One of the best ways to get a wonderful website at a reasonable cost is to use a template system. There are many out there, some quite simple and some quite complex.Years ago it was all about custom websites, that's all there was, and you can still get a great custom website if you really want it. That means something designed from scratch, from the ground up, by a web designer. Generally, these can cost 3 to 4 times what a customized TEMPLATE site will cost you.
Many of the template systems today are incredible, very flexible, very customizable. They don't look like other people's sites, you can end up with a unique website. I also love that good template websites, and the companies behind them, are supported by a full time staff of design and programming experts so the websites stay stable and functional.
Template sites with a good company are much easier to update and keep current than a totally custom site. They all come with a "content editor" - the place you go to update your site that usually looks something like a Word document with buttons to help you format text and insert images. That makes it easier (and cheaper) for you, or who ever is helping you with your website, to update it.
One thing to remember when you have a template website is that you are renting, or leasing, the template. There is a monthly fee. If you want to move your website somewhere else, all the content of course goes with you. It's yours and you own it. But the template stays put with the company unless they have some provision for you to use the design elsewhere. Really, it's not a big deal. Most people, when they have a template site with a good company, don't ever need to go elsewhere.
Also, you'll want to own our own "domain name" (www.yourbusinessname.com) and that's only about $12-$24/yr. The biggest expense is creating the site, but with a template system it takes far less time to do that. That's where the big savings come in.
Hope that's helpful. Let me know if you have questions or want a 15-minute conversation (free!) to talk about getting a website or updating the one you have.
We have reasonably-priced website packages that include tutoring time and help videos if you want to learn to update it yourself. See some samples here. Want a detailed review of your current website (with written recommendations and a phone call to review them), or advice planning for a new one? Website audits/consultations are $125. Email me to inquire.
Here are links to more info about artist websites:
- Template Websites for Custom Art
- What Can (and Can't) a Website, Online Marketing, and Marketing Materials Do For You?
- Myth busting: "If you build it they will come"
- Artist Websites: Custom or Template?
- Artists burning questions (and answers) about websites
- Six standards for your digital images
- How often should you update your website?
- Protecting your content and images from theft
- 10 ways your artist website can support your marketing efforts
- Your artist statement and bio: should you keep them separate on your website?
Stay tuned for upcoming tips, or use the search box on this website to find more info:
- When to DIY, and when to invest in getting help
- How to work with a web designer on your template or custom website
- Info that should be on every page of your website
- Prepping images and content for your website
- Social media and how it supports your website
- Blogs - Worth the time and effort?
All my best to you and yours!
If you're like me and love to have great resources around, I suggest you get on the email list for Aletta de Wal's new book "My Real Job Is Being An Artist: What You Should Know Before You Quit Your Day Job (Or Get One)." It will help you get really clear about where you are and what YOUR most effective next steps are. Email me to get on the notification list, and get special goodies too!