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Best Artist Websites: Where to start

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“Untitled” by Kevin King and Kim Wright, 2013

The best artist websites are designed only for professional artists?

False.  The best artist websites are designed by the artists themselves.  Whether you are an emerging artist, an established artist, crafter, musician, or artisan, a well built website will benefit your business and your notoriety.   A website can enhance your already growing business or help art enthusiasts find exactly what they are looking for to decorate their space.  They want to see  your art and know you, the artist.

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“Dream for a Down Economy” by Sarah Ciampa, 2012

How much do the best artist websites cost?

Successful artist websites can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.  Just because an artist spends only a few hundred dollars on a website does not mean their website will not do well.

You can hire a company to make and host your website or you can design your website yourself.  Most artists have budgets.  Therefore, it is more economical to design and update your website yourself. Remember, the best artist websites are created by the artist.

Hosting for an artist website should cost around $8-$15/mo.  If you want to sell your art on your website, e-commerce options generally start out at around $20/mo.  These prices seem pretty inexpensive, right?  They are.  The thing most people don’t understand about creating great websites is the cost of time.  Web designers generally charge $25-$100/hr for their time and they do not know you or your art as well as you, the artist. So again, designing and creating content for your website is more economical if you take the time to do it yourself.

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“Turquoise Rose” by Susan Stephens, 2013

Where does an artist begin?

Right here! You will learn how to design a great, easy to build, and cost effective website. The best artist websites begin with an effective Content Management System (CMS).  A CMS is a system that allows you to not have to worry about learning how to code your website.  It will do the work for you.  There are many different CMSs available.  Here is a list.  A few but important things to take into consideration when choosing a CMS are:

  • Open or Close source.  (Open source is more cost effective and easier to use)
  • Ease of use. (Are you able to make posts about your work and upload images easily to your website)
  • Website visibility. (Will your website look the same on Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
  • Ease of marketing yourself. (Will you be easily found in search engine results and can you send the information you post easily to all your social media followers with just one click)
  • Security & Backup. (Will your CMS make sure all your hard work is safe and won’t be lost)

I use and recommend WordPress.  Why WordPress?  A lot of artists use this platform.  It fits their budget, it is easy to upload images, and it takes hardly any effort to market their work and themselves.

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“Best Artists, Lake Charles” search results

How will people find my website?

Your URL, keywords and writing great posts on your artwork. The best artist websites will be found in any search engine by choosing the right URL and optimizing keywords.

When you search for something online, what are you trying to find? You are usually trying to find a product or service close to you, right? Unless you know the exact name of what you are looking for you will use broad terms that reflect what you are searching and your location.  This idea should be used when you are creating your URL. Instead of using your name, you may want to consider using terms that describe the work you make.  For example: potterylakecharles.com is better than yourname.com.  Your website will automatically have a better chance appearing first when someone searches for the term “pottery, Lake Charles.”  To see if the URL you want is available,  visit our web store.

If you insist on using your name for your URL, you will need to work a little bit harder to get your website seen by people who do not know you or your work.  This is easily accomplished by using keywords throughout your website.

Keywords are specific terms that relate to you, your work and what you write about.  A good way to find good terms to use throughout your website is by using Google AdWords.  AdWords will let you search the phrases art enthusiasts will be investigating.  Once you know what people are searching for related to your art, use these keywords.  Use them often throughout your written content in order to boost your website’s search engine results.

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“Biological Clock Series: Figs and Grape Leaves” by Sarah Ciampa, 2013

How much time do the best artists put into their websites?

Like your artwork, your website will need your time and attention.   You will want to learn all the ins and outs of designing and promoting your website in order to be found in the sea of other artist websites.  If you would rather focus on just producing amazing artwork, I would recommend delegating this task to an assistant that knows your art as much as you.  Time working on your website is necessary to be successful in SEO rankings and growing your business.  Time and content create the Best Artist Websites!!

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Ready to ship. Necklaces by Susan Stephens

How do artists learn more about creating the best artist websites?

I will be making more posts about designing great websites for artists on my website but I would highly recommend the class, Web Development Strategy.  This class will teach you everything you need to know about designing a great website as well as gives support during and after you complete the course.  Since I know how important a budget is for an artist, email me ([email protected]) with information about you, your current website(if you have one), and what you are looking to do with your website and I will send you a coupon to save you a significant amount on this very important class.

Images for the “Best Artist Websites: Where to Start” – All images in this post were used with the permission of the artists: Sarah Ciampa, Susan Stephens, Kevin King and Kim Wright

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