This post has been accidentally sitting in my “Private” folder waiting to be posted for two days now while we’ve been trying to figure out why WordPress has been giving me blank looks after I log in. It was originally title “Did You Notice?” but now, two days and a bunch of comments later, I think I can safely say yes, you did notice :-).
So, it’s done! My website has been totally revamped and now includes lots more quilts to look at! I now have three — count ’em, three — galleries, all nicely organized by theme. I think that the rest of the website looks clean and well organized as well. And, unless you are reading this in your RSS feeds, you should be able to see my new blog theme made to match the rest of the website. (I hope you CAN read this in your feeds though, because that was on the fritz too.) Purdy, no? I think yes, but if you stumble across something that doesn’t link correctly or looks awful on your computer, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to improve it.
One of the email/chat/yahoo groups I belong to has been talking of late about building websites for artists and what some of the options are. My solution? Phone a friend. More specifically, Joe Wellborn.
I went down this path because I knew above anything else, I wanted to get my website off my husband’s computer and onto mine. One thing we do have going for us is that we have our own host. Not actually a server computer in our house, but a lifetime subscription to a whole lot of space on someone else’s server which is what gives us a place to park my website. Fabulous Tech Support that my husband is, I hated relying on him to update my website. This became crystal clear to both him and me when he was away for five months AND his computer was broken. Then all my pictures disapeared when one viewed the site in Internet Explorer and as far as we can tell this is because some versions of IE have issues with FrontPage, the program TS&WGH used to build the site. FrontPage has been discontinued so we’re not going to hold our breath for a patch or whatever it takes to sort out the “issues.” Anyhoooo, it just made sense to rebuild the site on my Mac. I had bought the Adobe Creative Suite when we bought my computer because it bundled Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign — all of which I already couldn’t live without — along with a few others that might come in handy some day. One of the other programs is GoLive, which is for building websites. (I’ve been reminded that iLife, which comes free with most Macs, also has a web building program. If I remember correctly, I think I had been avoiding that one though because it was very template based, and I wanted the freedom to arrange my website however I darn well pleased.)
My original idea was that I could use GoLive to rebuild my site. I tried to see what I could do with it in January, but couldn’t wrap my head around the terms they were using. I knew what features I wanted my site to have, and had an idea of the aesthetic I was looking for: gallery with the ability to see the work large, ability for me to update the gallery frequently, link to a blog that looked like it was part of the whole package, a place for my patterns, the requisite bio, a less-is-more look. Unfortunately, I was bogged down by the technical aspects. So, I called my pal Joe, who is a graphic designer and does lots of web-related work, to ask for his help. I explained to him what I wanted and we talked about some options. We toyed with the idea of making the whole thing in WordPress so that I could update it easily just like my blog, but all the pages then looked too “bloggy” and I wanted my gallery to have a different look. We finally decided that the best thing to do would be for him to use his expertise and technical know-how to design the site in Dreamweaver (his comfort zone) or GoLive and then I could update it using this nifty program I had never heard of called Contribute. I can even go “behind the scenes” in GoLive if I need to to tweak the code (Joe gives me cheat notes on how to do whatever task needs doing — I feel like such a Code Monkey ;-)), so Contribute was the only program I needed to buy, and it’s VERY affordable given it’s capabilities and the capabilities it gives me.
Obviously, everyone has different needs and this solution wouldn’t fit everyone’s problem, or budget, or whatever, but it sure worked well for me so I thought I’d share in case anyone wanted to know. I hope you like my new site too.