Setting up your website portfolio
One topic up-and-coming artists often ask about is Websites. Should I have one? Yes! Is it easy to create? Yes. Doesn't it cost much? No.
I thought I'd take your through my website experiences and I have included a short video on how to set up your own portfolio website on Wix within ten minutes.
Firstly let me reiterate why it's so important for artists to have their own website. To have your own online store to sell your artworks and products so that 100% of those profits go to you (and not to a gallery or third party). You also want to make a sales transaction as easy and as safe as possible. If you are promoting your art for sale on your social media, you can link them through to your online store so they can find more information and purchase in their own time using Paypal (which is safe for everyone). This saves you time with back and forth on DMs.
It is really important for you to have an online presence that you own. You do not own your Facebook page or Instagram page. You do not own those followers. Your account could be shut down tomorrow and you have nothing and no presence. If you have your own website, you own that. If you collect your followers emails, you own that email list. No one can take that from you. You can also use your website to sell workshop tickets, to automate your business (sending emails/invoices/contracts/reminder emails), clients can book in sessions to your calendar, you can drop ship your art on different products, host your online workshops, you could have a blog... and the list goes on and on...
To my story...
When I was studying graphic design at university we were taught (very briefly) how to use Dreamweaver and Flash. Yes. That's how old I am. So my first website, straight out of university was a clunky looking site I had designed using Dreamweaver. My Mum had bought me my domain name, and email and hosting for one year for me. So I somehow connected it all up and 'wa la' a website.
After only a year or so I realised how horrific my website was and upgraded to a WordPress website. I taught myself how to use WordPress and a I bought a simple template. I shoved all my images in and updated the text and a few other fancy things I have no idea how I knew how to do and 'wa la' another website. Slightly less clunky but still difficult to update and maintain.
This website lasted me a fair while. I rarely updated it. The thought of updating it made me feel ill. So I eventually upgraded when I heard about Wix. Now this website is easy to use! Now, let me remind you, I am not sponsored by Wix - this is a pure recommendation from my own experience.
I collected all the good photos of the portfolio works I was proud of (about 12 to start with). I made sure they were beautiful photos, saved as RGB, JPGs.
I drew up a basic site map for my website which included each page and what content was going to be on each page. For example, Home page: instagram feed, widget to the online store, widget to the upcoming workshops. Portfolio page: Mural examples etc. (Widgets are a little 'snap shot' of another page). An example of one of my recent website site maps is in the video below.
I jumped onto Wix and scrolled through their many templates and found one that I liked. I replaced all it's images and text with content for my website. Within 10 minutes I had a website that was ready to go live.
I currently have my domain name through Crazy Domains, so I directed the domain to the Wix servers where my website is hosted.
If you are setting up your website, domain name (ie. www.iamawesome.com), hosting and email (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org) for the first time, I strongly suggest keeping it all at Wix. Once your template has turned into a website you are proud of, you can start paying your monthly fee to buy and connect a domain name to your site. Easy Peasy. All the prices are very clear on the Wix website. I've had my site hosted here for almost ten years!
In this quick instructional video below I also talk about the available apps you can add to your website over time such as an online store, a blog and a booking app.
Jump on, have a play and show me your wonderful art business websites!!!