Jul 7, 2011

Creating a Great Website for Artists!

In today’s society there are so many places to shop for art on the internet that if you are an artist and you want to sell you need a great, effect website. Here are some suggestions that will help you achieve this.

Looking at some of the artist’s websites I have found them to be a bit bland and uninteresting thus offering viewers little encouragement to return. Generic is not what an artists website should look like. If you want to sell then you need something that will attract your visitor and make them want to return or stay a while!

Your website should be professional, it should be colorful, creative and maybe with a little pizzazz added, after all you are an artist!

Because your art is a very intimate expression of you it should be personal. With all the competition, out there you need to have a unique look and story. The more personal it is the more your clients will like it because they will feel like they know you personally, and clients love to know the artist! I like to have what call “eye candy” on my front page, beautiful photos and colors that attract the viewer.

Your page needs to load fast, some people are still using old computers and programs, and if your front page does not load fast, they will give up and you have lost a potential customer. Keep your front page simple but attractive. Keep your images to a thumbnail size or a bit larger, and have the contents (menu) on this page. Make it easy to find what someone is looking for!
Make it a priority to keep it up dated, keep it fresh. This will give people a reason to come back. If things never change they lose interest and you lose customers.

If you have links make sure they actually go to where they say they will go. If you offer PayPal make sure all of your PayPal buttons are working.
Use high quality photos of your work. Never put up photos that are poor quality or distorted.

If your objective with your website is to sell, make sure it looks the best it can so people will want to buy your art!
Make your website easy to navigate, there is nothing more frustrating than a website that takes you around in circles or is hard to figure out, for example, I just recently wanted to order some plastic bottles, I found a website that offered them at the price I wanted but it was very confusing because they had no menu. I had to search for a long time to find what I wanted, then when I did, they required me to register for an account with them. I was not interested in having an account I just wanted the order the bottles. When I tried to put in a user name and password to register it kept telling me that I was already registered…. what? I had to call the company and they set me up with a user name and password, when I tried to use it, again it did not work and there was no way I could place an order. There was no reason to have me sign up for an account, why couldn’t I just order want I wanted, why did they need to know all the personal stuff about me they were asking for? After an hour of trying to order I just gave up and left the site never to return…. too stressful and frustrating and that is one thing you do not want to do to your potential customer!

Make it easy to contact you, list your email, snail mail, phone, and address. I think it is good to have a guest book or newsletter sign-up, this way you are offering an interactive opportunity.

Keep your fonts ones that are used a lot, and be sure to make them large enough to actually see! I have visited sites where the words were so small I could not read them.

Use complementary colors for the background, and be sure that the font colors do not blend into the background. Font colors that are too bright or fluorescent are hard to read. Contrast is a good thing to remember, for example; if your background is black do not use grey fonts, it is better to use white.
As a last suggestion always have a copyright statement in plain view. Make it clear and concise so the reader will understand your rights. You can also use digital watermarking which are designed to be invisible. Some programs offer a way to delete a picture when someone clicks on it. Remember there are unscrupulous people out there that will try to copy your work so do everything you can to protect your images.

Here is a great way to lay out your website:

Logo Artist Name
Side bar Menu
Content area
Footer Your contact info here

Because we read from left to right one of the most effective layouts for a website is like this.
The first thing they see is who you are and then the Menu. Having an easy menu that will take the viewer right to what they want is so important. People will only spend a short time if things are difficult, we live in a fast society, and people want things that are fast moving.
Sharon Teal-Coray © 2011

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New Free Pattern Blog

New Free Pattern Blog
Sharon Teal Coray has a new blog offering free patterns! Updated often! Check it out!