Your website is the place where visitors arrive and learn about your artist practice. Keep it simple and to the point with the content that you want to showcase. Remember that you own your website. You control how it looks, the content and the information about you and your practice.
The critical content for your site, your portfolio, CV, bio, statement and contact information, ensure that it is up to date and with the best possible showing. People interested in your work will look you up on Google. That’s when having a fresh and well-organized website comes in handy.
What else should it have?
SEO, Search Engine and Social Media optimization. You don’t need to become an expert, but implementing the basics, which most website platforms have as features, helps with search ranking and social media sharing.
Analytics. Google Analytics is free and pretty good at analyzing web traffic. Although not a critical part, it is helpful for feedback on how visitors browse your website.
Mobile friendly. Globally, 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices.
Gone are the days where you need a web developer to program your website. Nowadays, there are a plethora of web platforms to choose from, both free and paid. They are all easy to use, and they all have design templates you can switch without losing pages or content. Below is a list of websites I know for hosting your site. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and you need to assess which one fits your needs best.
All the above support eCommerce if you are looking to sell online.
After putting all of this effort into your website, you need a URL for your website, a Domain — all the web systems listed above support custom domains.
Your domain -> YourDomain.com or .ca, .org, etc.
Your website address -> www.YourDomain.com or .ca, .org, etc.
Why do you need a domain name?
Own your brand.
Avoid third-party email addresses such as Gmail or Hotmail.
There are hundreds of domain registration websites. They all have their pros and cons but they all do the same when managing your domain, by telling where your website is and your email on the Internet.
Nowadays, all registrars also provide web and email services, even their version of WordPress. I like to keep my things separate, domain, web and email in different companies. It makes it easier to move to a new service when the time comes.
Below is a list of domain registration services that are reliable:
Managing your domain is not as hard as it appears. And all web service providers give you step-by-step instructions on what needs to change in the DNS settings. The same applies to your email service. YouTube is only a search away as a backup plan to guide you through this process.
Having a website for your artist practice requires work but it is a lot easier to set up and maintain than it looks. And because of easy to use web interfaces, looking your best requires little effort.
Gustavo Jabbaz is an emerging photographer who previously worked primarily with internet-based technologies, and now offers consulting services in online marketing. His areas of expertise include web development, stakeholder relations and strategy and execution of online marketing campaigns.