Websites for Artists – Quick Start Guide

Setting Up Your Website Name & Hosting


SEE IF YOUR NAME IS AVAILABLE – FREE DOMAIN

Artists should use whatever name they are using on their artwork combined with the term “art”, “artist”, or for a specialized field the field name as in “photographer”.

EXAMPLE:

If your name is William Owen Crawford but you represent yourself and sign your work as Will Crawford, the best web address might be www.willcrawfordart.com or www.willcrawfordphotographer.com in the case of a specialized field of art. If that isn’t available your next best choices are www.willcrawfordartist.com or just www.willcrawford.com.

CHECK YOUR DOMAIN HERE – you’ll stay on our site

Your domain will be free and is included in your hosting package. If you already own your domain use the box on the right. Bluehost will credit your account with a freebie that you can use later, but for now will help you transfer the one you already own.

Make absolutely sure your spelling in your domain is correct before proceeding to the next step.

CHOOSE STARTER PACK – FREE DOMAIN INCLUDED

First select Starter Pack, you can always upgrade later but this is what I use for most of my business. If you know you need tons of space for data then by all means choose the Plus Package but you should do fine with Starter.

Blue Host

THEN CHOOSE DOMAIN NAME

Your domain will be free and is included in your hosting package. If you already own your domain use the box on the right. Bluehost will credit your account with a freebie that you can use later, but for now will help you transfer the one you already own.

Blue Host

Make absolutely sure your spelling in your domain is correct before proceeding to the next step.

ACCOUNT SET UP / CONTACT INFO

Just fill in the blanks, no need to add a business name unless you want to.

Blue Host

HOSTING TERMS AND BILLING – ONLY $3.95 P/MO.

The next step is getting your new or existing name hosted. Here’s some details about what to pick as you navigate the order. Fill out your name, address, etc. Then submit and you will be taken to the account choice page. Here’s what I do:

Account Plan- I usually start with 36 months, but if you want to shave a bit off your costs you can pay a bit more per month to have a shorter plan. 

Search Engine Jump Start, Site Backup Pro, and Domain Lock Domain Security are not necessary.

Domain Privacy Protection- I always get this for a personal site, but don’t bother for larger business related sites. Definitely select this option if you want your personal phone number and home address hidden from the public.

Blue Host

After you are done setting up your account write down your new domain, your password, and bookmark Bluehost for easy access later.

OPT OUT OF PREMIUM UPGRADES

You will be asked about many other “Premium Upgrades” on the next screen as seen below. You do not need any of these right now, and if you ever decide to get them Bluehost will always be there to sell them to you in the future ;). So make sure your additional upgrade total is zero and click “complete”.

Blue Host

WELCOME TO BLUEHOST

Click “Create Your Password”.

Blue Host

CREATE PASSWORD

Create a password using upper and lower case letters, a number, and a symbol like $ or %. Write this down. If you click Password Generator it will make a really tough one for you but you’re probably better off creating your own. Then click “Create”.

Blue Host

LOG IN

Log in time! Log in to your new account using your new website name, without the www. , just as you see in the example and the password you just created.

Blue Host

BLUEHOST GET STARTED PAGE

For this screen choose either option you are comfortable with…setting up yourself by following instructions, or having a Bluehost staff member help you for free.

Blue Host

ADDING WORDPRESS TO YOUR HOSTING PLATFORM

Once you click “I can do it” or “Do it for me” you will be taken to your CPanel. This is your home screen for hosting but won’t be used by you too much after you install wordpress. Once you install, you’ll log in from your website admin page, and work from the wordpress dashboard to make changes and updates to your website and will rarely visit your hosting panel.

Go down a couple of sections on the right until you get to Website. You will see the Word Press logo in a blue circle that says “Install WordPress”. Click this logo.

Follow the series of screens below.


CLICK INSTALL WORDPRESS

CLICK START A BRAND NEW INSTALL

SELECT YOUR DOMAIN FROM THE DROP DOWN AND CLICK CHECK DOMAIN AND INSTALL


WATCH FOR INSTALL STATUS TO BE COMPLETE

CLICK SHOW ADVANCED OPTIONS Choose a name for your website such as San Diego Bike Rentals, write down or take a screen shot of the admin username, password, and admin email address, and check the box Automatically Create A New Database. Accept the terms and click Install Now.

WAIT FOR THE INSTALL COMPLETE MESSAGE

WAIT FOR THE CONGRATULATIONS MESSAGE Write down the url, and the admin url.

CLICK THE ADMIN URL AND YOU WILL BE GREETED WITH YOUR WORDPRESS LOG IN PAGE – WOOHOO! Bookmark this page on your desktop or bookmark bar.

LOGGING IN TO YOUR WORDPRESS DASHBOARD

If you aren’t greeted with the screen above you can always type in: www.__________.com/wp-admin using your new website name in the blank spot. You will be taken to your log in page. Add your log in name and password and you are greeted with the wordpress dashboard.

In the left hand column go to Appearance, then Themes, and you will be taken to the page that shows what you have and allows you to add a new theme.

This log in and dashboard is where you will do the majority of your website work. You will very rarely visit Bluehost.

NEXT STEP CHOOSING A THEME AND INSTALLING IT (ABOUT 1 MINUTE AFTER YOU CHOOSE, SUPER EASY TO DO) The hard part is deciding which cool theme you want. Basically you are going to visit Appearance on your Dashboard in the left hand column, then Themes, then add new. However more on that below as well as VIDEO AND WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS.

NOW…WHAT KIND OF WEBSITE DO YOU WANT?

In preparation for this task ask yourself if you will only be using your new website as a portfolio, or if you will also want to sell art from the site.

There are several types of themes (website templates) and places to buy them. (THERE ARE TWO SUGGESTIONS AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE FOR PLACES TO GET SIMPLE, LOW COST THEMES) There are also lots of free themes but most are not very attractive for artists. 

WHAT KIND OF CONTENT WILL YOU HAVE?

Pages you want- (like Home, Portfolio, Contact, About) Some people like to have their portfolio’s divided by type; a separate tab for paintings and photography for example.

Artist statement or About Me content- An image is great, and then you’ll need to decide are you doing a formal artist statement and resume including shows, gallery relationships, etc. or are you doing a casual introduction to yourself and your art. Start thinking about the language and type a paragraph or two.

Contact info- Consider sharing FB, Twitter, and your email address. Forms turn people off. It is also friendlier to include your city and state even if you don’t want your full address.

Portfolio images- are they handy? will you want slide shows or galleries where they’re all visible but clickable?

CHOOSING YOUR WEBSITE THEME (THESE ARE CALLED TEMPLATES)

There are lots of great WordPress themes, but we have two favorite spots for buying them. Lots of low cost, easy to use choices. Be sure to read reviews, and look at screen shots carefully for those you are interested in before buying. Many theme developers also have a demo so you can see what a theme looks like live.

You can search for WORDPRESS themes you like at these two places and bookmark them for later viewing or purchase. To start the search, click the image below to browse around a bit.

ADDING YOUR NEW THEME TO YOUR WORDPRESS DASHBOARD

Here are step by step instructions as well as a video to do your theme install. About 2 minutes to complete.

Blue Host

If you have trouble, drop me a line always happy to help.

Von

 

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