Sharing your art online is a great way to get more eyeballs on it.
But you might be worried about what it’s going to take to get your website set up. You may have even heard some horror stories from friends who went through a web design company, ended up paying an arm and a leg, and couldn’t even access the backend to change it when they wanted to.
Don’t worry – building your own website is much easier than it might seem. Plus, you get to retain control when you build it yourself. I’m going to show you how.
Here’s How Artists Can Create Their Core Site:
Take a deep breath and relax. We’re about to get the basic structure of your website set up, and if everything goes well, it shouldn’t take much time at all.
The first thing you should be aware of is that you’re going to be building your website on WordPress. WordPress is a great platform for artists, because of its flexibility, as well as its ability to keep all your content archived and organized.
You may have heard somewhere that WordPress is hard to set up, but that’s not the case anymore, so not to worry.
The first thing you’ll need is a domain name (i.e. www.yourname.com) and hosting plan. If you don’t have either yet, usually you can purchase both through the same provider. I suggest using Just Host.
Do you have your domain name and hosting plan? Good. Now, installing WordPress is basically a one-click process. Yes, one click.
WordPress represents roughly 30% of the web, meaning it’s the top website builder tool available. There is plenty of documentation, tutorials and support available too. Rest assured you’re building on a solid platform.
So, now that you have the skeleton structure of your site set up, you’re ready to move onto the next steps. We’ll talk about customizing the design of your site in a moment, but first, let’s set up a few important pages on your site.
3 Important Pages All Artist Websites Should Have
Artist websites tend to be unique in that their look and feel is often a reflection of the artist who owns it.
But here are three important pages you should have on your website, regardless of how you’re planning to present yourself online:
- Portfolio. This could also be your “Gallery”, “Work”, or “Project” page. Every artist should put their art at the forefront on their website. This ensures that it gets seen by your visitors, who may also be interested in buying your art.
- Shop. You won’t sell any art unless you give your visitors the opportunity to do so. A shop page is a crucial component of every artist website.
- Media. This is a good place to share any positive press you’ve received. Quotes and testimonials can lend a lot of credibility to your name and artwork.
Most artists have simplistic websites whose central focus is to show off their artwork. If you create multiple types of art, you might consider creating separate pages for each (i.e. illustration, animation, concepts, sketches, 3D, etc.).
But there’s no need to clutter up your menu bar with a lot of options. Many artists only have five pages on their website (i.e. About, Contact, Blog, Work, Shop). You are not required to have more – it just depends on how you’d like to structure your site.
It’s okay to get creative. After all, you are an artist. But it’s always best to plan out the structure of your site before doing everything you need to do in WordPress. That way, you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary headache later. Try mind mapping your ideas beforehand.
Relevant WordPress Themes For Artists
Every artist deserves a great looking website.
Even if your art is great, if your website isn’t, it could affect your credibility as an artist.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great themes for artists that look and feel great, right out of the box.
Here are three themes you should consider using as an artist.
Haar – A Portfolio Theme For Designers, Artists And Illustrators
As The name suggests, Haar is a good theme for designers, artists and illustrators alike.
Haar comes with an easy-to-use admin interface, responsive design, many creative home and inner pages to choose from, Visual Composer and Slider Revolution plugins, customizable layouts for portfolio lists, and much more.
The design of this theme is anything but ordinary, so if you’re not a fan of that “standard” WordPress theme look, you just might like this one.
Wave – WordPress Theme For Artists
Wave is a responsive WordPress theme made specifically for artists. It comes with a dynamic homepage, full width slider, custom widgets, and is WooCommerce and translation ready.
This is a lightweight, fast-loading and simple theme with plenty of customization options – perfect for setting up your online gallery.
Artday – Creative Artist WordPress Shop
Artday is a clean, modern eCommerce theme that allows you to easily sell your art online. But as with any other WordPress theme, you can still set up your blog, gallery, and other pages with ease.
This theme comes with the Revolution Slider, Visual Composer, and Layered popups plugins. If you want a theme that allows you to sell your art out of the box, you should consider Artday.
Other Artists With Good Website Worth Checking Out
There is no shortage of great artist websites out there, which is good news for you, because you can take inspiration from the best.
When you spot ideas or components you like, or if there’s a specific design style you’d like to emulate, you’re free to do so. I wouldn’t recommend outright copying someone else’s website down to the last detail, however.
So, here are a few artist websites you should browse for inspiration:
- Brad Albright Illustration & Design: A site with an attractive logo, and a simple design overall. Links to social profiles and the menu are crammed in at the top, leaving plenty of room for the art to shine. Albright also does a great job of breaking up lots of content into bite-size pieces, such as on his “Info | Contact” page.
- Kelly Rae Roberts: More than just an artist website, Roberts offers Ecourses, Books, and even has a podcast to help artists just like you. She’s also actively collecting email addresses from her visitors, something you should also consider doing. Over time, your email list will become your most valuable audience to sell you art to.
- Wim Delvoye: The number one reason to visit this website is for its incredible design, which was seemingly inspired by the SimCity series of games. Visitors can click on the buildings to discover various sections of the site. The menu is understated and simple, which is also a good quality of the site. You should only prioritize items you want your visitors to click on.
Artist Website Creation 101 Conclusion
Are you excited yet? You should be!
With a little bit of work, you’ll be able to show off your artwork to visitors across the globe. That means you can sell your art to a near unlimited number of prospects.
But setting up your website is just the first step. You’ll still need to market your website to get the most leverage from it. That’s something I’ll be covering soon.