Why You Need a Website as an Artist

Are you an artist that still doesn’t have a website?  Shame on you.  You absolutely need a website as an artist.  A website will increase your exposure and may help you sell your artwork without a middle man (gallery or agent).  So what are you waiting for?  It is so easy to create a website that is professional looking that represents you effectively.  You can hire a designer to do all of the dirty work for you, but the good news is that you don’t have to.  You can create your own website quickly and easily in a variety of ways.  In fact, there are several ways that you can create your own artist website for free.  In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the ways that you can get your work on the web, and share your work with the world.

Create Your Artist Website from Scratch
The first way to create your own website is to develop it from scratch.  This method will take you longest, and may require that you learn some things about website design.  But, creating your website from scratch gives you the most control over the look and feel of your website.  Here are the steps to creating your own website from scratch…

1. Purchase a domain name- A domain name is the “.com”, “.net”, “.org” or so on.  It may read YourWebsite.com.  You can purchase domain names from a variety of hosting services like namesecure.com or godaddy.com.  Most domain names will cost anywhere from $5 to $10 a year.  You may need to think about how you want your visitors to “find” your website.  If you are thinking about having organic customers (ones that find your website through Google or Yahoo), then you may decide to name your domain to something that your customers will be searching for.  For example, if you make portraits of fish on cardboard, you may want the domain name- “fishportraitsoncardboard.com”.  (That’s probably an untapped market)  Or, if you your visitors will be finding you based on your name, you could purchase the domain name- “yourname.com”.  This first step is quite important because it will affect where you show up in an organic search in Google or Yahoo.

2. Design and Build Your Website- Next, get your hands on some web design software.  This is commonly called an HTML editor.  This is where you may have to learn some things.  Some software makes learning easy though.  In this step, you will create the look of your website.  You may design a few pages that link to each other.  For example, you may have home page, an about page, a portfolio page, a contact page, and a pricing page.  Be sure to make your navigation easy to follow and understand.  Also, make sure that there is a way to get to every page on your website.  I suggest that you create a navigation bar with links to every page on your site and include that navigation bar on every page in your website.
Here is a link to some HTML Editors…
Windows HTML Editors
Mac HTML Editors
(I use Dreamweaver)
Another great website for help with this step (and really the whole process) is 2createawebsite.com This site helped me out when I was just beginning.

3. Purchase a Hosting Package- A web host allows you to publish your website on the internet.  You can purchase web hosting from the same place that you purchased your domain name.  Web hosting packages usually charge you by the month.  Pricing varies, but is usually pretty cheap ($6-15 a month).  Shop around for the best deals and research who has the best service before you buy.  Once you have your hosting you can publish your website to the web.  The best part about creating your website from scratch is that you can change it at anytime and you have full control over what your visitors see.

Use WordPress and Host the Site on Your Domain
WordPress is changing the way websites are made.  WordPress allows just about anyone to create a professional looking website without knowing about coding.  If you want to host your site with a specific domain name, but you don’t want to learn or bother with the coding specifics, then this method is the way to go for you.  You can pick from hundreds of  pre-coded templates, that are easy to insert your images and info into.  You can visit the WordPress website and follow the directions for uploading your site.  This method will still require that you purchase a domain name and pay for hosting.

Start a Free Blog (Website) at WordPress.com or Blogspot.com
You don’t have to pay to have your own artist website on the net.  You can visit wordpress.com or blogspot.com and setup your own website in minutes.  The drawback here is that you are not in control of your hosting.  You don’t have total control over your website, but it is free!

So, no more excuses.  Get your art out there.

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