Creating a Web Presence

SwingsitlikeHogan

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My BiL wants to create a web presence (probably a website) for his art. He is not very tech-savvy (in fact he seems pretty hopeless on that front so consider him an absolute beginner). My Mrs is thinking we buy him a ‘web building for dummies’ type book for Christmas, but most recent editions of such books seem quite old. Is this because website building apps are freely available and simple to use to build a simple website? And so books for this are now rather redundant?

In any case. Any books/manuals out there worth buying? Or would it be better to buy him a licence or subscription for something. And if so, for an absolute beginner, suggestions please.

I note, that though he’s currently using a Windows laptop he is likely to be getting a Mac for his Christmas.
 

rudebhoy

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My BiL wants to create a web presence (probably a website) for his art. He is not very tech-savvy (in fact he seems pretty hopeless on that front so consider him an absolute beginner). My Mrs is thinking we buy him a ‘web building for dummies’ type book for Christmas, but most recent editions of such books seem quite old. Is this because website building apps are freely available and simple to use to build a simple website? And so books for this are now rather redundant?

In any case. Any books/manuals out there worth buying? Or would it be better to buy him a licence or subscription for something. And if so, for an absolute beginner, suggestions please.

I note, that though he’s currently using a Windows laptop he is likely to be getting a Mac for his Christmas.
If he just wants something fairly basic, it’s really straightforward using the likes of GoDaddy, no coding or any other techie skills required.
 

brendy

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Yea just runs through any regular browser. Imo Macs are overpriced for all most people use them for. Unless his existing laptop was ancient or gad a problem, it'd do the job fine.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Yea just runs through any regular browser. Imo Macs are overpriced for all most people use them for. Unless his existing laptop was ancient or gad a problem, it'd do the job fine.
He‘s been a Mac guy in the past - I think it worked well for him for his Art and Design work.
 

rudebhoy

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Yea just runs through any regular browser. Imo Macs are overpriced for all most people use them for. Unless his existing laptop was ancient or gad a problem, it'd do the job fine.
At the risk of taking the conversation off at a tangent, I've got to disagree about Macbooks. I bought 2 when I packed in work 9 years ago, one for me and one for my daughter for school. Both are still going strong. My previous experience of Windows laptops was they would last about 3 years at most before they started slowing down and going wrong.

I only use my Macbook for surfing, streaming and some basic Word / Excel type stuff, but my daughter used hers for all sorts of heavy duty stuff all the way thru high school and Uni and never had a problem.

Going back to the original question, I have used the Macbook to set up and run a holiday cottage web site, very straightforward.
 

Lord Tyrion

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Once built, he then needs to promote it, get it seen. There are normally lots of free govt courses regarding this, Google analytics, social media promotion etc. Suggest he looks for these as well. No point having a great website if no one sees it.
 

rudebhoy

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Once built, he then needs to promote it, get it seen. There are normally lots of free govt courses regarding this, Google analytics, social media promotion etc. Suggest he looks for these as well. No point having a great website if no one sees it.
This is a good point.

We gave up having a website as we would have had to pay a fortune to Google Ads to get it on the first page of search results.

Airbnb and VRBO were far better options for us.
 

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Creating a website and creating a web presence are totally different things, as has been said.

To create a website is fairly straightforward but to get people to visit it you need to advertise it, which costs money.

But I still wouldn't call that a web presence, I hate the term but I think the nearest thing to describe a web presence would be an influencer. And to achieve that you need to have something that people want to search for or enjoy seeing, ie something that's very popular.

I know this only too well through my YouTube channel. I put in hours and hours of time and research for each video but still, after almost three years, I'm only a niche channel.
It can be a little frustrating when someone (usually someone young and full of energy!) pops up and within a couple of months they have umpteen times a bigger following than me.
But you just have to accept it and either change what you're doing or continue ploughing the lonely furrow.

Good luck to your BiL!
 

brendy

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At the risk of taking the conversation off at a tangent, I've got to disagree about Macbooks. I bought 2 when I packed in work 9 years ago, one for me and one for my daughter for school. Both are still going strong. My previous experience of Windows laptops was they would last about 3 years at most before they started slowing down and going wrong.

I only use my Macbook for surfing, streaming and some basic Word / Excel type stuff, but my daughter used hers for all sorts of heavy duty stuff all the way thru high school and Uni and never had a problem.

Going back to the original question, I have used the Macbook to set up and run a holiday cottage web site, very straightforward.
It's all fine and well that the hardware lasts but the software updates don't. If you have say, a 2012 MacBook, the latest you can legitimately upgrade to is Catalina, that's 4 OS upgrades ago so from a security point, it'd be similar to using windows 7 today which would leak like a broken sieve on any poorly written or compromised sites/mail.
Fwiw, with the business machines I roll out regularly, 4, maybe at a push 5 years, is the most I would run a Microsoft compatible laptop, not usually because they fail (any machine that came with an SSD seems to be capable of better longevity), some users request to hold on for longer as they are set up exactly as they need them. Usually by the time they get to that age, the operating systems have moved on and either won't run on old architecture or are noticeably hit with lower performance. iPhones and androids are the same, my FIL was using a 2016 Samsung galaxy til this week, he only used it as a phone but things like the browser and OS versioning is miles behind, just as well it was just a phone.

With regards to SEO, understanding meta data, advertising and linking from legitimate sites all helps, adding links to art forums etc can help also but like a lot of these things, Google etc all apply weighting to results using their algorithms, I wouldn't say you need to be fully understanding but at least be aware of it.
 

Alan Clifford

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What's the objective? Selling stuff? Just displaying stuff? The creation of the physical website is really secondary; decide what is the objective and then look at the resourses available.

If I were to get serious about selling photographs, I'd concentrate on https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/alan-clifford . They have all the infrastructure to do the selling.

I have another web presence; it physically sits on a shelf in the spare bedroom on a Raspberry Pi: http://clifford.ac/
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Creating a website and creating a web presence are totally different things, as has been said.

To create a website is fairly straightforward but to get people to visit it you need to advertise it, which costs money.

But I still wouldn't call that a web presence, I hate the term but I think the nearest thing to describe a web presence would be an influencer. And to achieve that you need to have something that people want to search for or enjoy seeing, ie something that's very popular.

I know this only too well through my YouTube channel. I put in hours and hours of time and research for each video but still, after almost three years, I'm only a niche channel.
It can be a little frustrating when someone (usually someone young and full of energy!) pops up and within a couple of months they have umpteen times a bigger following than me.
But you just have to accept it and either change what you're doing or continue ploughing the lonely furrow.

Good luck to your BiL!
I’ll have to ask him what his objectives are for his website. As he shows his art it may simply be somewhere he can point anyone going to a show and expressing an interest in his work to go look at his portfolio.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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What's the objective? Selling stuff? Just displaying stuff? The creation of the physical website is really secondary; decide what is the objective and then look at the resourses available.

If I were to get serious about selling photographs, I'd concentrate on https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/alan-clifford . They have all the infrastructure to do the selling.

I have another web presence; it physically sits on a shelf in the spare bedroom on a Raspberry Pi: http://clifford.ac/
Thankyou, as I note above…this could be what he’s looking for. Some years ago he lived in Manhattan, worked for a couple of well known (in the modern art world) New York artists, and mounted shows in Soho and Greenwich Village - his stuff has a potential US audience.
 

rudebhoy

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It's all fine and well that the hardware lasts but the software updates don't. If you have say, a 2012 MacBook, the latest you can legitimately upgrade to is Catalina, that's 4 OS upgrades ago so from a security point, it'd be similar to using windows 7 today which would leak like a broken sieve on any poorly written or compromised sites/mail.
Fwiw, with the business machines I roll out regularly, 4, maybe at a push 5 years, is the most I would run a Microsoft compatible laptop, not usually because they fail (any machine that came with an SSD seems to be capable of better longevity), some users request to hold on for longer as they are set up exactly as they need them. Usually by the time they get to that age, the operating systems have moved on and either won't run on old architecture or are noticeably hit with lower performance. iPhones and androids are the same, my FIL was using a 2016 Samsung galaxy til this week, he only used it as a phone but things like the browser and OS versioning is miles behind, just as well it was just a phone.

With regards to SEO, understanding meta data, advertising and linking from legitimate sites all helps, adding links to art forums etc can help also but like a lot of these things, Google etc all apply weighting to results using their algorithms, I wouldn't say you need to be fully understanding but at least be aware of it.

my Macbook Air is "early 2015".

It's currently running Monterey which goes out of support on November 30, 2024. I'm still getting regular updates to the OS.

So that's the best part of 10 years out of this machine before it's running an unsupported OS. I'm over the moon with that, particularly as it performs just about as well as it did 8 and a bit years ago.

I'll probably buy a new one at some point next year.
 

Alan Clifford

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my Macbook Air is "early 2015".

It's currently running Monterey which goes out of support on November 30, 2024. I'm still getting regular updates to the OS.

So that's the best part of 10 years out of this machine before it's running an unsupported OS. I'm over the moon with that, particularly as it performs just about as well as it did 8 and a bit years ago.

I'll probably buy a new one at some point next year.
You should be able to upgrade the operating system.
 
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