Artist's Website Checklist

Artist’s Website Checklist

Table of Contents

I know how hard it is to start something new.

And I also struggle a bit with concentrating on one thing for long enough to make a bit of progress.

The internet gives us all many options and with those choices can come a bit of “analysis paralysis” as it’s called.

When I want to do something new I look around online, probably like you’ve done, just to get a starting place.

We, as artists in the digital age have the unique opportunity to showcase our work to a global audience via the internet.

A well-structured, visually appealing, and SEO-optimized artist’s website can significantly boost our online presence, attract more visitors, and ultimately drive our art sales.

This guide provides a comprehensive checklist to help you and remind me 🙂 to create an effective artist’s website.

1. Choosing the Right Website Platform

When starting, the first step is selecting the right website platform. Numerous platforms cater to various types of online businesses. However, platforms specializing in art websites understand the art business’s nuances and offer features that enhance visitors’ experience of your portfolio.

There are some crucial decisions to make though as I will explain.

1.1 Art-Specific Platforms

Platforms like Art Finder or Etsy. allow visitors to easily navigate through your collection, pop up images for closer viewing, display art in different settings, and even use augmented reality to customize shopping.

Points to be aware of:

  • You don’t own the website
  • They charge additional high fees or commission for each sale
  • Some of these platforms dictate a base price
  • If the platform goes bust, so do you!
  • You have little or no control over their placement of your business

1.2 General Website Builders

Alternatively, general website builders like Squarespace and Wix can be used if you have some technical know-how or want more control over your site’s design and features than you would get on art-specific selling sites.

Points to be aware of:

  • You need to fairly confident using the technology
  • You have to make all the decisions
  • They charge additional high fees or commission for each sale
  • If the platform goes bust, so do you!

1.3 Hire a Professional Website Designer

A professional web designer can develop a well-crafted ecommerce website for an artist. The designer’s expertise ensures the site is attractive, user-friendly, and optimized for mobile and SEO, enhancing the artist’s online presence. They can also quickly resolve any web-related issues. Their work saves the artist time, adds reliability and customization to the website, improves its loading speed, and boosts the artist’s credibility. This helps the artist to stand out to their target audience, effectively sell their work, and establish a robust foundation for long-term success.

Points to be aware of:

  • Not all web designers are as honest as yours truly! So look for reviews going back a few years at least
  • Not all artist’s web designers are artists themselves – ensure that they know as much about your business challenges as you do
  • Make sure that you “own the website” in the contract should you decide to change provider in the future

2. Crafting an Engaging Home Page

The home page is the first page that visitors see when they arrive at your website. It should capture their interest immediately and encourage them to explore further.

2.1 Top Menu

Your design should feature a top navigation bar where users can easily find all sections of the website with direct links.

2.2 Search Bar

Include a search bar to help visitors find the specific content they want to see quickly. This is especially true for artist’s ecommerce websites.

2.3 Main Banner

Use the main banner to highlight your most important content, such as a new virtual exhibition or the release of your next collection.

2.4 Sections or Highlighted Content

Each of your website’s main pages should have a highlighted section on the home page, with a call-to-action (CTA) linking back to the page.

2.5 Call to Action

Each section, block of content, or banner should have a clear CTA that encourages the visitor to take a specific action, such as “Visit the online show” or “Join the newsletter.”

3. Developing an Informative ‘About’ Page

The ‘About’ page is where you get to tell your story. This is the place where you let your visitors know who you are and what motivates your art. And after the Home page the About page is historically the most viewed.

3.1 Short Bio

Include a short bio that provides essential information about you as an artist to get people’s attention.

3.2 Pictures

Include pictures of yourself, your studio, or your art creation process to provide a more personal touch. Your website is about making connections after all.

3.3 Artist’s Statement

Also, include an artist’s statement to give readers a better understanding of your views as a creator. You don’t need an artist’s statement and an About page though it you want to include this information on a single page.

4. Showcasing Your Artwork

The primary reason visitors come to your website is to view your artwork. Therefore, it’s crucial to present your work in the best possible light.

4.1 Quality Images

Ensure that your artwork images are high-quality, clear, and accurately portray the colours in your work.

4.2 Descriptions

Complement your images with well-written descriptions that provide additional information about each piece if appropriate for your style of work. Having said that, long descriptions will help with getting more people to see your website in the search engines.

4.3 Organization

Organize your artwork in a logical manner, whether by year, medium, series, or theme. Structure is vital for successful website.

5. Creating a Contact Page

The contact page provides a straightforward way for visitors to reach you.

5.1 Contact Information

Include your email address, phone number, and physical address (if applicable) on this page.

5.2 Social Media Links

Also, provide links to your social media profiles to encourage visitors to connect with you on these platforms.

6. Developing a Blog

A blog is a great way to share more about your work, your thoughts on art, and your life as an artist.

6.1 Regular Posts

Ensure that you post regularly to keep your readers engaged and coming back for more.

6.2 SEO Optimization

Optimize your blogs for search engines to help increase your website’s visibility and attract more visitors.

7. Setting Up an Online Shop

If you plan to sell your artwork directly from your website, setting up an online shop is crucial.

7.1 Pricing

Be transparent about your prices to make the buying process easier for your customers.

7.2 Shipping Information

Provide clear information about shipping costs, turnaround times, and your return policy.

7.3 Payment Options

Offer multiple payment methods to cater to different customer preferences.

8. Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Since a significant number of internet users access websites on their mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. I’m surprised how many artist’s website still don’t work well on phones.

8.1 Responsive Design

Choose a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes for the best viewing experience. If you make your own website check that the template is “responsive”.

8.2 Mobile Optimization

Ensure that your website loads quickly on mobile devices to provide a smooth user experience.

9. Improving Your Website’s SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for improving your website’s visibility on search engines like Google.

9.1 Keyword Usage

Incorporate relevant keywords into your website content to help search engines understand what your site is about.

9.2 Meta Descriptions

Create compelling meta descriptions for each page to encourage users to click on your website when it appears in search results.

10. Updating Your Website Regularly

Maintaining an up-to-date website is crucial for keeping your audience informed and engaged.

10.1 New Artwork

Regularly add new artwork to your website to keep your portfolio fresh and engaging.

10.2 Blog Posts

Consistently post new blog content to provide your audience with interesting reads and insights into your art.

11. Integrating Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your artwork and driving traffic to your website.

11.1 Links to Social Media Profiles

Include links to your social media profiles on your website to encourage visitors to connect with you on these platforms.

11.2 Social Sharing Buttons

Add social sharing buttons to your website to make it easy for visitors to share your artwork and blog posts on their social networks.

12. Monitoring Your Website’s Performance

Finally, it’s important to monitor your website’s performance to understand how it’s performing and where improvements can be made.

12.1 Google Analytics

Use Google Analytics to track important metrics like visitor numbers, page views, and bounce rate.

12.2 Website Speed

Check your website speed regularly to ensure that it loads quickly for all users.

By following this comprehensive checklist, you can create an artist’s website that not only showcases your artwork beautifully but also provides a great user experience, effectively promotes your work, and helps to boost your online presence.

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