Planning Your Website!
For starters, perhaps think about the ideal menu items you would like on your website. We recommend 3-7 in total, as it’s best to keep things simple.
Your menu items might include some of the following:
- Works, Portfolio, New Work, organized by media (Painting, Drawing, Photography), or by year (2004, 2003, 2002), organized by Exhibition title, or of Body of Work titles.
- About, Profile, CV, Resume, Biography, Statement, or Texts (usually different words for the same thing).
- Comments, Links, News
- External links perhaps – Blog, Twitter, Store (all optional).
- Representation or Contact (how people can contact you).
Tip: Try not to have several ‘levels’ of menus (eg. Painting > 2004 > Leaves ), as this can be disorientating to the viewer. It is also more work for you to update, and a disincentive to explore your site. Anything is possible, but it is usually best to keep everything accessible from the front page.
Preparing Your Images
You can add as many image galleries as you like to your site.
Something like 8 – 32 images is an ideal number of images to start off with. It is good to have enough images to fill out each of your menu pages, which are usually 4 images across. But it is also focused enough so you aren’t agonising over which ones to put in. Keep in mind too, it’s also good to keep some until later, so you can learn how to use your site while this is all fresh.
Images are at the center of your site, so more info about the most successful image preparation follows.
You can be pretty approximate with your image size you want on your website. As long as they are approximately the right size (anything from 100 kilobytes (100KB) to 4 or 5 megabytes (4MB) will be fine.
Ideally, most images will be jpegs at 72 dpi (close to 72 ppi) – with the smallest dimension (height or width) at 495 pixels. This will give you a file which is likely around 200 KB to 500 KB in size – perfect for emailing and the web.
If your images are miles too big, you can change them easily on most image handling software that comes with your computer, or free image resizing websites online (see below).
If you would like a single large feature image on a front page, say – you might need a slightly larger image.
How Do I Edit My Images?
There are many different types of PC or Mac software available to crop, rotate, and resize your images. We use and recommend Photoshop (GIMPshop is a free version, with many of the same functions).
However, if you aren’t already familiar with these types of programs, it is probably simplest to use one of the free, online photo editors. Some recommended ones are below (Google ‘online image resizer’ for others).
Tip: Some people don’t know that .jpg files deteriorate every time you re-save them. This is because they are compressed each time (like photocopying a photocopy). Keep untouched master copies in a stable format (a good one is .tif), then edit and send .jpg copies of these.
Naming Your Image Files
To maximize your results for Google and other image searches, and to preserve your authorship when people download your images to their computers, we recommend that you make your image file titles follow this format:
‘Work-title’ should be as much of the title as you can fit into a standard title length (under 33 characters).
This also helps us when we are building your site – to match the work details to the right image.
Sending Images (if You Have Ordered Artwork Additions)
You can easily send your images via a simple form on our site, the address is here:
Ideally images should contain the name of the work in their title, to keep track of what’s what.
Tip: If it is important to you, let us know what image order you want on the page. Otherwise you can also easily change and reorder your images yourself later on.
Your Work Details
For ease of entry, it is best to organize your work details into two ‘fields’, or lines of text. Speak to us if you want more information why this is.
A good example might be:
Work Title, Year
Media and dimensions.
Tip: Send all of your work details in one text document if at all possible (Word or RTF). It’s an easy way to avoid confusion. Fancy spreadsheets are often more trouble than they are worth!
What Else Should I Think About?
(1) The email address you’d like as your website’s contact address (this needs not be visible, if you prefer).
(2) Any text information, like CVs or biographies. If we are adding your content can be sent in the one one single file, with all your work details in one.
(3) Read our Terms and Conditions, or email us further about anything if you have any extra questions.
(4) If you would like a sneak peek of what your dashboard and edit pages will look like (lots of people are curious!) it will look something like this.
Good luck preparing all of the above. Remember – we’re here to help or merely to give advice if you need it.
Once you’re done, enjoy the great feeling of being absolutely organized!