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Website Design Tips

 

What I see when looking at literally thousands of photographer’s websites continually amazes me. There is some incredibly great photography on sites that I would consider embarrassing. Of course, the other extreme exists as well.

What I’d like to provide are a few tips I have found effective in my getting top-ten web listings for The Center for Fine Art Photography.

K.I.S.S. – if ever Keep It Simple applied, it does with websites. We’ve all experienced prolonged, controlled, flash-based home page introductions that caused us to move on before clicking onto a second page. Websites are about showing your images and telling your story.

For a long-term, rewarding website experience consider the following.

  • Web designers are artists, much like you. Some are more gifted than others. Regardless, their creative juices are always looking for a new canvas (web page). The challenge is to tap into their creativity and technical expertise to create a distinctive and functional website, without giving way to glitz and techno-wizardry that is counter productive.

  • You are responsible for deciding how you want your website to look. If you abdicate it to the designer, then you’ve lost control at the onset of the process. Look at other websites and create screen captures of those that have elements of what you like.
  • Pre-determine what you want your site to provide. Will it be a showcase of your work? Will you offer work for sale? Etc.
  • Determine if your web designer is familiar with web-design optimization elements that specifically apply to images. Ask him or her to present examples.
  • Your design should be such that you can easily swap out or add images without the assistance of your designer.
  • Be wary of designers who are in love with flash. While it has its uses within a site, flash can easily inhibit your listings in search responses, and the load times can be counter productive.
  • Be sure your domain name is registered in your name, not the designer’s or webmaster’s. This is a common mistake by those who are not familiar with the registration process. If it is not in your name, when you chose to use another designer or move your site to another hosting facility, you are at the mercy of your designer’s benevolence. I have one client who has suffered substantially from this mistake.

 

When I work with clients on website issues, we go through an extensive pre-design (or re-design) process before even contacting the designer. This makes it easier for the designer to get the look and functionality you are seeking, with less cost and time commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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