PLANNING YOUR WEBSITE
The planning and design of your website is a collaborative undertaking, and you will have at least as much work to do as I will. If you prepare the content for the site in an organized fashion, the site will go together more quickly and your costs will be reduced.
You and I will determine what kinds of main pages you will need and the order in which they will be presented. There may be some subpages as well. For instance, a site for a singer could include these pages:
- Home page
- Calendar, with a subpage for previous engagements
There are three main elements to consider here:
Layout is the placement of common elements on a page, which may include a header, a logo, and the navigation bar, and the unique content of each page, which could be photos, a biography or resume, or a calendar. The common elements should be presented in the same way on each page, with the unique elements presented in a way that makes sense for each.
- Font selection
Colors need to be selected for borders, headers, text backgrounds, regular text, and hyperlink text. Pattern backgrounds have their place as well as solid color backgrounds, as long as they do not make it difficult to read text that is placed over them. There should be sufficient contrast between text and background to make it easy to read. Dark text on a light background is best for extended text; white text on a black background can cause eyestrain. A good compromise is light gray text on black.
Fonts should be chosen from standard web fonts which the majority of users will have installed on their computers. If you use a font that a user does not have, the browser will substitute another, possibly with results that you would not like. Standard sans serif web fonts include Geneva, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, and Trebuchet; serif fonts include Georgia, Times New Roman, and Times. Although Comic Sans is considered a web font as well, I would strongly discourage its use if you want to be taken seriously.
Here is a chart of some web fonts: http://www.angelfire.com/al4/rcollins/style/fonts.html
Go to this page on my site to see complete alphabets for common web fonts.
If you would like to use a less common font, perhaps in a page header or the navigation bar, the text can be converted to a graphic. Text in graphic format cannot be read by search engines and should be employed sparingly. Alt text, which does not show on the page but can be read by a search engine, can be added to compensate for this.
Photos, logos, and other graphics can be e-mailed to me, and this will yield the best results. If your photos or graphics are not available in digital format you can mail them to me; I will scan them and mail them back to you. I do resizing, cropping, reformatting and retouching of photos in Photoshop as necessary.
Photos and other graphics that will appear on a web page need to be low resolution (72 ppi) so that they will load quickly. If you wish to make a high resolution publicity photo available it can be available on the site as an optional download.
Audio, video, and slideshow files can be e-mailed to me. Generally I will convert audio files to MPEG-4 format, and they will play in QuickTime.
Text can be pasted into an e-mail or sent as a Word, AppleWorks, or Pages attachment. You can save me time and yourself money by following these rules of typography.
I can advise you on how to do this, depending on whether you use a PC or a Mac. If this is too much for you, don't worry; I can fix everything.
- Leave only one space, not two, after the period at the end of a sentence.
- Use a hyphen in a hyphenated word, an en dash (wider) between dates or pairs of page numbers, and an em dash (widest) where a dash is called for.
- For quotes, don't use the single/double quote key on your keyboard. Use typographer's quotes, which are curly and are different at the beginning and end.
I can set up a form on your site for people to send contact information to you. Each form submitted will generate an e-mail to a designated address.
If you or your organization has a PayPal account, I can add a link for people to make donations or purchase tickets or CDs. Notifications will be sent to a designated e-mail address.