2016 AFC Artist Demo Site.
We're excited to announce the revealing of the next generation AFC artist websites. Many of you have waited patiently for this and for this we are grateful. AFC began in 1997 as one of the world's first professional-level online artist communities, when the web was in its infancy. We've come a long way in nearly two decades and are proud of the achievements on and offline since then. Following is a summary of some of the features and benefits of YOUR new web infrastructure.
Major New Features:
- New contemporary look-and-feel
- Artist-optimized site
- Link your own domain to the your site (use www.mydomain.com)
- New "Workshops" section to feature and help sell your workshops and art safaris
- New "Conservation" section to highlight your conservation projects and causes
- New "Store" to highlight and sell related merchandise
- New expanded "About the Artist" section, with multiple subsections including biography, links,
- New "Awards and Achievements" timeline page to highlight your career milestones in a beautiful chronologic order
- Site-wide support for videos (YouTube and Vimeo)
- Create unlimited number of articles and webpages within the site
Powerful Image Handling
- Supports high resolution images
- Greatly improved search with comprehensive cross-member art searches to be added after transition by members
- Fully mobile device ready, optimized for presentation on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones
- Retina resolution friendly (for ultra high definition devices e.g. iPad 3+ and iPhone 4s+)
- Large file sizes accepted and automatically optimized, reduced, cropped by the system
- Watermarks and copyright statement automatically added to large-sized images
Advanced Social media Integration
- Integrated optional Facebook Login option
- Share any page or artwork with a mouse-click through major social media channels
- SImple Social media icon/link installation
Other Functional Improvements and Key Technical Upgrades
- New Dashboard to simplify managing your personal website, with reports and quick links to frequently used functions
- Intuitive "fill-in-the-blanks" forms to build out the site.
- Word-processor style text formatting features (bold, indent, bullets, quotes, spell-check, etc.)
- Contact form that automatically emails you and sends a confirmation to the sender
- Contact inquiries and mailing list additions are stored and downloadable any time to a spreadsheet for integration with Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and other email newsletter services.
- Spam protection from fake and automated form submissions
- Smart upload help - automatically indicates specific file upload issues
- Automatically related content, takes the hard work out of building out your site
Test it out on your computer, smartphone and tablet for a unique experience on each.
Transitioning to Your New AFC Website
Originally, we had planned to re-design and overhaul all artists websites (currently on natureartists.com) whereby there would be a single date in which all sites transitioned at once to a new look. This resulted in a couple of false-starts as technology improvements changed faster than our new infrastructure. The solution we came to was to redevelop the entire web infrastructure from scratch with new latest standards. Many features of the original website were incompatible with new standards (e.g. high-resolution images).
The current natureartist.com website enjoys nearly 2 decades of search engine indexing and an incredibly valuable legacy in the search engines. Our new plan will ensure that we carry forward as much momentum as possible, the search engine "goodwill" we've enjoyed, and that has attracted so much attention to our communal web site over the years.
In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out the new site with "batches" of members. We will be pleased to assist you in the transition process as you build out your new AFC site to the new format. The first group of volunteers will help us fine-tune some of the subtler elements of useability and help us flesh out online help and documentation to pave the way for subsequent groups. During this transition phase, the natureartists.com site will remain and for some time, many of you will have two AFC websites. After all members have transitioned, we will schedule a phase-out of the original site. As this is an internally developed and supported system, we will be scheduling transition in manageable chunks over a period of up to one year.
Scheduling for transitioning members will be based on a first-come-first-served basis. To this end, we have provided a sign up form which we will use to establish a priority sequence.
Sign up here.
Our die-hard long-time volunteer Bill Whiting will be working with our Education and Member Relations Manager, Rosslyn Shipp to assist with support and to answer questions you might have. We will also be looking for a handful of individuals who might wish to volunteer their support for this transition. Volunteers will have a unique opportunity to engage with our artist colleagues around the globe and to become intimitely familiar with the new system and its new set of nuances.
Again, I am very excited to have reached this important milestone. I hope you feel it was worth the wait.
AFC President & Founder