Wonderful World of Web Design!

Web Design.

I had no idea I would love it so much.  It has become something I am so passionate about, that I want to work in this field for a living. I wish I had found this out sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my time.

My first attempt, surprisingly, was a full fledged Web Site for some friends of mine. The company is called Built 2 Rock Designs. They are a very original company that can make almost any material into art you can use. They started with just musical instruments, that being Jeff Summers passion, and have moved on to air plane parts, auto parts and much, much more. I could not imagine anyone not wanting to own a piece of their art work. One of the places they display their pieces of art is at the  “Treasure Island Flea” on Treasure Island on your way across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, where you can view and purchase their art. Attendee’s at these events have all been very excited and fascinated by it their work.  But so far that’s all they have been. Their art, which is really furniture, clocks and wet bars to name a few, are very expensive. They are one of a kind, hand crafted and not cheap to build. It is my belief that they have yet to find the right audience for their type of art. Its seemed to me, at the time, strange that no one would purchase such original pieces of art, art you can use. I can only hope that this will change.

The owners of “Built 2 Rock” are fantastic people, Jeff  and Kim Summers, and they love the web site I created. They can’t stop talking about it. Many a friend and family member has raved about the site. My brother, who critiques web sites for his company, said it was a great job for a first timer and he was impressed. I on the other hand, am still very disappointed with the site. Sure it has all they asked for, but it has glitches and bugs.

As an inexperienced designer, I used the web builder kit that was supplied by the hosting company.  I had read the reviews and this kit should have been very easy to use. In my short experience, this was not the case. This could be attributed to my lack of experience, and my choice of template that turned out to be faulty. Once I published the site, the template lost most of it’s style. I was too inexperienced and the idea of starting over was out of the question. The site was published, bugs and all.

The site is functional. You can order a piece of art using PayPal right on the site. I even inserted a YouTube video that featured “Built 2 Rock” on a Chicago radio show. So it has some nice features, and the overall design is not bad, but I could see all the mistakes, all the malfunctioning widgets.

Everyone was happy, but me. When you open your browser in full screen mode images stretch out and look distorted. I know now that there is supposed to be margins that prevent this.  These did not seem to exist in the template, or I just didn’t know how to access them. I wanted thumbnail images that could be enlarged so you could fully view the art pieces.  I have not found a widget that lets me do this. Even though I have learned what is needed in the HTML code to accomplish this, I still don’t feel confident enough to make those changes. This is so frustrating for me, the designer, not to be able to accomplish this. It may be a good time to state, that I am a perfectionist. Actually anal may be more like it. Just as an example, this is around the tenth time I have changed the verbiage in this blog. I keep reading it, and it keeps getting worse.

……Ok, you don’t have to agree with me, I’m just saying.

The online classes on web design have taught me much. Such as, the fact that the physical problems with the site were nothing compared with the lack of anything resembling SEO enhancement. Wether the site looked good or not, no one was finding it. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Without a keyword description, some important keywords and well written type, amongst other things, this site was going nowhere. I have improved it’s presence on the web, but it needs a complete overhaul. This blog doesn’t have a very good presence on the web. This is something I can live with. The website I designed, not so much.

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