My New Website

So… since this critique thing was my idea, I ought to step forward and open myself up to criticism :slight_smile:

For the last month I’ve been working on a new website, more or less to the exclusion of everything else. It’s the foundation for a long-term business plan I have, so I view it as an absolutely worthwhile investment of my time.

It has consisted of merging 2 legacy sites - my blog and my existing website - into one new and combined entity. The blog has been on Blogger (, and my original website ( is a completely hand-crafted site that does the job, but is in no way mobile-responsive, so it’s a dinosaur. The blog and the site are both about a dozen years old, and contain a lot of content. There are about 1200 posts on the blog, and the database powering the website contains records for over 1000 paintings.

Time to move forward.

After doing a survey of modern tools for website construction, I settled on WordPress. It has the power and flexibility I need, without tying me too closely to just one service provider (as would be the case with Wix, for example). I also have a technical background, so I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty in that regard - I coded my previous site entirely by hand, after all.

It’s been quite a project. I first needed to learn as much as I could about WordPress (it’s a deep and powerful tool), brush up on modern web design, manage and update the large amount of content, and then pull it all together in a way that made sense with my business plan.

A tall order, but I think I’ve nearly done it.

The site is more or less complete - still a few rough edges I’m smoothing out - but that could go on forever and today is the day I set for my go-live.

So… I’m open to any and all thoughts you might have. Compliments are nice, but genuine criticism is much more helpful. I’d particularly be interested in hearing from anybody who has solid web design / development experience - If I’m violating any standards I’d really like to know.

At the moment, you can find the site here:



Looks Great! Checked it out on my mobile and easily navigated, and clear. Yet to power up laptop to check out desktop view.

Thanks John!

For those of you who might be curious, I developed this on WordPress (4.7.4), using the Ultra theme from Themify (

I’ll be happy to discuss plugins if anybody wants to go down that rabbit hole :slight_smile:

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i think it looks awesome. you have some great work on there.

Thanks Mark!

Hi Jeffrey,

I think the site is great! very professional and informative (was watching on chrome on my laptop without any issues or long loading, which may happen with heavy painting photos, so that’s awesome).
I have a few suggestions, but obliviously it comes from my personal preferences and what I’m looking for when I scroll through sites, so don’t take it as a critique :yum:

2 things that I think could be improved upon-

  1. The site is not as easy to navigate as other platforms (mainly social media) to see all your works of art; Which is a shame because the viewer either leaves the site without seeing all the paintings or just goes to Facebook where you have a very easy thumbnail :arrow_right: lightbox :arrow_right: close lightbox=return to thumbnails.

Look at the steps the viewer goes through:
paintings :arrow_right: large sized paintings :arrow_right: four oranges :back: eternal light no.2 :back: :back: small sized paintings :arrow_right: Suspended Teacup :back::back: etc…

Since you already have a place with all your works, it is redundant to have extra albums that add steps for viewing, if it was my site I would just put every painting under paintings and specify in the name or description if it’s large or small.

  1. When a person who doesn’t know you or invested in you art somehow stumbles upon your site you want to catch their attention straight away so they won’t leave for other sites or their busy lives.
    As a visual artist it’s quite easy, because a painting or a photograph is more eye catching than text that you have to invest your time and attention to, once you catch the viewer with eye candy you can get them hooked to read what’s on your mind. :sunglasses:
    So I suggest the home page to be your work rather than an explanation of the site, also because it’s quite easy to see where the newsletter subscription is and that you hope people will enjoy their time on the site :wink:
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Hi Stella,

Exactly the type of feedback I was looking for - thank you.

This is very much a work in progress, so your ideas have gone right on the list of things to think about for next version.

Again, thanks!

i just took another look at this. one thing that is amazing is the progress you have made when looking back at your earlier work. gives me a little hope as i just started painting and have been pretty frustrated. The progress you have made is incredible. any advice you have for someone just starting out? have you been using the LOP method during your career?

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Well thank you Mark - that is very kind of you.

Progress is a funny thing, in that sometimes you feel yourself stagnating for a long while, then take a sudden step forward. To see it that way, is illusory, though - in the end the ONLY thing that enables progress is steady, constant practice and application.

So, if I had any advice, it’s just to work hard, work steady, and thoroughly immerse yourself in the influence of a good teacher for a certain amount of time - and that will vary from student to student. You will experience a click or an “ah-ha” moment when you encounter that right teacher for you, and then hound them with dogged, relentless determination for every last scrap of insight, advice, and wisdom about our craft that they can offer you. And after that, at a certain point, you’ll step away from that influence and be your own individual. You’ll know when that time is right too.

Had Anthony’s teachings been available to me at that point in my life, it probably would’ve been the logical choice for me, but as it happens I had that particular relationship with another teacher. And of course we all continue to learn a lot from each other, but that one relationship is a special and important one.

If you feel drawn to this particular teaching method, I’d say throw yourself into it wholeheartedly, and you’ll probably be amazed at your progress.

great response. thx so much.


How long have you used the tagline “Paintings that Beautify your Life”? I ask because my tagline on my site for years has been “beautify your world”.


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One week .

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Dude, did you see my tagline before making yours?

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Of course not, John.

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I thought it over and modified the tagline in question. It’s all a work in progress, and I was uncomfortable enough with the similarity that I didn’t wish to leave it as is.


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Thanks for being so thoughtful! You didn’t have to do that, but I do appreciate it. In creative spaces there is bound to be some overlap, so it is a weird issue.
Respect to you for being so considerate.

On a different note, I’ve been meaning to go through your site in more detail and give feedback (as well as post my own site up for critique). Just been a busy week.

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You bet, John.

It was one of those “Oh Sh*t” moments when I saw your first message about it, but it’s all still in flux so easy enough to change now.

I’ll be happy to comment on your site when you open it up for discussion. I can tell you right now you have an excellent tagline :slight_smile: