Wednesday, February 24, 2010
WHERE DO I BEGIN?
HOW ON EARTH DO I START MAKING A WEB PAGE?
What basic elements make up a web page? Pictures and text. Simple enough. You need a banner with your name, or the name of your business or gallery, and you need images (jpegs) of your art. The text should be a synopsis of who you are and what you do. What services do you provide? Do you want people to contact you so you can email them an up-to-date listing of your shows? Do you want to give out your street address? Or just the town or state, perhaps? Your email should be provided for the most basic of contact.
I suggest you get out some sheets of 8 ½ x 11 white paper and plan where you want your parts to go: banner at the top; navigation bar, if needed under the banner, or vertically at the left; text, images, important elements.
Text should be typed out and edited in Word or any text editor. Include important key words. These help search engines find you. Note that location, medium and subject of 'Suzan's' art, etc. are all included here.
For instance: Suzan Greene is a Portland, Maine artist who shows at Maine Women in the Arts art and craft shows. Her watercolor paintings of the shoreline and York County rural scenes of barns and cows can be seen at the -- Gallery year round. View the online art gallery for a taste of her whimsical paintings, which can be purchased direct from the artist.
The next page could be the gallery with a selection of your art. They can be enlarged when clicked upon if you want. Information about how to purchase art should be included, plus something warm and fuzzy about yourself. Viewers want to make a connection with you.
In the image, everything above the dotted line is seen on the screen when the visitor initially views that page. Everything below the dotted line can be seen when they scroll down. I prefer the home/main/introductory page to be seen in its entirety at a glance, so design it to fit a horizontal piece of paper, as shown.
I edit images for my clients as needed, but you still have to plan what you want to be shown, and where it will go. You can use sketches, printouts, photos or post-it notes to lay it out on paper. Pan your web site on a cocktail napkin if you're more comfortable with that.
Planning is very important because it not only helps you figure out what is most important for you to depict to the world about yourself, but it helps the web designer. The more you give the person who does the technical work, the easier and less time-consuming it is for all parties. Prepare, prepare, prepare!