Opinions on Website Construction

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  • #7695
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    From: “Mike Cox”

    Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:42:29 -0700


    If you have a website for your storytelling business, how did you set it up?  Did you do it yourself or hire it out?  If you did it yourself, did you use a platform like Wix or WordPress?    Which platform is best and why? Before I move forward with my own website, I’d like to tap the collective wisdom of the group.

    Thanks,
    Mike Cox
    The Man From the Land of the Hand
    #7697
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    From: “Richard Martin”
    Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:14:11 +0800

    Hello Mike,

    I began with paper and pencil, visiting a lot of other tellers’ sites and noting what I liked, disliked, found lacking, etc.
    I also looked at different navigational outlines to see which might work for me.

    Then I listed the content areas I wished to cover, and considered what I might possibly want to expand to cover in the future.

    Then I took those pieces of paper to a media person and asked him to create a website.

    I then bought an html editor and learnt the very basics of html formatting.
    Now when I want to add or change a page I effectively have templates to work with.

    HTH (it helped me),
    Richard Martin
    **************
    Prince Hat under the Ground is the latest upload to the video gallery – now 70 folk tales available to watch

    #7698
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    From: “Wendy Gourley”
    Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 09:13:35 -0600

    A new book just out called Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen had me completely redoing my website. I read the book because I am hoping to do some work for the company, but learned so much about marketing. It’s a quick read and the author, Donald Miller, applies simple story structure ideas in a brilliant way to websites.

    My old website has lots of pages and information and was focused on what I do and offer. My new site is very brief, but focuses on the potential clients and how I can help them be the hero in their own story. I’m not sure I applied it all correctly and the site still needs a couple more things, but if you’ve ever seen my old site, you will see a huge change: http://www.wendygourley.com

    (FYI the site is focused on my story coaching than my storytelling)

    Wendy

    #7699
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    From: “Jill Lamede”
    Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:26:57 +0100

    I created my own website using Serif WebPlus which is quite user friendly. It
    took me three weeks, starting from scratch and learning as I went,
    Have a go…. at least it will give you a clearer idea of what you want if
    you decide to pay a professional.

    Best wishes
    Jill, The Tintagel Storyteller
    http://www.lamede.com

    Sent from my iPad

    #7700
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    From: “Brian Gehrlein”
    Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:55:11 -0500

    I’ve been using Wix for my author website and I really enjoy working with it. I have also used wordpress and it’s a little harder to learn and you don’t have as much freedom to build as you like. I use wix primarily to blog but I have several pages that I post to and have designed on my own using their very user-friendly interface. If you have the free account (like me) the domain has to have .wixsite.com as part of the URL. If you pay you have the ability to get rid of the “wixsite” part. Here is my website link: gehrleinb.wixsite.com/write

    Best of luck online!


    Brian Gehrlein

    #7701
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    From: “Simon Brooks”
    Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:52:26 -0400

    Hi Brian,

    I began building my own, but that was YEARS ago. It began as a blog before blogs were invented – well named!
    I first hand-coded, then used what was Macromedia’s Dreamweaver (now Adobe) and before that Allaire’s ColdFusion Studio which was brilliant. More recently as my chops have dropped off and things have changed so much, I tried out WordPress and liked it but did not feel it had what I really wanted, although I still have that account (simonbrooksstoryteller.wordpress.com). WordPress and wix have both paid and free services. Free means you have, as Mike mentioned, wix in your URL as my photography website has WordPress in it.

    I more recently switched to SquareSpace which I love. It is not free but is not expensive and the URLs I have (https://www.diamondscree.com/ and https://SimonBrooksStoryteller.com) both point to the same site. DiamondScree began as my blog for family back in the UK – I live in the USA.

    They have a great number of templates but the idea is that you totally personalize them, which I have. I believe it is the same, or similar for many of these providers, that they add new templates all the time. WordPress seems prolific at this, or at least making it known! And WordPress placecs ads on your free site, which can look ugly and feel intrusive and unprofessional to me. Not sure if wix does that. It does not on Brian’s very nice website!
    SquareSpace is very easy to use, and I think WordPress is too – once you get into it. I have not used wix but continually hear good things about them – ease of use, very personalizable (is that a word?) and have thought about trying them out.

    In the olden days these template websites were horrid, but now they are very good. Wix was one of the worst, but now, as I said, seems one of the better ones – it sounds really very good, professional looking with many options for growth. For a professional site I like SquareSpace. There are lots of things you can do with the site, as does wix, I believe. If you pay, there are more services and you get your own URL sans providers name at least with WordPress.

    One site I use mainly because it has a calendar built in, and an email service (my primary reason for use) is Nimbit. It is not at all attractive, but for a small amount – $5-6 a month, you can actually sell MP3s from it! For that cost, with the email service, and a (not pretty) presence it is pretty darn cheap. But as I said, not too pretty or flexible but it might be a start! http://www.nimbitmusic.com/smbrooks

    One or two pieces of advice – keep your site clean with white space – do not clutter (ads can do that – grumble). Keep your pages to a smaller number for easy navigation. And the third piece of advice, look at your competition (as it were) to see what you think works and doesn’t, and look at other performer websites, like magicians, musicians, dancers, mimes, theatre troops etc. too. It can greatly help you see what you want and don’t want, what looks are pleasing to the eye, what makes you excited. Then use those websites for inspiration.

    One thing I know others have done, is pay for someone to set the site up for them for a set – DONE – fee, and then do all the updates themselves. This is a good way to go if you are not sure about the process or are not too tech-comfy!

    DiamondScree stuck with me over the years from the blog, but is hard to remember, so I added SimonBrooksStoryteller to point to it, for ease of use for my peeps!
    Sorry, lots of words, but hope they help.
    Peace,
    Simon


    Simon Brooks
    storyteller, voice talent, and educator
    603-877-0033
    diamondscree.com

    Stories are like boots – they love to travel…

    “A good storyteller is the conscience-keeper of a nation.” -Gulzar, poet, lyricist, and film director (b. 18 Aug 1934)

    Brooks, Simon


    https://storynet.org/teller/directory.php?ID=602
    https://www.creativeground.org/

    #7702
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    From: “Tim Sheppard”
    Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:06:50 +0100

    A few comments and a couple of corrections…

    On 20/10/2017 13:52, Simon Brooks (via storytell list) wrote:
    WordPress and wix have both paid and free services.

    Wordpress doesn’t charge. It does have a version (wordpress.com), where it’s even more free because it hosts your site itself (but you aren’t allowed to use your site for commercial activities and can’t use many of the useful plugins available). For anything except a basic blog it’s better to use the free self-hosted version (wordpress.org) where you put WordPress on your own domain (often with one click, depending on which web host you use). Most new websites on the entire web are now created with WordPress.

    And WordPress places ads on your free site, which can look ugly and feel intrusive and unprofessional to me.

    That’s not true if you have WordPress on your own domain, which would be the better option for any storyteller’s professional site.

    Most web designers and business developers say to avoid Wix like the plague if you want a site for your business. This is because of the way Wix sites are built – they are almost invisible to Google, so no one will be able to find you except through your own marketing efforts. People search Google using keywords, and a Wix site hardly shows any words from your content to Google’s search bots. Findability is far more important than prettiness that no one sees. But as well as attractive fixed themes, these days you can get many WordPress themes that allow drag-and-drop page design, if that’s what you’re after.

    =============================================
    Personal Impact Coach
    – live oral communication skills
    – storytelling for leadership and influence
    http://www.timsheppard.co.uk
    =============================================

    =========================================
    Storyteller and Story Coach
    http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/
    See site for huge free story resources
    =========================================

    #7705
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    From: “Wendy Gourley”
    Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:03:00 -0600

    I had the same searchability frustration with a site I had on Weebly.

    It’s not free, but I love squarespace!!

    Wendy

    #7706
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    From: “Margaret Schwallie”
    Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:50:16 -0400

    I am learning wordpress right now. They have some templates configured for all devices. That is coming in handy for the purpose of my site.

    Mags

    #7709
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    From: “Wendy Gourley”
    Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:45:19 -0600

    Every free site that I’ve ever seen places ads. And they don’t allow clean domains, for example, instead of wendygourley.com, it would be wendygourley.wix.com. It’s the trade off of free sites. In my opinion, if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you will want to get a paid site and your own domain. I use the free sites when I’m putting together a site for a local church group or neighborhood program. They can be a great thing.

    Wendy

    #7710
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    From: “Simon Brooks”
    Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:48:39 -0400

    Tim,

    As always great stuff. I was not aware of the difference (that it existed) of wordpress.com vs wordpress.org!
    And really good to know about wix! I will not be trying it out!!

    Thanks again Tim,

    Peace,
    Simon

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