Thursday, October 7, 2010

A DIY (do it yourself) Website(s) to Consider

 (photo by Paula Scott: Molokai Girl Studio)

Although I've yet to create my own website, I've spent the last few years looking at the myriad of possibilities in which to do this. Through that process, I've looked at and tried out a handful of do-it-yourself websites (you create your web pages by using templates). Many of them had learning curves that I cared not to endure since the end result wasn't what I was looking for.
Nina Baldwin has created her website by way on one of these many DIY websites. Her website is beautifully constructed and she did it all herself. She created her site with a company called: Fine Art Studio Online (FASO). Most of these companies offer a free 60 day trial so you can go and play around with it before committing to a contract. If you Google Nina's name, her website will come up first on the list. Thumb's up to Nina on her choice of website companies. The best part is, she can do all her updating herself, so she is in total control of her website. You can check out the pricing structure by clicking on the link provided for FASO.

But, that wasn't a good fit for me. I needed a company that offered the similar benefits AND unlimited images for the same kind of fee structure. Something that I have to take into consideration since I work in multiple mediums. I found everything that I would need in a company called, Art Span. A visitor to your site can even order prints of your images (especially good for photography or they could be giclees of your work as an open edition). Art Span goes beyond being a DIY website and offers many services. Here's an overview of what they offer:

artspan at a glance

  • Founded 1999
  • 3,700 member sites plus art gallery and association sites
  • #1 ranking for "contemporary art" by Yahoo and Google
  • 171,000 visitors and 1mm page views per month* (and growing fast!)
  • over 6 million "hits" *(NOT including visitors to the individual member sites)

And, their customer service is stellar. I emailed an inquiry and got an answer that day (it was a Sunday and I didn't expect anyone to be there on the weekend). Not only that, but I ended up in email 'conversations' with the director of Art Span. When venturing into these DIY websites, having good customer service is paramont to get you through it all.

Here's additional bullet points the director provided me with:

·         Easy to manage
Tools designed for anyone to quickly take charge of their site: add images and galleries, add pages, customize the design, check stats and more!
·         More traffic through
Your independent website is also part of  Take advantage of the traffic that only a major art site can attract. Artspan searches and directories take that traffic to your studio door.
·         Each member site is optimized for Google
Each page on your site is optimized. Artspan sites are top-ranked.
·         Each member sites is ecommerce enabled:  shopping cart and Prints-on-Demand
The artist uploads hi res images and chooses the sizes and pricing  / The visitor chooses the mat and frame / Artspan ships, collects the sale proceeds and pays the artist.
·         Free first month trial 
So, maybe this sounds like a commercial, but it's not (I'm not getting paid or any kickbacks for this). But, here are two really good companies to consider and both are affordable. See which one fits your needs.
 The bottom line is, that having your own website is affordable and is within your reach. 

No comments: