I thought I would take the IM hat off for a while and talk about site design, and the life of a website. I know it’s another one of those “most talked about” subjects, but (lol as always), sometimes the importance of a good web design is lost when someone decides to start an online business.
So, you decide you want to start an online business, and you need a website. What to do?
- You could either try doing it all yourself,
- Hire a developer at oodles an hour,
- Create a free WordPress or blogger account,
- Get a domain, and install either WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or any one of the other myriad CMS systems out there.
See where there would be loads of confusion? A DIY site might be a really good idea, but it would depend on your own skill level, the type of site you would like to create etc. Hiring a developer/designer gets it all done for you, but one or both can cost you an arm or leg, and you could run the risk of being stuck with communication problems, or they just cannot see your vision about pink clouds and lime green lollipops being all the rage now days. You could create a free WordPress or blogger account. I mean, its free, and they have templates, so it saves designing it yourself… but you’re limited when it comes to tools, plugins, and how much you can actually do with the site. The next best thing would be to get a domain, get some hosting, and then install the CMS of your choice. It gives you more freedom with plugins etc. but at the same time there are countless websites out there that sell premium themes that you can configure, you can edit, create a child theme off your theme, or you can develop a new site all together. So those are the options to get a site online.. but how do you know what kind of site design is the right one.
For an artist, the best kind of site would be one that has a gallery, where they can show off their artwork, designs, photographs etc. So a portfolio like design would be the best to suit them, whereas someone selling products would have a site with many small image areas instead, but everyone has their own ideas about what a good website should look like. It’s not like you’re going to be baking a cake that has a complex recipe. Your site is an extension of you, your business, personality.. and you want it perfect, right? Then design as you would want it, get as many reviews as you want to, but remember that, in the end, you need to please yourself because it’s almost impossible to keep everyone happy, and if you really tried everyone’s advice on a site, you probably would have been better off arguing with a designer about the pink clouds and lime green lollipops.
If, like me, you are guilty of constantly changing your site design, maybe finding ways of making the process easier would be good, even if it’s not a complete overhaul, its amazing what a little color and depth can bring into a site. Don’t overload it with graphics, or a navigation fit for rocket scientists, I find that keeping things simple often gets the best results. Your site is there to help showcase your talent/business, but you could easily do this with your content as well. Using image sliders on posts/pages.
I have always, and do still believe that anyone can design, create any work of art, be it a website, or digital art, and if you can find help somewhere, it’s always worth it.