Why are websites so hard?
I visited the WhyteAve Artwalk last week and after coming home I sorted through the business cards I collected (more on those tomorrow).
I notice a trend. Many of these cards do not list a website.
These artists are handing me their cards, but rather than taking me to their online HQ, they are sending me elsewhere. Facebook. Instagram. All good spots to own and maintain. But not replacements for your very own website.
Then I visit some of the websites.
Some don’t give me the same feeling I had when talking with the artist. Some don’t highlight the work very well. They feel neglected or unfinished or just devoid of life. I wonder how long it’s been since the site has been updated.
If the answer is ‘a very long while’ then opportunities are being missed. Opportunities to say hello to the vast online world. Opportunities to get listed high up on Google when people search for a type of art. Opportunities to sell work and book commissions and keep pursuing a passion. A calling, even.
So why is it so hard to build an great arts website?
Well, the internet has developed radically fast. Just think of the fact that there was no YouTube 11 years ago and no Facebook 10 years ago. It’s pretty crazy to imagine the world without these tools now, but they are so new. Newer than Brittney Spears or Grunge music. Newer than the original Jurassic Park, or its second or third sequels. Newer than the original Toyota Matrix. New.
So the world has been changed using tools we didn’t grow up with, and now we have to learn to play ball because these tools are in the lead.
I always tell my friends not to feel bad when they don’t understand the internet. It doesn’t make sense. And it won’t feel bad if you tell it so. People are smart and tools are dumb.
But they sure can make us feel dumb.
Next week I will resume Website Wednesdays - offering step by step tutorials to fix this problem. I want every artist I know to have a great website that shows off the best of who they are. I want that for you and I believe it’s possible.
In the meantime, I want to know what is getting in your way.
Seriously - what is stopping you from having a great website?
Money? Is a website too expensive for you to maintain?
Learning curve? Does it feel like you cannot figure out how to maintain a solid artist website?
Time? Does it feel like one more item on a crammed to-do list?
Not convinced you need a website? Holding out as some sort of elaborate performance art piece?
This is not a hypothetical question. Help me help you.