Artist Website Basics-Part 2
Artists, like any other professional, need certain things on their websites that are particular to artists. You want the correct information on your site so that visitors and potential customers can get to know you and see what you have to offer. Here is a list of MUST have items to be included on artist websites (minimum information):
- Artwork with sizes and prices on each piece.
- Biography with a picture of the artist.
- Contact Page.
- Shopping Cart and Payment Processing System.
Artwork should be self explanatory. Make sure you have the prices listed - how can someone purchase a painting from your website if there is no price that coordinates with a shopping cart and payment system?
A biography is not to be confused with a resume or CV (curriculum vitae). A biography tells something about you, and shows your picture. A resume of CV is simply a list of exhibitions that you have had over the years. Many artists get these two confused.
The homepage is simply the landing page that people land on when they come to your site. This page has a navigation heading for other pages.
A contact page is important because you want to make it easy for customers to contact you if they have questions about you or your work. I like to add my email address to this page too so that people can bypass the contact page if they wish.
A shopping cart and payment processing system is critical if you want to sell art. Art is an emotional purchase, so make sure you capitalize by having a shopping cart that someone can select the painting and immediately pay for it on your site. This is a huge component to increase your art sales.
Depending on how you make a living as an artist, there may be many other things that you will include, but these are the minimum components. You may also include events, a list of galleries that sell your work, a blog, online programs, coaching services, commissions - you get the idea. Each artist's site will be different and customized based on their business model.
Just as there are components that you do need to provide, there are other things that SHOULD NOT be on your website:
- Bright Colored Backgrounds.
- Pattern Backgrounds.
- Confusing or Complicated Navigation.
Music should be obvious. No one wants to hear music playing when they go to your site - or any site.
Bright or patterned backgrounds are a no-no. You want your artwork to stand out, not the background. The color should be in the art and the backgrounds should be neutral: white, gray, tan, taupe. Be careful with very dark gray or black backgrounds with white text. It is very difficult to read a page of white text on a black background - it makes me see stripes in just a few seconds.
Make sure your navigation headings are clear and that everything on your site is easy to access. Make sure the navigation makes sense so that it is easy for customers to move through your site.
Please do not put any type of animation in your site. This was done 15 years ago - and is not something that would be included on any modern website.
Lastly, please keep your website updated regularly with new art, or new events, or new blog posts. There is nothing worse that a website that never gets updated. Remember, customers want to see your new work - give them a reason to keep coming back to your site. The other upside to regular updates is that Google sees it as an active website and will rank it higher.
Good luck, and I trust your website will be amazing!
For those that are interested in a fun and engaging workshop experience, I have some workshops coming up that you will love: (You can see a full list of Workshops by Clicking HERE.)
- May 5-7, 2017 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. Contact David to register: firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-418-3038.
- May 20-21, 2017 Anchorlight Raleigh, NC. To register contact Monica Linares email@example.com
- June 5-8, 2017 Dillman's Creative Arts, Lac Du Flambeau, WI. To register contact Stephanie 715-588-3143 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Details HERE.
- June 19-22, 2017 Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH. To register contact Danielle email@example.com or 330-928-8092.
- July 10-14, 2017 Cloudcroft Art Workshops, Cloudcroft, NM. To register contact Linda Shiplett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 915-490-5071. Details HERE.
As always, thanks so much for your support!
P.S. If you cannot attend a live event, or prefer to learn online in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online workshop:
Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop. You can learn more about the program by Clicking HERE.