Web Sites for Artists

 

Topic: “Web Sites for Artists”
Author: Phil Krug

Do It Yourself (DYI) vs hiring a web designer and everything in between.

This topic is meant to provoke artists to consider their needs when thinking about marketing their art over the Internet. This is NOT a technical discussion but its a broad overview of options available to artists.

Philosophy:

My philosophy concerning information technology (IT) is fairly basic. Keep things simple and let someone else handle all the heavy lifting and utilitarian functions. The less you “own” the easier it is. Keep client owned hardware to a minimum and use as many open source tools and applications as possible. In today’s IT environment most resources are “commodities” and can be provided by any one of many cost effective and reliable service providers. Most specialized hardware and software requirements are relegated to a handful of specialized designers.

Why would a artist want to have a web site or any other internet presence?

What are your expectations?

  • Do you plan on providing information about you and your art?
  • Do you plan on selling your art over the internet?
  • Do you have a business plan or some other general planning document?
  • Have you considered the “return on investment” of having a web site?
  • Do you have time to devote to learn the skills to develop and administer a web site?
  • Have you considered or are you using other venues for selling your artwork?

The DIY (do it yourself) approach (WordPress Model):

  • The least expensive solution. Can be done for under $100/year for hosting services.
  • This approach uses readily available “open source” software and tools.
  • Requires a large investment in acquiring the learning skills to install, design and manage a web site.
  • Complicated web site management interface.
  • Adding any “externals” to site such as online merchandizing is the responsibility DIYer.
  • Finding help and support for your web site can be problematic.

Purchasing a “Custom” Web Site built in template format (Design Dance Model):

  • Initial cost is low. Between $500 & $1000. Recurring cost under $100/year for hosting services.
  • Minimal skill level needed to manage your web site.
  • Simple web site management interface.
  • Cost for online sales can be expensive depending on how much time the artist is willing to invest.
  • Additional support can run anywhere between $50 to $100 hour.

Purchasing a basic Web Site built in template format (intuit Website Services Model):

  • Initial cost is very low. About $10/month
  • Unlimited pages, links, images etc.
  • Very good site admin with “SiteBuilder Plus”.
  • No email accounts tied to domain name. Available with higher priced packages.

Purchasing a complete Custom Web Site package (Beautiful Premium Artist Website Model):

  • Initial cost can be high. $2,500 and up.
  • $100 to $200 year for hosting services
  • Recurring monthly support fees. Varies depending on level of support.

Alternatives to building/purchasing a web site: