You might think you have an awesome artist website – but there’s a good chance it suffers from at least one major problem that could seriously limit your career success. Avoid these 5 major mistakes and remove important roadblocks that could keep collectors from your door!
At our sister company Beautiful Artist Websites we have been reviewing and consulting with artists on their website designs for several years. While there are a few great art websites out there most, in our experience, suffer from one or more major problems serious enough to turn potential buyers away even if the art itself is great.
Most artists are not objective enough about their websites to see what really makes the difference. In many cases they focus in on obscure presentation details which seem super important but which in reality will never be seen by an arts professional – because they will have abandoned the site in frustration before ever getting there.
There are many articles and tips floating around online about how to design great artist websites (including some we wrote) but we still see the same old mistakes being made over and over again. So in the interest of your art career (and our sanity!) in the next several days we will begin counting down what we believe are the “5 Big Artist Website Mistakes That Don’t Sell Art”. Starting tomorrow with #5 we will count down day-by-day and reveal the most important mistakes for you to avoid when you plan your artist website. This advice could really make a big difference in your art career so don’t miss it!
Can you guess what the 5 Mistakes are?? The first artist to guess at least 3 of the 5 (and they don’t have to be in order) before we start the series tomorrow will win an artist website review & assessment from Beautiful Artist Websites (normally $150). So, feel free to wager your guesses in the comments below…
Next Steps: Read the next article in this series:Â “Big Artist Website Mistake #5”. (Hint – #5 is not about the art – it’s about the artist. So what might be a big mistake about how the artist is presented on the website??)
My guesses would be: no email or guestbook signup, no twitter or facebook icons, a lousy artist statement, art that doesn't look good(!), website color too bright.? How did I do? Feels like playing poker!
bad bio, no artist statement, color too bright or too dull, get lost on the site, website looks too much like a shop
The thing I see a lot is that new artists put too many of their paintings on the website and a lot of the paintings aren't very good – even though a few are. It would be better if they just had only their fantastic paintings on the website – even if it is just a handful.
On the topic of getting hits on your website, I appreciate that by offering a teaser e-mail with a link, you rack up hits here. But I find it rather irritating to be strung along with a link like "read about the five tips here!" only to click and find out that you're not actually going to tell me any tips at all yet. It feels rather rude of you, actually.
If you're going to tease viewers, give them SOME reward for clicking. A teasing link that only leads to another tease is not fair.
I have to agree with Viridis. Thank You for speaking up. It is WONDERFUL that you are offering these tips and I am thankful and grateful for such a thing.
It is one of the best ways to get potential customers to come back to your site – by offering a daily or weekly set of tips, instructions, how to's, etc., but, yes, it is a good idea to offer the first tip in the first post! 🙂
Here are my answers –
Poor or no artist's statement.
No way to buy the art or difficult to find how to buy the art. Difficult to buy the art – for example, the customer has to send a check or money order and can't use a credit card to purchase. I think, maybe .0005% of people will actually send in a money order to buy something these days.
Poor navigation. Difficult to find your way around. Things that are most important are hidden or hard to get to.
Looks ugly – bad resolution of photos, bad representation of art. Amateur design.
Poorly written content, including spelling mistakes. Also having too little written content, thus, not allowing the search engines to see you.
Not showing a picture/video of the artist – this is a newly developed thing – customers need more than ever to see and even better, hear and watch who they are buying from to gain credibility.
Too many ads from other providers cluttering up the page. This usually happens with "free" web providers.
Using a free web provider and having a long url like:
No focus. I am slightly, well, fairly guilty of this, but, I'm so incredibly and magnificently multi-talented, I am not sure what to do in this realm.
Web site is poorly optimized for search engines. Badly created or no meta tags.
Annoying flash sequences/intros that can't be skipped, thus denying your potential customer of the instant gratification they crave. Actually any annoying flash intro, even if it can be skipped.
Annoying music playing when you first arrive. You go ahead and love the music you want to, but very few want to hear it blaring into their life suddenly.
May you all experience 57.38 billion miracles today!
Thanks for your comments – we really appreciate them!
Viridis & Christine – I did think about the point you both made prior to publishing the article. There is always a pro and a con to everything and this was no exception. The point of the teaser article (at least in this case) was not to get extra traffic but simply to encourage interaction and introduce the upcoming series.
We put a lot of effort and heart into publishing original content and in most cases readers just soak it up and then forget most of it a few hours later. But when there is interaction involved people actually remember some of it!
With this article we wanted to see what you thought prior to giving out the answers based on our experience. That's why we included the "Can you guess" in the title and also the website review prize. We were doing our best to make it a win-win and encourage interaction. But your point is good – and we read you loud and clear!
Thanks again for your comments – we hope to hear from you again on other articles.
And Christine – your answer definitely covers 3 of the 5 mistakes so you win the $150 website review! I'll email you a questionnaire in the next few days and then we'll take a look!
Thanks again to all – Daniel.
Failing to offer painting
No Price, or way to purchase.
No clear theme, not enough description
The main mistakes I see in artist's websites are:
Inappropriate use of colour and fonts
Use of advertisements plastered all over the pages
Too much use of flash and movies which take too long to load
Yes, I know some of these apply to my own site, which is why it is in need of a redesign (beautiful artist websites to the recue?).
I can’t wait to see what the 5 biggies are. (Hope I’m not guilty of too many of them!)