Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Build Your Own Web Site. No Code!

There is a conversation that seems to be bubbling up about web sites with my artist friends.
  • “I know I need a web site, but I don’t know where to start, and it seems like too much work.”
  • “I’ve got a web site, but I don’t understand how to add new work.”
  • “Oh no, I’m not a computer person. I don’t even do Facebook.”

In other words there is a barrage of excuses, frustration, fear, and anxiety.

     I will fill you in a bit on my back ground on even knowing how to building web sites. When I started my jewelry business, I felt it was imperative to have a web site. This was in 2004 or 2005. I knew I couldn’t afford to have someone else build it and then there was the question of maintaining the web site. I knew I would be a tiny little account for a web developer, and that would, more times than not, have my needs at the bottom of the web builder’s priority list. This meant any changes that were made might take a week or two to occur.

Home Page from first web site I built.
     I signed up for a beginning class in coding at the local Community College in those early days. I managed to build a web site while in class, although it was primitive, I did it. The one real thing I
learned was, I am not a coder. Yes, I could wrap my brain around understanding the code, but the idea of sitting all day long, every day working code would never, ever be my thing. The next solution to building my own web site was to learn Dreamweaver, a site building software put out by Adobe. My business wasn’t very demanding then, so I bought two three and a half inch thick books on Dreamweaver, a couple of CDs, and sat down for three months and build a web site. Woo Hoo! I had a web site, and continued to maintain my site with Dreamweaver through 2013.

     Toward the end of 2013, I helped proof read a web site for a friend of mine that was using the WIX platform. It was as if I entered a brave new world. Compared to using Dreamweaver, it was like being turbo charged. In 2014 I set up the Kathryn Bowman Studio web site you know now on WIX.com. There are thirteen pages, some of which are rather complex. All it takes is the time to plug in the content, photos and copy. WIX has hundreds of templates, or you can easily build your own design. It is completely what you see is what you get.

     Even with these wonderful online platforms, I have discovered that people are still fearful of starting on the daunting task of building a web site themselves. That is where I have been helping people out. I sit down with them and we begin. With guidance, they start to discover that they are able to master the tools from the various platforms available online. They don’t have to be a “coder”. They don’t have to be a total geek. The platforms now available online are really very elegant, user friendly, and intuitive. It is really about opening the door, walk through, possibly with trepidation at first, but soon they have a web site. If you can have a presence on Facebook, put photos and content up, you can use one of the online web building platforms. On average I have spent about eight hours with them from start to online.

      This has meant stepping into new territory, helping creatives build a web site. I’ve helped a few people build their new sites. They are pleased with their results and they feel in control of their future by being able to maintain the site themselves. In October I will be offering the first;
Build Your Own Web Site. No Code! Class
Part 1 is October 3rd and Part 2 is October 17th
Part 1 on January 16, 2016 and Part 2 on January 23, 2016
at Lady Bug Beads
7212 Big Bend Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63303

We will cover a lot, be ready when you come to class with these elements well thought out:
  1. Laptop with wireless capability. (Apple or PC) An iPad, Tablet, or Phone will not work for this class.
  2. Select three existing web sites you like. These will serve as a guide in your design.
  3. Know site purpose; sell, inform, teach.
  4. Develop a domain name (site name) and two variations on that name.
  5. Digital Photos on your computer of products, art, or subject. At least 10.
  6. Photo of yourself for about page.
  7. Logo if you have one.
  8. Favorite type face or an idea of what you like or your look.
  9. A color theme for site.
  10. Note book for notes.

Contact Lady Bug Beads and secure your spot, call 314-633-6140, or drop by the store, 7212 Big Bend Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119 and sign up. See you in class. I know this is limiting to those of your not living in the St. Louis area. I’m busy writing an e-book that you will be able to purchase and download soon on Building Your Own Web Site. If you have any questions e-mail me and I will be happy to explain options and ideas further.

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