I decided I would write up some tips for artists and designers thinking of setting themselves up with a website/blog based on my experience. Hope they are helpful, let me know if there is anything I have missed.
- Do, and I mean…DO get your own domain name, this will help to create a strong online identity. Using free blogs is fine if you are a student, or just starting out. But, if you want to be perceived as having a professional status and attitude, then having your own domain is important. I know that some established artists’ use Blogger for instance, but not many.
- Don’t (if you can avoid it) point your domain at a third party provider like Blogger, Typepad, Cargo etc. Point your domain at your own hosting. Only that way do you truly own your own content. Third party providers are ok, but have their limitations both in terms of features and for SEO (search engine optimisation). There are some good deals out there. Pick a hosting provider that is based in your own country (crucial in terms of support), and that has been in business for a minimum of five years at least. Cheapest is not always best.
- If you can’t customise your own site, then buy a good theme from somewhere like Theme Forest. Nothing, and I mean nothing is more off putting that a badly designed site, or one that is ugly to look at.
- Choose a livery/colour palette that will display your art to advantage, avoid heavy primary colours. First rule of web design, less is more. Don’t overload your blog with widgets, it looks tacky and untidy. Keep it simple, with good clean design, judicious use of white space, easy navigation.
- Include a ‘Bio’ or ‘About’ page and a ‘Testimonials’ page (make sure that you link back to the source). People want to know about you, and want want to connect. Testimonials are important as it indicates reliability and integrity.
- Blog regularly, and not just about yourself. Include posts about other artists, and current trends, fashions, etc.
- DON’T put a hit counter or ‘who is online’ button on your site. That is very early ’90s’ and makes you look like an amateur, believe me!
So, that’s it for the moment, nothing else occurs to me off the top of my head. As I said, if you think I have missed something, then shout out.