If you are an artist, then you know that having a website is a must-have. Not only does it give you a place to showcase your work, but it also allows potential customers to learn more about you and your art. When choosing a website hosting provider for artists, there are many things to consider. In this blog post, we will discuss the factors you need to take into account when making your decision. We'll also recommend some of the best website hosting providers for artists out there!
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.
When internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your webpages will be delivered to them through the browser. Most web hosting companies use a grid system whereby each individual server is connected with numerous other servers within their network. In this way, if there is ever an issue with one of the servers in the network (e.g., it goes offline), another server can quickly take its place without affecting the overall performance of the network.
This is all very basic stuff and you might be like, “Yeah, Sam, I know” – but understanding how the internet works is an important component of understanding what services you need, and which ones you can pass on, when you start building a website.
Do I need traditional web hosting?
When you're setting up a website, one of the first things you need to do is choose among many web hosting services. There are a lot of different options out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. One question you might be wondering is: do I need traditional web hosting?
A traditional web host is a great option for many people. It's reliable, affordable, and easy to use. However, there are some situations where it might not be the best choice. For example, if you're setting up a website that will be receiving a lot of traffic, you might want to consider a more robust option like VPS hosting.
Or, if you're looking for more features and flexibility, you might prefer cloud hosting. For a basic WordPress site, a basic web hosting package will work just fine. You can get free web hosting over at WordPress.com, and then upgrade as you add more features, like an online store. But this method (free THEN paid) can nickel and dime you, so definitely price shop as you grow.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out which type of web hosting is right for you is to assess your needs and goals for your website. Once you know what you're looking for, you'll be able to narrow down your options and find the perfect host for your site.
What is a website builder?
A website builder is a type of software that helps people create websites. It provides users with a set of tools that they can use to add text, images, and other content to their website. Website builders typically include a drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to add and arrange elements on the page.
Most website builders also offer templates, which provide a starting point for creating a website. Some website builders are free to use, while others require a monthly subscription. Website builders can be a good option for people who want to create a website without any prior experience.
Website builders for artists
Website builders are best if you only want to build one website for a specific, limited purpose. You will quickly outgrow website builders if you plan on doing digital art or other web projects. In other words, a website builder might not be the best web hosting for artists.
Website builders for artists are often too constraining. They can't handle our big visions. The same is true of free web hosting – you'll often get limited by your website builder or web hosting before you expect. That's why picking the correct web hosting for artists' online portfolio(s) is SO important. Sharing your work online needs to go well.
But what if I don't know how to code?
You don't need to code, and you don't need a website builder. Or if you do, you can just use a website builder contained within a larger website module like WordPress. My favorite website builder is Divi or GeneratePress for folks who need simple ideas.
The web builder I use is Oxygen. It is, by far and way, among the best website builders out there. It does have drag and drop, but you'll also need to get your hands dirty to build your own website. It's worth the pain, though.
Should I use free portfolio hosting options?
When you're ready to start sharing your work with the world, you may be wondering if you should use free portfolio hosting options. While there are some benefits to using free hosting services, there are also some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of. One of the biggest advantages of using a free plan is that it's often very easy to set up and doesn't require any technical knowledge.
Additionally, a free plan provides a wide range of templates and tools that can help you create a professional-looking portfolio with minimal effort. However, one of the main disadvantages of free hosting is that it can be less reliable than paid options.
Free hosting services may also place ads on your portfolio, which can detract from your work. Overall, whether or not you use a free portfolio hosting service is up to you. If you're just starting out and don't have a lot of money to invest in your portfolio, a free service may be a good option. However, if you're serious about promoting your work, you may want to consider investing in a paid host.
Finally, most free portfolio website options won't come with an online store. Online stores are essential for artists who are trying to sell art from their online art portfolio. So if you're planning to have an online store, be sure to just go straight to paid web hosting for artists, because the free plan won't cut it.
Is a free domain worth it?
If you get a free domain with your web hosting – sure! But check that renewal price when the time comes, because web hosting services often over charge for their domain names to make up for the cost of their cheap or free plan webhosting. A free domain may have strings attached that you don't like.
What should I look for in my web hosting service?
Free SSL certificate
Own domain name – and more
It's fine to get a free domain, but make sure you own the domain name. Make sure that you can transfer your custom domain name over to another host if you'd like. NameCheap is the number one source for cheap domains, and they have fast, great WordPress hosting, too!
For an artist website, large or unlimited storage AND fast delivery are important. Look for managed hosting that provides all the features of normal web hosting – and it optimizes your web hosting for the website builder you're using, too. NameCheap has a great managed service called EasyWP, and if you want the cloud, Cloudways is your go-to hosting provider.
No upcharge on your own online store
Finally, as you explore web hosting for artists, be sure to make sure that you can get all the features of an online store on your website. Your customers should be able to buy with just a few clicks. If you see upcharges for stores, just walk away. That's not your best web hosting option.
Finding web hosting for artists doesn't have to be hard
I hope this guide has helped you learn more about web hosting for artists and the best website builders out there. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I'll do my best to answer them! And if you're looking for more great tips on how to build and grow your online art business, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You'll get weekly advice, resources, and tips delivered straight to your inbox!