The First Sentence on Your Website

In school, you probably learned to write an opening sentence and were told it needed to capture the reader’s attention.

But do you need such a sentence on the home page of your website?

Phil Kendall Painting

©2009 Phil Kendall, Kephalonia. 50 x 40 cm.

Deep Thought

Do you have an “opening sentence” on your website?

If so, what is it?

If not, why not?

And . . . if not, what is the opening sentence on your About page or your Portfolio page?

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24 comments to The First Sentence on Your Website

  • Uh-oh. Well, this is a well-timed thought! I spent my entire day thinking about this exact thing yesterday. I am writing them right now! Stay tuned. Looking forward to hearing what kther’s say.

  • I’m a real-estate photographer. My first sentence: “You sell houses.”

    But,currently, I don’t have an “About” page. I probably should get on that…

  • The first thing a viewer should see is the ART, in my opinion. After all, that’s why they’ve come to my website. My home page is a large format slide show of my art with only the explanation “Wendy Tribulski….Abstract Paintings”. I’m pretty happy with the first sentence of my “About” statement too. It reads “with a nod to Thomas Edison, I describe my art-making as one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent problem solving.”

  • No I don’t and I’ve never thought about it. I’m waited with bated breath to hear what other artists are saying. My mind is spinning with this idea and I haven’t finished my first cup of coffee!

  • I agree with Wendy. I don’t think most people want to land on a page of text unless they’re looking for a blog, so my website opens with a slide show (with captions) of my work being viewed at various shows and galleries, and the title, “Color and Mass: Work from Arthur Comings,” across the top. This title displays on each page.

    The site’s menu picks include text options like “What people say” and “Statements, bio.” My artist’s statement begins with “I use a variety of materials from industrial America.” I’m glad you made me look at it again, Alyson — I’m going to update it to something more active and personal, like “I have always been fascinated by . . .”

  • My home page starts with Welcome to Karen Meredith Fine Art, which I think is standard FASO formatting. At the bottom is “Color and Light Inspired Impressions”. Then I have text related to my creative interests for each of the categories in my portfolio. At the beginning of “about” is: “I always have been inspired by light and color. It is their dynamic interplay that create beauty and interest in my visual world.”

    I’ll be very interested in your recommendations!!

  • I know this is off topic but a good subject for another post. I HATE slide shows on websites. I prefer to see thumbnails so I can see all (or several) works at once and click to see a bigger view. No offense intended to those who use slide shows (I have one at the top of my blog)

  • You’ve really got me thinking about this, Alyson. I’ll be making this change on my American Indian portrait website:

    ‘”Those Eyes!” Those are the most common words I hear when people see my paintings for the first time’

  • I like things very simple and straight forward…so just a large image of my drawing along with my name on the opening page. But I have thought about placing a short quote below it…still debating on that one. I don’t like clutter…I need space and a place for my eyes to rest. If a website has a lot of text and images on the opening page I will click off of it, no matter how much I like the work…maybe it has to do with my motion sickness, I don’t know!!!

  • Interesting! I have a bold landscape painting right up front, with my name in bold letters and a catch phrase underneath. Other info is in a side bar. I’m with those who believe it’s about the art.
    My ‘about’ page also has a striking image on it, but now that I look at it, the information next to it could be made a little more interesting. Thanks for the push to update -

  • I have an image first, then next to it my first sentence is, “I believe that art, like love, is meant to be
    shared.”

    I don’t know if I should have something stronger though.

  • My landing page does have a little bit of copy, which I struggled with, too. It also has a large image next to the text. Looking at other artists’ pages, I always like it when there are a few words to greet me, indicating the kind of art I’ll find there. I also was under the impression that it helps SEO if there’s text content on the landing page.

    I have trouble describing my own art, as I’m still developing my style; so in my opening sentence I just shared how I define “art” in my own practice.

    I don’t like a landing page that seems cluttered with text or jumps right in to the bio or artist statement though; I like to arrive at the page and decide for myself which content I’ll delve into first, via clear and simple menu choices.

  • Yes. I have an opening sentence under the painting on my homepage. I have text there because I learned from Kim Bruce (ArtBiz/Ca) and also you I believe, that each page should have text for SEO. Mine says “Ann Hart Marquis is a New Mexico painter who connects contemporary art with the environment”.

    All photographs by Pat Berrett

  • On landing pages, I think text functions like a verbal “hello” just as one would give to a visitor at your front door. I followed Alyson’s advice on this one, but I can certainly see how a few well-placed, short, snappy and interesting sentences on portfolio pages would be a way of continuing to ‘talk’ to the the viewer about what I’m exploring. Will be doing this soon!

  • Hi Alyson,

    You got me thinking. I don’t have a website, but it’s time to review my blog content. My intro sentence just says what I do. I’m going to think about this with a writer friend.

    Love how you get me thinking.

    XOXO Barbara

  • Interesting conversation. According to the online marking gurus I listen to, we artists need to tell viewers what we want them to do when they land on our webpage, not assume that they know what to do. My text needs improvement, to date this is what it says under a large painting on the home page:

    “I love your colors!” is what people frequently say when they see my painting. Would you like your life to be infused with more beauty, color harmony and intrigue?

    If so, you are welcome to peruse my paintings by clicking here. Enjoy finding an original piece that meets your artistic sensibilities and moves your spirit. Commissioned work is also welcomed.

    Artwork can be purchased directly from this web site or by contacting me at 719-510-0006 (MT).

    It is a joy working with aesthetic oriented home/office owners who are ready to bring harmonious mystery into their living and work environments.

  • Mmm, interesting cuestion. I spent hours each day thinking about if the first sentence on my website it is the rigth! So, this topic really rocking me.
    I started my website with my short statement and a image of my work. Just on the top of my name, the bio, portafolio, contact and a small blog of news.
    But, I still thought I need make changes in all my website. In fact, I change it with frecuency

  • My first sentence is underneath an action picture of me stitching. It says “Come take a studio tour.” I do have other text on my front page; a blurb about my latest Sunday blog post, an invite to subscribe to my newsletter and exhibition news. But lately, I haven’t thought fully about the person landing on my page for the first time. I tend to start thinking about my fans, my followers. I have almost forgotten to step back with fresh eyes to think what would someone landing on this page for the first time notice first? Thanks for the nudge.

  • @Kathleen, I like that — “Come take a studio tour,” that’s a great way to get people involved and you’re sharing your process, very cool.

  • Thank you all for having a read, having a think and contributing…oh and for visiting my website too.

    I posed this question to Alyson recently and her reply was; “What do you want your visitor to do?” well in my case just take the time and have alook at my art and me.

    I’ve recently been looking at other artists’ websites and was repeatedly asked to sign up for their newsletter without telling me why or suggesting what for!

  • I have paintings on my home page and the only text is in bio/statement section. I experimented with the ‘Welcome to my website’ for a while but it’s not authentically me. And in general I skip over what artists have to say except for bios. There is so much to read online these day, I prefer to have them rest their eyes on my paintings!

  • Thanks everyone for your responses. I hope to follow up with a blog post in the near future.

  • My opening sentence on every page of my website, that includes the Home Page of course, is “Painting for an Expressive Living”.

    It’s part of the header, the slogan after my name Lucy Chen Fine Art.

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