24. April 2012 · Comments Off on Web Site Templates · Categories: Business Issues · Tags: , , , , ,

“80% of what we perceive is visual information.”

A Web Site is Mandatory

Today, if you have a business, you need a web site to be taken seriously. Everyone realizes it and everyone wants a web site. But paying for a web site is expensive. It costs a lot because a skilled professional spends a lot of hours collating materials, creating a design, and programming the code behind it all.

Cutting Costs

There are less expensive alternatives to hiring someone to build you a custom web site. You could use WordPress to create a web site,  write a blog, create a Facebook page, or use a template. This post investigates the pros and cons of using templates to create your web site.
More »

On March 15, 2012 I attended the Web Site Demolition Derby panel at the South by Southwest Music Festival. On the panel were:

The purpose of the panel was to critique musicians’ web sites.  Following  are my notes.

Biggest Mistakes

  • Text is too small
  • Auto playing music or other sounds
  • Built in Flash animations – Flash never looks as good as the first time you see it, the novelty wears off, and it doesn’t work on mobile devices (you’d know this already if you read my blog!)
  • Your name or what you do is not immediately clear
  • Audio or video players don’t work
  • People hate you for putting them through extra clicks

Best Advice

  • Keep it simple
  • Build your web site to change frequently – treat your web site as living and breathing
  • Implement a 30 day, or less, news cycle
  • Make it unique – branding and identity are important
  • Reflect who you are
  • If you’re a performer, always provide a date your fans can look forward to
  • Immediately give your visitors something to play or watch
  • Text is just as important as photos

More »

Home Page, Web Site of Louis Lortie

Home Page, Web Site of Louis Lortie

Monday, March 1 marks the 200th anniversary of Frederick Chopin’s birthday.  In honor of one of my favorite composers let’s talk about the web site of pianist Louis Lortie.  For me this web site is the epitome of why we bother to build web sites.  Louis Lortie is a  concert pianist and recording artist.  At his site there is a great depth of information about him, his career and discography, and, most interesting, it showcases his thoughts about music interpretation and its challenges.

Here’s the treasure you’ll find on just one page, Chopin:

  • An excerpt from the score of a Chopin Etude
  • A series of videos
  • A photo of Chopin

The series of short videos showcase  Lortie playing two of the Chopin Etudes (a glorious aural experience) and Lortie, at the piano, talking about his approach to playing the etudes while playing excerpts to illustrate his thoughts.  As each video plays, its title  changes from black to lavender so you can keep track of where you are in the series.  Or, you can click on the one you want to hear.  Great user interface design!  Notice that underneath the video the timer is presented as a musical staff!  Clever design!

Chopin Page, Web Site of Louis Lortie

Chopin Page, Web Site of Louis Lortie

My only criticism is that the text on the home page is hard to read – a result of using a justified right margin and the italic font with very little line spacing.  The  opacity factor on the font doesn’t help either.

Lortie has created a passionate web site with great depth of information that gives us a window into his soul and the beauty of the music he plays.

Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for businesses who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.