Most people, when thinking about getting their own website set up, would probably look for a web design company, and talk to them about getting a website ‘designed’.
The web designer would get a brief from the client, and then get to work creating a beautiful image of how the website should look. The client would then give feedback on the design, and any required changes would be made, until the client was happy with the design, at which point the website would be built in accordance with the visual design.
This is a common way of getting a website set up, and it definitely has its place for certain types of sites and companies.
But in my opinion, as an artist and a web designer, this is not the best approach to take if you want to get a website set up for your artwork.
So, aside from the possibility of your web design going straight to hell, here are three reasons why a custom website design may not be what you really need for your artist website:
1. It Takes Too Long
The traditional process of getting a website designed and built from scratch can take an inordinate amount of time to complete.
From the initial briefing, through design iterations and revisions, to the website production, customisation and finally the launch, you can be looking at a period of weeks if not months before your website is live.
2. It’s Too Expensive
Getting a website designed and built from scratch (by a professional) can be prohibitively expensive.
Many web design companies, even the smaller ones, will have prices starting at no less than $1000 for a basic website.
That’s not to say that the web designers are charging too much, but as an artist on a budget, it may not be a wise investment to spend your money on a custom-designed website.
3. There’s No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
An artist’s website does not need to be the most complex system in the world. It simply needs to present your art in an engaging way, allow visitors to interact and share your art, and in one way or another, give them the opportunity to buy your art.
Rather than spending your time and money getting a designer to create this system from scratch, why not take advantage of the clever people who have already built such systems, and use an existing artist’s website template?
There are plenty of inexpensive artist website themes out there to choose from, many of which will do a great job of showcasing your artwork, for a fraction of the cost of getting a custom website designed and built from scratch.
Note: There are also a lot of free templates, but personally I would steer clear of these, as they tend to have had less work put into them, which can leave them with bugs and security issues. There is also usually no support for these themes from the developers, so you’re on your own if things go wrong.
So What Do You Need?
So, instead of spending thousands on a custom website design, all you really need is a great artist’s website template, and someone who can put it online for you.
The template I would recommend for any artist’s site is the Statua WordPress Theme by WooThemes, as it has pretty much everything I need, and anything it doesn’t have can be easily added through WordPress plugins.
Disclosure: The Statua link above is an affiliate link, which means I get some money if you buy it through that link (at no extra cost to you). I use the theme on my own art website, so I’m happy to recommend it to any artist.
If you already know a bit about websites, and you’re handy with WordPress, you could easily set up this theme on your own. If you need someone to do it for you, I can help.
But My Site Won’t Look Unique If I Use a Template
This is a common concern, and it could be a valid one if you were building a company website, where you needed a strong brand identity running through your web design.
But as an artist, the template you choose should focus on your images, and the rest of the design should be very minimalistic, so as not to divert attention from your artwork.
Your artwork is your branding, and that is what will make your site unique.
If you have anything to add, or any questions about using artist website templates, please leave a comment below.