Author Topic: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?  (Read 1505 times)

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Offline sheisshell

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I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« on: March 09, 2015, 09:32:16 PM »
This is my first post here. I'm in a few pro photography facebook groups etc but so is my business partner so I'm looking for a new forum that she's not a part of!
We have a pretty good relationship, we've been in business together for 9 years. However, 2 years ago I had a baby and took time off from the business to do so. She's been running it since. She's done some good things such as increased our portrait sales and found a new studio for us to work out of. She's been making a decent income for herself, but now that I'm ready to come back to work on a more regular basis, we need more work in order for me to earn some money as well.
Our wedding bookings have slackened off big time over the last 2 years. She doesn't love weddings, portraits is more her thing. I am big on weddings and not a fan of portraits. I want to find a way to increase our wedding bookings. Several months ago we agreed to overhaul our website. I wanted to pay someone but she didn't want to so she had a go at re-doing our website herself.
I HATE IT. I REALLY HATE IT.
I've expressed to her that I'm not happy with it, but I haven't been really specific about what I dislike because I don't want to insult her. I've told her about the design aspects I don't like, but I don't know how to tell her that the photos she has put up are boring and dull. They have no emotional impact, they have no atmosphere, the processing is dull, they look almost amateur.
How do I say these things to her?
BTW, she is my sister-in-law. I know people say not to work with family but up until now we've never really had any problems.

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 09:54:23 PM »
This may be awkward but we should visit. Is it the link in your profile. Then we have some concrete sense of what's going on?  There may be some help here.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 09:57:25 PM by Jeff Behm »

Offline sheisshell

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 03:17:46 AM »
 Yes of course you are welcome to look. It is the link in my profile.
I am embarrassed, but I welcome the feedback

Offline Nanette Reid

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 05:07:34 AM »
Here's the link Jeff: http://michelle-leigh.com.au


Offline Mike Nykoruk

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 05:26:18 AM »
I can understand your viewpoint.  The opening shot of the trees through me off until I scrolled down "beneath the fold" to revral the wedding party. Two pictures in the opening "slideshow" ??  THen where do I go? 
Check out out www.PhotoBiz.com   They are great, Many templetes to choose from and switch with a click to another, HTML5 so it show up on iPhones iPads too. Reasonable too.

Here's a link to my site with them: www.Highlights.net

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 08:25:19 AM »
After looking, my first reaction is like Mike's - the trees made no sense, then scroll down finally to find people and they "appear to be" out of focus.  That may be an issue as to how large a file was uploaded and the pitfalls of dynamic sizing on a large screen from a small file.  I don't know.   Regardless of what or how many photos we see, the most important part is cut off.  It may be that the recommended dimensions have been ignored, I don't know for sure.  But it works against you, big time, as it is now.

Second, "Only two photos?" in the Home page slideshow? 

Third, no real interaction on either the portrait or wedding galleries.  The first tier of photos seem to be able to be enlarged, then after them, nothing. 

Is this an inexpensive template, is that the reason?  It's about 5 years behind the times, it appears to me, which puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 05:17:08 PM »
I agree about the site not being hot, but that is only the surface of the issue here.

You can't communicate in your partnership, that's the real problem here.  If it hadn't been the website, there would have been some issue like it to cause a problem eventually if you can't handle differences.

I've been in one business partnership, an IT consultancy and dealership.  I tried very hard to be tolerant, and I am very sure he did, too.  However, it didn't work.  Two chiefs, no indians.

You are also describing that you have quite different passions about photography.  Weddings and portraits.  I am more of a portrait photographer, and having seen most wedding sites the style is not for me.  They seem to me to be too disparate in style to include on one site. 

So, how about this for a suggestion.  Have two sites, one for weddings and one for portraits.  You run your wedding site, she runs her portrait site.  Then have a chat about how you are going to share the work coming in in such a way that you are both kept busy, but still get to concentrate on your preferred area of photography.

Best of luck, I hope you can work things out.  I'd really like to know how things go :)

Offline sheisshell

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 06:35:39 PM »
Is this an inexpensive template, is that the reason?  It's about 5 years behind the times, it appears to me, which puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

Yes, it's an inexpensive template. It's a wordpress site and my partner purchased this template about a month ago without consulting me. I wanted to get it done professionally, but due to the fact that our bookings are down for this year, she didn't want the expense. I totally understand that, but I doubt we'll get more bookings with a website that looks like it does right now
.
You can't communicate in your partnership, that's the real problem here.  If it hadn't been the website, there would have been some issue like it to cause a problem eventually if you can't handle differences.
Jenny, I admit our communication problems are an issue right now. It's mainly due to the fact that I haven't been working much over the past two years. I made that conscious decision to focus on my children and let my partner run the business. I acknowledge that she's done the best she can on her own and it's hard for me to give to her constructive criticism when it feels like I'm being ungrateful to her for pretty much running the show on her own while I've been out of action. Before this, we were doing pretty well. 2012 was the busiest year with the biggest profits and we were working side by side every day in our studio without any problems. I would like to get us back to that point eventually. We are working on some other marketing strategies together which we do agree on, at the moment it's just the website that we are struggling with.
If I can get some constructive feedback from you guys then I would like to show it to her so she can see an outsider's point of view. Hopefully she'll be more willing to listen to that, rather than just hearing my opinion.

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 06:43:25 PM »
I use a Wordpress blog with a template from ProPhoto, but my galleries are Zenfolio, using their templates. I've linked the two and worked to make them appear as if designed to go together, though they aren't originally.  Feel free to climb through them to see two of the options available, and whether you like them.  My Zenfolio costs $140/yr for a Premium act with literally everything I need, and the Wordpress blog costs far less to keep registered.  The ProPhoto template was purchased for around $200 several years ago, and may be around $300 now, but it's a one time purchase until you wish to update.     jeffbehm.com

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 07:07:29 PM »

I'm not sure what I can diplomatically say about the site.  I'm with you, I hate it, every aspect of it. 

Generally, I'd find something positive and start with that as an opener and then get into all of the problems.  I can't find anything positive at all. 

Sooooo, what to do?  I would imagine that when you first went into partnership together you set down that you would do nothing that you both didn't agree with together if it would effect the other half?  Perhaps remind your partner of this?

If you start of by defining and agree on the way you go about making decisions of any kind in the business that works for you both?  So, avoid the topic of the site and start with this more general, big picture discussion before getting into nitty-gritty?

I don't feel it's possible for us to say, "ahhh, in that case, do this!".  All we can do is ask questions for you to ask of yourself, your partner and ultimately of how you are going to work together.

If it was me, I might feel like moving on if I felt I was walking on egg shells. It's not a great environment to be in when you're trying to be creative and when it's tough enough in business without it being tough inside your own business.

Hope this helps!   

Offline sheisshell

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 05:58:20 AM »
Ok, so now it's agreed by the majority that my website sux.
I want to point my business partner in the direction of some that are actually awesome.
Hit me with your favourites Pleeeeeaaaase!
 :) :)

Offline Jenny Gavin-Wear

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Re: I hate my website… How do I tell my business partner?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 05:40:45 PM »
Ok, so now it's agreed by the majority that my website sux.
I want to point my business partner in the direction of some that are actually awesome.
Hit me with your favourites Pleeeeeaaaase!
 :) :)

How about you show us some sites you like first?