This is my new website so far! I have had my website for 3 years now and designing it is a love/hate relationship;) I use iWeb which is a really basic and easy to use format but there was a lot to learn for a complete beginner like me. I must say that in just the few years of having an online "presence" I have discovered a style of my own and the hours and hours that I spend tweaking images etc are paying off.
I have been asked to help other friends (artist/makers) websites. This is truly flattering as I have just learnt as I have gone along. I do wonder if it is in my genes, my brother is a graphic designer and I always think when reviewing my design what would he think or what do I want the customer to know or what are they looking for.
Research is really important!!! I love looking at other peoples websites and thinking of how it works as a layout and what makes it standout from the rest. I have a few sites that I am influenced by but then I start to see my own style come through.
I still have work to do on it and the online shop to add. Who knows, It could look totally different next week!
These are my top tips for creating an iWeb website
1. Research....ok I have already mentioned this but it will save you time if you know the style of website you want to create.
2. YouTube tutorials about iWeb have been so helpful when I first started. There are loads out there.
3. Keep the design simple and don't just use the themes they provide.
I customise mine by removing everything from the page including the menu bar
as it has limits.
4. To add a shop I have done it two different ways. You can painstakingly
add a PayPal button next to every image (this does not work on the photo album pages)
and create a separate product page for each item or collection. The other option is to have a Folksy or Etsy shop and have the link on your site. The one problem I find with this is that it takes your viewers away from your site and does not have a link to take them back.
5. Spend time trying things out on iWeb. It is a great way to build a simple website for no cost (if iWeb is on you Mac) other than the hosting and the domain name.
For that I use one.com who I have found really easy to use.
Have a go and good luck!