Lori Garfield and I first met in 2010 when I taught a workshop on Photoshop for Artists at Rogue Gallery & Art Center. Later, we connected again when I did a presentation at a meeting of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists. In October 2014, she found herself ready for a new website to replace the original lorigarfield.com she had made at Google Sites. Compare the “before” version at the Internet Archive with the screenshot of her new home page below and I think you will agree we improved upon it greatly.
We set up Lori’s new hosting and pointed her domain there, set up a new email address (saving her the money she’d been spending for a custom email address at GoDaddy, where her domain was registered), installed WordPress and a lovely minimalist theme with great parallax features. We used the parallax background to showcase one of her favorite paintings, a portrait of Marion, a wolf who lives at Wolf Park, one of the animal charities Lori supports.
Lori’s existing gallery of her art images needed to look more professional and make better use of white space, and Lori needed to add several pieces. She also wanted to separate them into individual galleries. The galleries of her artwork were created with the default WordPress gallery function, styled with the tiled gallery option available in the Jetpack plugin by WordPress. I separated her images into four galleries which all appear on the same page with links at the top to make it easy for visitors to find what they want to see. Now the images are larger—crucial for an artist website—and when clicked, the enlargements are displayed in a WordPress carousel.
We added an Art Affairs page, which is a record of her art exhibitions, a Commissions page with detailed information about commissioning animal portraits, and a Giving Back page where she tells visitors about the animal charities she supports with a portion of the proceeds of all the sales of her paintings. A Contact page replaced the email link she had in her sidebar before, and we added a more recent picture of Lori to her About page while updating the text content a bit.
After setting up the security and search engine optimization, along with configuring the rest of her plugin suite, I set up redirects from the pages on her old website to the new to preserve her SEO rankings and keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly to her new site. Then the sleek, new lorigarfield.com was ready for Lori’s review. Just a few tweaks here and there, and she was ready to fly!
Everything went smoothly throughout this project, and when it was completed in November 2014, Lori wrote,”YIPPEE SKIPPEE Great job Hannah…Ohhh happy girl. Thank you!”