Create a Website

Create an Artist Website: Make Your Mark With a Top Site

Author
Silvia Benetti
Last update
29. May 2023
Ad disclaimer: For links on this page, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. This supports our work and has no influence on our editorial rating.

Millions of people work in culture. Competition is high, not just in real life, but also online. A high-quality website can help you set yourself apart, but how to make one?

In this article, we'll let you know why artists need websites, how you can make one, and what sort of content to include.

Top Website Builder 2024
Sponsored
from $0.00
per month
Wix
from $16.00
per month
Squarespace
from $10.50
per month
IONOS
from $0.00
per month
Webflow
show all

Why Artists Need a Website

Whether you're a musician, an actor, or a painter, you probably don't have enough time to learn how to code or program. You also might think that art speaks for itself. Or maybe you have a YouTube account and are confident that's enough? While all of these are good and true, in the digital age, you'll need a website for the following reasons:

  • Make a professional impression
    YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are great for gaining attention and popularizing your work. However, to make a professional impression, there's nothing better than a website. This tells casting agencies, producers, curators, and other potential sources of work and advancement that they're working with a serious client.

  • Customize how your art is presented
    On social networks, you only have limited space to showcase yourself and your work. Websites offer you a platform that can be customized to your exact whims and preferences across as many subpages as you'd like.

  • Create a permanent presence
    Social media has a very short attention span. Those who don't post regularly can quickly fall out of the limelight. Websites, on the other hand, are permanent. A web address serves as your customizable, digital business card, and doesn't need to be updated on a scheduled basis.

  • Less spam
    Facebook and Instagram profiles are frequently targeted by hackers and spammers. While websites are also impacted by cyberattacks, it doesn't happen anywhere as often.

What Needs to Be on an Artist's Website?

Broadly speaking, your imagination is the only limit on what you can put on your website: After all, as an artist, creativity is your job. With that said, there are a few elements that you should include:

Homepage

Your homepage determines whether visitors take a look around or navigate away. Website bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who immediately leave) range from 26-70%. This is significant and has much to do with a visitor's first impression.

Make sure that the following information is clearly visible on your homepage:

  • Your name

  • Your niche or specialty (for example, dubbing actor, sand painter, concert pianist, etc.)

High-quality photos and well-written text arose curiosity. (Source: Jennifer White)

What makes your art unique? How are you different from your peers? Try to answer these questions with images. We recommend investing in a professional photographer.

In addition, you can also use your homepage to briefly introduce yourself, so that visitors know a little bit about who you are and what you do. Don't load your homepage with long biographical narratives though.

About Me

In the "About Me" section, you should detail your life, accomplishments, and career highlights. It's possible to list these, however, make sure that it doesn't look like a tax return or long-winded resume. Don't include each and every engagement or exhibition you've participated in.

The artist shown above introduces herself with a few lines. (Source: Krysta Quinn)

You also might want to consider explaining what motivates you here. How did you get involved with painting? Or why did you start learning guitar? Which actor inspired you to pursue a stage career? Try to strike a balance between intriguing your audience without boring them. Including too much jargon and text will work against you.

Portfolio

As an artist, you're defined by your personality and ability, but most importantly, by your art. For that reason, show off what you've done! You can display your newest painting, a scene that you're proud of, or a song that your band recorded for your new album. Writers can include samples or chapters of their work.

Photographers can easily show off their work in a digital portfolio. (Source: Jessamine Kelley)

If you've been around for a while, your portfolio can easily turn into a huge archive: Remember, less is more. A website can never fully replace a piece of art or adequately depict an artist. Instead, try to make a good first impression. Five carefully chosen, high-quality images can do more to impress your visitors than a vast gallery with hundreds of photos.

Blog

If you'd like to invite visitors to step into your world, give them some food for thought, or explain your work in greater detail, you might want to consider including a blog. When using a website builder, it's easy to integrate an artistic blog onto your site. Thanks to the number of templates available, creating new posts is intuitive.

This actor uses his blog to give acting tips and hints. (Source: https://tom-obrien.com/acting-blog/)

Keep in mind that a blog only increases your reach if it's regularly updated and includes high-quality content. Managing such a blog takes time. Should the amount of value it returns not be enough, it's better to stick with social media, like Instagram.

Contact

Artists, like most people, enjoy receiving positive feedback and suggestions. More important than that, potential clients or customers should have an easy way to book your services or purchase your creations. For this reason, a contact form is an absolute must for any artist's website.

Website builders and WordPress offer standard contact forms that include spam protection.

Consider Including These Elements Too

Alongside the essentials like a homepage or portfolio, you can also think about adding the following to your site:

  • News section/Calendar: Keep your fans informed about what's coming up and where you'll be.

  • Social media widgets: Do you have an Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube account? If so, you can easily add widgets to your homepage so that visitors can see your most recent posts.

  • Subareas: Lots of artists are multi-talented. Maybe you're an aspiring actor/playwright who also paints with watercolors on the side. If so, you don't need to choose one of your specialties. Emphasize all three and help visitors to learn more about your abilities by adding drop-down menus highlighting each of your skills.

In the "News" section, the actress shown above has chosen to highlight performances and productions she'll be appearing in. (Source: http://www.christinecornishsmith.com/)

4 Ways to Create an Artist Website

Once you've decided to create a website showcasing your artistic skills and abilities, you'll need to figure out how you're going to do it. The answer depends on the amount of time and money you're willing to invest, as well as your technical skills. Below, we'll show you four different options.

1.

Self-Program an Artist Website

Dynamic websites with graphics, buttons, and forms are typically programmed with PHP or JavaScript. By writing the code yourself, you'll enjoy maximum flexibility.

Lots of graphic designers have dabbled in web design. However, programming an entire website requires quite a bit of time and expertise. If you always wanted to learn more about coding, this could be a great learning opportunity. At the same time, if your skills aren't up to the task and you don't have time or energy to improve them, chances are that one of our other methods will be more feasible.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Limitless design options

  • Affordable, since you'll only need to pay for hosting

  • Time-intensive

  • Only recommended for IT experts

2.

Have an Artist Website Programmed for You

If you're fine with someone else programming your website, there are several freelancer portals like Upwork and Freelancer.com where you can find and hire pros. Such experts will then handle technical aspects like coding and hosting, as well as make suggestions about your website's design and layout. In comparison to the results achievable with website builders, your site will be truly bespoke albeit, cost much more.

Lots of freelancer platforms allow you to negotiate a contract with an expert capable of bringing your vision to life.

A typical artist website with 6-8 subpages will anywhere from $2,500-3,500. Should you have special requests, the price can quickly increase. Since freelancer platforms generally take a cut of any project fee (from both sides), you'll also find freelancers at lower rates on social networks. If pursuing this variant, make sure that the quality is up to your standards and that the individual you're working with is reputable before paying.

In the event that you don't have any budgetary constraints, you can get in touch with an agency that specializes in websites. These generally consist of graphic designers as well as backend and frontend developers and cost more than freelancers.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Custom design

  • Experts create your website

  • Saves time

  • Expensive

  • Quality varies depending on the freelancer

3.

Create an Artist Website With a Content Management System

A content management system allows anyone to create a website using ready-made elements such as text blocks, headers, image galleries, menus, and widgets. Since you'll visually work with all of the elements, you'll be able to build an entire website without writing a single line of code. Once satisfied, you can customize your site's layout in the platform's editor, where you'll immediately see all changes.

WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world can be downloaded for free at Wordpress.org. It comes with thousands of free themes, many of which are designed specifically with artists in mind. Among its seemingly endless plugins are apps that enhance the platform's capabilities or add new ones. One of the most popular of these, Yoast, provides detailed statistics and analysis of your website's traffic.

If using WordPress, you will have to take care of hosting separately. This requires signing up with a separate service and purchasing a domain. Also, keep in mind that you'll need to set aside some time to familiarize yourself with WordPress so that your site doesn't look amateurish.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Intuitive website design/no programming skills necessary

  • Lots of free themes

  • Numerous plugins/flexible solutions

  • Free

  • Hosting not included

  • Website design and hosting more time-intensive than with building software

4.

Create an Artist Website With a Website Builder

Website builders are even more user-friendly than WordPress, which can overwhelm beginners with its numerous menus and options. Solutions like Wix or Squarespace allow even the most technically unskilled user to put together a professional-looking website with a minimal investment of time and effort. Such platforms also feature free templates, however, be aware that your design options will be limited compared to other methods.

One big advantage website builders have is that their premium subscription plans include a domain and hosting. This makes it possible for freelance artists to visually create and host a website containing lots of images and videos for a very small investment.

Advantages and Disadvantages