Designing a good website seems to require an endless list of tasks: organizing and selecting the materials, photographing the artwork, writing a biography, an artist statement, and an up-to-date resume. You must decide how to display materials, what color scheme will look best with your art, what fonts will complement your work … and more!
Do not give up! I have compiled 20 important points that artists should keep in mind when designing their website. Keep these guidelines as checkpoints during the creation of your site, or to verify and improve an existing site.
1. Keep it simple. Do not try to put all the information about your career or show every piece of art you have created. Choose relevant information that will keep the site simple and elegant. Try to include materials that reinforce the purpose of your site (sell work? Attract new collectors? Or present a portfolio to galleries?).
2. Keep your file size low. The people who visit your site do not necessarily have a high-speed Internet connection, so be aware that too many images or too many large files can slow down a site significantly. Remember that many people will not wait for a site to download! Keep your jpgs at 72 dpi and try not to have images larger than 540 pixels in either direction. You can also try to minimize the number of large files (music and videos are usually very large) on any page.
3. Keep your navigation simple. Don’t try to have too many categories or too many layers in your navigation system. Keep navigation button placement consistent – If you choose to have your links on the left side, keep them there throughout the site and don’t alter the order of the buttons from page to page.
Four. Have your own domain name. If your goal is to impress galleries and collectors, make sure they know that you take your art seriously – your own domain name looks more professional, can be easier to remember, and can be more search engine friendly! Domain registration has become quite affordable – typically $ 10-15 a year with hosting costs $ 5- $ 15 a month.
5. No page under construction. If you haven’t finished creating a page, don’t link to your site. People’s time is precious – don’t waste it advertising a category … then leave that category blank!
6. Featured contact information. Your site is a marketing tool – you can get potential collectors and galleries to discover your work. Make sure they know how to reach you when they fall in love with your art!
7. Label all illustrations. Images on the Internet do not give any sense of scale or medium; Therefore, it is extremely important to label each work of art with the dimensions and materials used to make the work. Labeling your pieces with their price can be valuable if your goal is to sell online.
8. Include a short art statement and resume. Please note that the text is difficult to read on the screen. As an artist, you should include an art statement and a resume (people want to know about you), but keep it brief. A few paragraphs for an art statement and 1-2 typed pages for a resume. If you must have a full resume, give the viewer the option to print the document in pdf format.
9. Keep your text simple. Sans serif fonts like Arial are easier to read on the screen. Don’t use too much bold and italics as they make the text harder to read and can be confusing.
10. Avoid underlined text. Underlined text is generally reserved to indicate a link – avoid using underlined text other than a link to avoid confusion and frustration.
eleven. Keep your color scheme subdued. Don’t blind your viewers! Avoid a bright yellow background with red text! Bright colors can be difficult to see on a screen, especially for text. Keep your color scheme with low saturation colors
12. Avoid background image. Background images can slow down your site and unless done correctly they will be tiled and look unprofessional. Background images also tend to make text difficult to read.
13. Avoid background music. Although it may be tempting to have music on a site, I have to advise against it for several reasons: your viewers may not share your taste in music, the music files are large, and therefore the download is slow, and ultimately, Even if your viewers like your music, it can be annoying to hear the same song every visit.
14. No cheesy mouse animation. This one is pretty obvious – it will annoy the vast majority of internet users. Your goal is to make people like your site – don’t alienate them with annoying tricks!
fifteen. Do not disable the back button. Some sites try to keep their audience captivated by disabling the back button. It’s disgusting! Do not do it!
sixteen. Chorus for using frames and flash. Both of these encoding methods tend to be hostile to search engines, so use them sparingly and embed them with good old HTML.
17. Make sure your site is cross-browser compatible.. There are no applicable rules for website encoding, only general accepted guidelines, so browsers tend to display the same code in slightly different ways. Therefore, it is important to try to view your site in several different browsers and screens to ensure that your site looks good to the majority of users.
18. Check that all your links work. Not only is it annoying for the user, but you can also risk losing your site’s ranking in search engines, or worse, not getting indexed at all!
19. Open all external links in a new window. It’s good to provide additional information to your viewers by providing helpful links, but make sure your own site remains on their screen by opening all external links in a new browser window.
twenty. Maintain an honest relationship with your gallery. Galleries cannot prevent you from selling works on the Internet. However, you must maintain a good working relationship with your gallery. Make sure you both understand who does and does not receive a commission through internet sales. For example, if your gallery sells works on your site, or if it sells works on your site that are currently in your space, they should receive commission.