Thursday, August 16, 2007

When is good enough.... good enough?

This is a question that we struggle with all the time. Being passionate about what we do pushes us to constantly try to improve upon our unique system.

Because of this since my last post, we have added some great new features to our already impressive list of services (view list).

Built in FREE shopping cart. Ok, pet peeve for me. When you say something is free or included... it should be just that. If you are looking into other portfolio website services out there do you homework. Many claim to have a free shopping cart but charge hundreds of dollars to set it up. In June, added a free, customizable 250 product shopping cart to the standard list of features included with every site.

As with the rest of our site building, users can customize the look of their shopping cart with just a few clicks of their mouse. Add an unlimited number of products to a specific image. Users can showcase up to 250 different images at a time. Best of all the entire system is designed to work right out of the box with Google's new merchant account system. For those of you who already have a merchant account or want to fill orders themselves, not a problem, just set the system up to send the information directly to you.

July brought integrated website search engine optimization to every IVWebsites. Now the mysteries of how to code your site to get good search engine placement is eliminated. Follow our simple directions while answering a few questions about your site and what it is about and the system will automatically take that data and generate the code needed to embed the content into every page of your site so that search engines have what they need to index you.

Also introduced in July was our full-screen portfolio slide show. Now visitors to IVWebsites can click and experience a full-screen transitioning slide show of artists portfolio images. Best part is that users can pause the show and zoom in to see details of any image they like.

August. When it comes to the web - fresh content is king. IVWebsites is now making this easier for artists with our rotating image library. Websites can now feature an image that users set to change: every time the page is loaded, once a day, once a week, or once a month. Users select the rotation schedule and load up to 12 images at a time to their rotation library. Oh, ya... almost forgot... it's all included in our standard price.

September..... who knows what September will bring. Actually, I don't know... my programmers won't tell me till it's done. They don't want to spoil the surprise.

Anyway, guess we'll see in September. For those of you still looking for a source for a online portfolio website builder, check out and you won't be disappointed. Some of you have called and questioned if it is actually true that you get everything we say you get at the price we say. It is. There is no better, more flexible, more feature rich service out there.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Layout

Hey everyone interested, our new website is up with a bran new layout. Check out the samples and demo to see what can be done with this nifty little editor.

Love to hear your feedback.


Friday, March 2, 2007

Portfolio Website Builders

How many artists out there have a website?
How many use a designer or web guru to build it for them?
How many design, build and manage it themselves?
How many would like to have more control over their site then they currently have?

As an artist myself I am curious as to what others do. There are a host of products and online services out there that will help you build a website. There are some that are designed for artists and photographers looking to display a portfolio of their work.

Interestingly enough 99.9% of these are template driven. This means that someone out there has designed a template and you plug your work into that design layout. Your "customization" options are limited. Any other artist can buy/use this template.

I've never fully understood the appeal of having the site that showcases my creative abilities look exactly like an untold number of other artists sites.

I'm a medical illustrator and am an avid Photoshop, and Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, Pagemaker, etc user. I like doing my illustration and design work. I have no trouble "designing" a look that I like and "mocking up" a website using software like this. I assume most artists would say this. Now getting it from a mock-up to a fully functional website is another ball game.

Outside of being an artist, I also run a company called Indexed Visuals ( The company helps market and advertise artists and their stock images on the web. Most of our listed artists need/have a website. Many of them use template services and I always cringe when I click on multiple artists and see the same template being used.

18 months ago I gave our development team what everyone thought was going to be an easy task: Build an online system where artists can design & build a customizable website, full of all the things that artists need, (like an interactive portfolio, stock search engine, request form, etc.) and create the system in a way artists can edit it, customize it, and build it without having to touch any code. Basically, let them work the same way the software they are accustomed to using works.

Well, 18 months, 16 days and 2,342 cups of coffee later we have what we believe is the first and only online artist portfolio website creator service of it's kind. ( is the home of this new website creator service. Artists can create not only a professional portfolio website but they can create with ease a truely custom website without touching a single line of code.

Cick on over and check out the demo if you don't mind. I'd love to get feedback. (Yes and people signing up but feedback would be good too) Make sure you read the directions first. It's easy to use but you need a few pointers to get started.