Artists… tell me all about your website !
November 29, 2016 9:46 AM   Subscribe

If you are a professional artist and have a web site, I’d like your insight.

Mrs. Jabo is an accomplished fiber artist and needs a new web site. I need some inspiration.

I designed the old one and I can put together a new one, but I’m also looking at the possibility of moving to a CMS like Squarespace or Wordpress. Along with a fresher look, it would also be easier to update the site.

I’d like to hear from other artists who have a website about what they use, what they like about it and any thoughts on displaying art online.
posted by jabo to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I switched to a Wordpress site a few years ago. It's easier to update and change, to revamp when I need to. I bought a template in order to have better design but now it's a bit outdated and I'm probably due for a new one. I like the slideshow features, though, and that I can control preview sizes without having to resize the art and re-upload. I'm an illustrator and toy artist, for what it's worth.
posted by palindromeisnotapalindrome at 9:51 AM on November 29, 2016

I'm on Weebly and it works well enough for me. It was simple enough to put the site together and it's relatively easy to add to and update, although the page builder interface is a bit fiddly. My only slight quibble is with the way that images present in the galleries, and the fact that it's not a straightforward thing to get a deep link to a specific image, which it would be handy to be able to do sometimes.
posted by Chairboy at 10:12 AM on November 29, 2016

I need to show a combination of visuals including still images and videos for my portfolio, and I really like the templates at CargoCollective. They seem geared to gallery formatting, and let you categorize easily.
posted by Mchelly at 10:24 AM on November 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm a professional artist as well as an art program director and professor at a university who teaches the career preparation course we offer in our program. I'd say about 70% of the professional artists I know and my students are looking at use Squarespace. I and my fellow colleague also use Squarespace now (we both used to build our own via FrontPage/Dreamweaver back in the day but not anymore). Another 20% use some combination of either Wordpress or self-coded, and the rest something else (Weebly, Wix, etc). If my students choose to pay for a site (own their own domain and pay for hosting) they seem inclined to follow suit and use Squarespace. If they want free, they tend to go for Wix/Weebly and then I imagine inertia may keep them there via upgrades later on (which is presumably part of the intended business model for Wix/Weebly).
posted by vegartanipla at 10:25 AM on November 29, 2016

Probably should have added: here's my website, and what I like about Squarespace is it seems particularly built with artists in mind; it offers a number of options in terms of how you can display your work and is ridiculously simple both to create and to update. I've not yet hit the ceiling on its storage even on the lowest tier and I like most artists have an image-intensive site. I also never kept a blog before using Squarespace simply because of how tedious publishing it was, but now it's so simple. I haven't made use of the store feature yet but plan to this summer and am very pleased there's such an (apparently) simple mechanic for adding one.

I will say you have to pop over into the code side if you want to embed PDFs or Flickr files as it's finicky about those, but I think every platform has some minor issue like that.
posted by vegartanipla at 11:12 AM on November 29, 2016

Is she going to be selling her art on this website? On an artist's group I belong to, which has nearly 13,000 members, the consensus is that Shopify is the best overall for ease of use, flexibility, and ability to integrate with other sites such as Instagram and Facebook. SquareSpace comes in a fairly distant second, and nothing else really comes close to those two.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:39 PM on November 30, 2016

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