How do you develop a custom design?
My web design software offers a range of templates for color and style. I choose one that is appropriate for the site I will be developing, and remove/replace/change features that come to mind as I play with ideas. Once this style is set, it will apply to all pages of a given website.
I do not use complete pre-fabricated templates, since using them defeats the purpose of developing a unique and stream-lined website. In my opinion, the use of hidden links in drop down menus and ‘loud high power’ graphics does not really help navigation - they make pages look complicated and intimidating.
In my opinion, rigorous, to-the-point editing, clearly visible navigation bars, and precise, poignant presentation sells more effectively than pompous fluff.
Time is of the essence! Your visitors will leave your site, if they cannot navigate with ease. A lot of thought needs to go into the structure of the site and each page, always motivating the viewer to stay and keep looking.
My nephew/boyfriend/niece (fill in what applies) can make this cheaper. Shouldn’t I ask him/her?
It can’t hurt to ask and to look at his/her sites. If the style works for you, go for it. If you want a professional looking site by someone who knows her way around computers, logical order, efficient graphics, photography, page and photo editing(!) .... ask me to work for you :-).
What about a blog? That gives me web presence....
Blogs can be a lot of fun, and some look really good -- but they are informal, and you cannot easily make and link to individual pages, in fact blogs are hard to search - you would need some significant experience in how to set up a (book)page-like structure.
Also, blogs do not rank high in search engines like google.
What should I name my website?
Something short, unique, and easy to memorize - either related to what you offer or your name. Artists prefer to use their own name for the purpose of name recognition. Choose .com or .net. You can go to www.doteasy.com and search for available domain names.
What is your professional background?
I graduated from the Technical University of Berlin (former West Germany) with a degree in Architecture and eventually made my way into the field of computer graphics and design. I have worked using computers since 1992 (using AutoCad, an architectural design program). I am also an avid photographer.
Since around 1996, I have supported Larry’s art career by posting his paintings, sculptures and photographs on websites and by managing his business. I also began selling vintage photographs on eBay (1997) on a regular basis.
After a hiatus of about 3 years (in which I worked retail), I am now offering my design services to Artists and Small Business Owners who need to improve their presence on the internet.
next: designing this site
Frequently asked questions..........
The layout of this site was created with wide screen monitors and high resolution in mind, yet also taking into account the widespread use of older monitors and Windows XP
copyright for content and design: sabine calkins 2008, copyright for all silhouette graphics: larry calkins 2008