27 December 2012

building a new website - do i need one?


Since I'm taking the wild ride of re-branding my business in 2013 to Smudged Textiles Studio - a process that promises a certain degree of madness - I thought I'd take you all along with me. So I'm going to check in with a blog post about the process as I plug along with it.

There are a whole lot of steps involved in it, the first of which is a new website and blog. And I always have a weird sense of let down when someone puts up a post that says "I've got a new website! Go look!" Like it came out of thin air. I always want to know how in the world they got from point A to point B.

I admit, I've never had a site designed. Up until this point in my art career, a website was simply a place to park photos of my artwork. But I do a few more things now and its time to go pro.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. The first question I needed to answer was this: Do I even need a website?

Its kind of an annoying question. Between websites, blogs, etsy shops, facebook pages and who knows what else, I sometimes feel like I need a plug installed in my head to power everything. The honest truth is that I've considered dumping my website many many times. In the end I always come back to the same conclusion:

A website is a professional snapshot of the things I do and the art I make.

I've gotten solo shows from galleries that have visited my site, sold work that didn't even have a price on it, and its nice to just give someone a link and not worry about whether or not they will have to weed through pictures of Dooley or a YouTube video I thought was funny. (Not that Dooley love isn't worth perusing.)

So the website stays. As well as the blog. I like both. The website is static and professional and I can be silly on the blog. They both have their own kind of pulse. I like to think of a website like the mellow guy sitting in bar having a drink and chilling while the blog is like a kid hopped up on pixie sticks and making her brother scream "Mom! She's staring at me!"

The trick then became how in the world would I create a new one so that I can make Smudged Textiles Studio a reality? Time is not exactly sitting around in unused stacks. The answer is simple: hire a web designer.

Major scary decision. But a relief once its made.

So that will be the next post in the website saga - how to choose a web designer. More soon...

In the meantime - tell me what you think: do you think you need both a website and a blog?


14 comments:

mary said...

i think yes. i know mine will all be done in a month or so :)

Quilt Anarchy said...

I like your comparisons and it totally makes sense. I never thought of it that way.

Kathy said...

I think you really need both in order to have a truly professional side and a side that allows you to be personable and human! You have a huge professional side, growing by leaps and bounds, so you absolutely need the best website you can figure out. And re-branding as you are doing is very difficult, but you need that, too, to reflect your growth.

Regina Dunn said...

So far I just have a website with my major quilts posted on it. I have an Etsy store with small pieces that I made but wouldn't submit to a gallery or competition. I think the website is an introduction to galleries, commissions, etc. A blog shows what you are doing week to week with your art and creativity and can pass on information to others on methods, stumbling blocks, and can lead to teaching engagements. I don't have a blog, but I plan on starting one in the next few weeks. I want it for two purposes; to interact with others and get exposure and to direct traffic to my website to make sales. So yes, I think a website and a blog can work together for you. Good luck setting up your website.

Luna said...

Hi Lynn, Yes I agree with you both are important. A web site is first impressions and facts and the blog is something you have with a coffee. It's funny how these things can be daunting, feel the fear and do it anyway hey. Look forward to reading more.

Connie Akers said...

Yes to both if you're going "full on pro" (I've considered you Pro since I first discovered you & your art). The website & blog are different parts of a whole. Good luck as you evolve to the next level.

HollyM said...

I like your description of a website and a blog. I think you likely need both. When I look for an artist and I land at a website and there's no blog. I'm disappointed. I may take a look and move on but usually don't save it. But then the blogs for me are good reading. I love getting to know the artists and I'm not usually looking to purchase, except screens which I've had done. I'd be more like to look at purchasing from a blog though because of knowing the artist better. I also would be less intimidated by it than a website. There is of course also the networking that happens through blogging.
So there are two kinds of readers and its good to appeal to them all.
I really began blogging for my own expression and to meet people as I'm quite isolated. I'm not sure if I'd ever need a website.

Lynda said...

Lynn, As a former web designer you need both. However, you can have both in the same place and I would recommend that. You would have your domain SmudgedTextilesStudio.com or SmudgedTextiles.com (I'd go for the shorter the better!)and you can either have a static front page and have your blog on another tab or have your blog the front page and all of the other info on other tabs. Check out other artists - Jane's is great: http://janelafazio.com/ Look at others and find the one you like and copy. But the biggest thing I think is to have your own domain and not be part of blogger or typepad etc. Shows you are serious. Regarding your website, you can be wacky on your blog you pull through the site. That's who you are and readers/artists love that about you. If I can be of any help let me know.

upstateLisa said...

I love the name! Sounds like a good idea to have both. Best of luck on your journey!

Unknown said...

I am in the process, and almost finished with, having a website built for me. It is much more work than I ever imagined as I was involved with every decision. You'll enjoy the process but it may not be a quick one.

Lisa said...

Absolutely! I like your comparison of the web page vs. blog. Very funny. Never thought of it that way. hahaha I think you will be very happy having both. I'm looking forward to following along on your journey.

Sea Air Arts - Deb H said...

I'm working through the same thing, a few steps behind you. I liked your take on the difference between a blog and a web site! I look forward to reading about your adventures and learning from your posts - I'm not proud, I'll let you lead me ;o)

Linda Dunn said...

Yes to both. So appreciate you're documenting the process, and hoping to learn from your progress.

Darryl Tay said...

I’m glad you’ve seen the light from owning a website! The internet allows your artwork to break through the geographical barriers and become virtually accessible from any country in the world making way for market expansion. Not only does it provide two-way communicative marketing, it also improves integrity by giving you the chance to tell potential clients about your artwork and why you are worthy of their trust and confidence.

Darryl Tay