Wow, I cannot believe I have not posted anything since New Years! My how the time flies! I have been busy though, with commissions for a couple of pet portraits, painting on some metal tubs and a few wooden cutouts. We have also been working on the house, having moved in just under a year ago, and our horse is settled in nicely to his new place, now that he is home. We had to board him until the first of the year and he didn’t like it at all. Great place, great people and horses, he just didn’t like it, but that is a whole other story!
Anyway, one of my biggest projects and my New Year’s resolution has been to do a new website. I have had a good one for a few years, but recently it seemed to be more time consuming as I had to constantly spend time updating the workings of the site as opposed to adding much in the way of content. I became more and more frustrated so I vowed to find a better way. I wanted one that not only looked nice, but was easy for the viewer to navigate and for me to operate.
Over the years I have started following a few art coaches and must give credit and thanks to them for their endless information they have shared with artists on their blogs, websites and podcasts. Cory Huff of The Abundand Artist, Tara Reed of Art Licensing Info, Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery/Reddot Blog, Leslie Saeta of Artists Helping Artists, and Bonnie Glendinning of The Thriving Artist Academy have been a wonderful source of information, resources and encouragement. They have a plethora of information for artists of all levels, some of it free, plus tools, books, podcasts, courses, and even personal coaching sessions are available.
Over the past year, I noticed some of the coaches would mention numerous places to build your own website, and one of the places that kept coming up was Weebly. I finally decided to check them out and am glad I did. It is very user friendly, and allows for integration with social media, Pinterest, etc. There are three different levels: Basic (free), Premium ($) and Business ($$). I chose the Premium, and the price is nearly the same as I was paying before.
Working on a template format, creating the site is rather quite easy. Just click on items you want to add, such as Title, photo, link, contact form, etc. and drag and drop where you want it placed. Another great feature is the range of fonts available. This makes it much more aesthetically pleasing to have different fonts for say, the title, text boxes, and menu bar. With my old site, there were font sets that were not changeable unless you paid another monthly fee for customization. For artists, 0r any business for that matter, every fee adds up rather quickly.
There are numerous how-to videos that walk you through step by step, covering everything from page creation to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to adding available products. If you are having trouble or just have questions, you can also email them or actually speak to a live person for help. In my opinion, this is a huge factor right there, as a lot of us artists are not necessarily web techies. Trust me, I would rather just paint.
With all of the tools that are available on Weebly, you can create a site that is also easy for the user, whether they are viewing the site on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. One of the features I love is they are ad free, so you don’t have worry about junk interfering or distracting your viewer from your content. This also adds to your site being able to load faster because you don’t have any of those annoying pop-ups slowing your site down.
I have hosted my website through three different site builders, and all have been very close in price. So far, Weebly has been by far the easiest to use, and I am looking to have some prints and greeting cards available in the near future. If you are looking into building a website, you might want to check Weebly out. Feel free to share this article, of course telling where it came from ;-), and let me know if it has helped you or if you have any questions. Happy building!