I guess once you've been doing something for ten years, perhaps you're not necessarily an amateur. That's what I've called myself, all these years as I've built our various websites for Naturaleza Organic Jewelry.
The first website I ever "designed" was a personal page created with Yahoo, circa 2001. It featured bright colors, links to my favorite poems, photos and other inspirations from my time in Nicaragua. This was when I had my first digital camera, which probably didn't even have a mega of pixels. It was a very limiting platform, but it piqued my interest in some amateur web design.
Since then I've designed and re-designed the Naturaleza Organic Jewelry website at least four major times. Each time we've felt that a makeover was long overdue to keep the site fresh. Each time we've considered hiring a web designer, but I've always started tinkering with it myself for just enough that there's been no turning back, or turning it over.
I'm not a professional graphic designer, but once I'm doing it I do really love the challenge. I become totally obsessed. And looking back on all these years of DIY web design, I'm pretty amazed at the tricks I've taught myself mostly by trial and error. I am also constantly frustrated with my limitations and the limitations of my budget-technology.
One way or the other, I'm back at it again. We've got several new tools, a fresh logo and new content all on the horizon and some of it is already live.
I'd love to hear your ideas and feedback on our site and what would make it more user friendly.