Week in Review 2020 – 02/12

Transformation is my focus word this year. One thing I have longed to transform, but has felt daunting is redoing my website. I designed, built and continue to maintain my original website. It is hard to believe I launched it in 2006. Technology has continued to reinvent itself since then. Although my website is current with content, its software, look and ease of use is showing its age.

About the Artist

How does one begin to tackle such an overwhelming project? Many people, probably more sane than I, would opt to hire someone else to do the work. I knew this wasn’t the right route for me. Anyone who knows me knows I like to be control. 🙂 That isn’t the sole reason, though. I believe a website should be current. Therefore, I want to be able to maintain it in real time.

The cost of a website can quickly add up. Anyone with their own site knows the annual costs of securing a domain name, paying a server and keeping software/plug in contracts up to date. Now, if you add in tech support to design and maintain the site, that adds both front end and continued cost.

Galleries

It was important to me to have a sense of how I wanted my site to look. Why have a site in the first place? I think of my site as a portfolio. It is a way to share my art with others and if they have questions and comments, the site should be an easy way to reach out to me.

Would you believe I have spent several years dithering, researching, choosing this or that, and educating myself about this topic? Sad, but true. I decided on WordPress, primarily because it has done well for years, there are no software costs, and I can have a blog and site that use the same tools behind the scenes.

Water and Sky

I’m not done yet. I have a few giant steps to take during the transition phase to reach complete transformation, but I finally have a site I can build on, maintain, has few ongoing costs and has a clean look which focuses on the art. My next step is to switch the landing page (where the viewer is directed when launching the URL for my site) from my blog to the site itself. The images in this piece are screen shots from my site. The link below each image will take you to the page they come from.

What do you think makes a good site and why?

I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

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By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.

6 comments

  1. I applaud you going it DIY. I had enough trouble just setting up my blog, but I get why you wanted to do your site exactly as you wanted it, rather than deal with someone else’s attempts. Personally, I dislike artists’ websites that are so artistically minimal you can’t find anything. The home page may be just their name or a photo of a work, with no hint how you navigate the site.

    1. You make a good point, Joanna. A site should be so intuitive to the visiter that they can navigate around with ease. I confess I am drawn to minimalism in house and on websites. This is why I chose a simple, open theme when I starting working on it. Tried it out on the blog side first to make sure I liked the look. So far the key navigations tabs are at the top of the site and appear on every page, including the blog posts. I need to figure out how to include them a second at the bottom of the page. This way you can return to Home or back to the top of the page. The biggest change from 2006 to now is how many people view websites on their phones or tablets vs. a computer. This leads to lots and lots of swiping and scrolling. One thing I love about working in WP is I can see how my changes look on the various devices viewers might access it from. Couldn’t do that in my old, make that ancient, version of Dreamweaver.

  2. I had another website artist design my first, but it quicly became outdated and I didn’t know how to do that. That’s when I switched to Blogger with pages at the top. I thought I would be so good in keeping up with it, but I am not. I admire you and your tenacity and drive. I feel myself doing less and less these days.

    1. I understand completely. One of the reasons I’m designing my second website with WordPress is to drastically simplify what I include on the site. The less there, the less that needs updating. It is also much easier to add a new work. It used to take me hours to add a new piece in my first site, because of all the places it appeared. Now I can do it in 10 minutes or less. Too bad it didn’t take me 10 minutes to figure out the best to format the page where my work is showcased. That was more like on and off work over a year. That’s where you and are both at. In the past I wouldn’t have needed so many breaks, I would have just kept slogging until I got it.

  3. Building a website is not easy, you are very brave to do it by yourself. Like Joanna, I like websites where you can navigate easily, find a galery to show the artist’s work, and a link to a blog to interact.

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