People read web pages differently than printed materials.
Most people find reading on-screen very hard on the eyes. Since reading on the web is 25 percent slower users scan the page until they find relevant information. Using these web page writing tips to make your content easier to read and increase user engagement.
After writing the post “You Don’t Need a Home Page Per Sa”, which basically says that with WordPress, you can set any page to be the landing page of your site; I have been wondering why we need a specific page called HOME or WELCOME at all.
By the way, more often than not, there isn’t any text on the “home” page, just an image (BIG Mistake). So why not send site visitors straight to the goods? It’s why they came to your site in the first place; to see your work.
In this tutorial we’re going to do something completely different; we’re going to create a new kind of “home” Portfolio page and set it as our landing page. This technique has been implemented at Jan Boydol Photography. Go there to see it in action (opens in a new window).
We are going to use the Media Library to upload and insert our images.
We are bypassing the use of NextCellent’s album in for this new home page for two reasons…1. I want more control over the size of the image. NextCellent’s album thumbnail size is set in the plugin’s files which makes it difficult to change for the average user. And even if you could make it larger it would be distorted and you will need to go through the process of creating new thumbnails for all your galleries.
2. I want more control over the entire page’s formatting. Using the extended version of NextCellent’s album will provide text if you enter it into the gallery’s description but it shows the galleries stacked vertically. I want mine left aligned horizontally.
The goal here is to show a larger image to represent the gallery with text under the image, not to the side. Hence providing left aligned images with text underneath.
STEP 1 – Check your media settings under Settings > Media
WordPress will create three sizes of images when you upload them. The default sizes are shown in the image below. Choosing Medium size will insert an image of the max height of 300 pixels while maintaining the aspect ratio and shows the entire image. Since showing the entire image is what I want to achieve, I’ll use the medium size image.
If you’re happy with the media sizes there’s nothing you need to do here. However should you change the sizes it is important to note that this will only size images to the new size on future uploads. Any images currently in your Media Library will remain as they are.
STEP 2 – Open your existing portfolio page in the editor.
If you don’t have one, create one by going to Pages > Add New. If your existing portfolio page is named “Gallery” or “Galleries” change it so that people aren’t confusing it with your list of galleries that represents your work. Portfolio, Artwork or Images are good page names.
STEP 3 – Insert one image to represent the work within each of your NextCellent Galleries.
To keep all your images left aligned with text below is to use the image caption. Not using the image caption feature and inserting text below the image in the editor, will result in alignment challenges that can be over come by using a horizontal rule but it is not ideal and your images may end up stacking vertically.
Once you insert the image you can open it again for further editing by clicking on the landscape icon when clicking your mouse on the image.
Apply the following attributes to your image…
Select the radio button to Left align the image
Here’s an opportunity to add a search engine friendly title and alternative text if you haven’t already done so.
Fill in the caption with a short sentence and series / image gallery name. As seen on the example above I placed a hyperlink on the word “Heels”. This link is optional if you’re uncomfortable using HTML.
Add the Link URL to the image gallery page. The easiest way to find the URL is to go to your live site and navigate to that page, then copy the URL from the browser address bar and paste it into the line as shown. By adding the Link URL the image will be clickable.
Save your page and preview. Make any required changes. On my site I decided after inserting all my images at 300 pixels high that they were a bit to big for my liking. To change the image size all I did was open the image again in the page editor and reduced the size by percentage. By reducing them all by the same percentage I maintain a consistent height.
Here’s another site that we just finished that uses the new kind of “home” portfolio page idea, but just on the portfolio page. Jan wanted a home page with her most popular image.
STEP 4 – Set your new home portfolio page as the landing page of your site.
Easy – go to Settings > Reading and select it from the drop down menu and save. If you want more precise instructions there’s a tutorial on that.
I like my new Home / Portfolio page. What do you think? Questions and comments are welcome.
The Home page content welcomes visitors and tells them a bit about who you are and what your site is about.
Artist website home page content is usually just an image or a slide show. They forget to write a few words.
The words are important! Not only do words inform, words also help search engines index your site, which in turn raises your website rankings and (most importantly) helps visitors find you in Google.
Here are some words you can use on your home page. Copy, paste and change the underlined words to suit your work.
Jane Doe is a Calgary artist that creates vibrant abstract landscapepaintings with oil on canvas.
This one sentence has 4 searchable terms in it and informs your site visitors about who you are.
Your home page also provides you with the opportunity to direct visitors to where you want them to go. For example…
I am very excited about my upcoming solo exhibition “Inside the Landscape” at XYZ Gallery on Oct 20 to Nov 20. Please see my Events Page for more information.
Preview the work in this exhibition.
In the above example you would provide a link to the gallery and an internal link to the events and image page of your site.
If you don’t direct visitors to where you want them to go, you leave it up to happenstance as to where they go to next. And that could be to leave your site.
I see a lot of artists’ sites that use “I” or “my”. These words do not reinforce your name or the type of work you do into the memories of your site visitors.
Write in the third person, using your name, location, a description of your work and your medium.
By crafting this one sentence you have not only made your artist website home page content more memorable to the actual people who visit your site; you have just written a meta description for the search engines.
Your Home Page can be any page that exists on your WordPress site. For example if you have a important event that you want to publicize you can set that page to be the landing page of your site. When the event is over change the “Home” page to your Artwork, Bio or anything other page you have.
So the “Home Page” doesn’t have to be an actual page called Home or Welcome with content developed specifically for it. It can be any page or even your blog if you have one.
To set the “Landing Page” a.k.a. Home Page go to Settings in the WordPress admin and under the Reading tab select the page you want. There is a Tutorial & Video at WordPress for Artists D.I.Y. site.