I have jumped over some learning hurtles and have begun building a wonderful place for us to play.
When I lived in San Francisco, I was smitten by the name of a really beautiful bookstore on Van Ness Avenue in the opera Plaza. It was called “A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books”.
Sadly, it closed in 2008, but the name will live forever with me. It was just cool and said it all.
I read several lifestyle magazines from the UK and Europe. In a review of a place in Manchester, England, called Fig+Sparrow, the shop was described as a “lovely place to linger”. I liked that too. (I think our pal, Vivian Aldridge, may have just visited that shop on her Great Britain Get-Away?)
Both of these phrases connote a place that someone has carefully curated so your visit will be wonderful.
The word “curated” is bandied about lately with great abandon. Curate means to carefully choose and arrange elements to create a most pleasing whole. Museum shows are curated. Events are curated. Some websites are curated, like Design Sponge, for example. My WOW! Gallery in Santa Fe is very carefully curated so my visitors have the best possible experience.
In my recent quest for mindfulness as a way of life, I came to realize that my online life was just as crazy, mixed-up, and messy as my real life. When things grow without an overall plan, that is what happens. I have websites and content all over the place. My blog is here, my workshops are there, my Sheer Heaven is everywhere, but soon to be nowhere, and my own artwork is missing in action.
On top of that, the software I have used to create my sites all these years is discontinued, and the amount I pay for hosting is silly.
What to do?
I want everything in one place and I want exciting content like slideshows, video, etc.
I started looking at website hosting sites that have it all, and found Squarespace.
Squarespace is not a social media place. It is a web host where you can build your site based on their design templates. There are other sites like this, but Squarespace is the most elegant.
When you think “template”, you think you can just plug your stuff into their pages, right?
Not on Squarespace. The templates are for show and tell and when you try to recreate one, all hell breaks loose (in my opinion anyway). But then, I have only been designing websites for 20 years, so what do I know?
I went to Amazon and bought a book called Squarespace for Dummies. I was too dumb for that one.
Went back to Amazon and bought a $43 book about Squarespace for smarter people. because there was none for dumber than Dummies.
Really lost in that one.
Squarespace drove me to drink!
I do like my glass of Chardonnay, but I’m talking about wanting to get a bottle of Jim Beam in a paper bag and sit on a curb somewhere!
I gave up and went to explore Wix and Weebly, which are other web building sites that are easier to plug and play.
But the price you pay for easy is freedom. There was not enough design flexibility for moi, and I didn’t like the look and feel as much.
So I drank a glass of chardonnay and returned to Squarespace.
I threw out every single template page, and started from scratch with a blank page.
Slowly, but surely, I was successful at creating some content by poking at it first, and referring to my Dummies and Smarties books when I needed to.
I am ready to show you just a peek. (I would show you more if there was more).
What is there now is a nice home page with slideshow and three blog posts – one with a slide show. There are places for you to leave comments and I hope you do. The blog is under “Magazine” in the menu.
This will give you a feel for what I want to build for us – a clean well-lighted place for creativity.
The link for now is a Squarespace one (below). I will move my JessicaWesolek.com domain when I have saved all the content of this blog so it won’t be lost.
Here is the link. Please let me know what you think.
If the slideshows don’t start automatically, click them.
Very nice so far!
Looking great! I share in your feeling of being overwhelmed when things are everywhere! I can’t function! I am not good at organizing my space anymore – too much stuff perhaps. I used to be good at it so it’s rather frozen me up. I’m glad to see you are sifting through and bringing it slowly together!
Love what I’m seeing on the new site. Keep it coming.
I like this format. Only thing is that the Photos, which are gorgeous, are too big and I have to scroll to see the whole thing. Not good especially when you spend so much effort on composition. Comparison between camera and ipad very informative.
I have taken several online courses from you and still refer to my pdf’s. I did the photo one when I got my first digital camera it was so helpful.
Here’s to Jessica’s new endeavor.
The site is what I expected from you—colorful, artsy, and displaying your many talents. I am already eagerly awaiting the new site. And I have been to many of them from the past! Hard to believe that I’ve been reading you since “Captured” or maybe even before….
Is there a way to make the photos automatically fit the size of the device’s screen? Like iPhones, iPads, computers? And a way to stop/start the slide show so you can read what was written? Perhaps these are already in your plans….
I do understand about SquareSpace. I had the same issues. For now, I have a cover page. I started with SquareSpace about 2 years ago for our other business. I couldn’t get the my web page published. I almost gave up. This year, 2 years later I attacked the problem again. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person with the same problem. So I read and read all that I could. Come to find out…the reason I couldn’t get the website up is because I had ‘www’ in front of my web page for publishing. I almost threw my computer out the window. Why couldn’t there have been some kind of language or clarification about that? Sheesh.
I agree that SquareSpace looks so professional. I need to get beyond the cover page so I can really show some stuff!
I love your site.
Cathy in AZ
Really like this new format. Looking forward to the development!!
Hey, Cathy Norton – about that Cover page. From what I could tell from my Dummies and Smarties books, what they call a “Cover Page” seems to have a lot of limitations. I couldn’t even understand how it would relate to anything else, so I skipped it. I think it might be safer to start with a blank page, make it your Home page and just don’t put any navigation for now – until you create the rest of the site.
Hi Jeanne – the site is responsive so should already resize for devices. I think the only problem is that I made the slide show photos too big to show all at once on laptops and desktop computers so I have to reduce them. You can stop the slideshow by clicking on any slide (at least that is supposed to be the case.) We will be testing and double testing, and, I can add thumbnails to the bottom of the slideshow so you can go to whatever slide and hold. working on it, girlfriend.
The cover page allows me to have a presence while I work on my site. You are correct that it is limited. If i choose to do so, I can use the cover page to be the front door to my website by using a button that links to the home page. Right now I have contact information, a few photos for the slide show and a link to my FB page. I’m still working on what I want to do with it. I just broke through my brain barrier with SquareSpace. It isn’t as east as they say….at least for me. Even with my limited progress, it still looks professional. Yeah!
Cathy in AZ
Looks good, Jessica! The responsive design (aka sized for the proportions of the device) seems to be working just fine for me on an iPhone 6s Plus.