Search

Why every artist needs a website (that they can self-update)

When I first started my art business, I considered just using Instagram and not actually hosting my own website. I mean, it's cheaper (free!), right? And websites are a pain! Also Instagram is so popular, people are likely looking for me there anyway. Right?

Editing your own website seems like a tough puzzle, but you can do it with the new easy-to-use tools available.

I also knew that even though I am very technically literate, creating my own website using the most common tool, Wordpress, was something I would have to spend time learning and updating. Time I could spend elsewhere.


But I want to explain why not hosting your own site is a problem.


First, even though Instagram is much cheaper than hosting your own website, that may work against you. As the saying goes: "If you aren't paying, you are the product and not the customer." Free social media profiles should never be the main source of your presence on the web because you have very little control over the website. Instagram won't even let users post links with images! Your control is limited and your access to others, even those who willingly chose to follow you on the service. The algorithm chooses who sees what content and if Instagram doesn't think your latest post is newsworthy enough, it won't display it to many of your legitimate followers. The same goes for Facebook and any other social media website.


There are a number of free blogs that you may consider starting with, even Wordpress.com. But remember that these free blogs also control the styles and content and maybe reach of your content.


Creating a profile on a merchandising site such as Etsy or Shopify (or even Amazon) will give you a way to sell content but again can be limiting to the types of content you can upload.


And on all of the above websites, what if you have a problem? Technical support for websites that you are not paying is notoriously bad. As an example, I recently had a problem with Facebook and Instagram advertisements. I recently wanted to create an advertisement for Curiouskirby.com on Facebook, but ran against a problem. My employee had just run some ads for plessas.net which had been flagged as unusual by my bank since previously only I had run the Facebook ads. I approved the ad purchase, but now Facebook had marked it unusual and would not allow advertisements from my account. I submitted a trouble ticket to them but still haven't been able to run ads for either company and I have no idea when that will resolve. And I have heard that sometimes account profiles will be limited, or Paypal and Etsy may flag something suspicious and take a long time to resolve it. Imagine if someone maliciously reported your content as spam, even though you submit proof you are legitimate, you may be down right at the moment when a customer needs your a