For this first post I'm going to touch on a few of the key things I learned from making a website. As many of you know - this is my first real attempt at completing a website and I'm happy to say it's up and running with no massive errors or detrimental font choices! So far so good. I'm not claiming to suddenly be an expert website maker and I'll admit I had some hired help (thanks Jennifer at Natural Icon Designs!) but I did get some good advice and discover a few things for myself along the way so here goes. I'm going to approach this a bit differently and give some tips on what you do NOT want to do.
#1 - Do NOT: Wing it too much with the photos.
I did research and gathered opinions on product shots photography. I had images in my head of what I was after. I live with an amateur photographer happy to offer suggestions and equipment loans. I should have had it all together! I'm STILL guilty of not writing down a list of what exactly I wanted. I admit it - I tried to WING IT! For weeks! More than one time I got all set up for a photo shoot, afterward realizing I missed certain items or shots. In my case I need proper photos for my website product libraries, fun shots for social media like Instagram as well as proper product shots for my Etsy Shop and I wasn't taking the time to differentiate between the shots required for each site. Consequently I wasted time and gave myself some new grey hairs. It can be overwhelming but I'm hoping once I get the rhythm it won't be such a challenge!
#2 - Do NOT get too hung up on the little details.
This was advice I was given by Jennifer during our website set up meeting but it was also advice I needed to keep giving myself because I know I can get much too immersed in the creative process of things. I was off to a good start: One of the quickest decisions I made was the font colours - what are my favourite colours? Do they work in the context? Yes? BOOM! Done. It was liberating. I thought the font type was a quick choice too but then I ran into trouble...we noticed the prices on the items were hard to read. I had this idea in my head that all the website font HAD TO be the same but I wanted a somewhat interesting font for the title header. This supposed 'issue' resulted in; an hour spent reviewing all the fonts, choosing 8 variations, taking screen shots of each one on the title header and comparing them side by side. I showed this to my partner and you know which one we chose? The first one I started with! So how did I solve the problem of having more than one font on the site? I didn't - I changed the font for the main body of the site and left it the same for the header! And you know who called me out on it? Nobody. Totally a made up problem I created!
#3 - Do NOT take too much advice (to heart).
I know - I said I got some good advice on this site creation and photography. And it's true - so I am definitely not telling you to listen to NO advice whatsoever! (double negatives keep you on your toes) Just keep in mind there are as many opinions as there are people in the world and it can become too much very quickly. Not to discount the sage advice of someone who has been in your position or has similar product line or has used your web platform before. Just remember please - it is YOUR website. And if you want to have two different fonts or a crazy colour scheme - go for it! I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted when I visit other sites and this helped me create a site I would want to visit. Another thing I keep having to remind myself is - I can always change it. It is my creation to change. And that is pretty cool.