Best website building services and best platforms to be on

  • SVS OG

    There are limitations with Squarespace and Wix and any type of service like this if you want anything fancy, but overall it's a good starter pick, and easy to use. (Squarespace has a really nice checkout experience too I think). Not everyone wants to mess with code and customizing. You can always upgrade later.

    I don't think your credibility is destroyed by using these services. I mean, Jake Parker uses Squarespace and he seems to be doing just fine. If you go for a clean, minimal design, it will look professional.

    If you want to save money by trading your time to learn Wordpress, it is not too hard to set up like @NessIllustration did! I also recommend Siteground for hosting - their basic option will probably meet your needs, comes with a free SSL (a must-have, this gives you the little green lock in the browser bar), and lots of optimization options for a fast website.

  • I bought a domain on "Iwantmyname" and hosted a "bootstrap" template I bought on creative market for a while on GIT's site. Do not reccommend. It set up fine but I would try wordpress if I start again. I pay the bills with tech work but who wants to spend hours customizing other people's meh code?

  • Moderator

    I'm a big fan of Portfoliobox. They're a Swedish company. Their free version is 50 images and 10 different pages, but no e-commerce option.

    I have two websites with them--one is my art site and the other is my theatrical costuming portfolio, and pay their pro level of $7 a month for each. They have an e-commerce option that comes built-in at that stage, and you can post up to 1000 images regardless of size and get unlimited pages. I take advantage of an option to have 2000 images on the costume site, but that's because it's kind of an archive of sorts.

    They have different templates, but most of them are centered not on the whole package but what you need from specific pages. For example, what do you want your blog to look like, or what type of gallery appearance do you want? Does this page feature images or writing?

    I find they're super easy to use and update, allow for a VAST number of images, automatically format for mobile devices, use HTTPS, and at the pro level you get your domain name included. They also have a marketing "guide" of sorts that you can use as well. They tout their website as being specifically about "creatives", and visually you can't deny they put all their emphasis on showing off a person's images. I'm personally very happy with them and highly highly recommend them.

  • @irina I've been using squarespace. They have a really good and simple interface. Great for a portfolio site. But I'm in the process of moving everything over to Shopify. Shopify has really good apps and templates built in. So now I can connect instagram and my printers website The Printspace directly with my shop and they handle all the digital printing, limited edition certificates and shipping with £6 shipping worldwide (not something I could offer). So that makes my life simpler. I thought about keeping two websites, I just don't know how to find the time to maintain both.

    Has anyone tried adobe portfolio? I haven't had a look at it yet. But it's free with Adobe CC.

  • SVS OG

    I also use great and easy website builder, I am currently updating my website now and its been bliss, just creating content is all that is really need. the one thing they don't currently have is a newsletter function

  • @sigross I was just about to mention Adobe Portfolio, I haven't had a proper look at it all yet but it seems pretty simple, plus if you've already got an Adobe CC account @irina then it's free, you just need to buy your domain 🙂

  • SVS OG

    I’m planning to revamp my website latter this year. This has given me a lot to think about price-wise. Perhaps, i’ll give the cheaper alternatives a go. I’m currently using the free version of wix. Though it’s very easy to use, the price is really high compared to other options.

  • Thank you to everyone that contributed. Loads to think about. I've used Squarespace in the past and now i'm looking at portfoliobox. The reality is i want something that looks nice and is quick and easy. Even tough i don't have money. I used to code simple websited back in 2003 in notepad and dreamweaver. At the ey basic i understand html and css but i just want to get things started and be able to pull things out or put things into and update easily when i want to. Somehow this whole thread made things more complicated with all the options hahahah.

    Shopify also looks good, but at the moment i have no prints and i think maybe society6 is better in that regard? Because i can't print my stuff and handle all that.

    @sigross How is printspace working for you? Have you used society6 before?

    Also, not really strictly website related but in the case of selling prints online, how can i receive money legally? Do i have to sign up as a sole trader (i like in London) or do i have to otherwise declare this income? (Have never done this before)

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  • @geoffrey-gordon We are brothers in arms! Developers to Artists! lol

  • @irina with regards to society6 I was using it for a bit but I didn't like the quality of the paper (print all over T-shirts are boss though) and its in America, so I couldn't go and check out their facilities. So test printing is a bit expensive. I love The Printspace because they have lots of lush paper and I can go down and pickup test prints (only 30 mins away) in Shoreditch. Plus, I only have to upload to their site and then they handle all the boring stuff of paper stock, packaging and delivering. For printing on objects I use Contrado, as they are only down the road too. All the manufacturing is done in London.

    Personally, I don't want my designs on loads of objects as I like to keep things simple (Simple Simon). Not to say I wouldn't license a design to another company. I tried T-shirts a few years ago and it was grim. People want different sizes, want to return stuff that doesn't fit and storing tees is not viable living in a tiny London flat. Never again! I think sites like Society6 and Contrado help this by being print on demand. I still prefer a screen print to a digital print. I like the limitations and tactile nature of that thick gooey paint.

    To sell online you do need to register as a sole trader, only if you earn over £1000 though. It's not hard, just register on self assessment by October if you hit that £1000. Link to SELF ASSESSMENT on GOV.UK

  • @sigross Awesome! Thank you 😃 I actually drove past theprintspace last night in bus 67 hehehe. I.m thinking of ordering their paper sample pack

  • I used Wordpress to build my site, I won't lie, I struggled along for ages, never happy with that I have created.
    Eventually settling with it being 80% what I am looking for.

    I would use Squarespace, but I am not really wanting to pay $18 a month for the site. At the moment I pay $50ish for the entire year and that is for my hosting and domain renewal. But it looks so much easier to put together one here than in WordPress.

  • Pro

    @reddprime I don't understand, did you use a premade theme?

  • SVS OG

    I’m just going to comment on here so I can find this thread again. Extremely helpful! You guys are awesome! I really want to get a website ready in the near future.

  • @irina Aces! The sample pack is worth having for reference. Nothing like having it in your hand to feel the texture and appearance. They do a lovely Bamboo paper. My favorite paper for illustrations is the Hahnemüle Photorag. I love the smooth, matt finish. It holds the ink really well and looks similar to a screen print. They also do a free helpful book called - Selling Art Online 2018. You can just go in and pick one up from the counter.

  • @sigross Oh, that's great!!! Thank you

  • @nessillustration I used a prebuilt theme, but then customised it to what I currently have.

  • I just found a pretty awesome tool for this that was mentioned in this Creative Bloq post -

    The tool is, it seems super simple to use. You will just need to host the site.

  • @sigross With shopify, can i do a simple portfolio first and then develop the shop? Also, do i need a separate domain? some people said godaddy but others don't rec it... so confusing

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