This month’s case study is focusing on one of the participants I’ve been working with over the last few months and her journey with the Positive People project. I met Hannah at the end of January/beginning of February to discuss the support available on the project and what she would like from us. Hannah is an artist, a talented one at that, with a focus on animal portraits. She has sold many pieces worldwide. Hannah wanted help to design and create a working website that she could use to publicize and promote her art to a wider audience along with reaching more potential customers and increasing new commissions and sales of existing artwork through prints.

We chose to use the Wix website builder tool (www.wix.com) because it is a popular platform with good levels of customer support. It offers a free version along with a good number of different priced subscription tiers for added functionality and removal of adverts. It’s easy to navigate in comparison to some others such as WordPress, is well laid out, easy to understand and make changes to. This is especially important once our project support ends and Hannah needs to administer and manage the site herself.

We started with a Wix website template rather than starting completely fresh with a blank page. Using a template can help focus on what things are liked and what’s not. We quickly began to make changes to the font, colours and content to suit Hannah’s style and likes. During these initial sessions we also focused on the structure and layout of the website. The type of pages and information and content to use on them. Hannah was able to choose and upload images of her artwork that she wanted on the website to her Wix library.

At later sessions we looked at domain names and hosting subscription packages with Wix to see what suited her best. Hannah already owned the domain name www.pastelpaintings.com but this was purchased via another provider and we needed to transfer this across to the new Wix platform. This wasn’t easy and initially took a couple of attempts to get the right data and requests in place with both providers. A few phone calls and it’s now all sorted.

Then halfway through our work together the Covid19 pandemic struck and the UK was placed in lockdown. This was a massive change to the way we interact and our initial face to face meetings and training sessions had to be stopped and replaced with remote phone and video calls. This has been a steep learning curve for both of us and not something that is easy to collaborate on remotely, but something Hannah has taken in her stride. We now regularly meet up online using Zoom video app which allows us to share our screens when discussing ideas and making changes to the website. Away from our meetings we both work on the website to get it built. I focus on some of the more technical elements and large bulk work, whilst Hannah is able to make changes to her logo, layout, images, wording, fonts, background & header/footer colours etc.

The website is still a work in progress but is coming together nicely as we near completion and publishing to the public domain. We still have some elements to work on such as the process and information needed for customers to purchase prints and place commission orders, some checks to automated emails sent to customers, and the formatting and layout of the website when displayed on a mobile device, and Hannah is working on some wording for each page.

Once the website is live Hannah will be updating it with new artwork and evolving the functionality as needed. It’s often the way that websites continue to develop with feedback from customers and use of the in-built analytics that Wix offer (other analytic service providers are available) to gauge what pages customers visit most/first and which ones they don’t stay on for long. This information can help website owners to adjust their pages accordingly to better meet customer’s needs.

Hannah will be blogging about her own work on the website which I’m really looking forward to seeing in the future. If you are in the market for a portrait of your own pet, or would like to purchase some amazing prints of Hannah’s work I can highly recommend paying pastelpaintings website a visit once live at www.pastelpaintings.co.uk.

Hannah has been really pleased with the support Positive People have been able to provide. In her own words she says it’s been “Excellent and I like the progress of the website so far. I can’t thank Positive People enough and will recommend you for your hard work” 😊 I’ve enjoyed working with Hannah too and can’t wait to see the finished website go live.