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katie+tru
Jun. 14, 2010, 02:45 PM
I posted about a month ago about the barn website I had put up. Yes, it could use some cosmetic adjustments, but that's not a priority right now. I'm more concerned about getting photos and actual information up. My real issue is the photos. I don't want to flood the site with 43083075216 photos of every corner of the barn.

So what would you consider to be important? What would you want to see photos of if you were looking into boarding there? Obviously the aiseway, I know that. But what about stalls? The tack room? I'm going to guess the arena is a definite yes too.

I'm not looking for critiques on the layout or graphics... they'll have to do for now. I have no formal web/graphic design training so I just do what I can with what I have. Yes, I am aware the "About" page is not up. I'm leaving that for my trainer to fill out.


The site. (http://www.windhurstfarm.com)

Isabeau Z Solace
Jun. 14, 2010, 03:39 PM
First a disclaimer. I have a Mac which made it ridiculously easy to make my website.

But when I look at farm websites it is not the content that is of concern but how reality relates to the content.

Example #1. My friend keeps her horses in a very suburban/almost urban boarding situation. I cracked up when I looked at the website and saw the lovely pictures of horses grazing in a nice little grassy field. Those horses are the farm owner's horses. NO boarder horse ever goes on anything but a dirt lot where only a few of the hardiest weeds eek out survival. But the only reason I know that is because I know someone who has boarded there.

Example #2. Lovely photo of (yes it's true) brand new turnout paddocks farm just put in last season. BUT all the rest of the turnout (where most all the horses go) is high tensile wire. No pics, or mention, of the wire on the website. This at best misleading, if not lying, and is a waste of my time if I show up to check the place out and find miles of the previously unmentioned wire festooned about. And the lovely pics of turnout are not where my horse would be going.

Here are some things I never see that I'd love to see

Feed room
Hay storage
Manure storage
Bedding storage
Photo of the outdoor ring after a torrential downpour...

Ok,maybe I'm asking too much. And no doubt some farms would have to put a 'graphic content' warning above a photo of their feed room.....

But my point is farm websites often try way too hard to portray a good image instead of a TRUE or ACCURATE image. People will find out the truth when they get there....

yellowbritches
Jun. 14, 2010, 03:57 PM
To me, a boarding operations website should be a little bit like a good horse for sale ad- honest, short and sweet, with a few neat, honest pictures of the important bits. Just enough to get people to want to come see the place...you don't need a photo of every square foot.

Important bits to me should be anything to barn considers a selling point. Have lovely pastures? Show a handful of horses enjoying the lovely pastures. Have a great outdoor/indoor/both? Show a picture or two of the ring(s) neatly set up however they are most used (jumps set neatly in a jumping ring, dressage letters and an empty ring if it is just for dressage). Have some xc jumps? Show some pictures. You get the idea. If the barn/farm is exceptionally lovely, a gallery that is easy to use on most internet connections of other things is nice, but don't jam the "Boarding" page with 300,00 pictures.

I do like seeing pictures of horses being ridden and competed if the barn specializes in one thing or another. So, a barn that caters to event riders should have people enjoying the sport of eventing. :yes:

Bogie
Jun. 14, 2010, 04:03 PM
I always want to know what the turnout looks like, the ring(s) and the stalls, wash rack and other amenities.

luckyrock
Jun. 14, 2010, 09:47 PM
My stables has the essentials up: both barns, stalls, arenas, wash racks, turnouts (half dirt, half grass-all shown) Just got a comment the other day that the website looks JUST like the real thing! I agree: if your barn is nice, show it off. Take pride in your work because prospective clients notice!

Barn, wash racks, tack room, maybe a feed photo, paddocks and arenas are the big things.

xitmom
Jun. 15, 2010, 08:53 AM
Having just been on a search for a new barn, I wanted info on exactly the things that luckyrock said. I also wanted to know how big an operation it is - 6 stalls or 30 stalls? That puts the amenities such as indoor and outdoor arenas into context. A realistic photo of the tack room would be nice. I was amazed at how many tack rooms at barns I visited were heaped with clutter and had no place to put a new boarder's gear.

I know that you did not want any formatting advice, but I can't resist. I always like to see the address of the barn at the bottom of the home page. That way I can quickly figure out if the barn is within the range I am willing to drive and not have to read through the text or hunt for the location on another page.

Best of luck with your barn's website. You are off to a great start!

kerlin
Jun. 15, 2010, 09:09 AM
I would want to see:

- turnout
- barn aisle/stalls
- picture showing the general layout of the property

Things that would be great additions, but are not necessary:

- tack room
- wash stall
- any XC fences
- any trails
- rings, indoor and outdoor
- lesson in progress
- competition photos of riders

Some barns I've seen have school horse sections; those can be a lot of fun, especially if they're written with love and have good pictures. Calendars of clinics and competitions are also good. And as was suggested above, I always like to see a physical street address - I've done enough long-distance window-shopping for potential moves that a barn without an address or at least a town is kicked off the list unless it looks exceptional.