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How To Create An Artist Website? Everything You Need

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This guide is for artists of all kinds. In the guide, we will go through the decisions you need to make before you create a website, how you create a website, and what it costs to have a website. We will focus only on the essentials and what you truly need without the fluff. Let’s get started!


Key Takeaways

  • Decide the purpose of your website (personal vs. business).
  • Decide whether you want full control or partial control over your website.
  • Choose a domain name for your website (we recommend getting your domains from Namecheap).
  • Choose a hosting service for your domain (we recommend Bluehost and WordPress).
  • Enable analytics for your website to track your progress.
  • It costs roughly the same whether you choose WordPress or Squarespace to create your website. The average cost is $150/year to run a basic artist website.
  • We recommend creating a WordPress website.

What Is The Purpose Of Your Website

We know that you are an artist and want to create a website, but the very first thing is to decide what is the purpose of your website. For what use case do you build your website? Below is a list of what your website could be:

  • A blog for organic traffic (create content and articles to drive users and readers to your website)
  • Business, Brand, Portfolio site (showcase what kind of artist you are, what kind of work you do, and what you are all about)
  • Non-profit site (an organization that does not operate to make money)
  • Entertainment site (create content specifically to entertain people)
  • eCommerce site (your main purpose is to sell digital (online courses) or physical products (paintings))

Building a website is easy, but deciding the purpose of your website is another thing. Asking the following questions can help you decide the purpose of your website:

  • What do you want to do with the website?
  • Do you want to build a personal brand?
  • Do you want to sell products such as paintings or digital products such as online courses or digital art resources?
  • Do you want to make money with your site?
  • Do you want to stay anonymous and write about art?
  • What is the end goal of your website? What would you like your site to be in 5 years?
  • Would you like to own your website fully or not?

When you have decided what you want to create, it’s time to choose a domain name aligned with that purpose.

Get A Domain Name For Your Website

A domain name is a unique address (youtube.com, for example) that identifies a website on the internet. It is used to access the website through a browser by typing the domain name into the address bar.

Below are some domain name ideas:

  • Your name, for example (https://www.laurahrubin.com/). You might want to use your name if you want to build a personal or influencer brand.
  • Business name, for example (https://ta-bs.com/). Use a business name when you want to tell with the domain name what your business is all about. Or when you want to build something where you are not at the center.

A business name can be anything, so there are no rules on what it should or shouldn’t be. Important is that the business name resonates with you and is something that feels yours. We use Namecheap to host our domain names and see it as the best and most affordable solution.

Choose Hosting Service

A domain name is kind of like an address to your house. The house, then again, is the website. But your house needs a ground beneath, and that ground can be seen as the hosting service. Your website needs to be hosted somewhere, and that’s why we have hosting services.

The best hosting service to start with is definitely Bluehost (we have used and also use Bluehost and have been happy with them). Bluehost is affordable and easy to start with.

bluehost-hosting-example-how-bluehost-looks-like

Again you have to ask yourself whether you want total control over your website or do you partly want to hand that control to someone else. If you want to have total control over what happens with your website, how it looks, and what you can add to it, then we recommend Bluehost and WordPress.

If you feel like Bluehost or WordPress is too much or complicated, then Squarespace is the next best thing, but then you lose a bit of control of what your website can look like or how it functions.

WordPress vs. Squarespace

Pros of using WordPressPros of using Squarespace
#1 You own the content and the website#1 Ease of use
Pricing and value for moneyHelp and support are available
Amount of features availableReady-made eCommerce
Tailored for bloggingOn-going maintenance is very little
Apps and plugins availableSecurity and updates are managed for you

Apply Google Analytics On Your Website

When you create a website, it’s good to track how many visits you get in a month and who is visiting your website. You can track many things, but the key here is to track so you know what you can adjust to better serve your customers, users, and visitors. You should apply Google Analytics (it’s free to use) to your site, and all you need to do is go to Google Analytics and follow the steps given there.

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Why you should apply Google Analytics to your website:

  • To better understand your audience
  • To monitor website traffic
  • Use the tool to identify and fix technical issues
  • Use it to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • You can use it to optimize conversion rates

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Website

Below we have collected the expenses (estimates) that running a website has:

WordPress solutionCost
Namecheap (to get your domain name)$7/year (roughly)
Bluehost (to host your website)$60/year
The costs of running a website with WordPress
Squarespace solutionMonthly priceAnnual expenses
Personal (paid annually)$11/month$132
Business (paid annually)$17/month$204
Commerce – Basic (paid annually)$24/month$288
Commerce – Advanced (paid annually)$36/month$432
The costs of using Squarespace to run a website
Optional ServicesCost
Elementor Pro (website builder, highly recommended for WordPress)$59/year
ConvertKit (email service provider)$0 (up to 300 subscribers)
Google Workspace (for a professional email address)$6/month
WP-Rocket (a professional caching plugin – for WordPress)$59/year
Optional services for WordPress and Squarespace solutions

Whether you choose a WordPress-based solution or Squarespace, the expenses are roughly the same. The estimated expense to run a basic website is $150 per year. We recommend Bluehost and WordPress, as you fully own the content and how your website looks and behaves. While WordPress might require a bit more work at the beginning when you get used to it, it’s easy and fun to create your website.

FAQs About Starting A Website

Do artists need their own websites?

Yes and no. If you want to build a personal brand, a business you own, or a content website, then yes, you need a website. No, if you want to post your artwork online but don’t have any bigger vision of what you want to do with your art. You can make money selling art through websites like Fine Art America, Saatchi Art, Artstation, or Redbubble, without needing your own website. You definitely don’t need a website if you are an artist. It’s optional to have one.

What kind of website should an artist have?

It depends on what kind of an artist you are. Traditional painters can build a website where they post photographs of their work and sell through the website and build an eCommerce website. In this case, you are building a personal brand.

If you are a digital artist, the website can act as a bridge to other sites like Artstation, Behance, or DeviantArt. It’s beneficial to post your digital artwork to digital art sites as they already have an audience.

All in all, you should have a website that showcases your best artwork professionally. The website should be easy to navigate, with clear sections for different types of artworks or services offered. It should also feature information about you as an artist, such as your biography, contact details, and social media links.

You can also include features like e-commerce and email marketing so customers can purchase art directly from the site and communicate with you.

How do I create an artist website for free?

You can’t create a website for free. At a minimum, there is always domain and hosting fees associated with a website. If you want to have a website that showcases and sells your art, then there are plenty of options, such as:

The difference here is that you don’t own the website that hosts your content, you are only putting art for a show, but if, for some reason, the site disables your shop or gallery, then that’s it. When you create your website, then you own the content, and you control what happens on your site.

How much does an artists website cost?

A website costs, at a minimum, around $150/year. This includes domain name (Namecheap), $7/year, hosting (Bluehost), $60/year, a website builder (Elementor Pro), $60/year, and some extra services (professional email address, etc.) on top of that. It doesn’t matter whether you choose Squarespace or WordPress. The overall expenses are roughly the same. The mentioned solution will give you a basic website.

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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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