Help me tweak my website? Come give your input :)

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vestureofblood
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Help me tweak my website? Come give your input :)

Hi all,

 

Short version:

I have been working on this for almost a year now.     I know nothing about doing this so I had a friend from church set this up for me.  That was much cheaper than getting a pro to do it.   

I have some product loaded onto it now so its at least brows able.    There are certainly some bugs I am already aware of, but if anyone would like to test it out and see what you find that needs fixing I would be grateful.


Also if you happen to know "how" to fix the bugs you find that would be awesome too.


Bugs I am aware of:

1. PP express checkout
I dont seem to be having any luck with this.   Checkout does seem to work through regular channel,but so far I have only sold things to myself, so I am not sure about that.


I will keep a list here as more are uncovered.


I am not expecting anyone to actually buy any thing ( unless you just want to of course).    I do need to know how things are working.    If someone with an international address could try it out that would be very helpful too.

Let me know what you guys find.     Here is the link to my site.

http://asflashlights.com/en/

 

Again this is not a ploy just to get people to the site, I really do need some help.    However I will offer this temporary coupon code for any one who would like to try it.

gimme12

Thanks all




In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Solar
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Website looks good!
I can’t offer help as I don’t know jack squat about building websites.
My only suggestion would be to offer another for of payment other than PP.

nickelflipper
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No beans either on web build. But how about a full width (banner ad like) beamshot pic of one of your 1D’s in action on the homepage? Nothing like a wall of light to impress the viewers.

Kent

saypat
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In my opinion, that is one of the nicer websites I have ever seen. Very well done. Easy to view, and navigate. Great job!

patrick

brad
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You need someone who knows technical to click around it, but as far as looks, it looks great.

Where are the shipping rates?

Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

freeme
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You probably want to work on your logo a little? Never shoot product photos under fluorescent lights. Shoot them outdoor (early morning or late afternoon) if you feel that your lighting is inadequate. You will be surprise with the results, even with the use of budget camera.

1thedeals.comyoutubeAstroluxNealsgadgetsolight

Ronin42
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some questions that came up for me

  1. can you make “Superbulb Dropin for Maglite 1000 lumen XML2 3-6 cell” in an MT-G2 emitter?
  2. “It takes any 3-9 D cell Mag” did they really make an 8 or 9 cell mag?
  3. wow“Superbulb Dropin for Maglite 1500 lumen Cree XHP-50 6-9 cell” I bet you could put an MT-G2 togther!
  4. ok so when the xhp70?
  5. it also looks like that drop in could be made for “c” cell mags?

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)

devman
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I’d suggest you build a lightbox for your product photos. They’re easy and cheap to make, and it makes your product look more professional.

Silly since this is a flashlight forum, I’d suggest using some kind of Frankenstein lighting setup using high-CRI Nichia 219b’s on quad-mount noctigons instead of desk lamps. Silly

jhalb
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These bulbs are for Surefire® 6P. They will probly work in similar P60 type lights but I have no way of trying them all so no guarantees. :bigsmile:

I would suggest a more professional approach to the above regarding your drop-in. Also check your spelling EVERYWHERE.
I like the feel of the website. Its really quite nice!
Checkout seems to move nicely.
Prices seem a little….high.
I agree with the above lighting comments made.
I recommend cooltext .com for something a little more lively for your logo.
When running an online business you always want to offer some kind on guarantee and warranty….IMHO.
Your shipping and returns section should should offer signature confirmation at an additional charge.

rockhound42
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Looks good, nice and easy to navigate, not flashy and in your face.

Agree with the comments on product photos and also the logo. Would be better if the text stood out a bit more on the site background rather than having the white rectangle around it.

Beam shots in the scrolling images after the product image may help draw customers in to dig down a little further maybe?

More info on shipping would be good, don't make it like some sites were you fill your basket and then find out shipping costs. Having a breakdown you can check first is good, especially for overseas customers.

Would still love to see your mag dropins with 2 or 3 red emitters in the space between the reflector and the mag bezel.

Good Luck with the site and sales.

sedstar
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cool… looks really good…

i must admit the maglight heat sink thingy, looked pretty cool…

With enough black coffee and cigarettes? all things are possible…

I am currently still shipping… REAL GENUINE CREE xp-g emitters, the classic… brace yourself? as low as 20 cents apiece!! Check out the SALES THREAD, everyone is happy… then PM me

SALES THREAD:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/52528

if you are into reloading? this is my site… I inherited the remains of what was once arguably the best reloading site on the internet… its the “BLF” of reloading sites…

http://reloadbench.freeforums.net/

if you think night vision would be cool? It IS… this site i am a member of, and its basically the “BLF” of home made scratch-built digital night vision. They are at the leading forefront of advanced DIY for digital night vision, and thats gun mounted or handheld… builds rival and exceed commercial offerings…

http://nightvisionforumuk.com/

vestureofblood
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This is awesome.   Thank you guys so much for your feedback.   Its of course going to take me some time to get these things accomplished.


1.  Shipping and payment

It seems as if everyone agrees this needs work ( as do I).  I will try to get set up to offer more options as well as signature confirmation.    This is one of the build areas I am struggling to learn how to do, but it will be done.


2.  Product Pictures.

I agree there is a huge want in this area.   Most of you have better cameras on your pones than I have at all, and that is not even the biggest hurdle as I know very little about this too.    I do appreciate the suggestions about lighting.   

I am actually very seriously considering having someone else start doing my pictures for me.   I was thinking perhaps I could trade someone some product for a few good images?

I am also working on the logo thing.   I just put that up so there would be something besides " your logo here"  LOL

3. Marketing, Spelling and guarantees.

I see your point jhalb I think I will change that opening statement about the bulbs.   

As far as the warranty statments etc I will have to work on that too.   I have never had an official statement mostly because I have never needed one.   The truth is on the forums if anyone ever had a problem they just PM me and I can honestly say in the roughly 5 years or so I have been doing this, I have never ever had to turn anyone away.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

ruffles
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Generally good… but get rid of the placeholder text under ‘terms and conditions’ and ‘about us’. “Our stores” pops a map nicely, but the name of the store didn’t seem to appear. (Which is bad, if you want to find it.)


 

Mr. Nobody
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Looks good Star

jref3
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Two things that come to mind:

- You could consider using secure connection (HTTPS).
When the customer is using your website, anybody between him and your server can read the communication (including passwords). On the other hand, there is more overhead with SSL/TLS and the data you’re dealing with is not that sensitive.

- If you’re looking for an additional payment method, take a look at Stripe

vestureofblood
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Could you guys tell me about how you feel the speed of my site it.    Does it feel smooth, or sluggish?


How does the page loading speed of mine compare to say Mountain or Illumn?

Adventure Sport
http://asflashlights.com/en/

MTN
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/

Illumin.
http://www.illumn.com/

Be honest, to you think mine is slower, faster or about the same?

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

scianiac
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I’ll preface this with while I do run a successful web store and have been doing so for some time I’m in no way an expert and am still pretty crap at technical tweaks. Also I have a habit of doing walls of text so this will probably be long.

To start most of your website issues are probably related to the store system itself, presta shop in your case, which for things like this you really have to be knowledgeable about that system in particular to get things like checkout and such setup. You probably already have been looking on presta’s forum and if it’s anything like Zencart you probably can find someone who has done exactly what you want and maybe even made an addon. Besides a few visual tweaks like the logo background which I think you just need to bring that image into gimp and change the white to an alpha channel I would aim for practical things like shipping estimator, more shipping options, payment options, clear information about shipping and payment options (more details below). The site being easy to use and usable by buyers with a wide range of needs is IMHO more important than looks so best to do those first.

For payment you may want to keep just PayPal, for a long time I just used paypal and really didn’t have many issues but you have to make it super clear that paypal accepts credit cards. Paypal doesn’t exactly help with this since they tend to push paypal a bit on the payment page but trust me if this is not super clear through the whole checkout process people will give up or email you asking about credit cards. In terms of other payment methods like a direct credit card payment processor there are two categories here it seems to me, easy setup ones like stripe and all those ones they advertise on TV and full on ones like authorize.net. The main difference is easy ones are easy to setup but you pay more, big ones can be tricky to setup have super complex fee structures and can be cheaper. Either way I would stick with offsite payment handling. Like Paypal the customer leaves your site, pays, then returns. This means no finanical data is ever on your site which takes a ton of security issues away from you, makes PCI compliance much easier (which you will need for big boy processes and maybe for easy ones). I did a ton of searching and big processors won’t tell you their fees upfront but after you do get through them, they are a little cheaper than paypal if you have the volume. Really paypal is probably the best way to go at least for awhile, they are easy, secure, and pretty cheap.

Shipping it a tricky one and still one I struggle with, you want to be clear on shipping times and offer a wide range. USPS is great but there time estimates are often totally off, things pretty rarely get lost but often delayed a week with no useful tracking. Offering something like FedEx gives a more reliable (although more expensive) option to those that want it and may be the way to go for more expensive items. I don’t even want to get into the mess that is international shipping. As stated above a shipping estimator is a very nice features just as a user.

At this point I’m convinced that product photography is an art and a science to rival any other. I’ve gone through so many iterations of my setup I’ve lost track. Now I run, 6× 1600 lumen 5000K CFLs, 4 from above with diffusers, and 4 from below with a diffuser (glass stage so things are lit from below, no shadows). Coupled with that I now have a Cannon 450D on a tripod with remote shooting. Frankly for a long time I used a ancient Olympus C-4000 zoom and the pictures were pretty comparable to the Canon if you get the settings right. I’m no photography expert either but if you have a point and shoot you need a tripod and you need to use it with the self timer. In addition I set the F stop as high as it will go (again with a point and shoot it won’t go very high) and then take 2-3 shots changing only the shutter time (around 1/10 to 1/25). Then I pick the one I like the lighting best and maybe tweak just a hair in gimp. The color of the object makes a big difference flat black items are pretty easy while super white or clear objects can be a pain. Small objects use the macro mode. The thing that I haven’t seen many people use is the bottom lit stage. For me this is a cardboard box, lined with tin foil, with two lamps in it then on top goes a piece of glass with a sheet of teflon sheet on top. You don’t need to use teflon of course I just happen to have it. Any decent diffuser material will work. You may need to balance the lights above vs below (I use 2 below 4 up) but after you do that the shadows are gone. I can show you an example if you like.

And the TL:DR version is stick with paypal, lots of checkout directions, more shipping options with details about them, cheap camera is fine but tons of light from all directions, good settings and a tripod. Any questions feel free to ask.

Co-owner/Engineer at STO Flashlights.

AlexGT
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It needs some XP-L V6’s, XM-L2 U4’s and XP-G2 S4’s, the rest looks good Wink

Edit, Can you please specify the tints of all your Leds not just the Kelvin temperature please? Just like you did on your S3 1C’s

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vestureofblood wrote:


Could you guys tell me about how you feel the speed of my site it.    Does it feel smooth, or sluggish?


How does the page loading speed of mine compare to say Mountain or Illumn?

Adventure Sport
http://asflashlights.com/en/

MTN
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/

Illumin.
http://www.illumn.com/

Be honest, to you think mine is slower, faster or about the same?

For me its alot slower than the other 2 idk if its the pictures slowing it down ?

AlexGT
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For me is the same speed as illumn and just a tad faster than RMM

vestureofblood
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scianiac,

I really like that idea of the under lit stage for the pictures.  I will have to experiment with that.

Do I need to be taking the pictures in a lower quality ( to speed up the site) or is it enough to set the jpeg quality in back office?

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

scianiac
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The under lighting requires a little tweaking but to me seems way more versatile than what is normally used. The key is light balance which is just a matter of bulbs and the diffuser, white garbage bags don’t work as they give a weird tint but that white sheet packing foam might work, I use that over my top lights as a diffuser.

The image quality again kinda depends on the site setup. I generally take a the highest setting the camera has, then edit lighting if needed in gimp, then watermark, then resize to a moderate size then upload. Depending how the site handles pictures, I have an addon that automatically resizes the images so when they are small pictures in a list like thumbnails they are low resolution so the page loads quick, then on the item page they are a little bigger and when you click on them they go full size with a matching resolution. If your site doesn’t do this then just pick something in the middle so page load times won’t be super large. Make the image 100% size on your computer and use that to gauge how big things are, I go for 100% is about 1/4 of the monitor, which is enough to see and take additional images if some detail is needed, could go bigger if you want I just picked that kinda at random. Your images seem to load pretty quick now so you site may have this feature as it is. Again I’m no expert but I don’t think the camera image resolution setting and resizing them later has much effect for our uses.

Co-owner/Engineer at STO Flashlights.

vestureofblood
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can you give me a link to your site so I can look at it?




EDIT:  Also what is everyones take here about registering for "domain privacy"     I sounds like a good idea, but after reading this I'm not so sure.

https://www.easydns.com/10-things-to-know-before-you-register/

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

autonomousperson
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I would take a look at it but it seems to be down rn, I have a buddy that can hook you up with some cheap pro hosting if intrested pm me.

vestureofblood
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autonomousperson wrote:
I would take a look at it but it seems to be down rn, I have a buddy that can hook you up with some cheap pro hosting if intrested pm me.


It should be running now.   

I actually just switched from Ipage to inmotionhosting today to see if perhaps that would speed things up a bit.   

Thank you for your offer.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

Jubeldum
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AlexGT
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freeme
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It's at asflashlights.com. Not ready at the moment though.

1thedeals.comyoutubeAstroluxNealsgadgetsolight

scianiac
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My store is http://www.clandestineairsoft.com/ and if it’s not obvious I sell airsoft parts. Like I said I’m far from an expert and still have a lot of visual improvements to make. Many of the older pictures are crappy so like this is a more recent one.

If I recall the only thing the domain privacy does is hide the register information so it can reduce spam and I wouldn’t use a phone number or email you care about if you don’t use it. Your address will probably be on your shipping labels so it’s not like someone couldn’t find that. Kinda your choice I guess.

Co-owner/Engineer at STO Flashlights.

vestureofblood
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Could you guys give it whorl now and see what you think.   Is it any faster?

http://asflashlights.com/en/

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.