YardShare is an application where users who are not sure what to do with their yard can browse through the extensive database of photos that are submitted from other home owners. Users can search for yard ideas by filtering the photos by yard type, yard feature, garden, location and size. Additionally, there are yard experts who provide useful articles on the site. Also there are contests that are held to inspire people to get going on their yards and to show off theirs. YardIdea is a part of the site where users can get how-to's on how to make their yard fantastic, like "How to Create Your Own Backyard Firepit." YardShare also has a forum on its site where users can exchange advice or ask questions about how best to proceed. Users can also envision and create their ideal backyard using the YardShare "Create A Yard" feature. For landscaping professionals, YardShare is a great way for them to advertise their work and get more clients by posting images of their past projects onto the site. For anyone with a backyard that is lacking a little luster, they should visit YardShare and get some inspiration!Show more screenshots »
Bryan Powell of the Castro Valley developed YardShare after he was faced with the task of updating his backyard and had an awful time finding how-to articles and pictures that inspired him. Frustrated, Bryan purchased a book on computer coding and built YardShare. The site launched in February 2008. Powell considers his site "a Facebook for yards, [just] more about yards than the people." As of June 2011, the site hosted over 12,000 different backyard photos for inspiring its members. The site's been featured on VirginMedia, LifeHacker and The San Francisco Chronicle.
YardShare is different from other sites that have landscaping photos in that it allows users from all over to submit images of their backyard. Most sites that host images of landscaping are landscapers themselves and the images are just their portfolio. However, YardShare shows "real" yards and provides "real" inspiration- plus the professional yards too.
Event though YardShare was originally developed by a coding amateur, the site appears to work well. Design-wise it is a bit cluttered and there are a lot of links and heading and options on the homepage alone. This is a minor annoyance and not really anything major. There was an issue clicking on the register link- it kept directing to an error page. This is a pretty big deal since it means that users cannot register for the YardShare community. Not sure if that is intentional or a temporary thing.
It appears that users could register for the site by clicking on the "Not a member? Join here!" link. However, this link is broken and there was no way to evaluate the registration process in that case.
YardShare is a free site for users to access. Landscapers need to pay in order to post their projects on the site. Those rates are negotiated with the site and didn't appear to be public. YardShare is supported by advertising revenue and subscription fees from professional landscapers.
YardShare is a great idea for those embarking on or considering a backyard project. Even professional landscapers could get further ideas for their clients and instead of having to peak over a fence, users can now simply go online to see what's happening in people's backyards.