Killed it stone dead for me…

Hi Everyone,

Does anything kill a website stone dead for as soon as you get through the door?

I started my own site because no-one was making exactly what I wanted to see. Lots of people were making interesting stuff, and lots of people still are. I still join websites that I like. I joined a couple recently, solo model foot fetish sites that looked fun. The photos on both sites looked nice.

One site had nicely arranged sets in ZIP files so I could download them. The other had some ghastly Flash-based gallery system. So not only no ZIP files, but I couldn’t even easily set a web spider to download galleries I liked.

That killed the second site stone dead for me. They’ve got years and years worth of content… but I’m never going to see it. Even though I’ve paid for it. It’s just too frigging painful obtaining the photos in a suitable form to view where and when I want to view them. They had an option to download the videos but I prefer stills.

I’ve explained before the dilemma that all adult websites face to balance the bandwidth bills with the membership fees. That’s why we have a rotating members’ archive rather than leaving every set from the last 13 plus years up all the time. It’s not an ideal solution, but it reminded me that there are worse ones!

This could be why that second site is set up that way: making it difficult to just grab everything or flick quickly through sets is one of the ways websites try to limit each members’ bandwidth usage. Or maybe it is some idea of “You want to see the pics? You need to stay a member FOREVER”, which I think is misguided. It’s a little incoherent with being able to download the videos. Maybe they think that people will use less bandwidth downloading videos once rather than repeatedly streaming it to watch it every time? Videos are big compared with stills. Maybe they are right, I don’t know their usage patterns or their business strategy.

What I hope that it is a misguided attempt to make the site user friendly by presenting photosets in nice galleries to click through shot by shot. Maybe I’m unusual in preferring to download the lot and do that on my local machine, flicking between shots with only the delay from a fast SSD rather than having to download the next picture each time by manual intervention. I spent too long at the computer already- when I’m signing up to something fun like a website, I want it to make it easy for me.

Whatever the reason, it killed that site stone dead for me, which is a shame because I was looking forward to seeing, saving and enjoying their work. Sad face.

The first site had a daily download limit, which was mildly annoying, but since the limit was quite generous I downloaded all the stuff I was interested in in a couple of days. I only joined for a month but if they keep producing fun new stuff I’ll very likely go back.

I’ll never go back to the other site. So they’ve potentially lost a fair amount of money, and I’ve not got value for money from my one-and-only membership of their site, either.

I have two questions for you.

1) Is there anything that kills a site stone dead for you? I mean flaws on legitimate sites, not rip-off sites which don’t provide what they advertise. (Those I’d ask for a refund/chargeback for- I haven’t needed to in YEARS).

2) Is there anything about any of our sites which kills it stone dead for you?

I’ve tried to make our sites support the way I like to use sites I join myself, but you may prefer to use them a different way. If I’ve made it impossible for you to do so, I’d really like to know about it. So if you could post a reply here it would be much appreciated!

Cheers, Hywel

About Hywel

Particle physicist turned fetish photographer, producer and director. I run and together with my wife, who is variously known as Ariel Anderssen or Amelia Jane Rutherford, depending on whether she's getting tied up or spanked at the time.

8 thoughts on “Killed it stone dead for me…

  1. The lack of zip files is a killer. Also not being able to search for all of the sets buy a particular model is annoying. I rotate membership between a number of sites and most seem to have it nailed though. Restrained Elegance is certainly one of the best. In fact it probably is THE best in terms of photography, website layout etc. The only thing I find slightly annoying, and it really is a minor thing, is the names of the sets don’t always correspond with the names of the zip files. For example the most recent archive update is Lets Play! but the zip file is But like I said its a minor minor thing.

  2. I also like to be able to see all of the content that is available, not just a few free sample pictures. Often it is a particular set/model that attracted me to that site in the first place and I want to see if that set/model is available and if the rest of the content warrants a membership or buy the set from somewhere like Clips4Sale

  3. I’ve cut way back on my site memberships since I started taking my own photos.

    Bad site design is an annoyance, but usually not a killer. Good site design is still a plus. I see RE as the “gold standard” in good site design – not because it’s perfect, but because the site that’s the “platinum-iridium standard” is locked in a vault somewhere. 😉

    What does kill a bondage site for me is an “industrial grotty” aesthetic. A low proportion of barefoot bondage pics and a high proportion of close ups (vs whole-body shots) will also send me away.

    As for your sites, the thing that kills Silk Soles and Bastinado Girls for me is simply not being the target audience.

    • I’ve thought about providing that. Would other people like it too? Personally I always download the ZIP file to my local machine, then I can view them all as a slideshow locally (via Windows or Mac OS file browser). This is much quicker in going from photo to photo than a web-based slideshow would be.

  4. Apart from discovering the content is quite different from what I expected from whatever advert or link brought me to a site, the one thing that puts me off is an over-fussy or intricate front page. Complex layouts, lots of animations or running movies: to me these are gimmicks for those who lack substance. And the worst thing – I admit this is special pleading by someone who doesn’t see very well – is a colour scheme that makes it difficult to see the important links or information (such as how much I will have to pay). There was a time when I knew a lot about standards for high visibility on websites but the truth is that a clean simple design works best for fully sighted and visually impaired people alike.

    Needless to say, Restrained Elegance has been a delight to use from first coming across it. For me, a slide show would be a distraction. Even with my sight, I can glance through the thumbnails far faster to get a feel for the whole set or video. So if you have a slideshow, I would prefer it out of the way. I unhesitatingly agree Restrained Elegance is “Gold Standard”.

    However, I can name a site that is even better. The colour scheme of white on black is even clearer. The models’ names and date put up appear on the page for the set as well as on the index page; you have the voting panel towards the top without having to scroll past the thumbnails; and so on. I refer, of course, to Silk

    • Thank you. I’m glad you like and RE and even happier that Silk Soles is an improvement. One of my long standing items on the job list is an RE tweak and update, bringing some of the lessons learned from Silk Soles back to implement a series of minor but hopefully useful improvements to RE. This has hopefully kicked that up my priority list a bit.

      Cheers, Hywel

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