Muse or WordPress?

After much frustration with the publishing side of Adobe Muse I’m thinking about switching entirely to using WordPress to build simple sites for my clients. The support from Adobe has been a hair-tearing time, waiting for their experts to come back to me with answers to questions takes far too long when you need to find an answer immediately. I’m bored with it and disappointed that Adobe haven’t thought about the post publishing side of things, considering Muse was set up to cater for those of us who do not want to worry about the nitty-gritty of coding etc.

When I first discovered Muse I thought all my dreams had come true, a web design package that allows me to be a designer not a techie. I wouldn’t have to worry about what goes on in the background, I could just concentrate on making my sites look good and work the way I want them to work. But when it comes to publishing it all reverts back to needing to be a whizz at all the background stuff. I simply don’t understand and I want answers quick. Yes I am a little impatient when things don’t work like they should.

I love the sites I’ve created with Muse and my clients have been really happy with them too, but the niggling little things that spoil the experience are pushing me away. Help me Adobe! If you’re going to create a package for us designers who don’t want to think about the coding side of life, give us the whole package.

Hello WordPress, I’m looking forward to becoming very friendly with you!ImageImageImage

My First Muse Website – Beauty of Beads

My first Muse website is about to go live. Working for my client Marian, has been a great experience. Marian is a jewellery maker, working from her home studio and producing some lovely pieces for both adults and children. After finishing Marian’s branding for her business, I moved onto creating her website and it has been a great experience. She has been lovely to work with and thankfully she is happy with my work.

When I first discovered Muse I was incredibly excited. Adobe had finally produced just the thing that I needed to get me through the web design jungle. It’s not like I’m cheating by not having to write code, it definitely helps to have some knowledge of web coding if you want to understand just how it’s working and you also need to be reasonably proficient with the use of their other products. With this software and some working knowledge of other Adobe products, you can make something that is unique to your client rather than using ready prepared templates.

It’s been a rather long learning experience, but I can safely say that I’m getting the hang of how Muse works. I’m looking forward to updating my own website as well as starting work on two more sites for new clients over the next couple of months. I’ll be publishing Marian’s site tomorrow, so I’ll add a link to it once it goes live. Any feedback would be great – good or bad – I can take the pain of constructive criticism if it means I can improve on my skills and put that into my future work.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of the front page of the site…

Beauty of Beads Website
Beauty of Beads Website – front page

Beauty of Beads

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Over the last month or so, I’ve been having a lovely time working with Marian Heffer, a local jewellery maker who has been producing some lovely pieces over the past 5 years. She recently decided it was time for her business to take off and become more than just a hobby. I met Marian by chance at my daughter’s school Christmas Fete late last November (2011). Marian had a stand at the Fete, selling her lovely jewellery and advertising her children & adult jewellery making parties. I noticed that she didn’t really have a strong brand attached to her work and seized the opportunity to introduce myself. I suggested that I could help her design a logo, choose a colour palette and produce some new business stationery, flyers and anything else that she might need.

After a brief discussion, I bought a piece of her jewellery and went on my merry way to check out the rest of the stands at the Fete. It wasn’t until a couple of months after Christmas that Marian rang me out of the blue asking if I could help her with the things we briefly discussed a few months prior. I was thrilled that she thought to call me and we arranged to meet to discuss her needs.

Once we had our first meeting I got stuck into playing around with colour combinations, typeface choices and ideas for the logo. After much consultation via email and a few more meetings in person we came up with a final solution. So far I have produced Marian’s new logo, business cards, a flyer, gift tags for her parties and made a start on her new website. I did two versions of the logo so that Marian had a the option of two different colour ways depending on where it might be used and simply to add variety to the brand – something I feel is a positive thing to have. Marian’s Beauty of Beads business now has a strong brand.

When I discovered that Adobe were introducing some new website building software that doesn’t require a comprehensive knowledge of coding, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to trial it. Muse has turned out to be my answer to web design. I’ve been wanting to get into web design, but the challenge of having to learn the ins & outs of CSS, HTML etc was just becoming a bit tedious. It’s like learning a foreign language and I was on the verge of conceding defeat and leaving it to the ‘youngsters’. Thankfully I don’t have to now. It’s great that Adobe saw the need for graphic designers who want to design but not have to bother with the technical side of the job.

I digress. Marian’s website is coming together nicely and should be up and running in the next couple of weeks, all going well. I’m quite excited about being able to use this software to produce a professional looking website and am looking forward to upgrading my own site in the near future. In the meantime, I’ve got another customer already lined up for my next web design project, so watch this space, I’ll be back with more soon.