Having a website is an opportunity for artists to present themselves attractively to a global audience.
Art collectors and dealers often scour the Internet for talent. And even the press might discover your website by searching artistic topics.
Moreover, as an artist, a website may enable your audience to participate in the creative process, share your enthusiasm for shapes, colors, structures, and arrangements.
The more personal the message of your artist website, the closer the connection with the audience can be. This article will take you step by step through the process of how to build an artist website.
How to build an artist website
Whether it’s a job or a hobby, an artist’s website is their online exhibition space or a kind of virtual gallery. The website serves perfectly as a business card, gallery brochure and art catalog.
Before you get started, take the time to find out what is important to you and what the purpose of your artist website is. Ask yourself who might be interested.
Once your site is online, it will be important that you keep the data up to date. Notes like “Next exhibit February 22, 2017” (while you are in 2024) can quickly discourage site visitor interest and eat away your credibility.
Art and the coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing artists to seek out new ideas in order to connect with audiences and maintain a connection with loyal art friends. The fact that some studios and galleries are closed does not necessarily mean that the art no longer takes place.
On the contrary, Click and Collect can also work for artists.
Which website is suitable for an artist and how to choose a provider?
Creating an artist’s website has become very simple from a technical point of view. There exist many tools that can be used (almost) without any programming knowledge.
Each tool, each approach has its strengths, but there are also a few things to keep in mind so that the art-making process doesn’t suffer when the artist takes care of their website.
|Website builder tool||Content Management System (CMS)||Individual programming||Web development services|
|Advantages||Many ready-to-use ideas available, easy to implement; no prior knowledge required||Easy content maintenance with word processing skills; great freedom in design||Maximum freedom for design||Everything is delivered by professionals; very little time investment required; SEO included|
|Disadvantages||Fixed guidelines, limited creative leeway||Knowledge of databases, themes, plugins and SEO required; relatively high effort despite the aid available||Very complex, as deep background knowledge is required; more room for error||Limited design|
|Prices||Depending on the size of the project, from $100 to $300 per year||Varies a lot depending on the needs; it takes about $200 per year for WordPress hosting.||From $0 if done yourself to high costs of service providers depending on the projects||About $1000 per year, depending on the projects; strong price fluctuations are possible.|
|Difficulty level||Very weak||Medium||Very high||Very weak|
Website builder tool
A website builder tool provides basic website designs that can often be tailored to the specific needs of an art style with just a few clicks. However, it only contains a certain number of elements, so the leeway in terms of design is limited.
On the other hand, these packages often include photos and artwork that goes well with the theme of the site. When choosing a website builder tool, make sure the free offer is not supported by external advertising. It doesn’t generally correspond to the idea we have of an artist’s website.
Content management system
Content management systems (CMS) have become widespread.
The main advantage is that once the site is finished, it can be maintained by the artist himself or by his team. Proficiency in a word processing program and some skill in editing image files is sufficient.
Almost two-thirds of all websites worldwide use the WordPress CMS (source: Statista 2021). A worldwide community develops and maintains several tens of thousands of design templates (themes) and plugins with which almost all requirements of an artist website can be met.
A CMS is easy to set up, even for beginners, provided you have basic knowledge of how a server and databases work.
The individual programming of an artist website allows maximum freedom to implement your own creative ideas.
On the other hand, a very large effort is required (usually disproportionate). Programming knowledge is required, but it is above all the time you’ll devote to it that will slow down the creation of your artist’s website.
If you are considering this option anyway, you can find out more in our digital guide: our “Learn HTML” and “Learn CSS” tutorials will help you.
Web design and development services
The use of a service or a web design and development company entail costs dependent on these services.
The amount depends on the requirements you have on the creation of your artist website.
On the one hand, it means that as the administrator of the artist’s website, you won’t have to deal with the problems inherent in its creation. But on the other hand, you will have to make sure that your ideas are well communicated and are well implemented by the service.
We offer web design and development services here at Webgiig. Feel free to Contact Us.
What should be found on an artist’s website?
Choosing the necessary content for an artist website is no easy task. It’s about showcasing your creative potential and talent, while avoiding unnecessary exaggeration.
The following should be part of an artist website:
- Home page
- My work
- About/Who am I?
- Blog/Social networks
- Contact form
- Legal Notice
On the home page of your artist website, visitors should immediately be directed to the most important thing: art. This first impression is essential to retain visitors, and therefore people potentially interested in your work on the site.
Too much text or the use of animations or music on a site is rather harmful and distracts visitors. While a simple and clear structure invites discovery.
This page is the artistic core of your artist website.
Here, your art and your style become visible and tangible, like in a kind of digital studio. Work only with very good quality images, use photo galleries to better showcase your work.
If artwork is sold directly from the website, indicate that here. Otherwise, add a link to the art dealer.
Note: In the case of portraits (painting or photography), you absolutely must obtain the consent of the persons represented before publishing them on your artist’s website.
Talk about your path to art, what inspired you, how you found your style, what drives you.
Where did you study? Which artists are you particularly close to? Is there a motto, a conception, an art philosophy that you follow?
All of these questions create a very personal relationship with the works of art presented. The process of creating a particular work can also be explained.
The About page typically includes mention of courses taken or awards received and other milestones on your resume.
It’s the calendar of events on an artist website.
When and where will the next vernissage and the next exhibitions take place?
Where have your works been seen before?
Which institution or medical office, which company or which restaurant will exhibit your works or has already acquired certain pieces?
You can find all that on this page, possibly with photos of exhibitions and, if you wish, with feedback from visitors.
Have you been interviewed?
Was there a television crew in your studio or at an exhibition?
This part of the artist website is the ideal place to score points with visitors with a real digital press kit. For uploaded images (scans) or videos, please ensure that permissions have been granted and copyright information is correct.
Blog and social networks
With a blog, you can add another, more personal perspective to the “About” page, which, for example, could regularly describe sources of inspiration and the creative process. If you like telling stories, create an online journal like this, but it’s not a requirement.
Social networks are constantly evolving. This is also the case with regard to their importance to the target groups. Links to your Facebook, Instagram or Google accounts should only appear on the artist’s website if these accounts are regularly updated.
Note: The direct integration of such links is questionable under data protection law because user data is already transmitted to third-party sites without the visitors’ permission (i.e. before clicking).
The location of your studio or a gallery that currently exhibits your work allows visitors to the artist website to come directly to meet you. When integrating online map services, GDPR requirements must also be observed in order to prevent unsolicited data transmission.
A contact form can help manage requests. However, you should always offer the possibility of direct contact by telephone. After all, you depend on personal contact to market your art.
Vigilance and legal certainty protect against warnings and fines. There are various online tools to generate these legal texts, some of which are chargeable.
Since the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), additions and changes are regularly added. Update them regularly. The attentive web service providers will themselves ensure that everything is always legally up-to-date.
As a visual artist, it is recommended that you refer to the copyright protection of your exhibited works. It is also important to include a selection option for the processing of cookies that is clearly visible to website visitors.
Your artist website step by step
Step 1: choosing a domain name
A domain is the prerequisite for being present and visible on the Internet. The domain is a unique internet address with which the artist website can be accessed. And as with any address, a name that can be remembered is a good prerequisite for being found by potential visitors and search engines. It is worth investing some time in researching a good domain name.
Pay attention to the following details:
- as your domain name Use your own artist name, possibly with an addition. Without going into too much detail, you will also need to use the name in meta tags, keywords, and copyright on the artist website.
- The .fr national domain is very common in France. With the .com domain extension, you show that you are pursuing a business interest.
- New domain extensions make it easier to find a domain name, for example .art, .gallery, .gifts, .studio or .work. However, some of them are expensive.
- Using an artistic category or style specific term for the domain name is not always easy. Just like the designation of the artistic practice “painter” or “painting” because of the use of the same words for the profession of house painter.
- If you are using multiple domain names, redirect any additional domains to the main domain of your artist website.
Buy a domain name here: namecheap.com
Step 2: design to showcase your art
As an artist, you probably already have clear ideas about how you want to present yourself to the outside world. The principles of minimalism are a good recommendation online.
The entire look and feel of the artist website should help focus on the artwork, i.e. provide plenty of space to display the art itself: little text at specific points, spaces left white to air, plenty of room left for images.
Many visual artists use their name as their website logo.
The majority of users access the web with mobile devices. And quite logically, search engines also rate websites on how well they display on smartphones and tablets. We are talking about website responsiveness. This means that the appearance of the site should depend on the device on which its content is displayed.
Design templates (themes or templates) should be filtered by this criteria.
Use our wide range of site templates directly or as inspiration.
Some of these templates (or even themes) for creating websites offer a lot of freedom when designing, so that there are practically no limits to your creativity.
Step 3: Take Care of Your Artist Website Content
With the design framework in place, it’s time to integrate the content.
The texts must be particularly neat, both in terms of titles and their length as with regard to important keywords and their logical coherence in the context of the site.
Your grammar and spelling should be impeccable, as experience has shown that both are often overlooked.
For the sake of a good structure, and in order to facilitate the maintenance of your site, a division into main pages and sub-pages (for example as “parent/child pages” in the CMS) is useful.
Images should be scaled to the recommended dimensions beforehand. The compression ratio should not be too high.
Be sure to assign an alt tag for each image. On the one hand, this is important for image SEO. On the other hand, it contains valuable information for users when an image is not displayed.
The corresponding field is provided in the CMS. The situation is the same with the title tag. If the programming was done manually, it will look like this for example:
<img src="../folder/myimage.jpg" alt="An art painted by hand by Your-name" title="Art title">
Always attribute tag content when you publish the material. Everyone knows how stories that start with “I’ll do it later” end.
Is Cloud storage a secure option for storing large amounts of memory-intensive images or videos. Some CMS or site builder limit the file size for uploading media. This can be problematic when using video files. With videos stored separately in a cloud linked to your site, you have more freedom.
Advice: Document your website well. This will facilitate the work of everyone involved in the project, even if the supplier changes.
Step 4: publish the artist website
The design is perfect, the texts and images are added, all the information is correct: the time has come to publish the site on the Web in order to connect with your audience. Now be sure market your artist website. The web address should be added to any business cards, flyers, or on your studio sign. And why not on advertising spaces?
Another thing to consider: where do you like to eat? A poster displayed there can generate contacts. Presence in local listing directories should not be underestimated.
Do artists need a website?
A big yes! Without a website, an artist is “invisible” these days. Only an artist’s website allows the meeting with a large public receptive to art, like a digital studio. An artist’s site facilitates accessibility, publicity and a multitude of opportunities for notoriety and therefore commercial success.
What are the benefits of an artist website?
The website is the studio open 24/7. Anyone who earns or wants to earn a living with art must have a public presence. The artist website is a fundamental component of public relations.
How to easily create a website for artists?
Website builders make the creation of professionally designed artist website easy and convenient. In addition, the costs for this remain accessible. An important plus, especially for beginners: the Internet address, the necessary storage space and the creation and design system as well as the SEO are fully taken care of by the same service.
Where can I find templates for artist websites?
If you have opted for a site creation tool or a CMS, various ready-to-use site templates (or themes), most of which are responsive, are available to you. Simply choose the right template as the basic framework for your artist website, then let your creativity run free to ensure a unique site.
How to sell your Art online?
Works of art are often sold at auctions. An artist can however use a personal website to sell her art. As a beginner or hobby artist, it is advisable to take a look at similar offers. But don’t set the bar so high just yet, you might be disappointed.
Now that you know how to build an artist website, feel free to share this article.