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
- 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
- Bookmark – AI-Based Website Builder for Artists
- Adobe Portfolio – Personalized Portfolios for Artists
- Format – Easy-to-Use Portfolio Website Builder
- Ning – Create Your Personal Social Network
- Heek – 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.
WordPress – FREE CMS to Make an Artist Website
WordPress – is one of the most popular and functional Content Management Systems used by artists. 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 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 Siteground plan, for example, will constitute $3.95 per month. Quality plugins and templates also come at extra cost.
Shopify – Best eCommerce Platform to Sell Arts Online
Shopify – is the eCommerce software, which has distinguished itself as the best system in its niche. The platform makes it possible to build professional web stores for artists 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 an easy-to-use cloud website builder, the feature set of which is more than enough to start and regularly update websites for artists. The platform has recently gained eCommerce specialization, but it’s also possible to launch other project types (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 $4, while the most expensive Performance plan will constitute $38 per month.
uKit – The Best Small Business Website Builder
uKit – is 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.
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 platform, 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 a specialized website builder for artists, which makes it possible to create impressive projects to showcase different kinds of artworks. The system is positioned as a progressive portfolio website builder, which comes with a visual editor and offers a set of industry-specific features. The service 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 paid plans, the cost of which ranges between $6 and $25 per month depending upon the features included.
Bookmark – AI-Based Website Builder for Artists
Bookmark – is a website builder, where you can easily launch an artist’s website without spending a fortune on it. You don’t have to possess design or coding skills. The website builder ensures intuitive web building experience, providing a rich feature set – that’s exactly what non-professionals need.
AIDA Assistant is the top Bookmark feature, which can automatically design an artist’s website in less than a couple of minutes. The only thing you should do is to submit the content you’d like to be displayed at the website and watch the result. To impress your website visitors, the system allows setting a unique video background to tell your story.
It’s also possible to upload free images and videos to create positive visual impression. Bookmark Photo Editor lets you edit the uploaded photos to adjust them to your website structure. What’s more, Bookmark provides an integrated eCommerce module you can use to start and manage an online store to sell your artworks, souvenirs or brand accessories.
Cost: Bookmark has a free plan and two paid subscriptions. Their cost constitutes $11.99 and $24.99 per month when billed yearly. If you decide to make monthly payments, the cost of the paid plans will be $15 and $30 per month correspondingly.
Ning – Create Your Personal Social Network
Ning – is a platform, which makes it possible to create your own 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 crate 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.
Heek – The Simplest Way to Bring Your Business Online
Heek– is a free and easy-to-use website builder, which comes with detailed guidelines and tutorials to help you effectively get started with your artist website. The system is AI-powered as it creates a quality website for you via the chat option. Just answer the questions listed in the chat to provide information Heek will further use, while launching a personalized portfolio for you. That’s very simple and stunningly interesting indeed!
Using the power of the artificial intelligence, Heek guides you through the major stages of the website creation process, offering lots of step-by-step tutorials and providing useful recommendations on web page structure, content, images, media files and other elements that are essential when it comes to your portfolio creation.
The website builder ensures amazingly simple website editing process with ultra-simplified commands (there are around 10 of them only), real-time editing and WySIWYG web design experience, easy content management etc.
When browsing the template collection of the service, you will come across multiple responsive designs for all kinds of careers. All of them come with pre-designed HD images, texts, media files and other content types. Just specify what niche you focus on and Heek will recommend you the best template to fit your needs.
Heek offers safe and free hosting, Google Analytics stats, domain name reserve or transfer the one of your own, online contact forms, social networking etc. Additionally, the website builder provides multiple content management options, including team page and pricing page creation, menu display, product catalogue, services/portfolio presentation, schedule display, YouTube/Vimeo/Twitch/Dailymotion video integration, blog creation, Google Maps integration, bio and blog creation, customer testimonials display, collection of stock photos, portfolio creation feature and many more.
Cost: The website builder has a Business plan, the cost of which constitutes $19.9/mo and the All Inclusive Plan, the cost of which is tailored individually with regard to the needs of users. If you are not satisfied with the services or terms of the plans for some reason, Heek guarantees 14-day money back guarantee.
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.