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Artists! The World Wide Web is all yours!
Let Creative Simplicity Web Design work with you to create a page that is as unique as your work.
New: Shopp E-Commerce site, installed, $200, no monthly fee. See a sample store, and once you are there, click on the "About This Cart" link to learn more. I'll even let you have the keys to the admin area so you can take it for a test-drive! Click here to view the cart!
We have more choices than ever before on the web these days. Sales vehicles such as Wholesale Crafts, Niche, and newer sites appear every day, some of them only to disappear before they catch on. Then we have blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter and other similar sites. These options are great, but they take time and energy to maintain. Web sites DO need to be updated periodically, but not every week, and they can be connected to these other types of sites quite easily. Blogs and Facebook, as fun and productive as they can be, can also drain your time and energy. You want MORE time to do what you love, not less, right? Your web site can be a steady workhorse for you. No signing in, no registering, open to everyone, with links to those other places, such as Wholesale Crafts, Niche, and a Facebook badge for easy access to that site. Need your own password-protected wholesale sales page? No problem. Want to link to the stores and galleries that carry your work? Brilliant! We all need to work together to bring shoppers into the stores that help to support us.
You don't need to be told by a web developer what you should do with your page, any more than you need a real estate agent to dictate what type of home you should live in. Real estate agents are there to get you into the home that YOU want. It's the same concept here: you're an artist, and you should be in control.
Art sites can be black, white or gray, but they don't have to be limited to those colors. The trend right now is clean and crisp, so I've re-done this page to reflect the latest feel of fine art on the web. It is not necessary to follow trends, but it can make life interesting if you continue to grow and develop your page. Textures from your work can be used in design elements. Customer reviews can be shown easily. And if you do want to have an active hand in the marketing and design of your page, there are ways to do that without spending a ton of your hard-earned money on a "designer" who furnishes templates.
It always confounds me when I visit websites that contain thumbnail images of the artist's work, at dimensions as small as 1" x 1". Of course they can be clicked-on for a larger version, but are people likely to click on something that's squished to such a size? With screens going wider each year, we have plenty of real estate to work with. Shoppers are more likely to click on a good-sized thumbnail than on a tiny one.
Look at the images above: Images can be placed anywhere on a page, and text wrapping is important: Too close and your page looks crowded. This is what separates a home-made page from a professional one. Type is important, as well. Light type on dark is seen by some to be difficult to read, but if you love the look of your fine craft work on black, there are ways around that challenge. A few tiny snips of code can make a huge difference between an effective page and one that looks amateurish.
Whether to choose to have me create your site, or you feel that you'd like to do your own, you might want to book-mark this site for the articles and tips that will lead you to a healthy well-placed site. Visit Creative Simplicity Things You May Want to Know for information about trends, best practices and standards, and trends.
Image labeling is one of the most important, yet most often neglected, functions of any image tag. Images should always be named, so that if your visitor has images turned off, they will be able to understand that they need to adjust the browser to view your beautiful photos. Labeling also provides additional search engine optimization. Accents such as borders and backgrounds can make the difference between an awesome page and one that's, well, just there.
Slide shows, rotating images, and Lightbox sliding close-ups are a few of my favorite features right now. Not sure which colors or designs show off your work in the best light? Try two versions! It's the easiest thing in the world these days, with CSS design, to make small changes for a full new look. Contact me for more information. Action photos are important, too. This is one area where having some lay-out flexibility can make a huge difference.
All of the example sites that I have to show were created according to the user's specifications. I'll tell you if something is truly hazardous -- some fonts don't work well and there's a limit to the effectiveness of too many flash animations, but it's truly your page.
The problem with banners and text-as-images
With the number of web-safe fonts being somewhat limited, we often use our own text in the form of an image, writing words on to an image as for a banner, and then inserting it. Remember to label this image with the words you have inserted. Search engines cannot read text on images. This is also an accessibility issue, where readers who have images turned off will obviously miss the point.
©melissa miller, creative simplicity web design, a division of melissa's motifs mosaic studio e-mail
December 7, 2012 5:32 PM