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Website

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Pat K.
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:33 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Website

Postby Pat K. » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:45 am

Hi everyone,

My son is a programmer and is currently developing a website for me. Neither one of us has the artistic background for what needs to be on it. Do I need an artist statement, etc? Can anyone direct me to a source where I can read and learn; I don't want to "copy" anyone else's or leave something necessary out. I don't plan on having a shopping cart (at least not right away), but would rather use email to give people shipping/total costs and then Paypal. I've read the information that I can find on here. It's not going to be hosted by wordpress or anyone like that. As you can see, I know very little but am willing to learn.

As always, any help is greatly appreciated.

Patty
Patty

It often shows a command of language to say nothing - author unkown.

lorimendenhall
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:54 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Website

Postby lorimendenhall » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:51 am

you certainly do not need an artist's statement, in fact you don't "need" anything. it's your website so you should present it in any way that you want. I think the most important thing when showcasing art is good pictures which are easy to navigate. also have it obvious how people can get a hold of you for more info or to purchase. to me the rest is just window dressing.

Drewcilla
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Website

Postby Drewcilla » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:39 am

Many of the people who post here have websites you should visit to see the wide variety of styles. My only advice would be to think of the readability of fonts and colors. Some combinations of colors and font styles are more difficult to read. You want to make it very easy for your customers/admirers to stay on your site. Good luck.

Lauri Levanto
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 7:33 am
Location: Halikko, Finland

Re: Website

Postby Lauri Levanto » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:02 pm

I think there is one MUST.
That is ease of navigation. Net readers have no perseverance. If I do not see it here and now, I try elsewhere.

-lauri

edit:
My site is some 300 page tutorial (mainly in Finnish). The most comprehensive tutorial in our language.

The statistics show:
- Average visit duration 168 secs. excluding Robots. Only 16.4 % of visits longer than 2 mins.
- 59% of readers come through search engines, mainly Google.
- Pages read 1.96 per visit.

I believe that is quite typical window exposure window .

dee
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:20 pm
Location: Atlanta GA
Contact:

Re: Website

Postby dee » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:02 pm

pat, while you don't "have to have" any specific thing, as one of the other responders mentioned, good navigation is a must. you might want to outline on paper the main pages and any sub-pages under them - then tweak it until you're happy. once you have the organization laid out - which will drive your navigation - you can start thinking about how you want the pages to look. just a note - people interested in buying your work will want to more if they can connect with you thru some form of bio - how you got started in glass, what inspires you.

now, for ease of maintenance and updating, don't discount content management systems like wordpress or joomla. once the look is in place it's just a matter of inputting the content. you want it to be easy to update. your son should be able to set up a cms run site - don't re-invent the wheel when you don't have to :)

look at different sites and make notes of what you like and what you don't like

just a few things to think about when starting a site...
D
Dee Janssen
Unicorn's Creations Studio
http://ucjewelry.com
dee@ucjewelry.com

Lynn Perry
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:27 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Website

Postby Lynn Perry » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:41 pm

It is pretty much a given anymore, but you need to keep the image sizes small so they load quickly. One other pet peeve I have is mouse-trapping which is when a website disables the back buttom function making it more of a nuisance to return a previous web address. A variation of this to loads multiple "about blank" addresses which also prevents easy exit from their website.
Lynn Perry

Morganica
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 6:19 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Website

Postby Morganica » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:18 am

I wholeheartedly agree with Dee; if he's not already, have your son start with WordPress and customize it for you. It's hands-down the easiest way to manage content in a personal website. The problem with a grounds-up website development is that (a) it's a waste of time when there are so many great web content environments available for free and (b) most developers focus on delivering functionality and not so much on maintainability, i.e., the ability for the average human to continue adding and changing stuff on the finished site.

WordPress is available as a hosted system, which you've said you don't want (although I'd seriously consider it, it's cheap and a real timesaver, and these days it's pretty customizable). But it's also available in a standalone version, installed on your site, which can be made to do just about whatever you want, very easily. WordPress is free, open source software, and it's got a very good support community so you can usually find just about anything you need to add to your site. It also gives you the basics, i.e. navigation tools, image displays, page layouts, contact forms, etc., so they don't need to be built from scratch.

You start with a "theme," which gives you something close to the look and functionality you want, then create a "child" of that theme (your son should know how to do this) that you can mutate into the final website. If your son has PHP and CSS skills, he'll have a pretty easy time of it.

The bigger deal, though, is figuring out what you want the site to do and how it should be organized. Next note will talk about that (sorry this is long-winded).
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

Morganica
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 6:19 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Website

Postby Morganica » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:42 am

What you really want to think about is how to organize and present content. Best way to do this is to list out everything you want on the website when it launches, i.e., every single piece of work you'll display, a page about who you are and what you make (it doesn't have to be a formal artist statement), how you want people to contact you, places where people can find your work to buy, awards you've gotten, etc.

When you've got a complete list, grab yourself a pad of post-it notes and a big blank wall or whiteboard. Write down each of the items from your list, one per post-it note. Then add one called "Home."

Now stick the "home" note on the wall, slightly above eye level in the center. Stick all the other post-its underneath that note, and start moving them around into groups that would appeal to your customers. It might be functional groups--bowls, jewelry, wallhangings--or it might be techniques such as fused glass, cast glass, torchwork. Or it could be groups by color or subject matter. Try to think like your customers and use the terms THEY would use to describe your work.

You'll want one group (it's usually called "About") that describes information about you and how to buy your work. And you may want another that discusses your processes (that's optional). When you've finished, play "customer," and imagine yourself entering your website from the home page. Where do you go next? What do you do when you get there? Where do you go next? You must ALWAYS give your customer a way to get back to the previous page (without hitting the "back button," and a next step, even if it's only clicking the "contact us" button and filling out a form).

Ask a few other people to look at your post-it wall and play customer, too. If they think it makes sense, then that's your website organization and navigation (the stuff that goes into the menus). Most artists and businesses will end up with 3-7 product categories and an "About" section, along with a home page. Each of those product categories will get its own page probably with some kind of gallery on it.

This method is called "card sorting," and it's what information architects do when setting up a website of any size. If you do it, you'll wind up with a much more navigable site.
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

Pat K.
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:33 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Website

Postby Pat K. » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:54 pm

Oh, my, I didn't expect such detailed and valuable information from all of you. I can't thank you enough - you've given me focus and a place to start. My thinking was all over the place. I had already checked out others websites - some are so chic and sophisticated that I just got stuck all over again. When I have it finalized, I'll ask you to critique it :? Hopefully, it won't take me too long to get it together although I went back to work yesterday - the job that allows me to pay for all of my glass and tools :lol: I should have asked this question in June - not August!

Thank you all again; I will take each recommendation to heart and try to make it work. Cynthia, I have a big whiteboard at work I can use.

Patty
Patty



It often shows a command of language to say nothing - author unkown.


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Warm Glass

2575 Old Glory Road, Suite 700
Suite 700
Clemmons, NC 27012
Phone: (336) 712 8003
Email: wg@warmglass.com