7-tips-for-building-an-artist-websiteIf you’re an artist, one of the best ways to get your work and name out there is to build a website, using it as a marketing tool and a place for your fans to congregate. With various content management systems available, this shouldn’t be too hard, right? Maybe not. There are several things artists need to consider when building an online presence.

1. Gain Inspiration from Existing Artist Websites

Before you begin building your website, come up with the basic design. If you’ve never had a website before, this can be challenging, but it gets easier once you do research. Begin by looking for successful artists’ websites to get an idea of what does and doesn’t work in the art world. If you need help finding artists, check out art gallery websites.

For example, Park West Gallery, based out of Michigan, has a great artist page where you can view current and past artists as well as their artwork. As you peruse websites, note things you love or hate about the layout, navigation, and design. Also, note how each artist’s personal style is integrated into the design, and think of ways to incorporate your own style into your website.

2. Get Your Own Domain

Free web hosting services may look great on the outside, but in reality, there are always hidden fees, and the quality of the website will be sub-par. Avoid free hosting services that will distort your images and run into glitches, and subscribe to a web hosting service that will give you your very own domain, with full support and high-quality design.

3. Keep It Simple

This will always be the number one rule in website design. As an artist, you want your website to look polished and sleek so it’s easy for your viewers to find things. Extra images, too many colors, and a busy layout will only confuse and frustrate visitors. The truth of the matter is that if your website is too busy and confusing, searchers will leave it for a simpler one.

4. Make Navigation Easy

Your website navigation should also be easy to use. Navigation is one of the most important things to website visitors, according to this blog post from web design experts of Orbit Media Studios. By implementing proper navigation, you can increase the traffic on your website and improve attention and conversions from galleries.

5. Maintain Organization

For easier accessibility throughout your website, organize your artwork into groups. You can decide your own method of organization, but you might consolidate your pieces into a series of related artworks, or post them chronologically. Either way, make sure there is a straightforward method to the way you display your pieces on your website.

6. Avoid Third-Party Advertising

A popular way to make some spare change is to enlist third-party advertising on your website that gives you a stipend every time someone clicks through your pages. However, as an artist who wants to avoid posting anything in poor taste, avoid this temptation. It’s distracting and tacky.

7. Make It Mobile-Friendly

If you want your website to get as much attention as possible, you need to make it mobile-friendly. On April 21, 2015, Google declared that any website that isn’t mobile-friendly will receive a ranking penalty. In short, a website that doesn’t fit to the smaller screen, loads slowly, and isn’t easy to read will not only shut you off to mobile viewers, but it will also rank your website lower in search results. By coding your content for mobile use, you can significantly increase your traffic and boost your career.

A successful artist website is about much more than posting your pieces with a few descriptions. It’s about understanding the world of web design and integrating your personal style to produce a successful site that even indifferent searchers will want to visit.