If you're like most artists you would rather be working in the studio making art, then fiddling around on the computer trying to figure out how to make a website or whether its better to have a Facebook page to promote yourself or an online portfolio. As an artist and web and social media professional, I meet lots of artists who would like to increase their visibility online, but don't have a clue on where to start. I found a couple of articles that discuss different views between the top DIY website platforms and how they factor for artists.
The first article I found on art business coach Alyson Stanfeilds website. Website Wars: WordPress vs Squarespace vs Wix vs Weebly. This is a blog article, written by a guest blogger Kim Bruce compares the four top web design platforms and their usability for artists. Kim provides an at-a-glance comparison grid where you can see the benefits/features and costs of each one. It is clear that Kim is a Wordpress (www.wordpress.org) lover, for a good reason; you (the artist) own the website. I find this an important point, as I have worked with artists and small businesses to rebuild their websites that no longer functioned, or were lost because the hosting company went out of business, or the web manager who hosted and managed their website in Dreamweaver, was last spotted working at a hotdog stand in Puerto Rico. Click here to Read the article.
This second article has a different take on the Wordpress platform. Pierre Kuhn, founder and CEO of Artspring, a company that helps artists succeed online, writes about why he feels Wordpress is a bad idea for professional artists, unless of course, you're made of money. His article 4 Reasons not to use Wordpress for Artists Websites; unless money is no object . Pierre makes some good points about the learning curve one needs to navigate to be able to use it effectively. and though Wordpress has drag and drop interface, there are many plug-ins that are needed to add functionality to the site such as for a gallery of images, an ecommerce piece to sell your work, and email sign up form to promote. One thing to note, Pierre does give a disclaimer, as his company provides website and online art business development services, Click here to read the article.
Here are three things to remember when trying to figure out which type of website platform is best for you:
- Be Honest: you know your own strengths and limitations when it comes to technology. Most online DYI web design programs operate like Microsoft Word, and are easy to figure out if you have some experience with using Word, but adding functionality may take some extra time to learn so be prepared to invest some time.
- Consult Experts: There are LOTS of resources now for artists wishing to show and sell their work online. Many of these resources offer free advice, help and coaching for artists. If you don't think you have the time to build your own website, then looking into online art auction sites, or Artist coaches to help you move forward is a good place to start.
- Don't Wait: If you don't have an online presence for your art, what are you waiting for? More and more people every day, are using the internet to research and purchase art. As I mentioned above, there are many, many ways now for artists to make a living selling their work online, you just need to get out there!
Finding the right online venue for your art does not have to be intimidating or stressful. You're creative, and I'd venture to say a problem solver. Make it fun, and you'll find exactly what you need to help you succeed.