FREE WEBSITE: INTRODUCTION
If you have not already, please read the March/April '03 "Clay Times" magazine article titled "Develop Your Own Potter's Website." The article appears here as a courtesy of "Clay Times." Also, please visit the "Clay Times" website. The title of the article might just as well be titled "Develop Your Own Website." Anybody can find a use for a site like this. It is very versatile as you will see when you get to the bottom of this page.
OK, HERE IS THE FREE WEBSITE, BUT FIRST....
I have to ask you to read this page. It will tell you what will be required of me and what will be required of you to get a web site up and running. I'll also give you a few reasons why you should consider having a site.
All of the information you will find on the following pages is free and designed to provide you with the information and tools needed to construct and launch a "simple" website. When I say "simple," I mean simple in the sense that you don't need any special knowledge or software to get a site up and running. Actually, I mean simple in its broadest sense. Simple to design, modify and maintain. You could easily have a home page up and running on your computer two hours from now, should you so desire. Let me clarify something here. I am suppyling the info needed for you to construct a web site, but I am not going to actually put you on the web. I am going to tell you how to build a site as easily as possible. You have to put it to use. Think of this as a tutorial on web site design.
Admittedly, this is only one way to approach web site design. But when I wanted a site, I decided that I wanted a universal site that could reach everyone and was so simple in theory that I would not be constantly buying and learning new software or relearning what I had forgotten since the last time I modified the site. That's what I mean by "simple."
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about web sites. Many of you may think that if you put a web site up, it won't pay to do it. I believe the web is like a big mall. There are lots of people walking around shopping. As my Dad used to say, "There is no accounting for tastes- or lack of." Everyone has different tastes and what you put out in front of the public may be trash for one person, but treasure for another. I don't care what you make. There will be people who like it and will want it.
Second, and very importantly, there is an aspect to the web that doesn't have to do with selling. It's about exposure and the ability to present information. What you do is carry a well-designed business card with you and when anybody asks what you do or when you want to tell people what you do, you put that card in their hand and tell them to visit you on the web. It's a very powerful and convenient way to convey and display information. The viewer can see whatever you want to show them. And the viewer can do it at their leisure and as often as they like. Here is one example of what I am talking about. I was watching public television and they have frequent two minute fillers on the arts. It occured to me that they needed a two minute filler about a potter- me! I e-mailed the producer of the filler segments with the idea. He wrote back, "Sounds interesting. Send me any information you might have. Thanks." My reply was, "At your leisure, please click on and peruse my website at http://www.newartpottery.com. There is a ton of information on the site- pots, studio photos, resume, and a running commentary on how I spend my time. I update the site every two weeks and show people how I have been spending my time. I just updated last night."
The web site may be a bit of work and expense up front, but it is a powerful information tool. It is a tool any artist will find of value. Once a site is up and running, I see no downside to consider.
All of the information I provide you in the following pages is going to give you a site something like my site NEWARTPOTTERY.COM. Hopefully, you have already surfed through my site. You can imagine my site with your images as the backrounds and the items that are featured on the various pages. Or you can make look entirely different. It's all up to you. I'll give you the simplest way to do it. Guaranteed.
I can say "guaranteed" because you will be building your site using only HTML. HTML is "the" language of the web. All software that assists you in building web pages ultimately turns your efforts into HTML. What I will be doing is, I am going to provide you with only the basic HTML "tags" (more about "tags"later) you will need to have a site something like mine. If you are already on the web or you are "web-savvy," chances are I will not be providing you with anything you don't already know. I am doing this for the person that knows little about the web and computing, in general.
As long as I am on the subject of what you have to know, let me tell you the basics you have to understand to move forward. You will have to have a computer that can go on line, you must understand the basics of how to manage your files and folders, and if you want to put pictures on your site, you have to have a digital camera and the software to modify and "optimize" your photos. That's all you need. If you are reading this, you already meet the first two requirements. The camera requirement is up to you. I will give you more info about that later.
And I have to warn you about me. I can't assure you that everything I am going to tell you will be factually correct. A lot of folks that read this will be saying to themselves, "He's wrong about this or wrong about that." I may be. I work on a Mac and know little or nothing about PCs. And software changes so quickly that I know I am out-of-date in many of the things I say. And you will find me repeating myself. Driving home important points and the like. But I will be on target in providing you with what you will need to get to your goal of a functioning web site. I have never been too concerned with technicalities. I'm after the results. One of my mantras in this life is (spoken with an Indian accent) is, "Many roads to the same destination." I am showing you only one such road.
One other aspect of the web site that I am going to furnish you is its versatility. I use the basic format of my site for many things. Click these links and see what ends a little web space can be put to.
Let's move on. Along the way I am going to provide information many of you will think is too basic, but I must provide it since I am going to assume your knowledge in this matter is minimal. Any blue or pink text you see on the web is most likely a "link." That means if you click your cursor on it, it is going to take you to another web page. I suggest you bookmark the following link titled the index page. Click on it and let's move on!