Friday, July 13, 2007

How Well Does Your Website Work?

Hi guys. I have been doing a great deal of websurfing looking at various illustrator's websites. In preparation for updating my own site, and possibly investing in new software (oh I wish) I took a good look around.

To me, and that is just me.... the sites that attract me as an artist or even as an art seeker are those that give me the least amount of grief.
I mean, just think about it for a minute. Do you really want to sit and wait minutes for a site to dance around and show you spots of color and little icons SLOWLY coming into view? Wouldn't you want to get right to the meat of a website. It is important for the target audience, the art editors, to see and be attracted to the artist's best work. What editor wants to spend three or four or even two minutes waiting for an introduction to allow him or her to enter a portfolio. ( Just think "slush pile on the internet.") A website that opens BING!, in one second, is an open door to your hard work.

The sites that appeal to me the most, are those that open quickly, show great color sense, good design, and are straightforward enough to allow me to see what I am looking for. Ease of navigation is key. Allow the visitor to move easily from one image to the next, provide links and backlinks.

Your links to the world out there should be those that show your skill, invite interest in you as an artist, and highlight your accomplishments. One of the most important links is the link that gives your intended target audience direct contact with you or with your representative. Adding reciprocal links to others in your field and maintaing a blog presence add another dimension to your carefully crafted website. List yourself on search engines.

Lately several of the illustrators that I have met, either in person or through SCBWI and online associations, have redone their websites with great success. They allow you to navigate easily, put forth their best and newest illustrations, and also do a fair amount of necessary self promotion. But don't trust me, take a look on your own. Pretend you are an art editor who has been asked to view several website portfolios...or ten or twenty. I think you'll soon see what I mean.

Lastly, if you really want the best promo advocate in the your mother.


EC (Lisa) Stewart said...

Well said. Having designed many Web sites for small biz clients (inc. artists) it's tough to tell them that bell and whistles are only added hurdles for your audience.

If all else fails, call your mother.

isay said...

i salute you with what you said and by the way, i like the new color background in your blog.

i am thinking whom shall i call? well if i launch my website in the future.....(because my mom and dad passed away already).....