The Website Check Up list relates to how well your website performs overall. Use it to review your own site to ensure that it is efficient and logical.
In my post “Make Your Site Stronger” I talked about how to make your content stronger. In this post I am referring to the structure of your website as well as a few more content related items.
a. If you are an artist your name is your brand please use it for your site title.
b. If you are an “artisan” and have a business name other than your name proper – use that and be consistent in building your brand.
c. Consider using an optional tag line for descriptive text for what your site is about. For example: Fine Art Acrylic Landscapes by Jane Doe
2. Navigation Is it easy to find information on your site?
a. Your landing (home) page should tell visitors, at a glance, who you are, what you do, and how to find what they’re looking for.
b. Is your navigation consistent and on every page of your site? Your visitors should be able to follow a logical path to learn more about your art and view images.
c. Organize your portfolio images in a logical way either by series name or use descriptive page titles for yearly archives.
3. Usability refers to how easily site visitors can use your site.
a. The best measure of usability is feedback from users – the people who visit and try to navigate the site.
b. Are all the links on your website working?
ii) First make sure any links between pages on your site are directing site visitors to the correct page.
iii) Check all of your links to other websites, too; the webmaster may have renamed the page or removed it altogether, and those dead links will make your site look unprofessional and frustrate your site visitors.
iv) If you’ve removed some of the pages from your own site, set up a custom 404 page that redirects your visitors to your home page (or a search page) when they try to access a page that no longer exists.
4. Speed Does your site load quickly enough in the viewer’s browser?
a. Artist sites typically have a lot of images. Are your images re-sized for the web?
b. You have about Eight Seconds, meaning no site visitor should have to wait longer than eight seconds to view the opening page of your website. After eight seconds have elapsed, chances are good the viewer will give up and go elsewhere.
a. Will your website display correctly for most people regardless of their computer hardware, operating system, browser and monitor resolution?
b. If any features of your website require certain browser plug-ins, provide a download link.
I will expand on some of these items in future articles. In the mean time if you have any questions or things to add please leave a comment.