I first met Ruth Hardie at a networking event with the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, and then learned that she was an artist creating watercolor prints. A few months after our introduction she contacted me about creating a brand new web site to showcase her art work. Some of the things that I learned about how she wanted to be portrayed on the web were:
- Let the colorful art be center stage
- A minimalist look, drawing the eye to watercolor art
- A slideshow on the Home page to quickly show a series of prints
- Newsletter signup to keep in touch with clients and prospects
- Connections to social media like Facebook and Pinterest
- Simple to update herself
We used WordPress as the Content Management System so that Ruth can update the site herself by using any web browser and logging in. Here’s the Home page layout with a slideshow:
The Gallery page shows seven watercolor prints of dogs, where you click the thumbnail to see the full size image:
Clicking on the Black Lab thumbnail shows me the large version, and I can browse forward and backward through the entire gallery:
Art Prints is a page with links to Fine Art America, which has the e-commerce for visitors to shop and purchase prints.
The Merchandise page is similar to Art Prints, however the links are different:
For visitors to contact Ruthie, we are not showing her personal email address because that would invite spammers to flood her inbox with unwanted email. Instead, we use a contact form:
Another useful feature is a Newsletter Signup and Social Media in the left sidebar of each page, inviting visitors to keep updated on the latest artwork from Ruthie.
When a person subscribes to the newsletter form, they receive an email with a confirmation link, this is called a double opt-in to verify that person’s identity:
Ruth can now send out newsletters to all of the names by logging into WordPress, instead of having a totally separate newsletter system with another username and password, this just makes business easier to run with fewer accounts to remember.
Finally, we knew that smart phones are commonly being used to browse web pages, so we made her site mobile-ready by choosing a responsive theme:
Notice how on a mobile device the menu is activated by clicking the icon with three horizontal lines.
Enjoy viewing Ruthie’s artwork on her new web site at www.ruthhardie.com