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There are 3 big mistakes artists make with their WordPress websites over and over again.
BIG Mistake NUMBER ONE: Choosing a WordPress theme that competes with your art.
An artist’s site should be all about the art. There are literally 1000’s of WordPress themes to choose from but it is difficult to find one that’s suitable for fine art.
A theme with tons of tripped-out functionality, busy graphics or way too many options just creates a learning curve that’s complicated and way too long. Your time is better spent in the studio producing work than it is trying to turn yourself into a web developer because you need a short course in CSS and HTML in order to use your theme.
Artbiz is all about WordPress, it’s an easy platform for artists to manage themselves. Once WordPress is installed you can simply pick a theme and start uploading images and start adding your content.
KISS it = Keep It Simple!
It’s all about your artwork. If you want to enhance your site; try making your thumbnails larger or adding a slideshow, and provide substance in your text content.
BIG mistake NUMBER TWO: A lack of substance in the content.
It’s important to create a great theme that makes your site visually appealing. What really makes for a poor visitor experience is lack of substance in the content. By lack of substance I mean, thinking that people will know all about you and your work by simply looking at your images. You must have text on your home page and image portfolios.
People want to know who you are, how you do what you do and why.
Art is full of hidden meaning that may not become apparent until it is pointed out. People have told me that they didn’t truly understand my work until they read my series statement. It is our responsibility as the creators of our work to educate people about it.
But it’s not only people that look at your images and read your texts; search engines also crawl your site looking for content to index.
Search engine robots can’t see your landscape painting, you have to tell it that it’s a landscape with words.
Why is your work so magnificent; tell us. People want to get to know you and what makes the creative mind tick. It’s really fascinating to other artists and non-artists alike. Provide substance!
Here’s an entire blog category dedicated to helping artists formulate their content, free for the reading.
BIG mistake NUMBER THREE: NOT resizing and optimization images for your website
Artist sites are mainly about the images; we know this. Fast loading images of exceptional quality are paramount to a good user experience especially if there’s no text (see big mistake #2).
Studies have shown that a visitor to your site takes an average to 6 to 8 seconds to assess whether or not to stay and go deeper or move on.
If your image takes 30 seconds to load most people will have left your site by the time it finally shows up.
This is the most challenging part of managing your website. Photoshop is not only expensive, you have to learn how to use it; yet another learning curve. A lot of artists don’t know that you don’t need the full blown version of Photoshop to manage images. Photoshop Elements will do the job at a fraction of the price.
If you don’t want to use Photoshop there are a number of online resources to resize your images for free. You can’t embed meta data into the jpeg as you can with Photoshop but you can watermark, resize and rename with these four…
One final note about renaming images; always, always rename your jpeg’s with your name and the name of the piece. Like so: “your-name_name-of-piece.jpg” There is nothing worse than having your images indexed by search engines as “img_1234.jpg”.
Remember your website is all about your art, chose a simple theme that puts the emphasis on the art not the site design. Provide content substance by writing about your work and good quality, fast loading images. Do this and you’ll avoid these 3 big mistakes artist’s make with their WordPress websites!
Guest artist/author: Kim Bruce is an accomplished artist and designer specializing in the entire implementation of a WordPress based website including installation, theme design, upgrades, unique customization’s and ongoing site maintenance.
You can visit my WordPress art website, LoriMcNee.com, and let’s meet on Facebook Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, Google Plus and on Pinterest. Be sure and check out and my fine art prints and notecards on Fine Art America.! ~Lori