Strikingly

Strikingly is a relatively new entrant to the field of stress-free website building. 

You may have noticed a trend online for single page websites - ones which present content in a long, scrollable, format.  Strikingly does that for you, and very well indeed.

If you are looking for a compact and professional web presence, which you can put together in minutes, without any knowledge of coding or the inner workings of web design, then this is worth a look.

Registration is free and fast.  You then have a selection of excellent templates to chose from.  All of them are filled with dummy content so you can get an idea of how they will look and function once you replace that with your own material.  What is very useful here is that there is a good degree of customisation ranging from swapping predefined colours across the template, to adjusting fonts and images.

All of the ‘mechanics’ are taken care of so your site will scroll smoothly between pages or you can use simple navigation ‘buttons’ to jump to specific sections.

Editing is remarkably simple - just click on a text box and type.  Click save and the site updates.  Images are equally easy to deal with - again simply click on the image you want to change and drag a new one into your browser window, or select any of the editing tools to crop, resize or adjust.

Pages in the template can be reordered using ‘drag and drop’, you can rename them, hide them from the navigation menus or delete them.  There are also a whole rage of extra pages you can include, edit and rearrange.

The finished sites display the calm and sophisticated presentation we now expect from professional presentations.  Images and text  ‘slide and fade’ into place as you scroll.

Multiple Views - getting noticed


All the sites made with Strikingly are responsive and automatically adjust themselves to display well on desktop monitors, tablets and phones.  You can test these views with a single click and make any adjustments needed immediately.

Google recently changed its ranking system for websites to favour mobile-friendly sites (April 2015) and that is what you will get if you use this system without having to worry about it.  There are also some valuable setting options to help make your new site visible to search engines.

Packages

When you consider that all of this is free and with such a level of elegant design detail, it makes it an excellent choice.  Your free account gives you an unlimited number of sites (which even in this world of ‘fremium’ business models is unusual.  You also receive 5GB of monthly Bandwidth which is enough for most people to start.  Your web address would be www.yourname.strikingly.com

If you would like to use your own domain name (see our guide here) you can upgrade to a paid version with extra bandwidth and services.  This is around $8 per month or, if you buy two years up front it drops to $7.00.  Their top of the range package costs $16.00 per month or $14.00 for two years and for that you get unlimited bandwidth, removal of the Strikingly name from your sit and other facilities.  Switching plans seems an option they are happy to support (with some restrictions)  and if you have a college email address you can get 3 months of the top package for free.

We tested out the free version, used the image and text editors, changed pages, moved them around and can honestly say it is one of the simplest and most elegant systems we have used.  You can see what we put together in a few minutes at www.welikeartists.strikingly.com

If you need a professional, modern and functional site, which is simple to launch and update, then visit www.strikingly.com



A Manifesto

Strikingly has a manifesto which suggests a level of interest and support not normally found in online businesses.  We have included their main comments here as they connect remarkably well with those of our own site and suggest a respect for the creative individual which appears to go beyond the ‘hard sell’.

  • We believe that every human being is by nature creative and entrepreneurial.
  • We believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.
  • We believe in the promise of the Internet to empower everyone.

We were a little unsure just where to categorise Strikingly as it is actually a single page system and we do have a category for that, but based on the fact that this is more sophisticated website builder we have included it in websites.

CargoCollective

CargoCollective is an interesting service in that they offer you elegant and sophisticated websites for free but on a curated basis - you have to apply and be approved.

This is very different from most of the free website and portfolio services we feature on WeLikeArtists.com  The advantage is that the quality of sites, and the artists who present their work on them, is very high.  We asked them what their assessment criteria were, but didn't hear back from them, so it is anyone's guess.

Launched in 2009, it has some longevity and aims to host the work of "..the most talented individuals currently publishing their work online".  They offer a free service (once you have been accepted into the collective) which lets you present up to 12 projects.  If you would like more control, be able to adapt the code and also show more works you can upgrade to a more sophisticated package for £44.00 per year.

One of our previously featured artists, Katrine Brosnan has been using them for a while and is really pleased with the platform.  She had previously used WordPress but wanted something simple to navigate and CargoCollective provided that.

 

 

You can have a look at Katrine's site here: www.katrinebrosnan.co.uk  She has purchased her own domain name and connected it to her Cargo Collective site.

If you want to be part of a curated community and have a clear art background, it is probably worth applying for a site.

www.cargocollective.com

Professional Web address

How to set up Web forwarding*

If you have your own website, it is likely that your professional domain name is already connected to that site but, if you are just starting out, and have set up a free website, online portfolio or blog, the address you have been given may well be so long and complicated that no one will be able to remember it, let alone type it into a web browser without making a mistake.

It would be much more professional (and simpler for your visitors) if they had a short and simple address to remember. Here you can use your new professional domain name.

Let's say you registered the domain name www.fredbloggs.co.uk and you have just set up a website at one of the free sites such as Yola.com.  Your new (free) web address might be http://mygreatnewsiteonline.yolosite.com - not particularly memorable or professional. It would be better if it was www.fredbloggs.co.uk.

HOW TO DO IT

Log into your Heart Internet account and select the “Manage Domain Names” icon.

Click on “Web Forwarding”. You now have two options: “Configure Automatic Redirect” and “Configure Framed Redirect”. Each does the same thing differently.

For a more professional image, select the “Configure Framed Redirect” option.

In the empty box after the ‘http://’ fill in your full website address. In our example, this would be "mygreatnewsiteonline.yolosite.com".

Add your name in the “Title bar text” box so that it appears at the top of each browser window.

You can then add a short “meta tag” description which is used by some search engines and displayed when they show you their search results.

The "keywords” section allows you to add words you think people might search for when looking for you on the Internet. These might be: your name, city, creative discipline, media, etc and will sometimes help search engines catalogue your site.

Click on the “Update Now” button and that’s it. It may take up to 24 hours for everything to become active so, after this time, type your professional web address into any web browser and see if it redirects to your chosen site.

ADVANTAGES

One great advantage of all this is that you can keep swapping your web redirection if you change your website provider or set up a new online portfolio or blog. It means that you don’t have to keep telling people you have a new site, they all know www.fredbloggs.co.uk and that will always redirect to the site you want them to see.


*Although this help page is based on setting up web forwarding with a domain name registered at Heart Internet, the process is very similar with other domain companies, so just adapt the information here or search your chosen company’s help section for advice specific to them.


Image by Liftarn (User created) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Published in Guides

Show your images in 3-D

Well - not REALLY 3-D but....

Wix, the free website provider, recently announced their '3-D' image galleries.

If you are thinking 'holographic' then think again.  However - they are offering an elegant 'graphic 3-D' animation to their online slideshows. You can include these in your website on their platform and offer visitors an animated slideshow.  This type of facility has been available on platforms like WordPress for quite some time but it is unusual to find it on a free service like Wix.

You can link any of the images to a specific page on your site

Change the animation speed and transition times between slides

Click on an image to expand it to its full size.

This might be just what you were looking for so, if you are thinking about setting up your own site to promote your work,  have a look at their examples here:  www.wix.com/lphtml/3d-galleries

  • Published in News
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Nottingham - UK - where we are made!