This is what $3,000 buys...

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briarrosebb's picture
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... in inn/room photography. 

Our new website is in testing now here:  http://www.BriarRoseBB.com/rose/

We've drawn on stock photography from bigstockphoto.com and istockphoto.com at $2 to $3 an image.  But most importantly we hired a professional photographer for pictures of the inn.

Our current website is http:/www.BriarRoseBB.com.

 

Any comments are sincerely appreciated (errors, critiques, what's good/bad).

This week we will work on the SEO and then we will release.

 

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Warm regards,
Brendan
Boulder Bed and Breakfast

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Just so everyone knows, this is from 2008

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 Information is good, but too heavy to fast might not be a good thing here. I am all for learning more about this whole subject. Smiling

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My appologies Joey - will remove.

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Brady Behrman
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http://www.vbwebsites.net

Bed and Breakfast Website Design - Check us out!

 

swirt's picture
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Thank you Joey for reminding a new vendor to play by the rules.

vbwebsites, welcome to innspiring, but please scale back the full-on marketing blitz on this forum.

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no problem, thanks for the welcome.

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WebSpam and Self-Promotion

Vendors are welcome on this forum.  However, they are expected to operate in plain view.  They should not misrepresent who they are or what their connection is to a service they are recommending.  If it is discovered that they are being less than truthful, they should expect the online equivalent of being tarred and feathered.  We have no patience for webspam and gameplaying.

When it comes to self-promotion, you are welcome to list your business in the resources section, and list your business and link in your signature.  However, if too many of your posts are blatant self-promotion of your product, then expect to not be received well, and in extreme cases, asked to leave.  Promoting yourself by bashing your competition will also not be allowed. You are welcome to answer questions and even ask questions related to your business or product, but telling people to buy your product or contact you is crossing the line.

 

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 VBWebsites, you might want to pull in the reigns a little bit and read the FAQS on this forum before you get yourself in trouble.  

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- removed by vbwebsites - sorry

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Brendan,

Did the photog ($3000 worth) fix the wide angle/fish eye shots or did you do that on your own program?

There is some pretty funky stuff going on - perhaps guests won't notice.  Not sure

Like this teensy toilet and elongated sink - photo distortion in this bathroom.

and this full figured bog here.

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briarrosebb's picture
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June,

It was relatively wide angle photography... I can't remember what the degrees or number related to the angle was.  The wide angle caused the distortions.  I don't think he fixed the distortions.  The wide angles are necessary to show our smallish rooms in two pictures.  We know the pictures make the rooms look bigger than they are.  We thought about warning about this on the room pages, but opted not.  We have some trepidation about the new photography:   we have gone from our pictures underselling the property to overselling the property slightly.  We think we will get higher conversions, but we also expect to have a bit more disappointed guests.  We will see.

 

The new website is now live at http://www.BriarRoseBB.com.  The old website is now: http://www.briarrosebb.com/old_as_of_9-2008/

 

Brendan

 

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briarrosebb wrote:

June,

It was relatively wide angle photography... I can't remember what the degrees or number related to the angle was.  The wide angle caused the distortions.  I don't think he fixed the distortions.  The wide angles are necessary to show our smallish rooms in two pictures.  We know the pictures make the rooms look bigger than they are.  We thought about warning about this on the room pages, but opted not.  We have some trepidation about the new photography:   we have gone from our pictures underselling the property to overselling the property slightly.  We think we will get higher conversions, but we also expect to have a bit more disappointed guests.  We will see.

 

The new website is now live at http://www.BriarRoseBB.com.  The old website is now: http://www.briarrosebb.com/old_as_of_9-2008/

 

Brendan

 

Relatively? I would say fish eye with correction.  If you can see both sides of you that would be fish eye (corrected in a program of course, but some times you have to trim the photos to get rid of some of the funky business on the sides.  You might be able to correct them by a slight trim, so the toilet is not full figured. 

swirt's picture
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Catlady mentioned the use of outdated meta-tags. Most are not outdated, but are just worthless (not meant to be derogatory...they just have no value).

Examples:

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX,FOLLOW">  Not worthless but unneccessary since this is the default behavior of all search engine robots.

<meta name="BED" content="Bed and Breakfast, B&B, Bed and Breakfast Inn, Accommodations, Romance, Getaway, Lodging"> Non-existent meta tag.  Serves absolutely no good and risks being seen as keyword stuffing. The unencoded ampersand will also cause problems.  The entire tag should be removed.

<meta name="Classification" content="commercial/business, travel, family vacation, accommodations, hotel/lodging"> Outdated tag that was once proposed but never used by any search engine.

<META NAME="page-topic" CONTENT="Boulder lodging, Boulder Colorado lodging, Boulder Colorado accommodations, bed and breakfast, inn, bed breakfast">  Not used by any of the major search engines. 

<META NAME="page-type" CONTENT="boulder lodging, boulder colorado lodging, b&bs, inn, bed and breakfast, colorado accommodations"> Not used by any search engine and the type was not meant to be content, it was meant to be function.  Unencoded ampersand has potential to cause problems.  Entire tag should be removed.

<META NAME="audience" CONTENT="all"> This is the default for all pages.  No need to specify.

<META NAME="author" CONTENT="Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast"> Of no real benefit other than related to ownership questions.  Harmless to leave in place.

<META NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="15 days"> Worthless tag never used by any search engine.  It was once proposed by a search engine but it never used it and that search engine no longer exists.  Remove it.

<META NAME="Content-Language" CONTENT="en-us,english">  No problem

<META NAME="distribution" CONTENT="global"> This is the default so no harm done, but just as effective to leave it off.

<META NAME="copyright" CONTENT="by http://www.briarrosebb.com"> Has no effect, but in general it is bad form to say a web address owns a copyright.  People or companies own copyrights, not a web address.

<meta NAME="city" CONTENT="Boulder">  Worthless could be seen as stuffing.

<meta NAME="state" CONTENT="Colorado"> Worthless could be seen as stuffing.

<meta NAME="email" CONTENT="info@briarrosebb.com"> Your email address is already on every page, this meta is worthless.

<meta NAME="contact" CONTENT="Innkeeper">  Completely worthless.

 

In general, getting rid of excess code that serves no function is a good thing.  Getting rid of code that makes your site look "over optimized" and serves no function is a very good thing.  Eye-wink

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Thank you so much for your comments, Steve.  We have removed the meta tags you mentioned.  With regard to the picture size, here's the story:  we had to resize the pics we received.  At the time this work was done, we did not have Photoshop, so we used GIMP as an image editor.  Subsequently, we compared the GIMP product with a Photoshopped version.  The Photoshopped version was noticably sharper and it was 50 percent smaller!  Anyway now we have a project to redo the pictures with Photoshop.  It'll probably take us a week or two to get to this.

 

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I would love to see it but I have tried and cannot get you site to come up. I have tried every which way. What am I doing wrong.

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briarrosebb's picture
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http://www.BriarRoseBB.com/rose/

 

when you click on the above, what error message do you get?

Brendan

 

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It says Internet Expolor cannot display this site.

 

I went about it in a different way too by going striaght to Google and it still did not come up for me.

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http://www.briarrosebb.com/rose/index.html

does the above work?  if it doesn't i'm guessing your internet provider is missing our "DNS" record because obviously people are getting to our site http://www.briarrosebb.com

brendan

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I get your new site. No problem in FIrefox or IE

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sandynn wrote:

It says Internet Expolor cannot display this site.

 

I went about it in a different way too by going striaght to Google and it still did not come up for me.

In our house we call it "Internet Exploder."

They prob have it down for maintenance, on the pics etc.

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hmmm that is very strange.  Sometimes some ISP's accidentally block some legitiimate ip addresses in an attempt to block spammers, bots and hackers.  I'd keep trying for a day or two and if it is still not showing for you, you may have to call your ISP and let them know that you are unable to get to a site that is up and running.

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GIMP's numbers for compression are different than Photoshop and different than FIreworks.  I found this conversion table that may help if you want to stick with GIMP.

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swirt wrote:

I found this conversion table that may help if you want to stick with GIMP.

Boy, Swirt, you really are handy to have around!

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penelope wrote:

swirt wrote:

I found this conversion table that may help if you want to stick with GIMP.

Boy, Swirt, you really are handy to have around!

I think we ALL can agree to that!

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GIMP should be able to do it just as well, but it may be a stray compression setting hiding somewhere. 

Morticia's picture
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City and State might be seen as 'keyword stuffing'?

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swirt's picture
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Probably not, but when you make up a metatag for the purpose of putting in that information, then it has a possibility.  Most likely it would cause no problem by itself, but if enough other items were "stuffed" then it just may help tip the balance. 

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Sorry I guess I did use the wrong "Wording"   out of date was the first thing that popped into my head without thinking moreSad

swirt's picture
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Actually the more I think of it "Outdated" probably isn't such a bad description.  Not that the tags themselves are outdated (most of them were always worthless) but the designers that assumed they had some effect are the ones who were outdated.  LOL

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I just looked at the current website and BriarRose does have bedskirts on the beds.  They must have been trying something different to see what the effect would be without them.

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GeorgiaGirl25 wrote:

I just looked at the current website and BriarRose does have bedskirts on the beds.  They must have been trying something different to see what the effect would be without them.

These are NEW photos. Those were old photos. Whatever is on the new photos is what is there.

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Here is an idea of what I would prefer seeing your site set up look like.

Of course..this is VERYVERY crude,

you would put your header in there above the photo along with phone number and link to availability/ reservations.

But I just wanted to show you what I think would be a more appealing look.FOCUS ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND IT'S FEATURES.

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We did the "royalty-free" licensing which was a one-time, indefinite use.  My reference to larger pics having different "usage requirements" means that the one-time, royalty-free is conditional.  Bottom line, is that on the large pics you really have to read the fine print.  If you find "royalty-free" pics that are small or medium size, you can get the $1 to $3 one-time pricing.

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The home link at the bottom of the policy page is a broken link.

 

It may actually be broken on all the pages? I just checked another.

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so many comments about your site already so i will stick with the bed skirt issue and the tea area.

rather than use fitted sheets to cover the box springs, i suggest flat sheets.  i use these in some of our rooms. they work well!  i also have used a couple bedspreads that have stains in the center as bed skirts (or dust ruffles).  you might have some of these around! 

cropping the tea center photo would work - either show some of that great tea selection or one section of the cupboard.  the cup on the tea page is lovely.

re stock photos:  when i first was putting our site together i used some area stock photos and found that folks thought i was showing a beach they could see from here instead of near here.  so i had to change that ... guests were asking for a room with that view seen on our website.  oops.

 

 

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Good point about the photos on the website implying what it RIGHT there, outside the window. I put those kinds of pix in the newsletter or blog and still have guests thinking those things are walking distance. I also get a fair number of requests for a 'water view' room even tho I never, anywhere say we have water views. I say we are a 'few minutes' drive away' to the shore. (Far more guests don't even know the town is on the water.)

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A note about the navigation.

You have a different navigation bar at the top and bottom of each page, and the top navigation is sometimes inconsistent on different pages of the site, like the homepage. I know you're still working on it, so maybe I'm jumping the gun with this comment, but it's one of my pet peeves about websites--once I get to know a navigation bar, I like for it to be consistent throughout the site so I can quickly get back to the page I want after navigating to another, without too much thought. For instance, you have the link to "Boulder" at the top of the page, but "Location" at the bottom, which are similar in content, but different pages. If I had clicked on "Location" once, but am now looking at the nav bar at the top of the page, I can't figure out how to get back there without finding it at the bottom of the page again.

Consistency will help to make it fool-proof.

Sorry! I'm known to be a cruel proofreader. But I really do like the site!

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Just looking at the 'overall' effect of the website...I love the colors, it is a soothing site. I would put some 'boundaries' on the text tho, it makes it too hard to read when the text goes from screen edge to screen edge. I would also pick a frame of reference when describing things and stick with it. Most of the time you are referring to things in the third person, then all of a sudden switch to addressing the reader. 'The guests' vs 'you'. I'd go with 'you' so the person reading can picture themselves in the garden or in the living room in front of the fire, rather than picturing all the other guests.

Also, at one point you say the 'guests and staff' may use the mediation room. I'd leave out 'staff'. I'd feel uncomfortable using the meditation room if I thought I was interrupting someone who worked there.

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Bree wrote:

Also, at one point you say the 'guests and staff' may use the mediation room.

Hehe... Sometimes guests and staff NEED mediation. Better known as the PITA Room.

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Oops. Not having a good day here. I don't need mediation, I could use meditation, tho.

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Most of the photos seem to be tipping the scale at around 220K which is pretty large, especially if you are throwing several of them on the page.  Keeping their dimensions the same they could be compressed a bit more with no noticeable loss of quality.  Doing a jpg quality level of 75% will help a lot.   Example: I took the first photo on the Blanca room page.  It is currently 263K  compressing it to 75% quality makes it appear almost the same but got it down to 57K.  Comparing the original and compressed side-by-side it is a task to be able to tell the difference. 

Regarding the dimensions.  The room pics are all sized to 800px wide.  Photo size is a real sticky spot right now as there is now the greatest difference in screen size that there has ever been.  Compare a budget laptop from only a few years ago (800x600) to a new superwide laptop and the screens are nearly 3x as wide.  So putting an 800pix wide image on the smaller screen more than fills it while putting it on the larger screen makes it look nearly empty.  However, right now  more than half of the web visitors in our niche fall into the screen size less than 1200px wide category.  By the time you take away the width of the browser chrome, padding on your website and the fact that most people browse in a window rather than full screen and you end up with a usueable area that is just under 800px wide.  So it is probably better to shoot for dimensions less than 800 (I'm fond of 750)

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I actually use the full screen for everything except email. That's why it was hard to read the text going all from side to side.

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swirt wrote:

Most of the photos seem to be tipping the scale at around 220K which is pretty large, especially if you are throwing several of them on the page.  Keeping their dimensions the same they could be compressed a bit more with no noticeable loss of quality.  Doing a jpg quality level of 75% will help a lot.   Example: I took the first photo on the Blanca room page.  It is currently 263K  compressing it to 75% quality makes it appear almost the same but got it down to 57K.  Comparing the original and compressed side-by-side it is a task to be able to tell the difference. 

Regarding the dimensions.  The room pics are all sized to 800px wide.  Photo size is a real sticky spot right now as there is now the greatest difference in screen size that there has ever been.  Compare a budget laptop from only a few years ago (800x600) to a new superwide laptop and the screens are nearly 3x as wide.  So putting an 800pix wide image on the smaller screen more than fills it while putting it on the larger screen makes it look nearly empty.  However, right now  more than half of the web visitors in our niche fall into the screen size less than 1200px wide category.  By the time you take away the width of the browser chrome, padding on your website and the fact that most people browse in a window rather than full screen and you end up with a usueable area that is just under 800px wide.  So it is probably better to shoot for dimensions less than 800 (I'm fond of 750)

Good point, we do browse in a window versus full screen, i never use full screen for anything other than my wallpaper.

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On the topic of bedskirts, if you don't want to invest in bedskirts - especially for the beds with wooden side rails which look fine exposed - a coordinating fitted sheet just to cover the boxspring is a good solution.  Not as expensive as a bedskirt but the bed still looks 'put together'.

In the Huron room, though - I think a bedskirt is the only real solution.  No good bedframe to show off.

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A nice relaxing to the eye website.  And I too, love the rich colors you have chosen in your rooms.  The Pic of the front is lovely!  

As others have stated, the 1st thing that I saw when looking at the room pictures were the beds.  Bed skirts would do the trick on most.  We are not trying to be harsh, it is the simple fact that room pictures are THE first selling point to your B&B. 

Some of the stock pics look grainy in comparison to your professional shots.  If it were my site, I would focus on MY place and maybe views (if there are any) from MY place.  IMMHO people can go to a lot of sites to see pics of Boulder, but at least make sure the tags have your B&B name and other keywords.  (did not check this, was just a thought)

The Tea page pic (at bottom) is too busy compared to the others.  I agree with the post that suggested cropping the pic to just show the shelves full of tea. 

I mostly was reviewing the site for the pictures but I noticed as I skimmed the wording, that you sometimes refer to your B&B as The Rose intead of using its full name.  This is confusing and is not good SEO. 

At least one other poster stated that some pictures were slow to come up and that a header was not clear.  Others such as myself had no problems BUT, you do not want any viewers to have a less than perfect visit to your site so I would suggest asking for more clarification from these posters and addressing those matters.  If they had a problem you can bet that there are thousands of others that would as well. 

 

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Copperhead wrote:
The Rose intead of using its full name.  This is confusing and is not good SEO. 

It is more of a branding confusion issue.  It can actually be good for SEO if there are people looking for it as "the Rose".  However if nobody would refer to it by that phrase, it is probably better to tighten up the use of the actual name.  You wouldn't want guests saying to friends "Oh we stayed at the Rose and it was lovely..."  if the B&B can't be found by that name.

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Oh, forgot to mention that the photos are quite large. Having a large one is great if folks want to zoom in, but could you go smaller on the pages with lots of photos so we don't have to scroll as much? They're also taking up to a minute to load on my computer (esp the rooms page), though this internet connection is often pretty horrible. Try saving them as optimized for the web.

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stephanie wrote:

Oh, forgot to mention that the photos are quite large. Having a large one is great if folks want to zoom in, but could you go smaller on the pages with lots of photos so we don't have to scroll as much? They're also taking up to a minute to load on my computer (esp the rooms page), though this internet connection is often pretty horrible. Try saving them as optimized for the web.

I am sure they are optimized, as they are VERY LARGE.  But I agree making them small and CLICKABLE if someone prefers to see all the details. I have a big monitor and they are giant on mine.

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Here is my last comment - when I go to the rooms page and click on MORE PHOTOS then I have to mess around to get back to the next room to view.  As the photos are VERY LARGE on these indiv room pages. 

As a guest viewing all the rooms before picking one, I would like a VIEW NEXT ROOM button on each current page so I can just click on forward to the next room.

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June, thanks for the next room tip... we have implemented it:

http://briarrosebb.com/rose/teakettle.html

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briarrosebb wrote:

June, thanks for the next room tip... we have implemented it:

http://briarrosebb.com/rose/teakettle.html

Perfecto!!! 

May I add another VERY useful button:

BOOK THIS ROOM NOW

(otherwise I might forget which room is which. I know there are pics on the booking agent and the check availabiliyt button on the top of ALL room pages, but it doesn't matter, as a guest, I see it, I like it, I want to book it!)  It is an easy add.

You are inn-spiring me to get some new pics soon!

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