Starting a website
Hey friends! I would love to start a website to house my portfolio but I am not sure where to begin. I’d love to hear how others got started, what platforms and website builders etc. What costs usually go into it and also if anybody just uses social media as their main, uh, thing.
Ghostshipmatt last edited by
@asyas_illos - Have you listened to / watched this one yet? I think this will help answer your questions:
The show notes/audio link is here: https://www.svslearn.com/3pointperspectiveblog/websites-and-online-portfolios
If you'd prefer to watch the video, it's here: https://youtu.be/xtqpju1z0Ak
@ghostshipmatt thanks I’ll check it out!
Melissa_Bailey last edited by Melissa_Bailey
Since you ask about how others got started, this is what I did:
My first website was through Weebly. I chose the free plan, but I bought my own domain. (Which I highly recommend, as it makes you look more professional and your website is basically your digital business card/resume. It's a legitimate business expense -- if you want to be a professional illustrator, you're running a business.)
My first domain name was melissabaileyillustrates [dot] com. It was good in a way because the domain name let people know who I was professionally, but it was bad too because it was LONG. That's a lot to ask people to type and remember! So almost 2 years ago I decided to change it to mbaileyart.com -- much easier to type and remember. (Which leads us to recommendation number 2: choose a domain name that is professional, easy to remember, and as short as possible.)
At the time I changed my domain name, I also switched over to Squarespace. Weebly had changed some of their plans and policies and the free plan no longer was going to work for me. I was going to have to pay a monthly fee for website hosting. Which is fine because my website is my business hub and a deductible business expense. After looking at Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace, Squarespace offered the most of what I was looking for. However, that's not to say that Weebly and Wix aren't good services; they just weren't for me, but they might be exactly what another illustrator is looking for.
That's been my website journey so far. Others will have different stories, and different recommendations for what worked for them. Everyone has their own unique circumstances, and it's great that we have lots of choices and options!
@melissa-bailey-0 thanks so much for sharing what’s worked for you! Do you have any monthly fees? Or was it all startup cost?
Melissa_Bailey last edited by
@asyas_illos you're so welcome!
Yes, now there are monthly fees. I pay around $30 a month for Squarespace's business subscription -- I wanted the ability to host a shop (which I need to get up and running since I'm paying for it!) and also have a business email connected to my website (which costs an additional $6/month). The personal subscription (which will work beautifully if you're only looking for a portfolio website) costs about $20/month. Domain name is included in that price.
When I got started with a website over 10 years ago, I think I bought my domain name for $13 (GoDaddy was running a sale). Then I renewed my domain name through Weebly (they were also offering a discount at the time) -- but after that Weebly was charging $75/year for a domain name (which was WAY expensive and one of the reasons why I started looking around at other hosting sites). Prices for domain names can vary wildly, but most cost somewhere around $15 - $20/year.
So ... depending on what you want your website to do, you can have very low startup costs. Plan on about $15-$20 for a domain name. Depending on the site you choose to host your website, that could run you about $10-$20/month. Usually if you want a custom domain name, you have to pay a monthly fee on sites like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. Other website hosting sites might be more affordable, but they might require more know-how or might not offer portfolio templates. Because I'm not a techie, I opted for a simple-to-use host, which does cost more. (But like I said, I'm ok with that because it's a business expense.)
@melissa-bailey-0 thank you again for specifying! I have done some research and everybody seemed to have different costs and I understand it’s going to vary from different needs but, I figured if I asked the folks who have similar aspirations as myself it might be more resourceful, so thank you!
I just switched to squarespace this year and i dont regret it, it's easy to handle and also perfect for my needs.
I have no experience with the others, before squarespace i had a wordpress webpage and it was awful. It never came to the point where it looked good. its was always a work in progress website and i hated to work on it and all the extra plugins and updates...
Now i am very pleased with my website and like how it looks and works!
So i would defenitely recomend it
@von_nimmermehr thank you for sharing!
neilpriceart last edited by
@asyas_illos I've tried with lots of website builders, they can be complicated and expensive! Definitely go with Squarespace. It's not too expensive on the personal plan and it can grow with your growth as an artist.
it's also quite nice to use, like the Apple of the website builder world.
Hope this helps,
@neilpriceart thank you for sharing your experience! I will check it out!