How To: Do Artists Need a Website? Pros and Cons of Having Your Own Website

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

Sticker Crypt is the internet's premier source of free advice for artists and small business owners! 

There are pros and cons to having a site when you're in the art business. On one hand, it can be a great way to showcase your work and connect with potential buyers. It can also help you build your brand and create a following for yourself. However, creating and maintaining a site can be time-consuming, and it can be difficult to attract traffic to your site. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of having a site, and we will give you some tips on how to make the most of yours!

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What is a website and what does it do for artists?

In the art business, a site is a portfolio and resume all in one. It's an excellent way to sell your art as an artist online and showcase your talent to potential buyers and collectors. A site allows you to list your art for sale, post images and bios, and even sell directly to customers. Additionally, you can use your site to promote upcoming shows, exhibitions, and other art business.

By creating a site, you're taking control of your art career and making it easier for buyers to find and purchase your work. Selling art online is way easier than going to a thousand craft shows. Plus, a professional site makes you look more credible and legitimacy as an artist. If you're serious about selling your art, then investing in a site is a no-brainer.

The pros of having a site for your artwork

Having a site is a fantastic way to showcase your work and reach a wider audience. By creating a space that is solely dedicated to your art, you can control the narrative and ensure that your work is presented in the best light.

An art website is great to sell art, teach art history, and even connect with art galleries and art lovers around the world. Other artists will be able to find you easily, and you can even advertise your artist social media sites on your site, too.

Furthermore, a site can function as an online portfolio, making it easy for potential clients, a gallery, artists, or other users to view your work. This is a great way to get artist gigs and even get conversations started with potentially big clients. Even if you sell oil paintings through an exclusive gallery system, you're able to connect with just about anyone on your site.

Additionally, having a site can help you to build a rapport with your audience and develop a following of loyal fans who want to buy when their favorite artist sells. If you are serious about your art career, then investing in an artist site is definitely worth considering. An artist who creates paintings in a visible way through their site is going to be a great online gallery for art sales.

The cons of having a website

A site can be a great way to show off your work, but there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. One of the biggest potential downsides is that it can be time-consuming and expensive to create and maintain a professional-looking site.

You'll need to invest time in designing and building your site, and then you'll need to regularly update it with new content. Additionally, if you're not careful, you could end up spending more money on hosting and domain fees than you make from artist sales.

Another consideration is that you'll need to promote your site in order to attract visitors. This takes time and effort, and there's no guarantee that you'll be successful as an artist.

Finally, remember that having a site is just one piece of the puzzle. You'll also need to have a strong social media presence and develop other marketing strategies in order to drive sales of your art and succeed as an artist.

How to create a beautiful website on a budget

A site is a great way to show off your art and attract future buyers or commission-givers. You don't need to spend a lot of money to create a professional-looking artist site, either. With a little time and effort, you can build a site that's both attractive and functional that will feature your art.

First, choose a simple platform like WordPress. These platforms offer templates that make it easy to create a beautiful artist site without having to learn coding. Once you've chosen your platform, select a template that fits the style of your work. Then, start populating your artist website with images of your art.

Can I do it for free?

Although free hosting can be tempting, my advice is to stay away from free domains or hosting altogether. Your artist online store will likely cost money to run, even if the website itself is a “free plan” – so just pay for your own hosting and do it right the first time. Your abstract paintings will thank you.

Be sure to include captions and descriptions so visitors can get an idea of what they're looking at. Finally, add your artist contact information and social media links so people can reach out to you. By following these steps, you'll have a perfect site in no time – and without spending a lot of money.

Do you want the best web hosting deal?

If you're interested in starting your own site – you're in luck! I've got years of experience in website development, and I can confidently say that the fastest, most affordable WordPress site host is NameCheap's EasyWP platform. It's streamlined, too – so you don't have to be an expert to get started!

If you're looking for a scalable server, then try Cloudways, instead. Cloudways will enable you to easily start up several WordPress “containers” (websites) without incurring additional fees. THIS website is built on NameCheap's EasyWP platform – but about half of my other websites are on Cloudways.

Either of these options will give you more features than Shopify or other platforms. What you pay for in convenience on those platforms, you'll be able to save and apply to your unlimited pages and user friendly website. Even the most basic plan is going to give you a great way to show off your paintings.

Do you need to learn how to build a site?

If you're looking for a way to up your skills, look no farther than Skillshare. This company offers online courses in an affordable subscription so that you can learn what makes sense for your business. Several other artists and galleries have used platforms like Skillshare to level up and get their site to the next level. Like most services nowadays, they do offer free trials. You could likely still come out ahead by paying for a few months of Skillshare – it's a very viable alternative over paying for a premium service like Shopify.

If you're not into the subscription model, there are always free videos on YouTube, OR you can try Fiverr's a la carte online course offerings through Fiverr Learn. It's a great way to get exactly what you need, taught by experts.

Tips for promoting your website

If you're an artist, chances are you have an website where people can view and purchase your work. But just having a website isn't enough – you need to make sure that people can find it! Here are a few tips for promoting your website: 

  1. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines. This means choosing a clear and concise domain name, using relevant keywords, and providing quality content. 
  2. Submit your site to online directories and listings. This will help people find your site when they're searching for artists in your genre or style. 
  3. Use social media to drive traffic to your site. Share links to your latest work, post announcements about upcoming exhibitions, and engage with potential customers online. 
  4. Use paid advertising to reach new audiences. Invest in Google Ads or Facebook Ads or even Etsy Ads to specifically target people who might be interested in your work. 
  5. Analyze your traffic data to see what's working (and what isn't). Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding your site and which pages they're spending the most time on. Then, adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. 

Just because you're on your own on websites doesn't mean that you can't connect with other artists and any local gallery. A gallery may be happy to show off your work AND put a link to your site on their gallery site. This type of work can pay real dividends.

A note about your social media platforms

Your favorite social media site can lead to sales, but it can also be a huge waste of time. Social media represents something we all crave – attention. But it can be difficult to get our art out on social media because we're competing against folks kids' and memes. Your art likely has a place on your Instagram page or your Facebook page, but I doubt Instagram will make or break an art career.

A professional artist does more than just one post on social. The artistic life is also a business life – so make sure you're sharing your works in progress across online platforms.

Final thoughts

Your art deserves a great place to show it off. You need to move ahead of the many artists out there – and one way to do that is by showcasing your art on a gorgeous site. Websites are an important channel for marketing your artwork across the internet. Plus, your site will serve you well in sales, in reaching your audience, and in expanding your business for years to come.

Want even more intel?

My upcoming book, "Bulletproof Marketing for Digital Artists" will have everything you want - and more - on digital art and building your digital business. Preorder today, and be the first to get your copy in January 2024!

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