How to plan a portfolio art website

If you want to create an art website to truly show your work in its best light you'll need to do some careful planning first.

Planning your artist website

The best artist websites are simple, organised and easy to navigate

Essentially your artwork should not be overshadowed by fancy backgrounds, unnecessary gimmicks, or endless paragraphs of text. Someone visiting your site for the first time should discover very quickly who you are, what your art looks like and why it is worth seeing (and eventually buying).

By the end of this section you’ll have a comprehensive road-map for building a professional, cohesive website to showcase your work as an artist. Remember, a little bit of planning now will prevent headaches down the line.

Throughout the entire series of tutorials, I’ll be sharing with you examples from the site I recently built for fiber artist Daren Redman; my aim is that this will illustrate how my suggestions work in practise.

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What’s covered in Planning Your Artist Website?

Chapter 1 – Establishing your website objectives

Here we’ll lay strong foundations which will help in all other stages of building your artist website. By the end of this chapter, you’ll have set objectives for your website, crafted a pertinent mission statement and identified your ideal target visitor.

Chapter 2 – Choosing a domain name

In chapter 2 we’ll cover the do’s and don’ts for choosing a great domain name, as well as why having more than one option is important.

Chapter 3 – Planning the pages of your site

Using your website objectives and mission statement as a guide, you’ll identify exactly how many pages you should have on your artist website and what these pages should be.

Chapter 4 – Creating the content for your site

Now we know what the pages will be, we need to write the content for each of them. Here I’ll give you some general guidelines for coming up with great content, as well drill down into the specifics of what should be included on each page, giving you the tools to write text that will engage your visitors.

Chapter 5 – Preparing the text and images for your site

Good preparation of your text and images is essential to prevent headaches later on in the process. By the end of this chapter you’ll have a well-organised folder on your computer with all the raw material you need to build your site.

Chapter 6 – Choosing a WordPress theme for your site

The platform we’ll be using to build your site is WordPress, a free content management system; themes are the templates that tell browsers (like Safari and Internet Explorer) how your site should display. In chapter 6 we’ll decide on how you’d like your site to look and discuss how to choose the perfect WordPress theme to achieve this. Please note, if you want to follow the tutorials in Section 2 (Building your artist website), I use the Klasik theme from ThemeForest.net and many of the instructions I give are very specific to that theme.

Chapter 7 – Planning the colours and fonts of your site

Here we’ll take a look at some basic guidelines for the use of colour and fonts on your site. By the end of this tutorial, you should have a list of 3 or 4 colours and 1 or 2 fonts that work well together and will complement your artwork.

Bonus material

25 great WordPress themes for artists

A selection of the best premium WordPress themes, designed to present your work in a beautiful and professional portfolio.

How to photograph textile art

You don’t want the images of your work to let down your website, but if hiring a professional photographer is out of the question, it can be tricky. Here are our top tips for getting the best photographs of textile art.

(Right click or option-click the link and choose “Download Linked File…” to download this file.)

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Go to Chapter One – Establishing website objectives >>>

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