For artists, creating a website is a unique challenge. It’s an opportunity to create a digital identity as an artist. Unfortunately, creating a website isn’t always as easy as some people make it sound. Well, maybe creating a website is easy, but it’s harder to make it a website that successfully attracts your audience and sells your work.
So ACT has made a guide for artists creating or revising a website. We hope this helps you all feel confident in your digital identity.
REMEMBER TO PUT FUNCTION FIRST
One of the biggest mistakes artists and crafters make when creating a website is focusing on aesthetics rather than on function. Remember that your website is first and foremost a guide that helps customers find information about you. A website is meant to tell a story.
Each page leads your customers to the next page, so as you create your site, you have to constantly be asking, “What purpose does this image, or this link, or this paragraph serve, and where does it lead to next?” If the answer is none and nowhere, it would probably be wise to take that image or link or paragraph out.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS RESPONSIVE TO MOBILE DEVICES
Making a website responsive to mobile devices means that your website functions well on mobile devices.There are two reasons it is absolutely essential for an artist’s website to be responsive to mobile devices. First of all, people access the internet through their phones and their tablets just as often as they sit down at a desktop computer to surf the web. If your website is not designed to change its appearance to fit these mobile devices, you will be missing out on a lot of potential viewers, and you’ll miss the opportunity to impress your audience.
The second reason is that Google is changing the algorithm that decides what websites get first billing in a Google search to favor websites that are responsive on mobile devices.
If you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of developing a responsive website, that’s absolutely okay. Just be sure to keep this in mind when choosing or creating a template for your site. Be sure to test how your site looks on as many devices as possible.
GET INSPIRED BY THE WEBSITES OF OTHER ARTISTS
Artists and crafters probably already know that you learn a lot by looking at the work of other people. This holds true when creating a website. You don’t want your website to look like everyone else’s website, but you also shouldn’t deny yourself the opportunity to learn from other people.
BEWARE OF FREE WEBSITE SERVICES
It shouldn’t be very expensive to have a simple and productive website, but beware of which services you choose to build your website. It is possible to get a free domain, that will be branded by the service you use (like WordPress or Blogspot). Purchasing a domain name all of your own will help you show off your professionalism.
TRY BUILDING A CUSTOM SITE
To create a custom website, the first thing you will need is the software to build the site. Consider using WordPress software to build a custom site. This is different from having a WordPress blog. The WordPress software can be downloaded at wordpress.org.
If you will be using WordPress software to build your own website, you will need to choose a domain and a hosting service. Often your hosting service will provide a free domain, so look for that perk when you are shopping for a host. Wiredcanvas offers these four tips when choosing a hosting service:
- Don’t just choose the cheapest hosting service.
- Consider the uptime statement what the hosting service you are considering. (This is how much time the service is functional and available.)
- Choose a service that offers customer support.
- Choose a Linux package. It is more functional with WordPress.
If these tips make creating a website sound difficult and intimidating, don’t be scared off. In the end, creating a custom website can let you tell your story to an audience across the country and the world, so don’t give up. It’s worth it.
DON’T FEEL ASHAMED OF USING A TEMPLATE
You may want to choose a WordPress template. One of these work particularly well for artists. There are also programs that are similar to WordPress like that may be something to look into. You can learn more about those here.
INCLUDE HIGH QUALITY PICTURES OF YOUR WORK
Here are a few of the top tips we would give when it comes to photographing your work:
- Be as consistent as possible when taking photos of your work. Use the same lighting, the same background, etc.
- Label the photographs on your website to include dimensions and the medium and the title of the work.
- Use a tripod (even if you are using a mobile phone to take the pictures) and take lots of shots.
- Take the pictures against a white backdrop in a room filled with soft white light. This will keep the colors in the work you create from being distorted.
ONCE YOU’VE BUILT IT, PROMOTE IT
Once you have a website filled with stunning images of your work, promote them on social media channels. The sad truth is that Facebook is making it more and more difficult for business owners to rely on organic reach to reach customers. The good news is that boosting a post doesn’t have to break the bank. Even putting just $10 behind a post can help you reach over a thousand people on Facebook.
Pinterest is also a key social medium when it comes to selling art, especially if you put a few dollars into some promoted pins.
Be sure to install the Facebook and Pinterest plugins on your website, so that visitors can share and pin work that they love.