Written by ConsultR Support

News /June 27, 2015

Website Basics for Artists

by Alice Britt, for the NW Art Alliance, January. 2011

Why should an artist have a website?

► Demonstrate your professionalism

► Complete a jury application

► Amplify the information on your business card

► Educate your patrons by showing how your work is created

► Show how to use and/or care for your product

► Post your show schedule/gallery locations

► Encourage newsletter/mailing list sign-up

► Highlight new work

► Show prior custom work to potential patrons

► Share your “artist statement,” bio, awards

► Sell your work

► Provide wholesaling information

► Share customer reaction to your work

► Make special offers

► Blog (develop a more personal relationship with your patrons)

► Engage social media (Link to Twitter, Face Book)

► Make it easy for others to “link” to you

► Advertise your workshops/lectures and trips you may lead

► Research your market

Planning your site

► Review websites of other artists

► Write down your reasons for having a website including special functions you require

► Determine how many “pages” & what you want on each page

► Consider making a paper mock-up of each page with titles, captions, other text and photos

► Create a digital document with your text, captions & titles (be sure to spell-check your text!)

► Gather your best digital photos, create new ones as needed, and put them together in an accessible location on your computer

► Decide on a web address and generate several alternatives should your first choice be “taken.”

Designing your site

► Keep it simple

► Leave plenty of blank space

► Choose a limited color pallet that complements your work

► Limit the verbiage . . . say it with visuals

► Use the best photos available

► Use grouping and sub-categories to avoid clutter

► Maintain visual consistency within and between pages

Samples of nicely designed sites

www.dovasilks.com

www.danielngart.com

www.mileswoodworking.com

www.jewelscurnow.com

www.justinreznick.smugmug.com

www.sharreydore.com

www.dyepots.com

Building your own website

Many options are available on-line. Here are three to consider:

Microsoft Office Live

► Traditional-looking templates

► Fixed formatting options (templates)

► Works with Microsoft Windows only– much like using Power Point

► Supports hyperlinks, blogs, PayPal, slideshows, maps and tables

► Cost: 1st year free, then $15/yr

Weebly

► Fixed formatting options, with LOTS of choices

► Works with Microsoft Windows and MAC

► Easy to use “drag and drop” features

► Supports hyperlinks, blogs, PayPal, slideshows, maps, tables, video, sound and more

► Cost: Free or about $60/year if you want to choose your own domain and omit their advertising

Other Peoples Pixels

► Created just for artists

► Fixed formatting options–fewer choices than Microsoft Office Live or Weebly

► Works with Microsoft Windows and MAC

► Supports links, blogs, PayPal, but NO slideshows

► Prompt, personalized support by e-mail

► Cost: 14-day free trial, then $165/yr

Helping folks find and navigate your site

► Use a phrase that captures the essence of your work/web page and place it strategically for web crawlers to find

► Use “tags/metatags” (keywords/key phrases) to help folks find your site or a particular page on your site

►Use hyperlinks to help folks move from one part of your site to the next and to link to external sites

Copyright, credits and legal concerns

► Consider including a customer privacy statement

► Include return and other policies related to on-line sales

► Include a copyright statement on each page of your website

► Consider watermarking your photos (“Digimarc”)

► Give credit where it’s due (photographer, web developer, etc.)

Proofing & backing up your site

► When you think you have finished your site, get someone to proofread it for you on-line

► Get feedback from your friends and family and make revisions as needed

► Back up your entire website…just in case

Promoting your new site

► Ask others to provide a link to your site

► Use business cards, social media, mailing lists or newsletters to promote your new site

Maintaining your site

► Keep your site current

► Use the “analytics” from your website for “market research”