Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week 3, Day 17: Optimizing Your Website

Off to a bit of a late start here on Chapter 3, but no big whoop. I am married to my webmaster which will make Chapter 3, "Optimizing Your Website" smooth sailing (so long as he complies and believe me, I have ways of making him do that). It is strange how one can be an expert at something but often that "something" is never well kept in their own life. You've heard all about how "the cobbler's children have no shoes." So it goes with my website. I sleep within arm's reach of a tech genius, yet my website sits wasting away because I haven't used that resource. I keep postponing any fixes to my site because I reason that I will have a completely new site when I release my upcoming album. But the album deadline has changed 55 times, and I don't want to let the weeds enshroud any longer. It's time to take action.

There are certain things I know I need to do with my website. But to start, I think it would be wise to take suggestions from the people whose opinions matter the most regarding the site: YOU. If you would be so kind, hop on over to for a moment, check it out, and leave me a comment here with your opinion on what is or is NOT working for you. Could you, would you visit my site? Could you, would you leave me feedback tonight?


  1. First off, I love the feel of your website.

    On the Scrapbook page your captions start out before the pictures and move to after the pictures. Maybe keep it to one or the other?

    I also prefer to click somewhere to start music, not to have it playing when I enter a site. I am almost always listening to music while I am on my computer so when music plays automatically I have two songs playing at the same time.

    That's all I've got. Happy Wednesday.

  2. I agree with Gerb in that I love the feel of your site too. I'd say it seems very you, but since I only know you though the internet and your music, I'm not sure I'm qualified, haha. Okay, so I poked around the website a bit, and here are my comments/suggestions.

    1. I like that you have your songs playing as background music for the site - I would appreciate the song/album being identified on the player as well. The song number and the word album show up, but I don't see an actual song or album title. I actually like that it plays automatically, so you've got contrasting opinions on that already.

    2. It occurs to me that the "Contact" page could be a great place not only for your mailing address, but also to link to your personal facebook/MySpace pages (unless you're afraid of sudden streams of fan mail appearing in your inbox and on your wall.) :) They're the most current, updated places, and most people these days prefer an "easier" method of contact than *gasp* writing an actual letter.

    3. On the "Latest News" page, I would suggest finding a way to show a blurb of your most recent blog, tweet, or facebook status update. I'm not too technologically capable with web stuff, but this seems like something that should be easy enough for your tech genius husband. That way, even if you don't feel like you have a lot of current happenings to share with anyone looking around the site, something recent will always be there.

    If I come up with more, I'll post again. I'm sure your site will be fabulous!

  3. I really like the look of the front page as well. Here's what I noticed (for what it's worth, HA!) -

    1. When you click on one of the links (music, events, press, etc.), the next pages don't seem to flow with your home page. The colors at the top change and although I think they "match" with your homepage, since they are all a different color, it doesn't seem to 'flow'.

    2. Your homepage has such soft and calming colors, but when I click one of the homepage links, it takes me to a page with brighter colors. And then the contrasting white on the bottom half really jumps out too much! Maybe soften the color up a bit?

    3. After clicking a link on the homepage, I wasn't able to get back 'home' unless I clicked the 'back' button on my browser. Maybe make a link on every page to take you 'home'.

    4. One of the lessons I remember in my one and only design class at college, was to only have 2 fonts on a page. Your name is in one font, the links are another, and then other side links are another. I think limiting it down to 2 helps the site flow and give consistency throughout.

    It really is a great site though. Props to your hubby for doing all that work! (My husband it a website guy too and I know that takes a lot of time!)

  4. My honest opinions to make your website have a bit more flow and aesthetic appeal:

    1. More creative fonts. Not fancy or curly, just create more of a consistent brand and have all the text follow a style.

    2. Larger fonts. Larger section headers, larger text. I don't know why, but the words just didn't seem to fill in the spaces.

    3. Change your projected next album release date in your bio.

    4. I think that in general, people search out a website for more information/insight. Maybe you could give a little background about the songs you have written/recorded. I bet some of the stories are amazing and inspiring and might entice a person to buy/attend a performance. Same goes for the photos...a little more information about your impressions would be interesting.

    5. I think your main page is fantastically stylish and polished.

    6. I would list all of your recorded tracks/albums under your music section, even if it is not for sale directly from the website. You could link to the places that do sell it. If all of your recorded music was listed in one place it would help people understand the depth of your experience.

    I wonder if this is helpful advice coming from a person who has no idea whatsoever about how to make any of these changes.

    Good luck.

  5. Alrighty, my hubby and I own a few online businesses and deal with our sites regularly, so here are my two cents:

    1. I also love the home page, make sure you make it easy to get back to.

    2. On the home page, I would include a link to your blog along with the upper headings (down below it gets lost).

    3. Consider some kind of welcome message: written, audio, or audio/visual

    4. Where is information about music from earlier in your career?

    5. Any video of live performances?

    6. Put the Mailing List link on home page, and make the button cute.

    7. I wouldn't put it on the home page, but on the subpages I would put in a widget that shows your facebook/twitter updates.

    8. Under the music tab, your album cover should be much larger... and what's up with those birds??

    9. Each subpage seems to have its own color palate... unify that. Also maybe you may want to consider some sort of intro on each subpage.

  6. Before you I give you any advice, could you tell me what your goal is with your site, because if I don't what end result you want to achieve, than all my comments will be is hit and miss - and most of the time, it is a miss.


  7. That should be a "then" not "than"


  8. It's beautiful. Unfortunately, with so little text, and so few visible keywords it will be essentially invisible to the search engines.

  9. I originally found this website looking for information about the songs that you had written and a little bit about you (not in a creepy way :) ) I think a bio would be a nice link.

  10. Mindy,
    I agree with what others have said. I'm curious as to what inspired certain songs, like Hard. I know what I think that song is about, but would love to know what the 'story' is behind it. Put some things on your internet that can only be found exclusively on that site. Not things we could find by googling.

  11. In regards to someone mentioning the keywords. When I type "Mindy Gledhill" in a Google search, your website is the first to come up. (First two actually, followed by your blog.) So, it just depends on what words you want to use to find you. (Perhaps possible misspellings of your name?)

  12. I meant to reply a few days ago...sorry.

    So, first of all I'd never build a site like this using Flash. With mobile devices becoming more and more common you are eliminating an audience. Also, maintaning your site built in Flash is more work than it needs to be.

    Honestly, I'd use WordPress. It's a CMS (Content Management Solution) that was developed through blogging that has now become a really robust tool for website management. I've built about 20 sites using it and absolutely believe that it is a superior tool for what you need. There are all kinds of Themes out there for cheap or free that you can pick from and add a wee bit of customization you can have a beautiful site that will serve your needs.

    Also, you'll be able to merge your blog and your main site into one. There are also plugins that'll enable you to pull your twitter feed, post music and the like. You can see my WordPress built portfolio here:

    I'm not lobbying to build your site...just wanna help out a friend.