I am working on putting out a website and would appreciate any suggestions for it. I have never done one before. I am doing it to give possible students info about my teaching mostly. Thanks in advance Bruce
This is it, so far:
One specific question is my use of "violinmastery.org"
There already is a "violinmastery.com" Do you think I should change the url? Also, is the use of "org" appropriate?
I had good results with godaddy.com, it cost about $200/yr, but you can build it yourself so you don't have to pay like $3000 for a developer.
If you already own the URL I'd say keep it. Using ".net" would have been my 2nd choice after ".org," but considering your "cred" You are fine.
“.org” is useful if you are an organisation. But really I don’t think it matters.
It looks pretty good. You might want to move the "Gallery" page (currently under the Lessons tab) to the top level and call it "Links" or "Videos". I would also suggest making the text on the home page slightly smaller so that it all appears, without scrolling, when the page is first opened. On my computer, it all showed up fine in Firefox but in Chrome and Edge, I had to scroll to get to the box containing "Now accepting students... ." If you haven't already done so, it's a good idea to download as many browsers as possible (Chrome, Firefox, Safari if on Mac, Edge if on Windows) and look at your website on each of them to make sure it looks the way you want in each one. Hope this helps.
Hi Bruce, you've asked for opinions so here they come! I hope you will recognize that I have nothing but respect and admiration for you and I would be delighted if your new venture were a smashing success.
Personally, I wouldn't use the .org designation. In most cases, it signifies a non-profit or non-commercial organization. Since you are charging for your services and not an organization, it doesn't make sense. People may expect you to be a charity. I would change to something like .net or do a combo like brucebergviolin
Bruce, you've got a great start but in addition to what others have said, I have the following things for you to think about. My web-site is nothing fancy, it's mostly text-based. However I frequently get either phone calls or e-mails which begin "I found your web-page and want to ask you about . . ." I also get cold-call e-mails from underemployed web-designers suggesting that my web-site stinks and is out-dated and in need of modernizing, which they will be happy to do for a fee. My reply to them is that my web-page is generating business for me while theirs obviously isn't generating enough income for them which is why they feel the need to try to get additional business by insulting my web-site. So whether my web-site is glorious or glamorous (it's neither!) is immaterial if it loads quickly on all devices and says what it needs to say and gets results.
I'm a director of a web development company and my day job is writing software for web applications:
Depending on your browser, click on top where it says View then click on View Source, or right-click on a page and select View Page Source. You're looking for Source code.
Just to say that like Paul, I get black areas instead of pictures, using either Chrome or Edge.
It might be easier to setup a WorePress (free) on your domain and customize to your taste, than build everything from ground up.
That's why I recommended godaddy, because it works on all the browsers, doesn't need any HTML, and with the proper setup works on all mobile phones as well. Also can get you security setup, and advertises your website to google search included in the cost for business website.
My thinking about putting together your own "professional" website is that you have two choices. Hire someone who knows how to do it properly, in a way that will work across platforms, browsers, and devices -- or use one of those services that has a "build your own site" feature where you just choose a template and drop content into it because those are generally fairly idiot-proof. Weebly or WordPress come to mind, but GoDaddy has a service like that too (as Lyndon has mentioned). My understanding is that those "web-site-builder tool" applications are already pre-tested across browsers and mobiles. If you are writing your own HTML code to position content on the page -- then I think you're doomed from the get-go. It's quite a learning curve to get that right. If you go with a pro service, it's only going to be affordable if you buy one of their canned packages anyway -- something they've already designed for someone else and can tweak it (colors, proportions) in a few minutes to give it a veneer or originality.
Would recommend Godaddy or Wordpress over Facebook if for no other reason than accessibility. Only people with Facebook accounts can see most of Facebook's content. I'm in a minority, but I refuse to have a Facebook account. Consequently I'm locked out of there. Facebook has tried and largely succeeded in taking over the internet. Resist.
For me the thing that really made Godaddy worth the price is the 24/7 tech support, plus the have the security service so you have a secure site, and they offer to advertise your site to the google search engines, so your site gets picked up by google fast.
Hey, Thanks! I appreciate all the input! Keep it coming. I did what is there using Wix, and to reiterate I feel like I am on Book One (Lightly Row) in web creation. This gives me something to delve into since I am 72 and recently retired. How would I put this onto the site?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7DXcgIx3Ks
First off you get written permission to use that video of your student on your web-site. You'll need written permission from Baylor University plus most likely also from the conductor as well as your student. Second you look in the help dialogs that come with Wix about how to embed either a video or a link to a video.
"they offer to advertise your site to the google search engines, so your site gets picked up by google fast" - oldest snake oil salesman's trick in the book.
I realize that learning HTML code isn't for everybody and in that case I definitely recommend working with a professional web-designer who understands SEO (search-engine optimization) from the start and will use tools that guarantee success on any browser.
One more thing Bruce -- you need to change the name of your home page. What shows up in the tab for your web-site in my Opera browser is "Home|Mysite" - that tells me nothing and if I have 10 tabs open and want to find yours again I won't know which tab it is. Change it to something like Bruce Berg Violin.
Tony Leatham, that's BS, my godaddy site got picked up fast by google with high visibility, a self made site has no ability to generate exposure to google.
It might be valuable to have someone else proofread the text on the website (the proofreader may need to print hard copies from the site). The proofreader should check basic grammar and mechanicals and ensure that the typography is consistent across the site, and that all links work correctly.
The font is difficult to read. Experiment with different ones. This is a little too serif. I don't know if that makes sense or not. White on black is definitely on trend, but not in big text blocks like this.
Lyndon Taylor, rarely have I heard such abject nonsense so confidently uttered. GoDaddy don't have some voodoo magic with which to introduce a site to google, they do not give you some divine advantage over "self-made" sites.
Yeah and you charge way way more than godaddy, so why should I believe you??
Lyndon, do foxtrot oscar
Lyndon, by that logic, why should anyone buy a nice antique violin for thousands of dollars when they can buy a 50 dollar one from ebay?
the OP seems to want to build his own website, I'm just telling him one of the best ways to do that, if you have thousands of dollars to finance a professionally built website, go for it, I didn't, and I'm just telling what worked for me
Wix is a good building tool but you don't seem to have really used it as effectively as possible. If you're not conversant with site design, Wix does have a service where you can work with someone at a modest rate to build a site tailored to your needs.
At a basic level, a website is used as advertising. It tells potential clients about your services. It can also be used for other aspects, such as scheduling lessons, distributing music, video conferencing, teaching tools, etc. I will focus on advertising.
I agree with others that your .org domain name is fraught with problems you just don't need. "brucebergviolin.com" is unique to you. I can understand Kurt Sassmannshaus not wanting to use his name, but that's because nobody can spell it. I suggest pushing the "easy button" on this one.
I just saw Michael Berger's comment about companies paying money and Google having special spaces for them.
What I understand companies like Godaddy do to increase visibility of your website is to repeatadly search for your website with bots?? to sort of trick google into thinking your site is popular. What I notice when I look at my godaddy websites hits, about 97% of the hits are not real customers. All I know is my website soon went straight to the top of the list when I search for violin shop -_______ in my local area.
Lyndon, there are lies, damned lies and consumer web hosting company lies - and the latter are the most invidious.
its pretty damn obvious you view Godaddy as a competitor so we have to take all your denigration with a grain of salt!!
Lyndon, seriously, stop trolling. What I see here is one guy who has a credential in the web industry and one who has a credential in antique violins. I think I know whose responses I would prefer to trust on each of these topics.
I wouldn't post this just to be cheeky but you may want to check on this, Lyndon:
There's an entire industry focused on search-engine optimization (SEO), usually focused on helping businesses figure out how to get higher organic search-engine placement. Some SEO techniques are shady. Some legitimate tactics become shady when manipulated -- for instance, buying cross-links.
Urban theres a new policy that I have to refresh my website every 90 days, hadn't noticed that, anyway here's my website www.taylorsfineviolins.com its working fine now and it is a secure site, I pay for the SSL certificate
Sigh. Lyndon, GoDaddy are not a competitor of mine.
As I mentioned, search engine optimization has changed drastically over the years. First there were no ads. Then there were some ads. Now there are all kinds of special listings that can take up most of the page. Listings for videos (many of which are on YouTube which google owns) listings for books, products for sale, etc. For some searches, the organic listings are far down, and not enticing. Even the organic listings I am highly suspicious of. A secret formula huh. Yeah. No money changes hands, yup. None of the people at google are on the take, etc. Even putting aside the conspiratorial aspect. this is not the old web. It is about big business and money. I assume they factor such things as server response time, etc. It costs money to have edge servers with fast times. The big companies do. For a little guy it does not make sense.
MichaelGoogle gained a march on the other search engines by handling far more sites than they did. As far as user-friendliness of the search engine is concerned, Google is comparatively inflexible - Ask (Ask Jeeves) is probably the best from that point of view.
My goodness! I didn't realize my question would stir up so much controversy. I am taking a good amount of advice to heart.
Your ideal students need to be able to find you when they search. Your site needs to show up in the first 5-10 results, because most people won't scroll and click to page 20 to find you. Search Engine Optimization should be designed into your site's source code from the beginning. It's too hard to add it to a badly coded site after the fact.
Michael wrote, "You asked about the name violinmastery.org. Ordinarily if a .com already exists with the same name, I would advise against the use of the .org. The .com owner could even try to litigate."
Two-fingered? My goodness! https://youtu.be/ociwHSCzRQU
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