Are you thinking about building an artist website to showcase your artwork? The hardest part is knowing where to start. In this post, I am going to talk about everything you need to know about how to build professional art websites.
Pastel Painting by Dave Nevue
How To Build Professional Art Websites
You hear me talk about the importance of having an artist website all the time.
A website will be your online store where people can visit, view and purchase your artwork.
A website can also be a way to keep your audience up to date with new events you will be attending.
Below is a step by step guide on how to build professional art websites in no time.
Know Your Objectives
Before you get started you will want to have a clear vision of how you want your site to look and what your objectives are for the website.
Is your artist website for:
- Promoting your new art
- Promoting prints of your original art
- Promote classes you teach
- Promote fairs you will be attending
It is imposable to build your own artist website if you do not know what you want to achieve with the website.
You will be able to research all of the different ways you can brand your site once you have a clear vision of what your artist website’s objectives are.
A good way to get started to see what other artists are doing. Search for as many artist websites that are similar to your style as you can.
Start with this post, 7 Amazing Artist Websites – Inspiration For Artists. In this post, I highlight several artist websites with different layouts. This will you a good idea of what you can do with your website.
Grab a notepad so you can take notes. You will be surprised how much you will forget after viewing several different sites. You will want to write the websites URL, what you liked and what you did not like about for later references.
To keep everything organized I use the printables below that I have created below for my art and craft business. These printables have made it easy to keep track of what is essential for my business.
- How to Write Goals You Can Achieve Workbook
- Artist Goal Planner Printable
- Month Goals Printable
- Weekly Goals Printable
- Artist Goal Planners in Light Blue
- Artist Goal Planners in Light Pink
All of the one-on-one artists I work with also use and find the printables valuable.
Build Your Own Artist Website
Once you have a clear vision of how you would like your website to look, you will need to decide on a hosting service. You will have the choice of a Self Hosting service or a Third Party Hosting service.
Self Hosting is a service that you pay for that will host your site. It is like storage that you own. Think of it as a piece of land that you purchased. On that land, you will be able to build your dream home. You will be in total control of your site. You own it.
I use and recommend HostGator (affiliate link) for a hosting service.
HostGator is relatively inexpensive and has excellent 24/7 customer service. After you have set up an account you can easily install WordPress with the one-click option they provide. WordPress is a free software that allows you to build websites and blogs quickly.
For more information about WordPress visit, How to use WordPress Basics.
Your other option is to use a Third Party Hosting service. A Third Party Hosting service is a service that allows you to build a site, but you do not own it, and there are limitations to what you will be able to do. The limitations make it difficult to create a unique brand. Your site will look similar to other artists that are using the same services. You will be building your site on rented land. Most Third Party Hosting services have a monthly fee.
If you are interested in using a Third Party Hosting service, I recommend looking at Fine Art Studio Online first then check out other companies so you can make a better decision on what will best fit your needs.
If you are going to use the Self Hosting service, you will need to decide on a domain name. A domain name is an address that will direct someone to your site. If someone types in your domain name in the search bar they will be directed directly to your sites home page. An example of a domain name is www.nevuefineartmarketing.com. For tips on picking the best domain name for your website read, How to Choose a Perfect Artist Domain Name.
Some Third Party Hosting companies will allow you to use a personalized domain name. Others will not have that option, and the domain name provided will include the companies name. (www.companies name/yourname.com) This does not look as professional, and it is harder for you collectors to remember.
Fine Art Studio Online allows you to use a personalized domain name. Spend some time researching before you commit to any company.
If you are using a Third Party Hosting service like Fine Art Studio Online, creating your site will be limited. They have some great templates to pick from, but there are limits to what you can do. A template is the design of your pages.
Using WordPress will give you more freedom to create your site exactly the way you wish. If you are going to use WordPress, you will need to upload a theme. Themes modify the way a site is displayed by files called template files.
WordPress has free themes to pick from however if you are looking for a unique look with extra features you will want to purchase a theme.
When you are designing your website, you will want to keep it simple. Less is better. If your site becomes too busy, you will confuse the reader, and they will not want to revisit your site. Make it easy for them to find the content that they are searching for.
Every Artist Website Should Include:
Homepage – Your homepage is where you will be showcasing your best work.
You want everyone that lands on your site to know:
- You have art for sale.
- You are the artist that creates the artwork on your site.
- What style of art you create.
- How to navigate around your site.
- How to contact you.
- How to purchase from your site.
About Me Page – Every site should include an “About Me” page. You can call it “About the Artist,” “Meet the Artist”, or “About (your name).” This is a static page that will provide valuable information about you and your journey being an artist. This is where the reader will get to know you. Collectors purchase from artists they trust. You can start building their trust by telling them about your journey.
Blog – Your blog is where you will tell the story behind your art. Collectors feel more connected to art when they can relate the art to a story. Tell them what inspired you to create your artwork.
Gallery – This is where you will showcase all of your art that is available for sale. Make it easy for the buyer to purchase and provide the price and your policies. You should consider keeping images up of artwork that has been sold. You will just need to make sure that you clearly state that it is no longer available for purchase.
Contact Page – Have a page explaining how the reader can contact you either by email, physical mail or phone.
These are the basics that you will need to know to build professional art websites. Your website will be the nucleus of your business. Take some time to decide how you would like it to look.
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