If you’ve been listening to pretty much anything lately you would realize that a big bunch of people think the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. That is what the Mayan calendar predicts (at least my understanding) and there are a big group of Christians who believe that the Rapture prophesized in the Bible is imminent as well.
What the heck does this have to do with my artist website you may ask? Has Art Marketing Secrets become a theology site? Well – no – just wanted to inject a little Hollywood drama into this article and couldn’t resist the 2012 opener! We are, after all, located just a few miles west of Hollywood. But it is relevant..
If 2012 really is true then it won’t matter how you built your artist website. It, like everything else will be gone. But lets say that instead of the end of the world we have a few upheavals and we all survive and have to get back to business as usual (or something similar) – where will you be then and will you be ready to sell your art and pay the gas bill? Come to think of it, that could happen any time right?
Well, as an artist in the current age, you will already fully appreciate that your artist website is the foundation of ALL your art marketing – online and offline. Everyone goes to look at your website to review your work. So, what happens if a natural or man-made event wrecks the data center in which your website is hosted? That’s just one of many things that could happen. Here are a few others:
- Your web host or web designer elopes to Patagonia never to be seen again, or they go out of business and hide in Iceland! (Businesses do fail you know)
- Your hosted website portfolio provider decides that business sucks and they are closing their doors (this definitely HAS happened)
- You or your web-designer has an “accident” during editing and messes up your website in a major way. (this also has happened on numerous occasions)
How long will it take you to recover? How many days, weeks, or months will the core of your art marketing be out of service? Remember that an effective website is not just the content, but also all the incoming links and site structure – all of that has to be recovered.
The simplest thing would be never to have to worry, and here are a few thoughts on how to make that so…
- Be sure to own and control your own domain name. This is the single most important thing above all else. If anyone else controls it your art career can be swept away in the twinkle of an eye.
- Ask your web host about their disaster-recovery strategy. Many will have have either real-time mirrored data sites or daily backups but you need to ask to make sure. Also, ideally, the alternate site should be in a geographically diverse location. That way, a natural disaster affecting one site will not affect the other.
- Have a regular site backup of your individual artist website including site files and any databases. This is because a webhost will typically only perform a recovery when a whole location goes down – and this won’t help you if you messed up your own website. How often you do this depends on how often you update your site. If you are adding new content every day or every few days you should have a daily backup. Weekly or monthly backups are also fine if you update your site less frequently. Having a current backup of your artist website means that you can easily re-establish your site, even if you have to move it to a new webhost. In most cases you can simply upload the files and install the databases and you will be back in business pronto – literally in a few hours if necessary.
- Be sure you feel confident about the business if you use a hosted portfolio service because if they fail you may not be able to recover easily. This is because most portfolio services use proprietary technology that won’t allow you to simply move your site to a new service. I’m not saying not to use portfolio services, but you should think through a plan for how you would handle a loss of your site.
Follow these few simple strategies and you will keep your art marketing out of harms way in the event of a physical or business disaster – you want to be able to sleep when the wind blows!