Progress with updates improving site navigation on ArtRave

We are making a lot  of progress on ArtRave and at the ArtRaveSuperCenter~!

In anticipation of our platform upgrade, many things have been necessary to do in the background here at ArtRave~

Many of our links and important notes & pages were ‘stand alone’ pages, from the back office that I learned to use after initially converting the site to become a promotional network.

As i learned new ways to promote our art and shops I added them in and altered the home page accordingly with new links and links to links and so on,

Well that worked except there was no way of indexing those pages easily nor would they themselves integrate which meant – groups – . I have long been using the groups function of the platform to create groups designed for free art advertising by subjects & price range. I also used groups function to begin enhanced Boutiques for specific artists.

The concept was there all along.In the eary days of ArtRave I created the Boutiques on the standalone pages as they were easy work with and copy into ads on other websites.

The free groups I had pretty much set up and left alone, so that artists could choose to post their art directly bypassing the gallery and going to the subjects of their art and posting there, There was then an upgrade about a year ago adding pages to the groups. This opened a new way to expand on the site and to start congregating pages into the subjects they pertained to, Still I was unclear as to what to do about the back pages which at that point numbered more than 500 back pages – far more than many larger websites use!!

Whenever a link happened to break or need to be changed, it was alot of work just to find the page as less than 10 would show per index page and there was no order to them so I would have to go through up to  50 pages with 10 links to pages in each and open and close pages til I found what I was looking for.

i knew there had to be a better way but was uncertain as to what it was.  I attemped to make title page indexes but some pages contained several subjects and working that way for a while was too time consuming.

Also our members list was mixed up compared to what we needed to know and place although the search box proved helpful, much of it relied on my memory.I was uncertain how I would be able to remember everything and how would I train anyone else to work with me when the site was becoming more and more complicated to navigate as it grew.

New members were having a hard time with the changes and there was an absence from a good portion of old members who had come, set up pages and posted art and then never returned. Separating them from active members was also a difficult task.

I didnt want to simply delete old members as some were coming, but just not posting anything new,

I began separating the members into categories of ones I knew had posted within 90 days and those who hadnt. Also I didnt want active’s members works being lost in the shuffle.
Once I got a fix on it, I was able to write the membership and ask members to update their profiles. Many did,but then many didnt. Of those who didnt I then placed them on an inactive list and  once the platform host [ning] enabled member deletion without banning  that made it easier to be able to delete and inactive member without casting them out.

My artists are important to me and I want to make sure they can return should they choose to, Some indeed wanted to leave and yet left their pages and galleries abandoned while others didnt abandon their pages or galleries but  were simply inactive fore a variety of reasons.

The Artists A-Z is now included with Gallery memberships and is among those orphan pages being converted into groups. Each A-Z page has a featured slideshow from some member which is rotated between the members of their “letter”.Also provided are unique Artist ID#s meant to be added to your keywords or tags that will help get your work indexed by the Google bots.

New members have been arriving and I have been trying to walk them through but as I did I began noticing that things that worked 5  years ago, didnt necessarily apply anymore so alot of updating became necessary. That meant the back pages ahd to be purged, merged and in some cases deleted.

Older members needed to become the examples for the new ones to follow.I still needed to learn more about how to tie it all together to make navigation easier for both members and viewers.

Working within the parameters of the features of the platform, its pointed back to the utilization of the groups function.In the beginning I thought to use them primarily for the categories pertaining to most members artwork. The gallery. was large enough to bring in viewers yet small enough to get lots of views per member in comparison to Fine Art America which has about 100,000 artists and more mini sites within its domain, leaving it where art gets lost as there is only so much a viewer will look through and they needed keywords, types and subjects to find the art they were searching for.

Some groups were made to be used as ‘directories’ with artists links to their websites on other PODs such as Fine Art America, Zazzle, Imagekind, Redbubble etc so that viewers could see an artist name here and click it to then be transferred to their websites, thus increasing traffic to their stores online.There was however no way to monitor the usage, other than testing it and seeing that sites were gaining viewers.

Utilizing the html text boxes on site proved to be handy as well since t hey hold java scripts and also button links so those who wanted to, could make paypal buttons from the paypal site, copy the html codes and place them on their MyPage text box and accept payments from customers directly.. With the new page function on groups, that enables those buttons to be used there as well. Discussions featuring artists with slideshows from their galleries or thumbnails from their other sites then became another good way to promote and advertise their art.

So now this year I have been working on the back pages, migrating them, into the groups and making new groups as needed and organizing them for the purposes that can best serve us as artists and viewers as potential buyers.

Other sites charge for Classified Ads. We do not.

Our free classifieds get posted here but the links to the menu are on other sites and blogs, planted in many places over the net over the passed 5 years.That means if an artist posts a picture and its details in the comments in Abstracts [for example] that every other site where the menu is posted gives access to that post~!! Also the cross promotions and increased traffic gets indexed by google searchbots and builds rankings in search engines.

With more than a billion estimated artists online, art is very competitive and gaining ranking, cross promotions and features, all become vital in getting the artist known online and enabling viewers to see and choose between artists, their works and the sites they sell at. many people shop online so its vital to make it easier for them to find your art above others.

We also have our an online Mall with a lobby that lists artists websites and has preview pages with button links a viewer can click on and be brought to the member’s website or shop.

Its ArtRave’s mission to promote ‘family friendly’ art worldwide, helping emerging and established artists to gain the traffic they need to obtain sales. It is also part of ArtRave to provide advertisement venues that are free or low cost as most artists cant afford the types of advertising that will increase the traffic to their websites.Finally with the numerous PODs many artists use, ArtRave has sought out alternatives in printing to enable artists to make a higher profit from their POD sales and to provide a way artists can get paid first instead of last.

Over the passed year we have conquered many obstacles that will help all artists to get better known, to be able to get discounts in traditional advertising and printing so that they can gain more customers and make better profits.

ArtRave is an artist network, created by an artist, for artists~!!

We now provide dozens of groups and like pages on facebook for artists to post links to their stores.We have our gallery and ads plugged  into Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google for all members to use. We have numerous blogs here at ArtRave and copy sites to several at WordPress, netlog, blogger, netblog, tumblr, stumbleupon and more. We have syndicated the ArtRave blog so when its posted, it also gets posted to other sites, facebook groups and pages and twitter.

We have also established our own TopList banner ad sites which can redirect the artists banner to any site they want them to promote.By doing this for ArtRave members collectively we can offer banner ad toplists for only $25 per year and we do not charge the per-clicks as other banner adlists do!

We have standalone pages at another website that provides full page ads on google and other search engines.These ads last for years! Members are welcome to use all of our resources to promote their art and can place comment ads on any of our blogs and outsourced pages.

For those who do not know how to do these things, we have our forum with how-to-do screenshot tutorials.For those who haven’t the time to do their own advertising and promotions we have promo packages available to place permanent ads up for you~!!

ArtRave is all inclusive and overall provides more services than any other art network online.

So now, I like to welcome all the new members and say hello to all our older members and reach out to our Facebook friends and extend the invitation to all to come and join us, either as a free member and use the ads and blogs or as a Gallery member and use all our facilities.

We also now offer low cost printing services and shops at our print site for all gallery members.

While the site has gone through numerous changes the passed few weeks, they are in preparation for the 3.0 upgrade we are soon going to be having.  preparing the site ahead of time is so the migration can go smoothly and so we can save as much of the history of the site as possible as we transition.

To date ArtRave has had nearly 64K unique visitors and over 130K page views Divide that among the art on site and our members are looking pretty exclusive in comparison to the bigger sites~!We are ArtRave and we are growing in the right direction~!

I wish you all a good week~!!

Ave

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6 thoughts on “Progress with updates improving site navigation on ArtRave

    • Hi Shelly~ The platform we use has worked for the passed 6 years.Our host is
      Ning2.0 which we have had now for 4-5 years. I have noticed when using different computers that when I used WinXP all three popular browsers,
      IE,Chrome & Firefox all worked. They worked in Win 7&8. I did note some of my
      ad modules which I use for some site features, wouldnt update in Chrome, that when using those modules I would have to save the work in IE .
      That hasn’t affected viewing however.

      I do use html, java scripts and rich text. Like most sites, some of them require the use of ‘cookies’.Ones on ArtRave have no embedded threats and are
      safe to allow.

      If the site isnt working on your laptop, another possible issue is AdBlock or similar programs which do need to be disabled on site.

      I toggle mine in chrome after seeing the adblocker [pop up] would slow down some modules from opening, like a video or slideshow.

      All pictures shown on ArtRave are safe, however Adblock and similar programs restrictions in differentiation will mistakenly block parts of not only ArtRave but other sites with pictures or slides, unless you add them to their ‘exclude’ list.This is while they provide a customizable exclusion list.

      What type of laptop are you using? What type of OS are you running and what type of popup blocker do you have working?

      Also depending on the level of security you have preset in your internet options, any or a combination can cause the issue you are experiencing.

      The progress I have been making is in integrating the stand a lone back pages
      [also referred to as orphan pages] which are holding links that attached to various groups, that now need to be and are being integrated and recopied into the groups for easier search and navigation.

      This has been what is streamlining the site and I have been able to reduce clutter, clean up old links that may no longer work and am removing obsolete pages and outdated information.

      Ning is beginning to work with network creators with their new Ning 3.0 which is going to be more sophisticated than their current platform, but before migrating to it, I have been reorganizing the site, culling out the dead weight, obsolete pages and sub-sectioning groups into Classifieds, Boutiques & clubs and so on.

      Also members who have been inactive for more than 90 days have been re-categorized to an inactive list, so those who are active can be featured more and their work is now being placed into many of the groups splash pages giving viewers more exposure to works from the galleries by specific artists.
      If you continue having difficulties with your laptop and have checked your ‘cookies’, security level, pop-up blocker and OS and still have issues, please let me know since most people can and do access the site with little or no problems needing not to make any adjustments in order to view the site.

      Let me know if I can help you, as sometimes setting security and popup blockers too high or in combination they become too high, you may start seeing similar issues when visiting other sites, such as page freezes or modules not displaying.

      Also check if your IP is less than 10MB as that could cause your pages to load slower and hang up. 🙂

      Like

    • Hi Sherri~! Good to see you 🙂 I have placed some of your slideshows on feature pages as I make slideshows and am pasting them into the Classifieds splash pages and the A-Z are now migrated into their own groups rather than the stand-a-lone pages so urls are changing but I am testing links as I go along and so far so good. Soon the site will be ready for the migration overall to the new platform, however just these new changes I have been working on are making the site easier to navigate already.With nearly 200 groups and having to update each one manually, its time consuming but getting there~!
      Thanks for the reblog 🙂 Have a great week! Ave

      Like

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