An art website shouldn’t be a complicated process to set up. Here are the steps necessary to get your own site up and running for those who may be technically challenged. It maybe easy to set up a site using a prepackaged interface such as Weebly, WordPress.com, or Blogspot but my opinion is that you should use a program that you “own” rather than keeping all of your content on someone else’s space.
At this point in time, I would recommend setting up your own website using WordPress. Wait a minute, I thought you said not to use WordPress.com! Just to clarify, WordPress.com is where you can set up a site using WordPress software on their hosting platform rather than your own host. WordPress.org is where you can get the WordPress software, themes, and plugins (more on that later) to get up and running.
Here are the 3 main parts to setting up your own website – one that you manage and control.
- Domain name – You’ll need to register a domain name that points to your website. make sure your name is at least down as the owner. You can also use your contact information as the Admin name and Tech name. Keep your contact up to date. This is how you’ll be notified if the domain name is close to expiring and needs to be renewed. To take some of the stress out of it, make sure the name is set to auto renew and keep your credit card up to date. I’ve had situations where a card number changes and emails get missed because they end up in your spam folder. The domain name expires and gets bought up by someone who can charge you a large sum to get it back! Not pretty!
- Web hosting – This is the server (computer) on which your website sits. Most websites are on shared hosting meaning that your website is on the same physical machine as other websites. It’s not a problem as long as it’s set up right. It’s most common to choose either a Windows server or Linux server. You can choose either and the one I’m most familiar with is Linux so that’s what I’d recommend for website hosting. You’ll access the server using either FTP or a control panel.
- Website software – Again, at this time, I would recommend WordPress as the software for setting up your art website. There are thousands of themes – free and paid- as well as other plugins and widgets.
As an artist, it’s important that you have an easy to update website that has the visual appeal that showcases your artwork. We’ll be looking into each step in detail.
Please put your questions and comments below!