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Topic: web site depression  (Read 3062 times)
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lexscreations
« on: February 05, 2004 10:52:24 PM »

A few weeks ago I decided my web site needed a complete overhaul.  New photos, new layout, new everything.

So I tried working with some free templates.  Too complicated.  A friend promised to help me, but she's so busy that we weren't able to get together much.

Then came what I thought was the answer to my prayers: someone e-mailed me saying she wanted to do my web site for me, for FREE.  I jumped on it.

But she didn't grasp that all I wanted was an easy-to-work-with template, so I could get the page up and running as soon as possible.  I am a crafter.  I am not a web designer.  Anyone who expects professional web design from my site is probably not there for the right reason (to buy jewelry!  heehee).  I just want something simple to showcase my work, that I can easily edit myself.

*sigh*

I don't know what to do right now.  Apart from taking better photos (which I realized I could do by putting the jewelry right on my scanner!  doh), of which I need many more.  I tried using a Yahoo Site Builder template, since their site builder is really the only site-building tool that makes any sense to me.  I like it a lot...but the web designer lady says it's "unprofessional."  It's pretty, though, and that is what I'm going for--rather than professional!  As long as people can find what they're looking for...

Sorry to ramble on about this.  I guess I'm just perplexed.  A few years ago, I taught myself HTML.  I had a web page just as sophisticated as anyone else did (which wasn't very sophisticated!).  Now I can't even figure out how to use Dreamweaver.  I feel like I am going insane.

What do the rest of you do about these things?  Hire someone?  Do you think it matters if a web designer (assuming you are not one, which I know many of you are) thinks your site is unprofessional, if what you're trying to do is sell crafts?   Huh
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ctm
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2004 10:59:46 PM »

i definitely know what you mean about having the same html knowledge as everyone else a few years back! things have GROWN since then!

having a simple dot com name is a good start.

other than that, i figured out exactly what i wanted, drew it up, and am having a good friend of mine do it for free so he can add it to his portfolio. (under construction: http://www.stitchpixie.com

*shh* i often copy other people's scripts if i like them, for instance this (which is mine): http://simplethoughts.org/paperprincess/slides/2003_03_30_ypbp_archive.html (ignore all the non-working pictures....and i did ask the original owner first if i could borrow and change his scripts)

basically what i would say is keep the pages white or light pastel colored... find a simple site you like, and go from there.

good luck!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2004 11:11:32 PM by ctm » THIS ROCKS   Logged

miss_mom
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2004 06:53:40 AM »

I agree - my best friend is a web designer, and her mantra is - Simple and sophisticated is best. As long as you show your product well, and the site is easy to navigate (and all the links work - very important!!!) I think that it's best! Besides, save the bandwith for the pictures - some of us are still on dialup, and some people load their site up with so much graphics and Flash animations, etc. that it takes pages forever to load ... as a dialup user, I'm more like to skip over a page that takes forever to load!

Good luck!
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2004 08:23:46 AM »

I spent all of last semester in web design  and computer classes. And I guess I didnt really like it because I feel the same way as you all do. As long as its pretty, it'll work. I did learn a few very important things.

1) It's not a bad idea to learn how to make your pics internet ready. This should compress the file size so that they load more quickly. I leave web sites very often if the pictures take too long to load.

2) Follow a theme to unify the whole site. Dont do a different look on each page! Its confusing to the viewer.

3) I'm sure theres more, I'll add them later.

I designed my site with Netscape Composer which is free with Netscape Navigator. It's a free download on the web. Its really simple to use. Like cut and paste! My host is Yahoo and Im pretty satisfied. My site needs a major makeover too. I just cant find the time to do it! What I really need is a logo!! Anyone have any ideas for me??

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danakk
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2004 08:42:41 AM »

I'm no techie either. Don't know HTML, Dreamweaver, etc. (don't want to.  uck!) but wanted that same thing you do, a simple, easy to navigate, nice looking site that I can maintain myself so I went to Staples and bought Frontpage. You can use their templates, customize the templates, of do your own thing. If you know HTML, you can tweak things that way. I know a lot of pros aren't impressed by FP but who cares, it's working for me and a lot of other. My shopping cart software is something called Miva, that my web host provided and was a little more work but not much.

Dana
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misha
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2004 02:44:03 PM »

I like Frontpage too. It's possible to design something quite nice without much tech knowledge.

And since my brain actually repels any tech info that tries to enter, this was helpful for me in putting a site together.
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2004 03:04:09 PM »

i use dreamweaver... i love it!  Grin I am a professional - kinda sorta - as in it's what i do full time - however i'm not the best in the buisness --- i dont generally do flash because its a trend that is fadind - with flash video it will be used in other media outlets but not for crafty pages --- i think the most important thing is keep it simple and easy to use --- the more distracting the site is the less people wont see your beautiful products!
xoxo
« Last Edit: February 06, 2004 03:07:39 PM by divasteph » THIS ROCKS   Logged

lexscreations
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2004 05:04:23 PM »

OK, just a little more background here: I have only been in the craft biz for a few months.  My goal is not to make my web site a hub for e-commerce.  It is for people who've already seen me and my jewelry at craft fairs or elsewhere to see some more of what I do and maybe purchase something they were waffling about when they saw it before.

Sure, it'd be nice to be able to make a "professional" site.  I wish I could.  But I can't.  And I don't want someone else to do it.  I can't afford to pay anyone (heck, I can't even afford my rent), and those who would do it for free want to take their own sweet time and not even make it easy for me to update.

It'd be nice if I could take a class in web design--I'd probably catch on fairly easily.  But I've got a chronic illness and, like I said, no money.

Given my lack of resources, I'd say an unprofessional site with good pictures and Paypal buttons should suit me just fine.

I'm sorry to vent at you all, and I appreciate the support you've been giving me.  Smiley  I am just so tired of being misunderstood by all the web-designer types.  I don't have the time/energy/necessity for a truly wonderful web site right now, and it's fine if they don't like that--or if anyone doesn't like that--but I am tired of being criticized about it.  My "unprofessional" site has taken up far too much of my time already!!   Tongue
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misha
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2004 08:59:05 PM »

Lex,

I think you site looks pretty good.  It's easy to navigate and I can see what you have for sale.

Personally, I hate flash on a website. It always takes too long, and I have a cable modem!
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2004 09:22:10 PM »

Personally, I hate flash on a website. It always takes too long, and I have a cable modem!

I agree.  at work we have limited software on our computers so any page with flash that doesn't offer an HTML option is skipped.  

Lex,
I think you're on your way with an easy to navigate web site and though it's touch, just try to let web designer criticism roll of your back Wink
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ctm
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2004 11:22:35 PM »

i looked through your site again, and what you have looks good (and was probably a lot of work nonetheless) and my only simple advice would be to make the edges of the pictures rounded off. i think that always looks really nice yet still simple. like this idea:

http://store3.yimg.com/I/scrapbook-dot-com_1779_55808998
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lexscreations
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2004 11:32:55 PM »

i looked through your site again, and what you have looks good (and was probably a lot of work nonetheless) and my only simple advice would be to make the edges of the pictures rounded off. i think that always looks really nice yet still simple. like this idea:

http://store3.yimg.com/I/scrapbook-dot-com_1779_55808998

Thanks! I like the rounded edges idea.  But I do have to re-take almost all of my pictures, plus I have to photograph many new items (I have a huge amount of inventory; I don't think I should even attempt to put it all on my page).  That would be a lot of editing.  (It will be anyway--arghhh.)  What I am going to do with my new layout (which isn't there yet) is to make smaller thumbnails of each item, and then have a page with details for each; so it'll be a heck of a lot more work for me but it'll give the customer a much better idea of the product.

I am getting tired just thinking about it.  Wink  (Oh yeah...the fact that it's 2:30 AM might have something to do with it too.  *giggle*)
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ctm
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2004 08:21:35 AM »

another thing i would say is have all the pages the same colour (ie white), keep the same font on all pages, keep your logo on all pages, even product ones like this:
http://www.lexscreations.com/pendants1.html

as well on these product pages to keep the
 
Home * Animals * Chokers * Pendants * Earrings * Barrettes * Other Items *About the Artist  Frequently Asked Questions * Where to Find Lex's Creations * Links

links in the same place and have your little sub links
Jewelry: Chokers * Necklaces & Pendants * Earrings * Barrettes

just below it. that will help keep some consistency


also, keep every picture on each page the same size exactly.

for something like this for example:
http://www.lexscreations.com/pendants1.html
you could have ONE picture of the shape of the pendant, and the rest of the links can JUST be a small picture of the pattern of each of them, the size of a small square: like this:
http://www.plainmabel.com/img/products/a004_sm.jpg
but about a quarter of the size

and maybe the big black "lex's creations" word plastered over every picture could be in white or even directly across the centre of the item but really really faint.

hope that helps. and good luck
« Last Edit: February 07, 2004 08:24:58 AM by ctm » THIS ROCKS   Logged

lexscreations
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2004 12:09:01 PM »

Hey hey hey hey.  HOLD ON A MINUTE HERE.  This post was not, is not, and will not be a request for suggestions about what to do with my site.  As I've said, my page is in the middle of a complete overhaul.  Things are not going to be consistent for quite a while now.  I have my own ideas for what I want to do with it and it will not look like it does now.  I am trying to straighten things out for the time being but the pictures will ALL be replaced as will page colors and other properties.  

NO MORE CRITICISM PLEASE.  IT IS NOT WELCOME.

Much as I appreciate good intentions, in case it wasn't evident from the first post, THIS WEB SITE CRAP IS DRIVING ME INSANE!!!!  Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2004 01:33:40 PM »

Gosh, Lex !
I read the entire thread and I just can't see where the "criticism" is. It sounds like people were just trying give you ideas and tools to make you feel more supported.  Maybe I missed the post(s) that you felt were critical  Huh
I guess it's a matter of interpretation, but from where I sit, it seems like the craftsters are really on your side.
Sorry you don't see it that way  Undecided
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lexscreations
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2004 07:26:03 PM »

Gosh, Lex !
I read the entire thread and I just can't see where the "criticism" is. It sounds like people were just trying give you ideas and tools to make you feel more supported.  Maybe I missed the post(s) that you felt were critical  Huh
I guess it's a matter of interpretation, but from where I sit, it seems like the craftsters are really on your side.
Sorry you don't see it that way  Undecided


I'm sorry to blow up.  I think I just can't seem to get my point across.  I mainly posted this because I was disappointed and overwhelmed with the whole process of re-doing my web site--and people have responded with yet more things I should do with it.  I am in the midst of working on it and know what I want to do with it--I just needed to vent!!!  The first few repliers got that...

I shouldn't have even made this post in the first place.  My apologies if I have offended anyone.
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