Wednesday, May 22, 2013

T-shirt website discussion - Back to basics

Screen printing is an old craft that goes waaaaaay back to the imperial dynasties of the Chinese. I am pretty sure that screen printing was used for many things that we don't even know about and still somehow we go back to these same methods today, thousands of years later. There is no shame in doing something that uses ancient techniques and now I am applying that same principle to creating a few new webpages. I am upset at not being able to decide on which shopping cart is the best for a t-shirt business and since the shopping cart is essentially the website, I have been stuck on redesigning some of my focused websites. MarinShirt.com is an example of an unresolved shopping cart problem. Today I went down and sat in Sausalito to get some inspiration for t-shirt designs that will relate to the area and decided I just need to put up a site and skip trying to make it have a uniform or modern look and just add the shopping cart later.

Without destroying all the old links, I placed a backup link to the old front page and then wrote in the most basic html ever the code for links relating to t-shirt pages that I already have up. I am not proud of the design, but I am trying to get past the smoke and mirrors of web design and just deal with the fact that all a webpage really is, is just images and text. A shopping cart is a code that links to a payment system after the fact. The fact is that the potential viewer has to find a page and see the image and the text, no more, no less. Large images are becoming dominant as if they are a design in and of themselves. Personally I like the idea of using a webpage as a gallery, but I haven't bought into a large photo as being web design.

My goal for MarinShirt.com is to develop a niche market for the local crowd and sell some printed designs that truly represent the area in order to support my boating activities in San Francisco Bay. First I need a static webpage that isn't tied to a shopping cart that has all the basic information about my designs. Keep an eye on this page as my example of a web site that will in the end be compatible with some shopping cart or credit card payment system, but the website should not have to wait for the cart, nor be committed to the cart as if it was owned by the server it runs on.

The information I will be providing on these webpages is valuable to the viewer because it will either save them money on t-shirts and screen printing. It's like secret information that you can get elsewhere, but it is better if it is delivered in secretive packaging. This value should get my content indexed through Google, as long as it is relevant to what people want. Now that I have learned that templates may be the equivalent of duplicate content I am afraid to format anything, just like I am afraid to commit to shopping carts. This leaves only one compatible format and that is text based webpages that are sparsely decorated with images.

Speed is also relevant on SEO and indexing, so by having simple pages I should be able to keep the speed of my pages up. I was thinking about how a webpage is sort of like a hot rod and speed enhancements would be a great way to make things faster. But you nothing is faster than basic text and until a search engine decides indexing based on style elements, then a basic web page may even be more successful than a cluttered one. I have no facts to back this up, but with the exception of popularity, a page of only words, just text strings, would have to read quicker than a page filled with a bunch of meta tags and triggers, codes and scripts providing invisible options.

1 comment:

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