I am a younger artist (18) trying to sell more original artwork and also prints of my work, I have been looking into making a website to sell my work directly to the buyer. How would I go about making a website similar to yours.
All I currently have for getting commissions and selling my work is people recommending me to buyers and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/
You’re in luck…it’s not 1999 when I built my first website! You don’t have to learn HTML or any of the coding anymore that makes web building time consuming and difficult to learn. I’m a little jealous tbh. Now my favorite way to build a website is through WordPress. There are THOUSANDS of themes you can use, some free, some paid, that let you quickly and easily put together a very VERY professional looking website.
Just to give you an idea of how much easier this is. When I used to redesign my site it would take me about 2 weeks to change everything over. Now, for an even better site, I can have it completely redesigned almost instantly just by changing my theme. If I want to start that same site from scratch it would take 2-3 days. I often say there is no magic fairy dust to make things easy in art…but I’m pretty sure wordpress was designed by internet fairies. There HAS to be magic involved!
To get started, you first need to find a host (I don’t recommend wordpress themselves, they are really expensive for what you get), and buy a domain name. I would be cautious about using some of the budget hosts like godaddy. They have been known to completely screw their users out of their domain names and if you run into a problem that you need help with it can cost you hundreds. That bargain isn’t such a deal. I’ve known of SO many people to have problems with them over the years. I myself had a problem with another budget host who claimed my bill was paid late (it was paid 2 months early), then they disconnected my site, took 2 days to get it back up, charged me a reconnect fee that took months to get removed and the best they would do was credit my account for them having charged me over $60 in fees. They would not actually refund the money that they wrongly took from my account.
After that joy, I moved EMWD. I use them both for my host and to pay for my domain name. I’ve been with them for about 15 years now and built several sites for other businesses through them. They have been wonderful to work with. It’s normal to pay a monthly fee for your hosting service. For your domain name you generally pay for that once a year. Trust me when I say these two things are not things you want to try and get a deal on. I’m not saying you should find the most expensive company out there, but It’s worth paying a few extra dollars to be with a reputable company.
Once you get your wordpress site up, you will want to choose a theme. Make sure you get one that updates regularly. You don’t want to use a theme that the developer abandoned 5 years ago and isn’t updating. It can cause problems later on when wordpress itself has updates. I personally use the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. This is a paid theme. I had a cheaper theme for about a year before I switched to Divi, but it didn’t work with woocommerce. This is what I use to have the shop on my site. Not all themes play nicely with all plugins. Making sure you have a theme that is being updated and optomized to work with some of these more popular plugins is important.
With Elegant Themes you pay about $80/ year or a one time fee of $225 ish (I may be off on that exact number). You get access to all of their themes for that price. Even though I’m only using the one theme, it is SOOOOOOO worth it. It takes a little getting used to how to use the themes and some are certainly easier than others. With Divi for example, there are just SO many options that it can be overwhelming. For many people choosing a more basic theme to get started will be the easier way to go.
A good theme will make your website look like it was built by a professional and all you have to really do is fill in the text and add photos of your art where you want. There are a LOT of great tutorials on building wordpress themes on youtube. This guy will walk you through step by step to get started. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyARzdLKjKw