Building a website is all about preparation, here’s some points to get you ready.
- What will you call your site - yournameart.com / .com.au / .net / .shop - choose what works best for you but keep it as simple as possible.
- See if it is available on somewhere like www.crazydomains.com.au
- While you are choosing a domain, see if the same name is available on Social media platforms - makes life much easier if all are the same
- Domain names typically cost around $20-30/year
- If you already have a domain name it can usually be easily transferred to a new host.
WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE
- Portfolio / Gallery
- Sales / Shopping Cart
- Marketing - Like an online brochure
PREPARATION IS KEY
- You can’t start building a website without plans - like building a home
- Write down everything you’d like to see on your site
- List it in a logical order, like the “Pages” below
- Write the words you want on every page - create a Document for each page.
- Once you’ve written all the words, read them again, get someone else to read them, do they make sense, do they tell an interesting story.
- BE CONSISTENT!!!! Write out words that will be used in multiple situations. For example - descriptions of products - write it once, get it perfect, then copy and paste the same thing everywhere it needs to be.
- Prepare your list of key search words for every image, just like on the form we give you to fill in for our site.
- Prepare all the products, sizes and prices you want to offer in a spreadsheet. You can also copy lots of this info from www.buyartnow.com.au for art that is already listed.
- Decide what colour scheme you’d like for the site but be flexible - keep it simple, no more than 5!
- If you are paying someone to build your site, the more information you can provide already prepared will save you money. They can’t write your stories - that’s not the job of a web designer.
- If you are doing it all yourself, do this work first, it will help you when putting the site together.
Determine what platform you will use - Squarespace, Wix, Shopify etc
- Choose a platform and take the time to watch the basics videos on how to do stuff if you aren’t sure. They are really quite helpful.
- Check the costs of each platform and the benefits they offer - choose the right one to suit you. Typically you get a better deal if you pay for a full year rather than by the month.
- Choose a template and refine it as you go - in many cases you can change templates once you’ve added some pages and images to see if another might suit you better.
- Work your way through each step as suggested in the site setup to ensure you don’t miss anything.
- If you come across something you don’t understand, use the HELP section of your platform, the answers are almost always there.
WHAT PAGES SHOULD YOU HAVE
- Home - Keep it neat but interesting - don’t put “About You” stuff here!
- About You - your biography, awards, acheivements, exhibition etc go here.
- Gallery - could just be a gallery of work without any shopping options
- Shop - a gallery that allows viewers to purchase your work
- Commissioned Works - if you offer them, talk about what you do.
- Classes/Workshops - if you do them.
- Terms of Service - especially important if you have a shop - must include information about, privacy and returns policy, freight, delivery times and payments policies.
- Contact Form - make it easy for people to contact you
- Pop-Up Sign-up form - for newsletter - remember, data is gold!
- Don’t reinvent the wheel - use a template, much easier to maintain
- Use a recognised service like Squarespace, Wix for WYSIWYG sites - no coding required.
- Keep in mind how it looks on mobile phones and small screens - the sites mentioned above are really good at that.
- Wordpress has paid “Turn Key” solutions, or free for self hosted, however this requires intermediate web knowledge
High Resolution NO! Appropriately sized photos
- always use the smallest file possible (pixels AND kilobytes) to help with load speed.
- product image with no zoom - 1000px long edge
- product image with zoom - 2000px long edge - or as the service you use recommends
- general images - 500px long edge
- background images - 2500px
- png for transparency
- jpeg with high compression for fast loading
Optional features you definitely need.
- “Facebook Pixel” for your Business page
- Google Analytics
- CRM for Newsletters - Mailchimp or similar