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I can build my own website: Myth or Truth?

I have just finished working on a local artist's small business website. Joe is a great local guy who makes amazing sculptures and signs made out of wood. In addition to always finding challenge in winning several prizes in chainsaw carving competitions, he also makes custom wood pieces like furniture, carvings and signs.

He bought his website domain through GoDaddy. Maybe you've heard of GoDaddy, it is a website that sells domains, offers hosting and even has it's own website builder.

The truth is that building your own website is not a myth! Anyone can build their own website. In fact it is so easy that my grandma (who just got her first smartphone a month ago - at the age of 83) could do it! All you need is a few photos and an idea of what you want people to know about you. You may wonder why do web design agencies like Colibri Web Design exist then?

Joe built his own website and I actually thought it looked pretty good! It had his name on it, it said he was an artist and there were pictures on it.

And then I started to notice the little things that matter when it comes to presenting your business on the internet. All the pictures, that were stacked one on top of the other, started to hurt my eyes, the menu items were invisible and it was hard to tell what Joe really does. Although Joe is very involved with sharing his art on Instagram and Facebook, there were no social media links on his website. He was missing an opportunity to connect with his potential clients. He had social media sharing buttons on the side, which is not a bad idea (except for putting them on the home page) but there was no easy way to connect with him.

I think Joe did a great job building his own website, considering he didn't have much experience but he knew it was time for something new and better. With Joe's new modern website, I tried to respect his style so I keep the feel of his previous website by using natural colors (mostly shades of brown) and keeping the richness of the layout. When you glance at Joe's new website, there are a lot of patterns and colors on the home page. There is no clean and minimalistic design present. I thought the best way to present what he does is choosing a few good pictures, so I decided to put a small gallery on the home page. To see more of his work, the visitor can then follow the link at the bottom of the page or in the menu for full portfolio. The gallery is followed by two videos. One of them is a really interesting time-lapse video from a recent competition.

Probably the most important upgrade for Joe is News Feed where Joe can now share where he's going to be presenting his artwork next and what competitions he's going to go to. It is linked to a blog where he can also upload pictures of his work or publish his own time lapse videos.

Joe's logo was already made in a pdf poster format and I was able to turn it into a real website logo that is now in a top right corner. By using a sticky header, the logo is always there and can bring us back to the home page from anywhere on the website.

Joe now also has a YouTube channel. You'll find it in the footer of every page, right next to all of his other social media accounts.

An online shop turned out to be more of a long-term goal but the website's infrastructure is set in a way that the store can be added immediately. I am looking forward to further working with Joe and adding some of his amazing work in an online store.

I added some photos of his old website and new website in the gallery above. If you haven't yet, check out Joe's website. You would be surprised what a man can do with wood and his tools.

If you've built your own website but you're not quite satisfied, I am here to help you. Remember, it is important for the website visitors to understand who you are and what you do. Make sure they don't get the wrong impression of your attention to detail because they might easily assume you do business the same way. We can work with your existing website or we can discuss building something custom for your business. Contact Colibri Web Design anytime for a free consultation!

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