An artist’s website will become a helpful tool, if you are ready to go online and grow your fan base. If you manage to create it successfully, your chances to get profit from your work will eventually increase.
Let’s face the fact: most artists just don’t have time to learn complex web design nuances, even if they have such a desire. Being busy with their creative life, exhibitions and presentations, they need a simple and understandable tool that will allow them to create a DIY website without the necessity to learn the basics.
This is what makes a website builder the best choice for launching websites for artists. These services are user-friendly, affordable and convenient. They help cut down time and effort needed to run a functional and appealing website.
What’s important, you don’t have to be a web design expert to complete a project on your own. With a quality website builder, your artist’s website will look not worse (or even better) than a website designed by a professional.
It’s high time to review the most popular website builders you can effectively use for your web building purposes.
We Tested Out 10 Of The Best Website Builders for Artists:
- Wix – The Best Website Builder for Artists
- Squarespace – All-in-One Web-Building Service
- WordPress – FREE CMS to Make an Artist Website
- Shopify – Best eCommerce Platform to Sell Arts Online
- Weebly – Free Artist Website Builder
- uKit – The Best Small Business Website Builder
- Adobe Portfolio – Personalized Portfolios for Artists
- Format – Easy-to-Use Portfolio Website Builder
- Ning – Create Your Personal Social Network
- IM Creator – The Simplest Way to Bring Your Business Online
With such a truly amazing choice of web building tools you can use to start and manage a website for artists, it’s definitely not that easy to pick the one that fits your needs and expectations most of all.
The only possible solution to the problem is to review each of the aforementioned systems to let you compare their functionality, design customization approaches, ease of use, convenience and pricing policy. That’s exactly what we are going to do right away.
Wix – The Best Website Builder for Artists
Wix – is the best website builder and hosting for artists, who intend to get a high quality website in almost no time. The system comes with a powerful feature set, visual editor, intuitive interface and professional customizable industry-specific templates.
With the advanced Wix ADI technology, you can create a high end artists’ website by submitting information about your creative life and adding the gallery of your works. The system will automatically take care of the rest, generating a professional website for you. If you wish to make any changes yourself, you are welcome to use the standard editor, which is also available here.
Wix lets you connect a blog to your website. If you have an intention to offer some of your works for sale or issue gift certificates, discounts and other special offers, you can create a web store with this purpose.
A free integrable Wix Art Store widget available in the App Market has everything you need to present, promote and sell your artworks directly at the website. Just upload the photos, specify the prices, set up payment options and start selling. Other widgets (Event Calendar, Wix Pro Gallery, Wix Events, Wix Video, Gift Card) will also have positive impact upon your website functionality. Apart from that, Wix offers a rich choice of mobile-ready and fully customizable templates for artist websites.
Cost: Wix has a lifetime zero-cost plan for users willing to start for free. It also has separate subscriptions for standard and business/eCommerce websites. The cost of standard plans (there are 4 of them here) starts with $13 to reach $39 per month. As to business/eCommerce subscriptions, the cheapest plan will cost you $23/mo, while the most costly solution will constitute $500/mo for the high-end Enterprise plan.
Squarespace – All-in-One Web Building Service
Squarespace – is the all-in-one web building service, which unveils extensive opportunities for artists, photographers and designers willing to showcase their creativity online. This helps drive user attention by highlighting the most interesting works. The platform does not require deep programming proficiency yet there is a possibility for code editing here. It may take some time to explore and master it to the advantage to further proceed to website creation.
The website builder offers a collection of templates for artists available in the Arts & Design category. They are all responsive and free by default. What’s important, the themes are completely customizable and you can work in the system’s Style Editor to create unique website design. Thus, it is possible to customize and manage baseline settings (fonts, colours, web page configurations) here as well as pick the required page type to connect to your project. These include Cover Pages,Product Pages, Galleries, Events Pages, Blog Pages and more. If you cannot manage to find a suitable ready-made template, you can pick a blank theme to customize it from scratch.
Squarespace comes with built-in blogging and eCommerce engines, which makes it possible to connect a blog and a digital store to your website. Running a web store is definitely an advantage for artists, who plan to sell their works on the web. A blog, in its turn, will provide an opportunity for better interaction with the target audience.
The platform includes a feature-rich image manager, letting artists choose, edit and integrate multiple photos into their projects. Among the features/tools you can use here, it makes sense to mention rag-and-drop image adjustment, automatic image scaling, Content Delivery Network availability, Lightbox presentation, Getty Images integration, responsive and progressive image loading, focal point control, Adobe Image editor, image uploading from external resources, image SEO and metadata importing etc. Extensive image editing options contribute to the development of unique and personalized web projects.
When starting a website for artists, it is a must to have an opportunity to add a gallery to the project to be able to update it with new works when required. There are numerous blocks to add to your gallery, including image/video integrations, slideshows, presentations, sliders, grid layouts, multiple display effects and what not. To make your project stand out from the crowd you can design a unique cover page for it, using a separate tool for this purpose.
To present your works to the target audience in the most favorable light, you can make use of the opportunity to create a personalized show window design. This is where you can create/update product lists, add and customize product descriptions and SKUs, introduce special offers, add/update image galleries etc. To drive user attention and to popularize your content in social networks, you can use the Unfold App for visually-appealing stories/posts sharing.
Cost: Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, but it offers an opportunity to test its features during the 14-day free trial. This lets you practice your skills a bit and get used to the system to further decide on the best subscription to upgrade to. Squarespace currently offers 4 premium plans with the cheapest option costing $12/mo.
WordPress – FREE CMS to Make an Artist Website
WordPress – is a free CMS to make an artist website, which has recently gained worldwide popularity. The system is more complicated than website builders and implies the knowledge of web design skills. It also comes with extensive integration options, which has a positive impact upon the result.
It takes more time to create websites for artists with WordPress, but the result is worth that. The system has a set of built-in templates and plugins, but this is not enough to launch a large-scale project. To get the most out of the web design process, you’ll need to browse the web and select extra themes and plugins to be further integrated into your website. Some of the most popular plugins for WordPress are as follows: NextGEN Gallery, Trackable Social Share Icons, SEO Friendly Images, Thank Me Later, Yoast, Ultimate Security Checker, GigPress and The Events Calendar.
Cost: The use of WordPress is absolutely free. To get your website online, however, you’ll have to take care of hosting and domain name integration. The cost of hosting your website with the cheapest !!Bluehost!! plan, for example, will constitute $2.95 per month. Quality plugins and templates also come at extra cost.
Shopify – Best eCommerce Platform to Sell Arts Online
Shopify – is the best eCommerce platform to sell arts online, which has distinguished itself as the best web store development system in its niche. The software makes it possible to build professional online shops for creatives willing to sell their works online. This is where you can create a portfolio with a product gallery, thus, letting users choose the desirable items from your creative collection.
The software is known for its extensive integration and synchronization options. Having launched your web store, you can synchronize it with one of the marketing platforms or accounting software, for example, to watch customer and sales statistics, top selling products, payment, tax and shipping details etc.
Shopify also offers the Live View feature that makes it possible to track your web store performance, customer flow, conversion rates, locations and visitor sources, sales volumes, daily sales amounts and profit growth, number of orders and product views and many other parameters that matter for your artist website.
Additionally, the website builder comes with abundance of product-related features. You will be able to create portfolios with multiple product lists, their descriptions, detailed reviews, appealing show windows etc. One of the highlights of the software is its Augmented Reality Feature that allows seeing the uploaded products offered for sale in the 3D mode. This gives customers better understanding of what they are going to buy.
The system also provides an opportunity to use Shopcodes in the App Market to simplify the procedure of making mobile purchases. By using unique QR codes, customers will be redirected to those product pages they are interested in or directly to the checkout procedure pages.
Shopify App Market comes with a rich selection of widgets and add-ons you can integrate into your artist website to boost its functionality and customer engagement rate. Apps available here are free and paid and they can help you get started with your website with ease. Finally, Shopify boasts one of the most impressive and high quality collections of responsive fully-customizable templates. Just pick the one, which comes up to your creative needs and preferences and go ahead to launch your project!
Cost: Shopify has a free 14-day trial that lets you test the advantages of the software prior to opting for one of its subscriptions. The system also has four paid plans, the cost of which starts with $9/mo and goes up to $299/mo. Shopify is a transaction-free system, but it charges credit card transactions for those users, who choose Shopify Payments to accept credit cards in their web stores.
Weebly – Free Artist Website Builder
Weebly – is a free artist website builder, which is quite easy-to-use for beginners and web design pros. The platform has recently gained eCommerce focus, but it’s also possible to set up other types of projects (including portfolios) here. Weebly comes with a drag-and-drop editor and a “box“ model structure that lets you control the entire process of your project creation.
As mentioned above, Weebly now has strong eCommerce specialization, which is a bonus for artists willing to create quality portfolios. The system offers a set of features that make it possible to start selling your works online, keeping control of payment and shipping details to leave customers satisfied.
The website builder also offers multiple layouts for creatives to choose from. When adding a new page to your project, you will be able to pick a certain layout for it. These include homepage and About Us sections, contacts, galleries and many more. The website builder stands out from the crowd due to its advanced image editing options and availability of video hosting. These merits will certainly come in handy to you, when adding the photos of your works, video presentations from exhibitions or shows and other suchlike projects.
If you wish to give your artist website advanced functionality and high end design, go ahead to access Weebly App Center. This is where you will encounter multiple applications, add-ons and extensions (like LiveChat, Call-out-Box or Event Calendar, for example), integration of which will certainly keep attract and retain customer attention.
Weebly is also known for its collection of responsive templates for creatives as well as an advanced Form Builder, which lets you create online surveys and contact forms to target potential customers.
Cost Weebly has a free plan that works well, when it comes to initial service exploration. Additionally, it offers subscriptions for standard and eCommerce websites. The cheapest plan will cost you $6, while the most expensive Performance plan will constitute $26 per month when billed annually. Weebly has a free plan that works well, when it comes to initial service exploration. Additionally, it offers subscriptions for standard and eCommerce websites. The cheapest plan will cost you $6, while the most expensive Performance plan will constitute $26 per month when billed annually.
uKit – The Best Small Business Website Builder
uKit – is the best small business website builder and a code-free system that offers everything artists might need to create beautiful portfolios. There are no limitations to the creative ways you can express yourself, as uKit caters for creatives of all genres. With uKit, you can literally create a full-featured website in around an hour, filling it with your own content.
The website builder comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop website editor, convenient dashboard and helpful guidelines to let you design and manage top notch websites for artists. It’s good to mention that uKit lets you create full-fledged websites that will not only showcase your artworks, but also perform other functions including gathering information from your website visitors through email forms and LiveChat, blogging, and even eCommerce. To cut down the development time, uKit offers a set of responsive themes, where you can come across templates suitable for building artist websites.
To cut down the development time, uKit offers a set of responsive themes. There is no separate category of templates for artists here yet you can pick any other design with regard to the niche you specialize in to build an artist website. Likewise, you can choose a blank theme to start a website with unique design and functionality, if required.
Cost: The cheapest uKit plan constitutes $4 per month, while the most expensive subscription costs $12 per month. You can test the paid features for free during the 14-day trial.
Adobe Portfolio – Personalized Portfolio Website for Artists
Adobe Portfolio – is a personalized portfolio website for artists, the name of which already speaks for itself. The system works great for the development of feature-laden portfolio websites for photographers, artists and creators. Adobe Portfolio is not quite easy to master for first-timers, but if you invest a bit of your effort and time, you’ll be able to eventually launch a quality artist website.
Unlike its multiple competitors, Adobe Portfolio doesn’t have an integrated eCommerce engine to let you sell your works via the website. On the other hand, the platform offers some core features that make it stand out from the crowd. It provides easy project importing that allows for simple and fast integration with Photoshop Lightbox, Adobe Stock or Behance to upload your portfolio images.
Automatic Image Resizing is another feature you might appreciate about Adobe Portfolio. It implies that the service will automatically fit the uploaded images to make them ideally fit into your project. The website builder allows uploading the unlimited photo collections, creating separate pages for each of them. That’s very convenient for browsing and that also gives your portfolio a logically-structured and well-organized look.
Adobe Portfolio automatically syncs your image versions and instantly displays them, no matter how often you edit or change them. The system updates all new edits each time you decide to edit a photo.
Cost: As the product of the Adobe Creative Cloud software, Adobe Portfolio is free for all the system users. For all the third-party users, however, the service is paid. It offers three subscriptions, which cost from $9.99 and up to $52.99 per month. Mind that you will also have to buy a domain name, which may cost you from $10 to $20 per year.
Format – Easy-to-Use Portfolio Website Builder
Format – is an easy-to-use portfolio website builder, which makes it possible to create impressive projects to showcase different kinds of artworks. The system comes with a visual editor and offers a set of industry-specific features. It will work great for artists, who wish to present their photos and artworks in the website format to effectively promote their skills, products and services.
The website builder has an integrated web store, which lets you sell digital or physical works of art. This is the place, where you can regularly update the assortment of products, set up payment and delivery options. The system also allows launching and connecting a blog to your artist’s website to boost user interaction and involvement into the creative process.
To quickly publish and edit your photos, you can additionally download or install Adobe Lightroom or Format Publisher plugin. It’s also possible to upload photos to website galleries by using your mobile iPhone app. All in all, Format allows creating three types of web pages – Gallery, Custom Pages and Collection. If you plan to create a project in cooperation with your partners, you can reach the Proofing Section to enable/disable certain website sections and modify access to them.
Cost: Format has a 14-day free trial and three premium plan packages – Portfolio, Workflow and Bundle. Each package, correspondingly, includes more detailed plans, which differ in terms and integrated feature set. The cheapest subscription costs $7/mo.
Ning – Create Your Personal Social Network
Ning – is a platform, which makes it possible to create a personal social network to display your portfolio and promote your talent. The system allows for individual community management customization and provides versatile social media integration options. You can create your own website for free here to further give it outstanding visual design, generate attention-grabbing content and develop your brand. As of today, over 2 millions networks have been created using NING and that’s just a pretty good start!
The system comes with an integrated eCommerce engine that allows for effective traffic monetization. Whether you are going to start a website, a blog, a social media network etc., you’ll be able to make profit with it due to the integrated system features. What’s important you don’t have to possess coding skills to start working with the platform. The drag-and-drop network builder lets you easily launch a professional website almost in no time.
Ning.com allows for social integration. Having registered with the system, you can sign up with leading social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and many more – the list is pretty long. You can integrate content from other social media resources and RSS feeds into your Activity Feed to boost your multichannel interaction.
The basic Ning toolkit currently includes multiple advanced content management features, such as Groups, Analytics, Photos, Videos, Blogs, Forums, Polls, Events and many more. Apart from the eCommerce platform, you can effectively use analytic tools to keep track of your traffic, conversions and activity success, MailChimp Email Automation option to launch effective email campaigns and manage automated email lists, Broadcasting and private messaging feature and other undeniable advantages.
Cost: Ning.com offers a 14-day free trial for any subscription you will go for. All in all, the system has three paid plans, the cost of which starts with $25/mo and reaches $99/mo. Mind that you can save up to 20% of your subscription cost, when paying for the whole year at once.
IM Creator – The Simplest Way to Bring Your Business Online
IM Creator – is the simplest way to bring your business online, which enjoys extensive user popularity and makes it possible to launch different types of personal and business projects from scratch. The system offers a handy drag-and-drop editor, which contributes to the ease of website development. Due to the intuitive web design approach and absence of coding background, everyone can master and work with the software.
The website builder includes multiple free responsive templates for artists available in the “Art & Design” category. The themes are all customizable and they perfectly adapt to diverse desktop and mobile screens. If possible, you can add social media elements and external plugins to enhance your project design and performance. Some of the most well-known extensions you can pick and add to your artist website include SoundCloud audio player, PDF viewer, OpenTable reservation form, Google event schedule list, Facebook comments and more.
IM Creator is also known for its blogging/eCommerce engines. The system lets you connect a blog or a web store to your project based on the objectives you set in advance. A blog will help you establish better communication with clients, while a digital store allows selling your works/services online.
The software also comes with multilingual support, which lets you launch and customize web projects in different languages of your choice. This is a must, when you decide to target the international market and to interact with customers from abroad.
Cost: IM Creator has a perfect offer for users, who intend to start non-commercial websites. These users have an opportunity to run projects for free. When it comes to launching projects for artists, the website builder comes up with a special plan, the cost of which constitutes $8/mo.
What Features Should a Great Artist Portfolio Website Have?
As an artist, you have the first hand knowledge of how demanding and quickly changing the major art trends are. This means that building an artist portfolio website is not about bringing your creativity online, but it’s also about driving traffic and generating profit. That’s one of those objectives most freelancers and independent artists pursue, when starting their projects.
Building a website is the best way to showcase your work and display all the portfolio in one place. You are also expected to provide information about yourself, your creative approach, styles you work in and your contacts to stay in touch with potential clients. Hence, it makes sense to point out for must-have elements of any portfolio website:
Design is what evokes great emotions and encourages users for further website browsing. The more impressive your portfolio design is – the more chances to drive users attention and to stand out from the crowd you have. Make sure your website comes with responsive design to let users browse it from various devices. That’s the surefire way to grow your traffic flow.
Engaging And Valuable Content
Design is only half of the business, when it comes to the development of a portfolio website. Another must-have part of it is content. Your portfolio should encompass the list of elements it’s just unthinkable without. These include your own bio, portfolio section, contacts, customer testimonials, videos and photo galleries from your exhibitions and art shows, pricing policy and, of course, call-to-action option enticing your potential customers buy from you.
Oh, and do not forget about the website abandonment rate time. Users generally need around 3.5 seconds to form their opinion and decide, whether your project is worth further browsing. That’s what makes the content so valuable and important.
When it comes to creating artist websites, portfolio quality is a priority. How else can you display your works to the advantage and how else can users form the unbiased opinion about your talent? Thus, your portfolio should be the focal point of your artist website – the place, where the target audience should go to see what you are capable of and to decide, if they are ready to buy from you.
It doesn’t make sense to add all your photos to the portfolio section – just pick those that deserve special attention and are the real highlight of your collection – the ones you are sincerely proud of. Ad only high quality photos and do not forget to describe them.
Connection with the Target Audience
As far as the major purpose of your artist website creation is generation of the target audience and profit growth, your website should contain the elements that encourage for active communication an engaging interaction with users.
You can add a blog, a forum, a discussion board, a poll, a comments section or any other portfolio website elements that let you get in touch with users, thus potentially increasing conversion rates.See also: How To Add a Forum to Your Website
As seen from above, a worthy artist website is unthinkable without certain elements. The use of website builders will simplify this task for you as these systems usually come with the integrated feature set and list of tools needed to design and them promote a professional portfolio project. Just pick the system that works best for you and start working on your website.
Which Website Builder is Best for Artist Portfolio?
There are lots of website builders – both popular and less known – you can use to start a portfolio project. The best option you can go for, when picking the best web building tool is to choose one of the proven platforms included into our top list. These systems work equally well for beginners and web design pros. They are feature-laden and come with those tools that are tailored exclusively to the needs of artists.
If you have web design and coding skills, though, you can decide in favor of a more complex and functional system – WordPress. This CMS is known for its extensive plugin and template integration options. This correspondingly, may trigger the need for code editing. If you are sure that you’ll cope with the challenge, the use of WordPress will certainly help you design a professional artist portfolio.
Does it make sense to use less popular website builders instead of those mentioned above? Actually, no. The thing is that these systems often lack must-have features and they cannot ensure the required fantasy and safety level of your project. What’s the sense of investing into a doubtful and unpopular system that may pose your project at risk in the long run?
Is It Possible to Create an Artist Website for Free?
Technically, it is possible to create an artist website at no cost at all. Anyway, many website builders offer free plans, which, however, mostly come with certain limitations like absence of a domain name, restricted access to the feature set, limited template choice and lack of design customization tools.
What you should realize, though, is that launching your portfolio website on a free plan does not make any sense, especially when you aim at building a full-fledged project. Such a website should come with a connected SSL certificate, domain name of your choice, reliable and safe hosting, not to mention professional templates and advanced feature set.
A portfolio is your visiting card on the web. Let’s face it: positioning it as a temporary project is just senseless and not serious. Once you’ve decided to start a quality artist website and popularize your creativity, get ready to invest into it.
A quality website is a must-have tool for artists willing to establish online presence and pursuing long-lasting objectives. It’s an indispensable project for creatives, who intend to effectively showcase their talent, grow client base and eventually make profit.
To get the most out of your portfolio, however, you have to try your best effort to make it logically-structured and full-featured. If you feel that you lack the required web design skills, using a website builder will be the best solution. There are many of them out there, but not all of them are worth your attention. Systems listed above are the best niche representatives that will not only simplify the website creation process, but will also ensure worthy result.
Apart from standard all-in-one website builders, you can also use specialized services or WordPress. It’s up to you to make the choice based on the expertise rate, project complexity and result you hope to avail in the long run.
Choosing the best web building tool for artists is often a challenge. If you manage to find the service that completely comes up to your needs and expectations, you’ll surely get a full-featured website. Take your time to try the systems reviewed in the post to make the unbiased decision and get ready to invest into your project to be satisfied with the result.