When I became a full time professional artist I didn't think that I would have much to do with website design. Maybe the odd day or two to set up a site and then let it get on with it itself. How wrong I was...
I'd recently redesigned my website and unleashed it unto the world. The feedback I received was generally positive. One concern was that the shop was too hard to find, so I rectified that and everything looked rosy.
Then I had the clever thought of dabbling in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to make sure that Google knew who I was and that there was a good chance of my site being found. Now, popular belief would have it that you can learn anything from the internet. Mmm, maybe not with SEO. All it did was confuse me. The internet seems to be good for facts. (For example, I know I recognise the main actress from Jessica Jones but I can't think what else she's been in - one quick search later - oh yeah, Breaking Bad). But when it comes to learning something in depth, I find it wanting.
So I bought a book: SEO and Search Marketing in a Week by Nick Smith
It's quite a slim book but everything became clear (there's a reason that books cost money). In fact, everything became so clear that I realised that my website would need a major overhaul. Again. And it was going to take a lot of time...
Three weeks later I've finished and my new website is ready for unveiling. I've made many changes, some that you probably wouldn't notice but the main ones are:
A brand new homepage that has more of a magazine feel to it and shows everything that is on offer on my site.
A section showing all of my YouTube epics. I've included some exclusive videos that are not available through a normal search. The main one is a video with a commentary by yours truly on my time lapse for 'The Insidious Whisper'. (This section involved a lot of work. Just redesigning the thumbnails for my videos took a day.
Nifty little sliders that show the differences between the planning stages and my final paintings.
Framing suggestions: I sell all of my prints unframed but I thought it would be a nice idea for people to have some photos to show what was possible. So another page was born.
A mailing list to make sure that you don't miss out on what's happening on David Denton Art. (It's a non-spammy mailing list because I only send out updates once every two months.)
A fresh look for the shop with the added benefit of free delivery in the UK.
And this blog. I've transferred all of my posts on to here so everything you need is all in one place.
It all took a while to do. For example, one small photo of one of my paintings in a real living room took two hours to do and it's only about a couple of inches square. The main problem was the mobile side of it all. I start designed the look of the desktop version and get that just right. Then I transfer to see how great it looks on mobile. Or as more often was the case, how much of a jumbled mess it looked. Much faffing about later and everything in order. But in the end I'm pretty pleased with the results of my hard labour.
So please have a look and I would be very grateful for any feedback. Is it easy to navigate? What do you think of the content? Or the overall design? Because I manage the website myself I can make improvements quickly (well, relatively) so feel free to make any comments below.
See you next time.