Working out what pages and how to sort out your galleries is, without a doubt one of the most important things you will do when putting together a website.
The design, aesthetics and content all come AFTER the parameters of how your site will be structured and are planned out. It will save you time and money the more organised you are, and it also means as you won’t have to go back and redo all your hard work if you ensure your site from the onsite contains all of the elements you need it to.
The best place to start is to always think about WHO is visiting your site, and organising things in a language or system that is easy for them to understand, this also needs to be coupled particularly in the case of galleries and portfolios into:
- What artworks you have available and how you work as an artist, ie. do you work on “projects”, in a “Series” or on a piece at a time?
- The type of information you think is of value to the viewer that you will display on your site alongside your art and in general on your site
- How will they flow through the information / categories that makes sense.
For example this could be: – Do you work in Landscapes could your artworks be sectioned into local scene’s / areas would that make sense? Or do you do Landscapes as well as Abstracts as well as Still Life? We need to keep your site as easy to navigate as possible that makes sense to the most people. These decisions essentially have to come from you (though I can help you if you need it) as you know your artwork best! However, sometimes its hard to see outside your art and view it from the visitors point of view in terms of how they view will see the work and how you will maintain this information in the future (technically, and this is where I will come in).
Here are a few tips that I always recommend people do when thinking about their website structure.
I recommend you have a think about it and write some notes down in an email or paper, in the context of how this website a bit like a flowcart.
- Draw a box representing each page of your site and think about what will go on that particular page. Start with all the pages/items you will see visible for people to click to from the homepage and work your way down. Start with the menu items I have on this page: About, Contact, Gallery. etc Have a go and See where it takes you, thinking about it from a the point of view of a visitor to your website what other information will they need? Do you have a specific process you want to showcase where do you want to show them this ? in the future do you want a blog, a shop? how do you want them to contact you?
- Galleries/Portfolio – Take a look at the galleries page for info on types of galleries you can have and see how it will relate to your work.
- Write down all of the words / categories that your artwork falls into. Break it into projects or series or artworks that can be grouped together. Then simply the list into 3-5 sections. You can have subsections but make sure they are relevant and logical and aren’t too many.
* Its tempting to include lots of information and all of your past artworks, experience has shown me though that you really should only include your BEST artwork and alot of extra information included about artworks isn’t always read by visitors so it might be better to spend time just to give an overall display rather than quantity.