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Advice for a new business.


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16 minutes ago, Morgan said:

Just an FYI your website all but does not work on mobile devices. Lively pics on your IG

worked fine on my phone. I do notice that when going to menu items there is a bit of blank page and the page starts an inch or two down but is definitely switching to mobile view on my phone, Samsung Note using chrome.

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@Stephen It’s been about 2 weeks since the OP made this post.  I can see she has made some alterations, but it’s likely going to take her awhile to get through all the suggestions, especially as someone working part time on it. It’s still awkward to use on an IPhone XR, although there does appear to have been a bit of an update. There are some issues tapping on the bottom drop down options if you have one of the menus expanded: it wants to slide below the edge of the screen.

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Ah you guys are tough. I didn't even look at that as an issue but rather a style thing. Once I scrolled the page into view the menu works as expected and it seems to me that responsive designs are always quirky .  I write web apps for the day job and hate responsive phone coding. Make one look nice and the other doesn't without dinking around. Wish adaptive had won out because platforms IMHO should be individually optimized if it matters or just go with mobile friendly. Phones are so big these days just going with mobile friendly with the same design on both is just fine.  But I am an old man who came up writing desktop applications in the 80's so I am not on the cutting edge, just the edge. 

Edited by Stephen
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13 minutes ago, Stephen said:

Ah you guys are tough. I didn't even look at that as an issue but rather a style thing. Once I scrolled the page into view the menu works as expected and it seems to me that responsive designs are always quirky .  I write web apps for the day job and hate responsive phone coding. Make one look nice and the other doesn't without dinking around. Wish adaptive had won out because platforms IMHO should be individually optimized if it matters or just go with mobile friendly. Phones are so big these days just going with mobile friendly with the same design on both is just fine.  But I am an old man who came up writing desktop applications in the 80's so I am not on the cutting edge, just the edge. 

These online webpage in a box places like wix and squarespace offer the ability to tune the layouts perfectly.  My own website was like this when I first set it up and I had to tweak everything to look right.  The settings are there, it just takes some messing around.

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27 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

These online webpage in a box places like wix and squarespace offer the ability to tune the layouts perfectly.  My own website was like this when I first set it up and I had to tweak everything to look right.  The settings are there, it just takes some messing around.

yeah you are right but of course one has to agree on what's perfect:rolleyes: To me Wix and Squarespace turn out almost every website identical. Getting back to the OPs site I guess I don't see her site as unusable on a phone but yeah you do have to scroll down from the logo so there s that. 

Edited by Stephen
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2 minutes ago, Stephen said:

yeah you are right but of course one has to agree on what's perfect:rolleyes: To me Wix and Squarespace turn out almost every website identical. Getting back to the OPs site I guess I don't see her site as unusable on a phone but yeah you do have to scroll down from the logo so there s that. 

Well what I mean is pixel perfect.  As in you have direct access to the stylesheets, and of course they are using a dynamic front-end framework to adjust as best it can to the device viewing it.  

As far as all squarespace websites looking the same, that is by design.  Most people using squarespace are using it to sell things, and are not web developers (although you can design your own "template" if you care to).  So choose a familiar theme that is already looking good, fill it in with your company information and you're already a familiar entity on the web.  Customers will feel safe and comfortable using your website because it is already familiar.  Kind of like how franchise restaurants work.

 

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Having a degree in nursing, retiring to start a new career, then teaching myself pottery, only to find i need to learn social media and building a website... whew!  But thanks for this discussion because I just discovered that Wix has a separate area to tweak the mobile view, so that should improve shortly. 

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Another option might be to hire out a redesign. I was just poking around on the Wix website because I wanted to make sure, but they do have a marketplace where you can hire a freelancer at a wide variety of affordable price points. The options I was presented with were mostly in my province, so I assume you'd be presented with folks that are closer to your location should you open the same page. It would save a lot of time and harassment if you're not as code inclined.

If you're going to hire a professional, you should decide if you want to do the upkeep or hire it out, and then make a list of the things you need your website to do before you contact anyone. That way they can have an idea of the scope of the project.

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5 minutes ago, rox54 said:

Thanks Callie. I'll check the rates. I did take the time to work on my mobile site tonight. On my android, it looks better. 

It does look much better, nice work.  Its important to have mobile look good because this is the majority of users now

 

 

 

Edited by liambesaw
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Aahhhhh! The home page is much better.

The next step you need to take, whether you choose to DIY this, or hire it out, is to make a list of what you want your website to do for you. Do you want to sell things on it? Do you want to collect people’s emails for a newsletter? Do you want to let them know where they can find your work in other shops (stockists)? Do you want to let people know about your show schedule when that gets going again? Do you want to let people know how to contact you? Do you want a gallery that’s separate from your shop? Do you want a brief introduction to you and your work? Make a list.

If you’re hiring out, you can give this list of requirements to the person you’re working with, and they will likely ask you to elaborate on some of this. They will also want information about the feeling you want your website to have, and any messages you want to convey. They may ask about a branding package (fonts and colours to use, a logo). It’s ok not to have one yet. Lots don’t. If in doubt, just pick one font, use it throughout so it looks cohesive. Keep backgrounds as bland as possible: you want the work to shine through. Mea has a great write up on her website in her blog series that keeps it simple and doable. The person you work with may want all your written copy from you, or they may offer that as a service. They will want images, which you have.

If you choose to DIY this, you’ll still need to consider all the information above. You may find that after you make the list, you’ve got some pieces of information listed in redundant, or non-optimal places on your current website. You may decide some pieces of information need to be in a different spot to be more effective and clear in their communication. After you decide what you want your website to do, you need to simplify all paths to those goals so that it’s as easy to use as possible. It’s a bit like reorganizing a closet, but with information instead of shirts.  Take out anything extraneous, group like with like, and move the cleaning products (unrelated info)  to a spot that makes more sense. Have a place for everything, and everything in its place. Try and imagine someone who’s not tech savvy trying to shop, or find a specific piece of information on this website. Can they do this without becoming confused and frustrated?

As someone with ADHD, I’d break it down and tackle one page at a time so the job is manageable. Websites are ongoing projects, and there can be a lot of learning involved. 

Last piece of advice to all and sundry: Make sure your name is on your website somewhere, especially if you’re operating under a business name. A surprising number of people miss this on their first website. 

 

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as the worst user of the internet, let me tell you the one thing i really hate on websites.   the assumptions.    the owner of the website assumes the reader knows when it was that the information was posted.     sample,  "sale this saturday, come early!"    the owner also assumes that the location is known by everyone so no address, city or even state is posted anywhere.      

you know you live in Greenville,  South Carolina but do you know how many Greenvilles are in the USA? and the sale happened 3 years ago.

Edited by oldlady
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On 1/18/2021 at 5:57 PM, rox54 said:

Having a degree in nursing, retiring to start a new career, then teaching myself pottery, only to find i need to learn social media and building a website... whew!

Ya know I wouldn't stress to much more on the site. I know some people here are doing more from their sites since the pandemic but the verdict is still out on if that will continue. As far as I can tell before that no one here really made any (much) money from their website's and most pottery websites are more of a brochure than selling platform. If I were you, based on your original post, I would call it good for now and concentrate on the stuff that will make a difference in your new business. Like Callie said the site is an ongoing project and you can always come back and dink around with it some more when everything else has settled down. Just my two cents.

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On 1/18/2021 at 6:57 PM, rox54 said:

Wix has a separate area to tweak the mobile view

I just spent two days refreshing my (WIX) site to look better on cell phones.  It still needs work because there are some glitches-there's a black screen I have no clue where it came from, and the header/footer are too big.  I also don't know how to use all the features and I end up with stuff "showing" that I don't want. It took a while to figure out how to remove the Social Bar for things like Facebook, Instagram etc. becasue I don't want that at this time and don't want dead icons on my page.  I had to figure out the  "Log In" to leave  a comment on my Blog---wha??? It has text to "Sign up" (who knew?) so I entered a friend's address and she'll tell me how it works! The  "optimizer"  for mobile makes most of it it fairly painless and it is much faster loading than a year ago.  I still need to do tweak content for better fit, more scroll-friendly.  My Shop is not active-right now I am doing a promotional "Clearance" which is actually a donation to a local non-profit where their staff can come and select a couple of items for free. I found out none of them have computers-they do everything on phones, so I had to get this done right quick. It made me realize how important looking good on a mobile is! I use a desktop w/huge monitor so my perspective was really "off" for these little devices. I had to expand  my colors & add in some lighter ones-just using my standard red, black & white was too harsh for those small screens.  I also had to get the WIX mobile app...boy does that open up  whole new rabbit hole! Anyone-feel free to take a look  give me feedback about design (not about sales/marketing-not what I'm going for, at this time). Phone or computer or both-thx.

Edited by LeeU
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