use a border to frame your products

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Ah yes, getting realistic-looking images on a web page is a real art. Your digital camera will have its own foibles and idiosyncrasies. Try lighting the tent as much like daylight as you can (5700-6000K white) - don't rely on a flash to brighten it sufficiently. Different monitors will have their own "gamma" curves (pixel value mapping to brightness) and even their own differences in pixel colors. You can try your images on several different monitors under different room lighting conditions, and tweak the image gamma curves to look the best overall. It will take a bit of work to consistently get the best looking images for your products.

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Oh, just another note which I'll raise incase anyone else has the same option on their site. I can see you offer Indonesian Rupiah as a currency for purchase. I don't know if you've checked with your financial institution (and I have no clue about Paypal in this regard but believe they use banks as a reference point) but IDR is typically considered too volatile for trade. I have worked in Banking and Finance - at an Australian Bank you will get an EXTREMELY poor rate of return. eg, if you converted $20 AUD to Rupiah and then tried to convert the Rupiah back to AUD the same bank will only give you a dollar or so...I would be surprised if Paypal offers payment receival for IDR and would not recommend listing it because if nothing else you will have to constantly manage your currency conversion rates

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Ah yes, getting realistic-looking images on a web page is a real art. Your digital camera will have its own foibles and idiosyncrasies. Try lighting the tent as much like daylight as you can (5700-6000K white) - don't rely on a flash to brighten it sufficiently. Different monitors will have their own "gamma" curves (pixel value mapping to brightness) and even their own differences in pixel colors. You can try your images on several different monitors under different room lighting conditions, and tweak the image gamma curves to look the best overall. It will take a bit of work to consistently get the best looking images for your products.

I am not using a flash and 5500k white lights, one on each side but the room is not well lit, maybe I need to change the bulbs in the room.

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