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Choosing The Right Images

Going to put it out there, on more than one occasion I have been given the most dreadful images and expected to include them in a website I’ve been designing. Really, the most beautiful websites can go from fab to drab in about 0.0012 milliseconds when you insert a poorly curated image. So I cannot stress enough the importance of good imagery. Consider your images carefully. As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words.

There are so many different things to consider when choosing images, so hopefully this post can give you some really practical advice for choosing images.

Firstly whenever I’m thinking about the images I want for a site, I start by listing what I want to communicate with the images. For example, if you were a tattoo artist, you’d want your images to show off your work obviously but you might also want to communicate that you are creative, that you have great attention to detail, that you’re cool or alternative etc etc. Your images need to be aspirational, you might want to include images of some of your coolest clients. That’s a fairly specific example but hopefully you get where I’m coming from. Some poorly thrown together images are not going to cut it in this particular circumstance. If the images that you used were out of focus or messy, it will communicate that you’re not careful of precise. No one wants to be tattooed by someone who is sloppy and messy!

Once you’ve decided what you want to communicate, you have two options, you can take your own images and edit them yourself/ hire a professional, or you can use stock images. This really depends on if you have a product or service you need to have pictures of or perhaps you’re website is a bit more abstract and you can use less personal stock imagery. I actually think using your own images is best, as it is way more authentic and gives you much more credibility, however saying that if you can’t take good pictures or you don’t have the budget for a professional then stock imagery can be a really good route to take.

Personally my favourite stock imagery site is unsplash.com they’re really great quality, their library is fairly extensive and many featured photographers have very thematic collections, giving your website a good feeling of continuity throughout. The downside to this is that unsplash is no secret and you see the same stock images cropping up across other sites. Another great stock image site is deathtothestockphoto.com this is slightly more underground and they send images directly to your inbox. Definitely worth signing up for, if that’s the route you’re going down.

There are a few other important things you need to consider with your images.They need to be at least 1000 pixels wide but the bigger the better really. If they’re smaller than this then they’ll be too low in resolution for your site and will look low in quality. Thanks to our inbuilt image smusher Skizzar automatically compresses your image making it perfect for websites without loosing quality. Which basically just means it loads quickly! (you’re welcome)

So remember this is probably one of the most important elements of your site! Invest the effort and time to get this right and your whole site will look better. Decide what you want to communicate and take time to make sure your images do that effectively.

Don’t forget to connect with us on our social networks, and in the interest of community spirit if you’ve used a photographer for your branding and you’re particularly happy with how it all turned out then give them a shout out on our Facebook group, the chances are you could help them to pick up additional clients and well, that’s just a nice thing to do really!

 

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Choosing Colours and Typography

Ok, so now we’re getting down to the pretty stuff, and by pretty, I mean pretty important. You know why… because this is how you build a consistent brand. Today we’ll be chatting to you about why these things are important and also give you some tips about how to change fonts and colours throughout your site.

So I’m going to just jump right in and say, if you have loads of different fonts and font sizes throughout your site, it will look messy. On the other hand, have just one font in one size throughout the whole of your website and it will look flat and boring. So it’s about getting the balance right. It’s good to use two or three different fonts and to ensure all headings or all buttons have the same font. Obviously because we’re great, we’ve done the hard work for you and grouped the text into four categories. Body, Headings, Menu Headings and Buttons. You can select fonts for the whole of your site, in one simple step. This means that your website will have continuity right across the board. This will help your site to look really professional and help to build your brand. You should make sure you use these fonts across absolutely all of your branding and mailouts. It will help your users to instantly recognise your brand. You can edit your fonts in the customiser, under site settings.

Not surprisingly then, colour has the same, no scratch that waaaaay more of an impact on your branding. So just like fonts you want to choose a palette of colours that represent what you’re about. Colour has an amazing impact on how people perceive your brand. For example green tones give an impression of being environmentally friendly, healthy etc. Whereas pink might be more fun and light hearted. Take a look at this article about the psychology of colour, if you haven’t already chosen the colours for your brand. You might want to add in a few more colours across your site, that perhaps don’t feature in your logo, or perhaps your logo is simply black or white. In that case I really recommend taking a look at coolors.co which can help you generate a scheme for your site. I love this site, I’ve used it loads and also recommended it to lots of other people and it’s really helpful in coming up with a scheme, you can copy and paste the hex codes onto your site and use them for backgrounds and buttons.

So once you start formatting these things across your site you’ll see it really coming together. I think formatting is the biggest difference between a site that looks great and a site that doesn’t. Consider if your headers are all centrally aligned or to the left, are your buttons all a solid colour or transparent? Ya catch my drift, this post is a gentle reminder that the devil is in the detail. It may only take you five minutes to go through your site and check, but it speaks volumes about who you are, what you’re brand is about and erm most importantly how awesome you are!

Hopefully you’ve found this post helpful, remember to check out coolor.co it’s a great site and can help you battle the minefield that is colour schemes! I am really excited to take a look at your site, feel free to share you site on the Facebook group once it’s live!

Also little side note. We really love to feature our clients across our social media and on blog posts, if you’d like to be considered for a feature, you can share your site and a little about yourself with us and we’d love to feature you across our network!

 

 

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How are you getting on?

Hey there newbies! So if you’ve just signed up, we thought we better check in and see how you’re doing? It can feel a bit overwhelming creating a new website right? We’ve made it as simple as we can for you to get started but sometimes staring at a blank canvas can be pretty daunting, even if you’re Picasso (ok maybe a bad example, that guy loved flinging paint around) Anyhoo… ya catch my drift. So I thought I’d give you a little to do list for your website that could really help you get the bulk of work done. I fall into the trap all the time of concentrating on the tiniest of details and this can sometimes lead to me feeling I haven’t achieved anything, so trust me when I say that it’s best to do these main things first.

 

  1. Write out your content Spend some time working out how to say what you need to say in the most concise way possible. Obviously if you’re a writer don’t be afraid of writing long blog posts but your home page needs to be visually appealing. Spend some time deciding what you want to say and how you’d like to lay it out. Browse some other websites and see how they do it, or use some of our amazing templates, you can always remove sections if the template doesn’t completely fit your purpose.
  2. Choose a strong  image (s) You will need quality visual images for your site, we really recommend having a bold and very high quality image at the top of your page here’s a video on how you can do that. If you don’t have your own images there are some great stock sites we think are really great. We’ve written all about choosing images in another blog post for you.
  3. Saaaaaay whaaaaat your website is about. It might be obvious to you but make it really clear with a short easy to understand tag line, you should also definitely add in your logo or the name of your company.
  4. Add pages to your site Before you start to worry that this sounds like a lot of work, you don’t need to have loads of pages. Keep everything as concise as possible, even big companies don’t necessarily have extensive websites with lots of pages, smart cookies will know that the purpose of your website should be to show off you or your product and call readers to action, and that’s it.  That being said sometimes you need to have more than just a home page, so here’s a guide on how to add in more pages and also a guide on how to add a menu to your site so that readers can see those beautiful pages!
  5. Why are you doing this? No really, why are you building a website? Are you offering a service or product, are you a blogger or musician? Whatever the point of the site make sure everything guides the reader to where they need to go. For example, if you’re an musician and you want to be booked for gigs you’ll need a contact form, so try and guide people to that contact form by using buttons. Obviously don’t go crazy, but if you’re trying to get people to fill in a contact form them give them plenty of options to click straight to it.

So that’s my list of the top things to do to get your site looking good, later on you might want to play around with the padding and layout of content, ensuring it looks really visually appealing but follow those steps and you should have a frame work completed.

Have you found this helpful? Don’t forget to visit the help site for more how to videos and use the Facebook group to share ideas and ask questions.

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Welcome to the Skizzar community

Hello there! Well welcome to Skizzar, I guess if you’re reading this you’re pretty new to the gang, so let me start by just saying a massive thank you for choosing Skizzar to build your website.

We started this whole thing because we wanted it to be really easy to make beautiful, fully customisable sites without all the confusion and stress, or without all the nonsense of free vs premium packages, you see on a lot of other website builders.

We’re hoping that if you’ve chosen to use Skizzar you’re a pretty out of the box and creative thinker. We’ll take a guess that you’ve probably got a great product (or are a really great person) and the thing you want to share with the world is pretty rad. The reason being is that we really value community and we really love to connect our clients together. Which is why we have a Team Skizzar Facebook group, it’s only available to members and it’s a great way for you to connect with other users, get inspirational tips and advice and make some great business contacts. Although our client base is super varied, Skizzar tends to attract really cool people (see that’s why you’re here) so it’s a really awesome group to be a part of. It’s run by me (Emma) and I’ll also be on hand to answer any questions you might have. Of course, you’ll probably want to get started on building your site straight away (this is the fun bit after all.) If you want a bit of help on how to master the basics then visit our help site and if you’ve got any more questions then you can raise a support ticket, by clicking on the support tab on your dashboard.

Remember that Skizzar is fully customisable, but we also have some great templates. Our designers have put them together very thoughtfully so that you can create a beautiful website really easily. I’m so excited to see what you come up with. So why not start by going to the Facebook page and giving us a like, I’ll be sure to add you to the group. Also, make sure you giz us a follow on Instagram where you can enjoy a bit of visual stimulation if you like.  As well as some nonsense Instagram stories from me, which I can’t promise will be at all helpful but might give you a glimpse into the wonderful world of Skizzar.

Thank you for joining us on this marvellous journey through life.

 

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Pay what you want!

So you’ve made your site and it’s probably looking pretty dope by now! You’ll be forgiven for thinking that there’s going to be some hidden charges or you’ll have to have loads of ugly adverts plastered across your site. Well the long and short of it is, there are no hidden costs and no advertising. You just select an amount to pay monthly using our simple and easy to use slider. In short you pay what you want.

When we tell people about this feature there are two very distinct groups of people, those that get it and those that don’t. So if you’re scratching your head wondering how do these guys make any money, the answer is simple. Even when given the choice of how much to pay (anything between £1 and £25 per month) the majority of our clients think that Skizzar and the amazing support we offer are worth paying a little for each month. On average our clients pay around £7 a month which makes us really happy. We’ll always aim to be transparent about this which is why we post monthly updates about how much our clients are choosing to pay over on Twitter.

There are a few reasons we chose to build our business this way, firstly, we’re super passionate about supporting small businesses and individuals that deserve amazing websites but perhaps don’t have the budget to spend a lot of money. Secondly it is the best indicator of how happy our clients are with the service they receive. Most importantly Radiohead did it Circa 2007 with their album ‘In Rainbows’ and it worked out pretty well for them.

So, hopefully that makes things a bit clearer, really we want you to decide how much you pay each month and if you’re really like what we’re doing then why not give this post a share and spread the word.

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