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site review please (29 posts)

  1. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I get no traffic, nil, zippo,none, I aked a friend to have a look , he said "sorry love stayed 3 mins and was outa there!"
    What have I done wrong?
    Lee
    http://www.artrato3.com

  2. Carolina Nymark
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    well there is nothing really wrong with your theme, except the font is so huge its hard to read, and i was unable to change it with my browser settings. i liked the green menu links, fresh, but not the green underline in the text links.
    i cant understand the domain so id probably not go there if i just stumbled upon it.

  3. whiskeylima
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Getting traffic and having a good site aren't always the same thing.
    So you should probably look into ways of getting your site 'out there'
    - Of course one of the best ways to do that is to buddy up to google, I find this site has a lot of tools which are handy for that.

    I have to say, I'm not a fan of the theme you have going. A lot of people find black backgrounds with white writing a bit tricky to read. Especially if they're in a bright room with a rubbish old monitor (like me at work) and I'm in a dark room with a 1680x1050 24" monitor and finding it a bit of a strain (maybe from those beers at lunch, but whatever)

    Possibly the biggest problem is that the structure of your page doesn't show. - By that I mean the content doesn't have a different appearance to the sidebar. This makes it a little hard to focus on the content. (again, could be the beers)

    Anyway, I feel like I'm saying too many bad things and not enough good. Your content is solid. But I feel like it's restricted by a theme which doesn't invite people to explore. If your blog is about your art (primarily) then perhaps you could try more of a photoblog approach, make the excerpts for your posts just a title, picture and a tagline. Then leave the talking for another page. - just a suggestion of course.

    Anyway, you've done one thing right, posting here for advice is a must! My site is roughly the same age as yours and I'm getting over 100 hits a day. - mostly thanks to advice I've got on here.

  4. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thankyou very much for taking the time to help me
    I will act on every word
    Thumbs up
    Lee

  5. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Poena, dont want to appear stupid but what do you mean by "Domain",is it "Artrato3"? If so I am stuck with it but see now it was a poor choice for searh engines, neither expicit nor catchy.How can I overcome this?
    Lee

  6. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I would like to add that I did not and would not be able to design a template, I can tweak a bit,( with careful instruction) a little bit but thats the limit of my expertise(nil).If you have seen a template or plugin you think might suit my purpose better dont hesitate to leave a link. My purpose, reading back, I realise I didnt state it is to sell my art,should I get rid of all the bloggy stuff all together?, is it too confusing?. I have changed my template for the time being until I find a better ready made as I was told it is too hard to look at, I will act , happily on all and any advice shared with me. In gratitude for your time taken to assist me.You Rock!

  7. Joni
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the site was Forum/Bulletin Board.

    If you want to sell your art, you need a minimalist theme or better yet, a photoblog theme because you can treat each image of your artwork as a photo and it will be featured a bit better. You can still have the fluff around if you want, but with a photoblog type theme, the photo or image is center stage and I think that's what you need.

    There are several, including a dark background theme, here:
    http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/wordpress/specialty-themes/

  8. whiskeylima
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Don't worry, I can't really design templates either. I can tweak bits pretty well, and usually 'skin' it with my own images.

    It's just a case of finding a template which suits your needs best. An easy to navigate and well ordered template is about the most important thing, looks come a close second in my opinion.

    Perhaps you should try dividing the place up.
    There's no reason why you can't showcase your art and blog, just keep them at arm's length from each other.
    I find a blog is a very good way to attract attention through search engines and links from other blogs, then, through a few links, you can direct some of that attention towards your work. - however it takes a lot of work to keep interest up.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say is if you have clearly defined sections on your site(s) then your visitors are going to have a much easier time finding what they want.

    So you could have two wordpress installs.

    Artrato3 for your portfolio/showcase
    and Blog.Artrato3 for the other bits.

    that's what I would do at least, but if you don't want to do that then you could implement it on a smaller scale by dividing up the site you have now a little more strictly

    oh, maybe this article will interest you, some of the artists websites they link to sort of show what I mean. Especially this one: it's really nicely divided into 3 core categories http://www.justinspaintings.com/

  9. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hi! jonimueller
    Do you think I need to buy a premium theme if I want to stand out, I followed the link you gave me and drooled over the most beautiful sites I have ever seen! but dont see any download buttons, people must have paid a LOT of money for these themes??
    I have spent the morning moving most of my chat off the front page and on to a blog page as was one suggestion. I had trouble getting some of the photo plugins to work ,photo exhibit was one and picasa easy link or something like that was another , I used my list of 2.5 compatible plugins to find them , is there somewhere else I should look??
    I found the list of free 2.5 compatible Themes a little uninspiring,nothing like on your link.
    I appreciate all and any advice as I really want to get it right !
    Lee
    I do believe that presentation is enormously important!

  10. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hello again whiskeylima,
    thanks so much for helping me, I got rid of the black background as I
    think it was more interesting than my content LOL! and found a more boring one where the areas are more clearly defined, I also have another wp- hosted account but with the same domain name, do you think perhaps I should open another with a more search friendly domain name or develope it (the wp hosted one)into my blog, do you know if being wp hosted rather than self hosted has any drawbacks as far as developing a more indivudual blog go? I moved almost all of my content off the front page but I believe you are right it has to be just art there, as for selling should I list prices or is that vulgar?I am proficient in psp and quite able to add my own bg and header if I can fight the right theme , as you say that suits my needs, just not real sure I would recognise it if I saw it LOL!Just run that past me again?

  11. redhousepainter
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Lee,

    I had a look at your site and thought that I would share mine with you as it uses a tone of gallery/image plugins that you might find helpful.

    You can see it here.

    On the sidebar I use NextGen Gallery. The Gallery is built with Zenphoto and there is some flash content throughout the site. I also use a rotating header plugin for the site logo.

    As it is an art site I tried to keep every other element of the site clean. This site is about 2 months old and basically built by banging my head against the wall until I got each of the thousand parts to fit. My advice to you would be to completely strip your site of clutter and place all of your emphasis on the art. You don't need an entire post called Technorati or two log in links on your front page! If your goal is to sell your paintings you could have an individual page for prices.

    There is a wealth of well designed art sites. Choose a few that you like and try to recreate their style.

    As far as getting people to your site is concerned - well your off to a good start by posting here! You could look into Google Adwords and check out the various art forums that exist.

    Good luck!

  12. whiskeylima
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I think the domain name is fine, unless you really are having second thoughts about the one you have. My domain has a pretty meaningless name unless you think like me!
    WhiskeyLima.com - phonetic alphabet for WL (Web Log or blog to you and I) -it doesn't seem to harm my google placement whatsoever.

    - I guess the most logical web address for you would be Lee-hynes.com.au since being an artist is just as much about selling yourself as it is your art. (in my opinion of course, I'm sure others would disagree)
    This also makes it easier for people who see your art, or you, in real life (if you exhibit) to look you up online.

    I can't be entirely sure, but I believe that having a WP hosted blog means you have slightly fewer options (I don't think you'll be able to edit the images in your theme, for instance)
    -So unfortunately, unless you self-host, you will have to make do with pre-made themes.
    They go into a little bit more detail here

    What you do with the prices probably depends on how you wish to sell the art, if the website is a gateway to personal sales, or ebay auctions, then leave the prices out. If you intend on selling from the site with

    *if you are interested in going self hosted, I have a free account at Puffinhost I think it's the best free webhost available. There's no advertising, no space or bandwidth restrictions, I haven't had any downtime, and the free support is excellent too. - I honestly can't reccommend them enough. - I'm probably going to get a paid account with them when I launch my next commercial site, even though that doesn't hold any advantages over the free account.

  13. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Too late I have already paid for this one and for Cpanel,anyway I am confident that with help I will get it off the ground.
    I went to Justins Paintings and it is just what I want!Reinforces what you all have said about getting the fluff out of sight!
    I also went to phauxshow too and and it was a great site with catchy stuff happening,made me want to stay and look around. It had little thumbheaders to other pages and lots happening but the art was still the main focus.I downloaded and unzipped into my wp/plugins folder ,zenphoto but I dont know whow to configure it and it doesnt yet show up in my plugins on my site. I may need some help with the cofig page??
    Tomorrow I will remove everything from the front page but the art!
    I have changed my theme a dozen times since writing in to try and comply with some of the suggestions so some things my be a bit out of wack , like say left when it used to be right LOL!
    I downloaded the photoblog theme but it didnt like me and ( maybe it not 2.51 compatible) because everything was out of wack?

  14. redhousepainter
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thanks Lee!

    Zenphoto isn't a plugin. It works well with wordpress but you have to set it up as an individual installation and create a page in wordpress that points to it.

    It's easier than it sounds.

    1. Go to your wordpress folder in cpanel
    2. Put the entire zenphoto folder inside the wordpress folder
    3. Name the zenphoto folder something like 'gallery' or 'my art'
    4. Create a database for it (your host can help you with that)
    5. Follow the Zenphoto installation process (you'll find this on their site - they also have a forum)
    6. Create a page with no body - just a tittle that corresponds to the name of your zenphoto folder. You may have do change your permalinks structure to may everything work and look nice in the urls.

    That sound like a lot but it's no harder than setting up wordpress. It's great gallery software.

    Good luck!

  15. StrangeAttractor
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Just wanted to note that the site looks a bit messed up in Firefox. The top navigation tabs appear to be overlapping the beginning of the content section -- so much so that the phrase "nude bathers" (hey, that ought to get you some Google hits!) appears superimposed over the nav tabs.

    If you are designing your own site, I advise getting copies of the major browsers -- IE6 & 7, Firefox, and Safari. If they work in all of those, it's likely that they will display reasonably well in most other browsers.

    And if you use Firefox, you can get some free add-ons like Firebug or Web Developer that can help you diagnose CSS problems.

  16. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hello Strange,
    LOL!you have solved a puzzle for me, yesterday I went thru to my site and the photoblog theme looked awful but today it looks fine, but yesterday I went in on firefox and today on IExplorer is it possible that this is why it looked all jumbled up??
    I have been re-installing new themes as the advice comes through,trying to keep up with all the good links and advice being offered, I want everyone to know that I am trying to do it all but in my haste I may not be offering up the best pic of the painting, I want to get it all set up right while I have help from you wonderful people and once everything is in the right place and working I will get some better quality content( I am a losuy photographer LOL!)
    I will have another go at zenphoto today!

  17. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Redhousepainter,

    I know you made your own template( great job mate! )but have you seen anything (FREE OR CHEAP)around that may do a similar job for me?

    Anyone, I installed the photoblog theme but it behaves differently in different browsers, and there is a box with "written on art by Bob that has appeared out of nowhere ( have a look) which I would like to edit, I opened every folder in the theme and couldnt find it, any idea where it may be??
    I feel I really need a sidebar and widgets so I think I will keep looking for something like phaushow,redhousepainters site which does it all!I know I said I want to sell my art and indeed that is primary but I would also like a chance to explain the process and the journey .PS I love the "bad painting competition", sure I could walk away with a prize in that one LOL!

  18. redhousepainter
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hi Lee,

    A few things...

    There are a tone of free templates around. On Phauxshow I uses Mimbo and on another site I have, I used Barecity as I needed something clean and simple. I felt that Phauxshow was getting so involved that I needed something easy on the side.

    Before I used Mimbo I used Seashore, which I still love. In fact, anything by Sadish is great.

    I just looked at your site again and it really looks good! I love the header and background.

    One plugin I would recommend is Sociable. Have a look here to see it in action. I have it set so that the icons only appear if you click on the post - that way you don't clutter the front page with share/save buttons - as no one will want to save anything that haven't ready or seen fully.

  19. StrangeAttractor
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    LOL!you have solved a puzzle for me, yesterday I went thru to my site and the photoblog theme looked awful but today it looks fine, but yesterday I went in on firefox and today on IExplorer is it possible that this is why it looked all jumbled up??

    I'm having trouble understanding exactly what you're saying... but I think you are saying that you were wondering why the site looked screwed up when you happened to look at it in IE and Firefox.

    What browser are you normally viewing the site in?

    Regardless, if you changing a theme or developing your own, you MUST test it in the big three (actually four -- you should test for IE6 as well, because it is still in wide use) browsers I mentioned above. Even in this era of "web standards," browsers have individual quirks and will render CSS differently. Sometimes the differences are small enough to ignore, but sometimes they completely mess up the look of your site.

    I'm guessing that you are a Mac user, and probably use Safari, but you should remember that Safari is still a fairly small percentage of the browser market. Most people are using IE7, and an awful lot are using IE6 (which is very buggy, and usually presents the most difficulties). Firefox has the next largest share (roughly 15%), followed by Safari and then other browsers.

    If you don't design for users of IE, you are cutting out the bulk of your visitors.

  20. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Strange,
    So sorry to confuse you, what I was saying is I use IE and it looks fine but I recently downloaded and installed firefox and when I looked at it using firefox the pages intruded into the header template and some of my images were all squashed up.
    No I am not using Mac.
    Is it possible to test a theme without downloading and installing all four browsers?
    Lee

  21. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Redhousepainter,
    Thanks for taking the time to go back through to the site and thanks also for the link to Sociable, I thought those save boxes were awfully messy myself but didnt know how to get rid of them,now I do. I went through to the links you provided and see you are a absolute goldmine of information so I have linked myself your site so I can go back and have a good look around for other bits of useful tidbits.
    I should have known I would put too much in my wedsite, I put too much in my garden, too much in my paintings and you should try my stew,LOL! I should be on the look out for that particular character quirk constantly.
    Problem is I just dont see it until someone points it out to me.
    Thanks again!

  22. StrangeAttractor
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Is it possible to test a theme without downloading and installing all four browsers?

    There are some services on the web where they post an image of how your site renders in various browsers.

    But since (it seems) you are using a PC, I advise downloading and testing in all 4 browsers I mention. You can get them all for free -- Safari is now available for PC. If you have IE7 and you are looking for IE6, google for "standalone IE6" or variations of that. There are standalone versions of IE6 that people use specifically for testing. And as I said above, IE6 is most likely to have problems and quirks.

    Design your pages for Firefox. It is mostly standard compliant, and if it works well in Firefox, it will probably work well in Safari and IE7, or at least have only minor tweaks you'll have to make.

    When it works well in those 3, test in IE6. You'll have to address any problems you find without messing up how the site renders in the first 3.

    This is the life of a web designer. More man-hours are put in making sure things work in all three browsers than virtually any other activity.

    Now you know why web designers are so fanatical about consistent standards across browsers...

  23. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hello People,
    Me again!
    I have completely changed it all , including removing the "photoblog" theme, that I loved, because it wouldnt show properly in firefox, and I have opened it up to comments. If you think I have crowded it up again and taken the focus OFF the paintings please be straight with me, I would appreciate feeback.
    Lee

  24. artrato3
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Redhouse painter,
    I have Zenphoto all up and working, just need help to integrate it with my wp. Which plugins do I need I see there are a couple and do I have to change any php's.
    Lee
    Please answer as if I were a 3yr old because I know nothing about this stuff LOL!
    Thanks so much for all your time and advice!

  25. redhousepainter
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hey Lee,

    Sorry about the late reply! Regarding zenphoto - you don't need to integrate the databases at all. All you need a link to it from your main site. I created a page for myself and linked to it that way...

    If you tell me where the zenphoto folder is in your directory and what it is called I'll tell you what to do. You can email me if you like.

    If you put the zenphoto folder inside your wordpress folder you might want to try creating a page on your site with the title of your wordpress folder.

    Okay, never mind I found it. Just create a page called 'zenphoto'. If it doesn't work you will most likely have to change your permalinks structure. Try it first and let me know.

    P

  26. silverback
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Everything looks fine, its just not everything suits everything else.

    I have read a lot of design books and the one I keep going back to is by Robin Williams, the non designers design book. Its a great book to focus ideas. Don't let the title fool you, it hits on all the concepts really well. Very short and easy to read. Thats where I would start.

    Also, great way to get people to visit your site, post it here ;)

  27. complaintbucket
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    The black, the background,very overwhelming. Sorry.

  28. bobhorn
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Hi...
    My two cents is that I like your overall look, but I believe you would be much better served with only one sidebar. With your main content in the middle and a sidebar on each side, you don't have enough width anywhere. When I tried to read the content on the right side, it hurt my brain to see the huge spacing and few words on a line. One sentence can take 4 or 5 inches to display. If you dropped one sidebar and used more width for your content, I think the look would be much more pleasing...

  29. mainframeguy
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Not sure if this is a live thread - have not read all comments (sorry!)... But I did have a quick look at site...

    I basically agree with Bob Horn largely to try to summarise:-

    - lose the "about the artist" Cluttering the right side and anyone wanting it goes to the About link

    - lose the left hand links bar - you have drop downs at the top and they can cover it.

    - Tidy up your banner and the drop downs

    These are the main things I think anyone would notice. More generally if your focus is art then you need to SERIOUSLY declutter to make that the focus.... the fiddly stuff can be elsewhere.

    If site TRAFFIC is your main concern that is a whole other subject and totally irrelevant here.

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