Start your artist blog with WordPress.
If you want to sell art online, you need to have a dedicated website for your art. A website that allows you to blog, handle financial transactions, and collect newsletter subscribers.
There is a handful of paid artist website builder options out there. There are also a few free options like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com.
But I don’t recommend these for three reasons:
- When you use a free service, your domain name will almost always be an “extra” extension to the service provider’s own domain. For example, if I created my site on Tumblr, the web address would be www.chriswilsonstudio.tumblr.com instead of www.chriswilsonstudio.com.
- You have fewer options for custom design, functionality, and revenue. For example, I know when you use sites like Shopify or Squarespace a percentage of each sale you make goes to them.
- When you build your art business on someone else’s platform, you're vulnerable to their rules. For example, if Tumblr closed tomorrow, you would lose your business entirely.
These three reasons alone are exactly why I recommend going with a self-hosted WordPress website. You have more control, it looks more professional, and your work will live on a platform you own.
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Why WordPress is great for artists
We could compare and contrast the different options all we want. But nothing puts you in more control than WordPress.
WordPress isn’t just for blogging. WordPress is a robust website platform that allows you to have a blog, gallery, store, and normal pages all under one roof. It’s basically a great content management system that lets you update and design your site without having to know anything about tech or coding.
In fact, this website is running on a WordPress website. It has a store, it has a blog, and it runs a few paid courses.
WordPress is so efficient it powers over 30% of all the websites on the internet.
Pretty much any hosting provider offers a one-click install option for WordPress.
Not only do you get your website set-up for free, but you have access to a huge number of themes, plugins, and thousands of experts who know WordPress. If you have a question about anything regarding your WordPress website, you’ll find at least a dozen tutorials and videos with the answer.
This entire guide is dedicated to showing you how to set up your WordPress art website in under an hour.
Why you should use WordPress for your art website
BOTTOM LINE: WordPress is going to give you a lot of marketing power for your art website. In order to successfully tell your story, grow your audience, and launch your art – you need to be in control of every aspect of your website.
WordPress allows you to be in complete control of every aspect of your online art business.
But it’s not. Below I have outlined an easy step-by-step guide to getting a domain, setting up hosting, and installing WordPress in 10 minutes or less.
There are many ways to set up a blog but you will get the most control by using a self-hosted WordPress blog.
IMPORTANT: The first step for setting up a blog is buying a domain and setting up hosting. If you are not sure about the difference between hosted and self-hosted WordPress, I found this helpful infographic that explains it well.
My verdict… stay away from WordPress.com. It’s limiting and does not allow your blog to scale well.
Getting started setting up your domain name, hosting, and installing WordPress. To get started let's walk through a few quick steps:
- Getting A Paid Hosting Account (don’t worry this will be cheap)
- Buying A Domain Name
- Setting Up Hosting
- Installing WordPress
- How To Install A Theme
STEP #1: Buying a domain name
The domain name of my blog is chriswilsonstudio.com. That’s where people find me on the web. Choosing a good domain can be tough. For your artist website domain, it can be your name or a branded domain like mine.
STEP #2: Setting up a hosting account
This is where your art website will “live.” This is a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your art website. It’s far easier than it sounds.
There are hundreds of hosting services available. However, based on my experience and research, I recommend Bluehost. I believe it is the best option for most people for the following several reasons:
Bluehost is large and well known.
- They offer excellent customer service (located in the US).
- Their packages are highly affordable. If you sign up with the link below, I’ve actually locked my readers a
- $3.95 per month fee + a free domain. Which is incredibly cheap.
- Their service provides extremely fast page load times.
- Bluehost is very easy to use.
Bluehost step #1
Visit this link (the same as the one above) and Click “Get Started Now” button.
Bluehost step #2
Choose your plan.
Bluehost step #3
Choose your free domain name or bring it over your current domain. Both are very easy processes.
Bluehost step #4
Place your order and pay for your plan.
Bluehost step #5
Once you’ve logged in, you will be taken to your Bluehost dashboard where you can install WordPress (the software that runs your blog) in a few simple clicks.
Bluehost step #6
Click the green install button.
Bluehost step #7
Choose the domain you just registered or the one you brought over.
Bluehost step #8
Check the “Show advanced options” box and fill in the title, username, and password. Your title will be the name of your website (mine would be Chris Wilson). The username and password will be what you use to login to the backend of your website (your WordPress dashboard).
IMPORTANT: Save this information somewhere where you won’t lose it. You will need it for step #10.
Bluehost step #9
Bluehost will install WordPress on your server and let you know when it’s complete.
Click the “View Credentials” button on the top right.
Bluehost step #10
Click on “Admin URL” (located below the green box) and enter your WordPress login credentials from step #8. This will take you to your WordPress dashboard. Your WordPress dashboard is where you will do almost everything on your blog. From writing articles to changing design.
This is your WordPress Dashboard.
You can either begin blogging or upload a new theme for your blog.
I recommend purchasing the GeneratePress WordPress theme.
After purchasing the GeneratePress theme, you will return to your WordPress dashboard and click “Appearance” > Themes > Upload a New Theme. Here you will upload the .zip file of the theme you just purchased.
Lastly, you will then follow your theme’s setup features provided by the person who developed your theme. This is where you will upload your logo, change colors, add pages, a gallery, and more.
You have officially set up your art website. This is only the beginning of an exciting journey for you.
Now let's get started setting up the rest of your art website. Adding things like pages, blog posts, galleries of your work, and a store.
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