Websites for Artists – A Must Have

We’re excited to let you know that we’re launching a new website in the early spring! We have had our current website up and running and it’s served us well, but we’ve decided it’s time for some upgrades. The new site is being made with WordPress and will feature improved navigation, new ways to view our work, a fresh webstore, glassblowing information and resources, and more. With this new development in progress, we thought it would be fun to share some ideas for creating a successful website.
Living in the digital age, having an online presence is extremely important. But it’s not enough to just exist on the internet; you need to consider your online image and develop it as part of your brand. Websites are especially important for artists because their work is visual. People want to see examples of your artwork, see your process, find out what inspires you and interact with you. A website is a great platform for these activities to take place. Compared to social media, a website can truly showcase you as an artist all throughout the design of the webpage. You are not limited to the structure, layout and features that a platform like Facebook provides, allowing people to get a better idea of who you are and your brand’s mission. Think of your website as a central hub dedicated to telling the story of your artistic journey the way you want it to be told. Once you have a successful website up and running, you’ll likely find that it’s an integral part of your business, allowing you to reach a wider audience that you wouldn’t have been able to before.
Now that you know how important a website can be to your online presence as an artist, here are eight tips for creating a great website to showcase yourself and your work while growing your following!

1. Don't know how to code? Use a website builder.

Website builders have made it so anybody can quickly and easily build a quality website at an affordable price. The most popular website builders are Wix and SquareSpace and both have a pretty low learning curve. Basically, you sign up, pick out a template, customize and add content and then you have a website pretty quickly.

If you’re looking for more flexibility, WordPress is another option. WordPress takes a bit longer to get used to, but with plugins that incorporate website builders, the process is getting easier and easier. The site we are working on is being created in WordPress using the page builder, Elementor. Elementor is great because it’s free to use unless you want to invest in their pro features.
If you’re going to be making your website yourself, it pays to shop around and find examples of sites made with each of these site builders and read reviews. Do a bit of research before diving in.

3. Use high quality images.

If you’re putting all this time in to making a website to display your artwork, make sure the images are high quality. Learn how to properly photograph your artwork with even lighting and a clean, complementary background. You don’t need to use fancy equipment- utilizing a few simple tricks can help you capture great photos that will do your artwork justice.

website mobile view example

2. Have a clean design.

Your website is your virtual first impression, so keep in mind how you want to be perceived. Your website may have beautiful works of art on it, but if you are disorganized, difficult to navigate, and outdated looking it can have a negative impact on your visitors.

Use a clean and simple background with a basic color scheme. You really can’t go wrong with black text on a white background. Draw attention to certain elements or text by using different colors, fonts or effects. Keep things consistent between pages for a clean and cohesive theme. Have two or three different fonts that are different but look good together.
Site builders let you choose a theme or template and have a color palette, layout and fonts predefined. These are a great starting point that you can stick with or customize as much or as little as you like.

4. Make sure your site is mobile friendly.

It’s said that about 50% of web searches are being done on mobile devices. Make sure your website and content are mobile friendly. Web builders like the ones listed above do their best to make your websites work on smaller screens, but they’re not always perfect. Before you launch your site, make sure to check that everything works well and looks good on a phone and tablet.

5. Think about websites you like or don't like and how you use them.

What are some of your favorite websites? What do you like about them? Think both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. In contrast, think about what sites you hate. What are some things that make them frustrating for you to use? Thinking about how you interact with websites and features or design elements that you like or don’t will help you create a more user-friendly webpage.

6. Make the important information visible.

The most important information on your website is who you are, what you do and how to reach you. So don’t make people search for this information. Have an About page that discusses yourself and your business and definitely provide examples of your work.
Keep a phone number, email address and physical address (if you have one) in a footer and/or create a designated contact page. If you want people to reach you, make it easy for them to do that. I recommend having a phone number, because sometimes somebody might want to reach you immediately. If giving out your personal number makes you uncomfortable, you can get a free Google Voice number and have calls forwarded to your phone.
Email contact forms are fine, but I also suggest having an email address shown as well. Sometimes websites glitch and a form won’t work. If that happens and you have no other means of contact, you may have just missed out on an important contact. The whole point of a website is to get people to learn about you and contact you, so don’t leave them with more questions.

7. Website vs. Just Social Media

You might wonder if you really need a website if you already have a personal Facebook, a Facebook page, an Instagram, a LinkedIn, a Twitter and 20 other locations on the internet. Social media is an important tool but it’s not necessarily a replacement for a website. Social media platforms aren’t really set up for people to find you when conducting Google searches. Generally, they have to search your exact name or business to find you. If you’re a hyper-realistic muralist and you only have a Facebook, it’s a lot more difficult for people to stumble across you on Google unless you already have a large following and people know your name. They may not even come across you on Facebook. Think about how you personally would go about searching for a specific inquiry. Facebook may yield some results, but you’ll be much more successful and have many more returns if you use a search engine. In short, a website will put you on the radar for search engines and if you have great SEO, you’ll show up under a variety of less specific search results, giving you more business and a larger audience.

8. Continuously add new content.

A website is meant to be a living thing, not just a static page that you create once and never think about again. Keep your audience interested and coming back by giving them fresh content. You may want to start a blog, share works in progress, or be more personal and let people know what’s going on in your life. Be creative with your content and consistent in creating it and people will stay interested and come back for more.
These are just a few ideas you can implement into your website to make it a more successful marketing and business tool. There is no shortage of great resources on the internet to help with building a great webpage, so be adventurous.

Good luck and don’t forget to keep an eye out in the near future for our new and improved epiphanyglass.com site!
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