Client Links

If you need a new website or another online service, please visit some of the sites I have designed using the links to my clients below. Many of them are also represented on my Portfolio page, where you can read my comments about the project. While I’m always happy to start from scratch when building new sites, any one of the sites below could be reproduced and updated with your own content to save on costs.

**   E-Commerce examples

*** Custom websites I’m exceptionally proud to have designed and/or customized.

Web Design Clients:

Websites for Small Business

  • ***Spa Jacksonville NEW! 2018 HTML to WordPress conversion and hosting migration for a long-established and beloved local business. We largely preserved the minimalist, clean and spare design while adding new content and features, including bios for each of the professionals on staff. Look for a new ecommerce feature (Square) with Spa’s custom skincare products AND for the therapists of Spa to begin blogging in early 2019!
  • ** ***American Memorycraft NEW! 2018 New website for American MemoryCraft in Grants Pass. Owner Eli Beard (also known locally as the owner of Rogue Art Glass) employs 12 master glass blowers to create the company’s gorgeous cremation urns. Photographs of their work made creating a beautiful website a delight, and Eli’s desire to include plenty of interesting historical information and more made it a well-rounded site as far as content, too. The WooCommerce catalog that becomes a full-featured online shop when a member (limited to his wholesale national distributors, which include Forest Lawn and more industry-wide stars) logs in was a complex undertaking, but it’s working beautifully and has prepared me to do more sites along these lines.
  • *** Talent Club Live NEW! 2018 New website for the Talent Club, a beloved and historic dive bar in Talent, Oregon. The new owners of this classic venue wanted to put their emphasis on their live music. In addition to local bands and comedy performers, they book loads of bands traveling up and down the I-5 corridor, so it’s become a real mainstay for top shelf live music. Though a one-page site with modest content, the design is unique and includes an event calendar I update regularly with the concerts and comedy performances performing there the following month.
  • *** Home For Sale SiteNEW! 2018 New website for an individual putting her Three Pines Ranch custom log home up for sale. An experienced home renovator and reseller, she wasn’t satisfied with the online presentation her realtor had established. We worked hard on this one and in the end we dispensed with the photo gallery, using the video with pictures of the home to provide this essential element. This site could easily be converted for the sale of any home, and adding a slideshow of images of the home would be a simple addition.
  • Biuk’s Antique Rugs & ArtNEW! 2018 new website for a local seller of antique Oriental rugs. She plans to add her own artwork and the vintage and handcrafted jewelry she offers in the near future.
  • Ryan’s Outpost 2017 New website, SEO, maintenance and content updates for the iconic Applegate Valley business.
  • ** *** Carpe Diem Papers 2017 Redesigned website and massive overhaul for an Ashland, OR greeting card designer with newly added ecommerce capabilities and Mailchimp integration; maintenance and content updates.
  • The Finishing Touch2017 New one-page website for a very talented furniture restoration professional.
  • *** Mountain Sun Botanicals – 2016 Southern Oregon medical marijuana grower site conversion from html to WordPress, preserving home page design and redesigning subpages, setting up custom Google Suite busine emails, SSL.
  • *** Meta Physical Therapy & Pilates – I just love the new website created for H. Kate Huckert, DPT, in 2016. Her fondness for the Oriental aesthetic is expressed beautifully in this layout and design.
  • Ruch Hardware – 2016 New website, SEO, maintenance and content updates. This site has personality plus, like its owner, and is quite the community hub in the Ruch/Applegate Valley area.
  • Iris Colored Dreams – 2016 New website, SEO, maintenance for Silhouette, an Ashland woman practicing in the blind psychic tradition. We will be updating the site with new content and features in 2019.
  • ** NYC Cafe & Catering – The owner of this establishment was referred to me by another client in 2016. This San Juan Capistrano restaurant and catering service already had a website, but the back end was unbelievably messed up to the point that it was impossible to discern what was controlling the elements on the home page. It was rife with misspellings and grammatical errors — a huge SEO fail. It required a massive overhaul of the site structure and some additions to the design, a complex theme conversion along with lots of SEO to bring the site to where the owner could do most of the maintenance and content updates himself. Soon after came the addition of e-commerce (WooCommerce) to create a Catering “Catalog” from which his clients could use when placing catering orders. The business is under new management now, and the new owners decided to stay with me for ongoing maintenance and content updates. We may be redesigning the site again soon to update the esthetic to match the new owner’s taste.
  • Ashland Archival Printing – 2015 Website Redesign, SEO, maintenance for an Ashland, Oregon fine art giclee printing company
  • C St Bistro – 2015 Website redesign with WordPress conversion, SEO, maintenance for a local restaurant.
  • *** Markwood Heavenly Strings & Cases 2014 Site redesign/conversion to WordPress and content updates for a Talent, OR woman who creates custom harp strings and more. A nicely streamlined site with great graphics to text balance.
  • ** *** Dodero Studio Ceramics – For the past few years I have mostly worked with John Dodero on search engine optimization for his Raku pottery e-commerce (WooCommerce) website. However, eventually this emphasis on SEO demanded that we merge his HTML site with his blog in 2014 and converted from an outdated theme to a modern one that is mobile-friendly while preserving the site’s original design in 2015early 2016. We continue to work together to add new content, new products, and keep the search engine optimization…optimized.
  • Shosha Yoga – 2011 New website.
  • Maggie’s Place – One of my first clients (2010), Maggie’s site is an original html design.

Community, Non Profit & Association Websites

  • *** Lithia Artisans Market NEW! 2018 New website for the Lithia Artisans Market (LAMA), in Ashland, Oregon. The volunteers who manage the group’s online presence had been using a free site at WordPress.com for years and decided it was finally time to go for their own self-hosted website. Having access to numerous resources, including their own designer and photographer, made building this site a joy, and the final result sent us all over the moon. We may be adding more features and content to it in the future.
  • *** The Buddha Consciousness2017 Website migration to new host and redesign for the first of three sites owned by an online free church, Light Path Resources. Ongoing maintenance and content updates.
  • *** Light Path Resources2017 Website migration to new host and redesign for the second of three sites owned by an online free church, Light Path Resources. Ongoing maintenance and very frequent content updates.
  • *** Military Truth – 2017 Website migration to new host and redesign for a nonprofit seeking to educate people considering enlisting in the Armed Forces so they know what they’re getting into. Ongoing maintenance and very frequent content updates.
  • *** Jennifer Faith – 2014 Design, SEO and maintenance for a site that supports victims of domestic violence and abuse. Best for a blogger with great featured images, as the Home page depends on excerpts for the design.
  • Art Presence Art Center – 2012 New website for a local nonprofit art gallery. Our ongoing work includes maintenance, social media support and content updates. I also write a monthly article for Art Presence which is published in the Jacksonville Review.
  • Southern Oregon Artists Resource – Launched 1/1/2010, currently being redesigned behind the scenes and will ultimately merge with the blog. This is an example of a successful, large and very complex project which I created from scratch. I’m eager to get the new site completed and launched!
  • Southern Oregon Artists Resource Companion Blog, Art Matters – Launched 3/2010, currently being redesigned behind the scenes and will be merged with the directory site above. Watch for the completion of this enormous project!

Artist Websites

  • Wing Tips HA! NEW! 2018 New website. Artist Leslie Dwyer started this site but quickly found herself out of time, so I took it from the bare bones start she had accomplished to completion. Her goal for this website was to establish the value of her Wing Tips — humorous and uniquely rendered single-frame advice “comics” — prior to presenting the idea to publishers so she can print a gift book containing them. Once I had the site completed, Leslie scheduled a years’ worth of Wing Tips to publish one or two every week. She is quickly gaining a devoted following, myself included, which I truly hope ends up in a successful publishing deal for her. Once you’ve seen this one, check out her Design4Peace.com website, with loads of terrific social justice poster designs! Leslie is amazing.
  • Phillip Young NEW! 2018 New website. Phil recently moved to my area, and having retired from successful careers as an artist for the Disney Company—for which he has credits in 17 of their most successful animated features—and teaching illustration, sequential art and sculpture, he wanted to settle into a life of creating his own fine art. His website serves as an introduction to his new community and the regional art community as well as an online resume and portfolio for galleries and other artist opportunities. This could be converted into a very attractive one page website without sacrificing any of the content.
  • ** Beste Art – I had already worked on artist Patrick Beste’s website to provide content updates, SEO and SSL installation for some time. In 2017 he decided that he wanted it completely redesigned and an online shop (WooCommerce) for his artwork added. His abstract artwork made designing the site really fun.
  • *** Ray Pague – 2017 New artist website. You must see Ray’s beautiful work and unique style of painting! He and his wife contacted me to create his new website as soon as they moved here form North Carolina, where he is well known for his art. Another artist website of which I’m especially proud.
  • Jannie Ledard Glass Art – – 2008 New Website; 2017 WordPress Conversion, redesign and SSL
  • Kirsten Meriwether Art – 2017 New artist website. Kirsten and her sister had gotten her new site started, but Kirsten ran out of time to finish the work herself, so she called me. We got her artwork up in categorized portfolio galleries in no time!
  • Carla J Griffin – 2016 New Website, maintenance and content updates
  • Tina Hutton – 2016 WordPress Conversion, redesign and SEO
  • *** Catherine Anderson, AWS -2015 Massive overhaul including redesign, SEO and security measures. A work still in progress, and one I’m especially proud of.  Be sure to visit and see her award winning watercolors!
  • ** *** Linda Abblett Watercolors – 2015 HTML to WordPress conversion with redesign and added e-commerce (WooCommerce), maintenance and content updates, SSL added 2017. Another beautiful custom site I’m proud to have been chosen to create.
  • *** Butterfly’s Web – 2015 New Website, logo update, maintenance and content updates for a very talented fiber artist who spins natural fibers in to yarn and dyes them with a range of synthetic and natural dyes, some made from plants that grow on her farm! Colorful, beautiful site with an active blog.
  • *** Michael Carpenter, OPA – 2015 New website, maintenance. A very handsome website for a particularly talented and experienced artist.
  • *** Pat Moore Photography 2015 New website, maintenance, SEO services for a fabulous photographer. We plan the addition of ecommerce and SEO to this site in 2018.
  • ** *** Kim Novak – 2014 New website with e-commerce (PayPal), maintenance and content updates, SSL added 2017. A conservative site which showcases this beloved actress’ incredibly creative pastel and oil paintings beautifully.
  • *** Pegi Smith – 2014 Migration to new host, massive website redesign and SEO, ongoing maintenance and content updates, added SSL in 2016. An artist website of which I’m especially proud.
  • Lori Garfield, Animal Artist – 2014 New website, maintenance and content updates
  • Judy Buswell Watercolors – 2014 HTML to WordPress conversion with redesign, maintenance and content updates. Judy’s watercolors have been popular for decades, and the greeting cards and other products her licensed works decorate are best-sellers still.
  • *** Mountain Glen Harps – 2014 New website, SEO, maintenance.
  • Eve Margo Withrow – 2014 New Website, maintenance and content updates
  • Elaine Frenett Watercolors – 2014 New Website, maintenance and content updates
  • ** Wendy Gell Jewelry & Art – 2014 Massive website redesign plus e-commerce (WooCommerce) and ongoing maintenance
  • *** Dabar Studio – 2014 HTML to WordPress conversion with redesign, maintenance and content updates. This site was tremendous between Dawn’s art and the site design. However she neglected to renew her hosting service, so the site is offline until she renews it.
  • Billye Woodford – 2013 New Website, based on the customized site created for the late (and wonderful!) Boni de Laire earlier that year.
  • Joan Pechanec – 2013 New Website, maintenance and annual content updates. Joan needed a budget solution for her site and I worked with her to display the maximum number of paintings (40) possible while keeping costs at a minimum. The new site landed Joan her first solo show at the Orlando Art Center in the same year! After painting for nearly a year to have enough work to fill the space, she sold nearly all of the works on display!
  • Catie Faryl – 2012 New Website. SSL added 2016.
  • Silvia Rothschild Trujillo – 2011 New Website; 2015 WordPress Conversion and redesign.
  • RioQuerencia Fine Art Images –  2010 New custom HTML website for a wonderful photographer.

SSL Installation, SEO, Maintenance, and Hosting Migration Client Links

  • Angela Meer – Author and Writing Coach – I migrated Angela’s very complex website to a new host and extended her existing SSL certificate to cover the entire website in 2016
  • Romancing the West I’ve been maintaining this website for singer/songwriter and producer of Romancing the West® since 2012 with both content updates and site maintenance. During that time I’ve restored it from a hack attack, migrated their website to new hosting, installed their SSL certificate and posted dozens and dozens of tour dates, as well as a few experiments. I also formatted/edited a children’s book for them in 2017 and design/update the new concert posters for their biannual tours.
  • Stefan Baumann, Plein Air Artist This was a massive search engine optimization (SEO) project that required reorganizing the entire site’s content and pointing two no longer used, but very important, domains to his new site. Working with his assistant Kris Baxter, I also designed and formatted a catalog for a large art show of Stefan’s work in southern California.
  • Talbott Studios – A wonderful artist who specializes in animals (particularly horses and equine art). Genie also designs gorgeous wine labels and more. I began with search engine optimization and content updates for her, and have been working with her site for several years. We will be redesigning and converting it to WordPress soon.

More exciting projects are in the works and others are lined up. It will be so fun to complete them and share the links here. If you are currently in need of a website, contact me today to get your project underway!

November 2017 web hosting deals

Some of my favorite web hosting services are having sales right now!

Happy 15th Birthday, HostGator!

If you are a new customer, HostGator hosting will discount your hosting for the first term to a fabulous $3.95/month (paid annually) to celebrate their 15th birthday!! Please be sure to select the longest term possible to maximize your savings. Then, make a note on your calendar to reduce your term to one year so it won’t renew for more than one year at the regular price.

Hostgator updated their customer portal in September, so if you’ve used them before but didn’t stay, please consider giving them another try., Their servers are so fast and their customer support gets great reviews. In addition, Ebates users can get an amazing $30 rebate on their purchase! I have a couple of clients who host their websites at HostGator and they are very happy customers. Here are a couple of additional offers, good through the end of 2017:

Get Your Domain, Hosting, and Unlimited Email for Just $3/mo

Save 50% Off Your New Optimized WordPress 12-Month Plan w/ coupon code WDA50

Happy 14th Birthday, Bluehost!

Bluehost, a very reputable host with fast servers, is having a special where their new customer discount starts at an incredible $2.95 for plans that only include one website! I’m not sure how long you can extend these savings for, but anyone with one site should think hard about taking advantage of this huge savings! Another plus is that they have free SSL certificates available. this can be a huge savings!

Bluehost just had its 14th birthday in July, and they have updated their signup flow, improved their knowledge base, and streamlined their account user interface.  Their support crew is great and their service gets great reviews from my clients who are hosted with them. Bonus: Ebates users can get a $10 rebate on their purchase!

GreenGeeks Upgraded their Hosting Platform!

We love Green Geeks for their lightning-fast servers (other hosts charge much more for accounts hosted on SSD servers!) and great customer support. The fact that they offset their carbon emmissions with 300% renewable energy doesn’t hurt either! Their new customer price of $3.95/month is available for up to 3 years if you pay for them up front. It’s just a hair more than one year at the regular price, so if green hosting matters to you, don’t thnk twice. Their shared hosting space is roomy and you can host as many domains there as you like for no additional fee. This crew is well established, yet still up and coming through the ranks of web hosts, impelled by their great service and customer satisfaction. Their FREE CPanel-to-CPanel free migration service is hassle-free, and others like Bluehost charge up to $150 for the same service, so if you already have a site that’s hosted elsewhere, these folks are a great place to transfer to.

Testimonial from Jannie Ledard

I am humbled and very grateful to have received this lovely testimonial from Jannie Ledard.
I have recently asked Hannah to update and redesign my website. I was indecisive about choosing a style that would speak to me. Hannah made it very easy. She patiently explained the different approaches. Being an artist herself, she knew how to choose the perfect words to express my vision. When I posted my new website on FB, I received endless written and oral compliments!
I highly recommend Hannah for her artistic taste and great professionalism!

It was a joy creating a new website for Jannie’s beautiful glass art. I hope you will take a moment to visit it and see her work and mine: https://www.jannieledardglassart.com/

SSL – Eight Reasons to Implement SSL Encryption Now

This is the logo for Hannah West Design, web designer to artists, logo designed by Hannah West © 2000-2016 Hannah WestSSL padlock icon

Hannah West Design Now Secure!

Hannah West Design is now secured with a brand new SSL certificate! On January 14, we migrated www.hannahwestdesign.com to a new hosting service. This is NameCheap hosting, which we want to try out on behalf of our starving artist clients to find out if hosting service compares well to other hosts who don’t have the same affordable pricing.

In addition, Google is now promoting sites that are protected with SSL encryption and demoting those without it by placing an “Unsecured Site” flag (similar to the “This site might be hacked” flag we sometimes see) next to any website which does not have SSL. This is part of a widespread movement to encrypt the web (Learn more at Let’sEncrypt.org). With that in mind, we decided to make the switch to SSL encryption at the same time. As a result, our updated address is https://www.hannahwestdesign.com. We’re proud of that beautiful green padlock displaying in the address bar now!

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. A correctly installed SSL certificate encrypts all information transmitted to and from your website. This protects your private information when visiting the site, from which pages you visit to sharing to submitting contact forms to purchasing online. Websites with contact forms, login pages, online shops, etc. can all benefit from the added security provided by this encryption. Visitors will feel more secure interacting with your site, which is a huge bonus. Importantly, each certificate comes with a guarantee, so if a malicious entity subjects you to liability for damage to a visitor, you will receive a settlement form the certificate issuer. This amount varies with the level of certificate used, but starts at $10,000.

There was a time when conventional wisdom said that applying SSL to an entire website would make its pages load more slowly. However, recent advice from numerous experts in the field now assures us that the opposite is now true. And we are seeing our website load with a bit more spring in its step today…the ultimate proof.

Implementing SSL

The process of implementing SSL can be simple and painless, but it can also be rather harrowing. For me it was somewhere in between those extremes. I have been through this before on client sites as well. While some need extra attention for various reasons, most of the time it’s complete—including all the content tweaks needed for that lovely green padlock to display—in 2–4 hours.

To increase your standing with the search engines, additional tasks are necessary. Once the SSL is in place, we need to make adjustments in Google Webmaster Tools so they can direct traffic to the secure version of your site. We also need to adjust your Google Analytics account so traffic stats will continue to be collected accurately.

Pricing and Other Requirements

Many things related to SSL certificates have changed in the last couple of years. For one thing, they used to be very expensive. While prices for certificates to protect sites that don’t involve e-commerce have become quite affordable, there are now free certificates available from Let’s Encrypt. The catch is that not all hosts have a quick and easy way to install them and the process of doing it manually can take a good deal of time. Furthermore, some hosts—like Ipower—refuse to allow third-party certificates to be installed on their servers. While we could have used Cloudflare on our site, we opted for a Comodo Positive SSL certificate, which NameCheap offers for only $1.99 the first year. Renewals are a very reasonable $9.00/year with discounts for advance purchase up to three years. That’s a big discount from the same certificate on Ipower ($31.99) and Bluehost’s for $4.17/month. What’s the catch? You have to have your website hosted with NameCheap too. Also very inexpensive, so definitely worth considering.

Previously you had to have a dedicated IP address (the numerical equivalent of your web address) for an SSL certificate. This meant you had to have private hosting (expensive) or pay a monthly fee of $4.99-6.99 PER MONTH to have a dedicated IP added to your otherwise reasonably-priced shared hosting. Because unique IP addresses have become more and more rare, this prerequisite has been lifted by many certificate issuers and hosts. Instead, they tie the certificate identity to the domain instead of the server IP. All this has made SSL encryption more affordable to the average website owner. The benefits are greater now too.

Benefits of SSL Encryption

Some hosts provide free SSL certificates, but most do not. These free certificates may have downsides you’d rather not deal with. We found that Bluehost’s free SSL, issued by Comodo, only covers the root domain (https://your-domain.com) and NOT the www version. Big problem for sites installed with www.your-domain.com addresses. We can avoid this with the use of Cloudflare. Though it’s a completely different setup, their free certificate will cover both the bare domain and the www version. Entry-level SSL certificates have become much more affordable than they once were, too.

I’m ready to begin helping others to make this important change as well. I’ve learned the ins and outs of what is possible and what is not on several hosts. I can inform you of your options and advise you on which is the best choice for the money.

If you’re not sure you even want to deal with this undertaking or not, please consider the benefits:

  1. Receive payments through your ecommerce website – Most payment gateways now require SSL, even PayPal
  2. Give your visitors greater confidence in the security of their transactions, interactions with your site, and personal information
  3. Limit liability for identity theft
  4. Boost page load times
  5. Greater protection from hackers
  6. Prevent unknown people snooping on activity to and from your website
  7. Boost your SEO
  8. Participate in the movement to encrypt the entire web

Are you ready to apply SSL to your own website and enjoy these benefits? Please contact me!

Distributed Denial of Service DDoS Attack Alert

DDoS Attack Alert

DNS (Domain Name Server) provider Dyn.com is currently under heavy DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) which has affected many well known brands across the Internet including Amazon, Netflix, Reddit, Paypal and many others.
This morning one of my clients wrote to tell me her site was down. Fortunately it came back up fairly quickly and is fine now. However, the widespread DDoS attack which is currently underway may affect your site if you use dyn.com for DNS or if you use any service, like Paypal, that uses DynDNS.
The larger providers seem to have worked quite quickly to mitigate this attack, but it is ongoing so it’s important that you’re aware of it and carefully monitor your website during this time.
While it is a priority to protect every website I create with reasonable security measures, when there is an attack on your domain name provider there is little we can do but check in with your domain name registrar and ask them to estimate how long it will be before they can bring their service—and therefore, your own website—back online. Please contact me if you are having trouble with your website today.

More Information

Security provider Wordfence has posted on their blog with more information about this type of attack HERE.

Bulletproof Security Pro + Donate to Security Plugin Developers for the Holidays

My clients know I’m always concerned about security for their websites. It’s an ongoing and fluid situation, with new threats being identified constantly. I have used the free version of the BulletProof Security plugin with great results, but it doesn’t cover everything, and a new threat to content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and others that was identified late last year is on the upswing, with millions of attacks cloaking even more attempts to discover user naems and passwords so they can log in to your website, install malware in the code, and then use it for malicious purposes. I’m recommending that all my clients and anyone else concerned about the security of their WordPress site now upgrade to the Pro version of Bulletproof Security. It’s only $69.95, and will save you more than that if your site is hacked even once! If you don’t know what to do after making a purchase, contact me and I will help you get it installed and configured properly. Learn more and buy Bulletproof Security Pro here:
BPS Pro Learn More

 

On a related note, I install at least two security plugins on every website I build and/or maintain. All plugin developers work incredibly hard to create plugins that will enhance the functionality of your website, and the developers of  security plugins deserve much more than mere kudos for their work. You may not know how effective their work is, because I insulate you from the day to day security notifications that come from some of these plugins, but believe me, I get hundreds of security notifications, alerts and warnings every single day. Most of them have an optional Donate button or link in the plugin’s admin area. Some of their plugin users actually make a monthly donation to them to reward their work and make it possible for them to continue improving their code, which you should consider doing as well. Even if you don’t want to step up to the plate with a monthly donation, however, PLEASE…the holidays are coming, and these guys need to know how much you value their efforts to keep your website safe! If you can’t make a donation to the developers of all the free plugins in use on your website, please send a generous gift to those who have created the security plugins that protect your website night and day!

New Website for Veronica Thomas

Veronica was introduced to me by Boni de Laire, whose website I reconstructed in June 2014 and have maintained since then. Originally from South Africa, Veronica has lived in the States for the past 15 years. Since moving to Oregon she has been realizing her dream of becoming an artist, focusing on oil painting. When the opportunity to attend an exclusive painting workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona, arose, Veronica started looking for ways to earn some extra money to cover her travel expenses, and friends agreed to host an art salon at their home in mid-April. Mentor Boni insisted that a new website for Veronica Thomas was a must at this critical juncture, and that it be completed by the time the art salon took place so she would have an online promotional tool to work with. That’s where I entered the picture.

 

When the three of us sat down to discuss the project, I showed them the last site I had completed, www.michaelcarpenterart.com. Veronica liked it so much she went straight for a similar design using the same theme, Divi, by Elegant Themes. As with all my other clients, Veronica’s site was equipped with a full suite of plugins for search engine optimization, page loading speed, social sharing, and of course security to protect the website and its visitors.

 

One of the fun things we incorporated was a Google font with a special effect, accomplished with a css styling trick. Veronica wanted the headings to match the branding on the invitation mailers, flyers, and business cards that her daughter Chloe had developed for her. It wasn’t available as a Google font, but they wree able to find one that was so similar one can hardly tell it’s not the same. The other challenge was that Veronica wanted the header with the effect on the home page, but without the effect on all the other pages. Not only was I able to pull this off successfully, but the research and the execution went very quickly, so it wasn’t a spendy experiment either. I love how my clients push me to learn new things with their challenges! Another arrow in my quiver…

 

The one sticky part of the Divi theme seems to be the banner space. It’s a bit unpredictable how much of an image will appear in this space in a desktop browser, yet the entire image will show in a mobile browser.  I can do quite a bit of customizing, but it’s still tricky. Chloe is proficient with image editing and social media, so she was a huge help in this regard. In the end, our collaboration again resulted in a new website for Veronica Thomas in which we all take a considerable amount of pride. It was completed and launched well before her deadline, Veronica sold enough paintings at her art salon to help cover her expenses during the workshop in Scottsdale, and she is now busily absorbing all the new information she possibly can in Arizona! We will be doing the first update on her site once she returns to indicate which paintings have been sold. Meanwhile, here are screenshots of Veronica’s new website as launched on April 17, 2015. You can click these to view larger versions, and there is a link to the live website in the paragraph below.

 

veronicathomasart.com, new website for artist Veronica Thomas created and launched in April 2015 by Hannah West using a customized version of the Divi theme.
Website created for artist Veronica Thomas in April 2015 by Hannah West.
Screenshot of Veronica's Bio page, showing the difference in the heading style from the Home page
Screenshot of Veronica’s Bio page, showing the difference in the heading style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit Veronica’s website and help it gain momentum with viewers online and the search engines. Her artwork is beautiful and, from children to wildlife and still life to plein air landscapes, she paints such a wide variety of subjects that it took eight portfolio categories to accommodate them all! Her site is another beautiful example of how the Divi theme can be customized for various purposes. If you would like to see examples of how I have used and customized Divi in other projects, click the links in the sidebar for fashion jewelry designer www.wendygell.com (including e-commerce shop), portfolio galleries of landscapes in oil at www.michaelcarpenterart.com, soft and lovely watercolor portfolios at www.judybuswell.com, presentations for harp strings and related products and information at markwoodstrings.com and the spectacular Mountain Glen Harps website, with one of the most amazing home pages I’ve made to date. This last one is a great way to see what’s possible with Divi.

 

If you like Divi’s flexibililty but would like to see an alternative, I have used a similar, and very popular, premium theme called Avada which I purchased at Theme Forest to create www.jacksonvillechiropracticclinic.com (very professional and takes advantage of numerous shortcodes in the design), and the gorgeous nonprofit ecommerce site www.missioncandles.com, probably the most beautiful site I’ve created yet. I enjoy working with both of these themes and though there are many themes out there I’d love to play with, I do hope to use the truly premium quality Avada again in the near future.

 

Friends take care of friends and extend the family. I’m so happy to have gotten to know Veronica and look forward to an ever-deepening friendship with her. Many grateful thanks to my dear friend and talented artist Boni dé Laire for referring Veronica to me! Please visit Boni’s website to see her amazing landscapes in oil. You will not be disappointed, they are truly spectacular and we will be adding a new painting soon!

 

New website for Michael Carpenter

One of the things I like about my work is that I’m often asked to update or create a new website for an artist who has just moved into my area. It’s a great way to make new friends and keep a finger on the pulse of the arts. Creating a new website for Michael Carpenter in March/April 2015 was one of those “welcoming committee” assignments. Michael Carpenter and his lovely wife lived in Portland for much of Michael’s professional career as a successful graphic designer. They have spent a good deal of time in California and New Mexico since he retired and began devoting his time to the fine art oil painting that fired his passion for art as a young man. They moved here recently, and decided it was time for Michael to establish a presence online. Many thanks to artist and plein air painter Norm Rossignol for referring Michael to me!

 

Michael is not an emerging artist. His experience, skill and diligent study as well as a very refined eye are evident in all his work, so building a new website for him was a real treat for an artist and art enthusiast like me. I prepared a total of 77 images for this project, 36 images of original oil paintings for the website and the rest, images of paintings that are now only available as prints for Michael’s promotional use. That was a LOT of eye candy to soften the technical end of the work for me! And it felt good to be protecting them with the addition of internal metadata and a visible copyright/website address to each image. A little cropping and adjusting to the images themselves was required, though not too much as they were in very good shape when they came to me. A total of about 15 minutes per image on average to make them fully web-worthy and ready to add.

 

On the technical end, Michael’s site was built with a complete suite of plugins chosen for various back end functionalities, including a complete security setup, search engine optimization, Google analytics, and caching for consistent performance and page loading speed. More too, but surely that is boring to most readers. What’s not boring at all are the three portfolio galleries of his paintings, displaying his work in Still Life, Landscapes and Waterscapes categories. His home page displays a few images from each category to give you an idea of what you will find as you continue to explore the site. These image galleries are presented in the new “masonry” style, which I’m very grateful for as it shows each image in its entirety—no unpredictable cropping that deprives visitors of a glance at each painting in its fullness before clicking to view and enlargement. A bio page to learn more about the artist, a customized CV page which includes his shows, distinctions and awards, and a contact page round out the presentation on Michael Carpenter’s new website.

 

Michael’s site received a fair amount of attention when it came to customizing the theme. By default a white background and very modular, the newer Divi theme by Elegant Themes is becoming very popular with my clients for its very nice portfolio layouts. These don’t come with the theme by default, but are available in a separate download if you look hard enough for it. Divi is also a responsive theme, so Michael would emerge on the internet ready for Mobilegeddon with a theme that looks fabulous on both desktop and mobile devices. Michael chose a deep green background with black banner areas and gold text, adding custom gold accents to the theme itself as well. What a great call! The site looks very elegant and refined, and quite masculine without being “strong.” An effective, subtle and understated setting for his wonderful paintings. We “lifted” his signature from a painting and turned it into a site logo and customized a number of additional elements throughout the theme.

 

Even the parallax site banner, which opens the site with an accompanying quote from the artist, got a lot of scrutiny and adjustments before it was just right. We had to make some compromises on this important detail due to the difference in how its displays on mobile and desktop browsers. No one really likes making that kind of compromise, but when we were finished Michael was satisfied that it looked the best it could across the range of device sizes. In the end our collaboration resulted in a beautiful new website for Michael Carpenter that we are both proud to present. Where’s the champagne?!

 

New website, new friends…without any further adieu, here’s a glimpse of Michael’s new website home page, and a few features that people interested in a new website might like to see. You can click therse for a larger image, but please take a little bit of time to visit the live site at www.michaelcarpenterart.com, enjoy all his paintings, and inspect the various features of the website. Who knows, you might find a painting you can’t live without! If you’re an artist, particularly if you paint en plein air, you will find much of interest in his work to be inspired by. Thanks so much for entrusting me with this project, Michael!

Screenshot of www.michaelcarpenterart.com homepage, created by Hannah West Design in April 2015
Screenshot of www.michaelcarpenterart.com homepage, launched April 2015
Curriculum Vitae page. www.michaelcarpenterart.com
Curriculum Vitae page, www.michaelcarpenterart.com