Guest blogger: Holly Van Hart
I read in several places that you could “create your own website in 10 minutes” [link removed at author's request] with WordPress. While I never believed it would take 10 minutes, I never imagined it would take 100 hours.
Perhaps you can benefit from my experience.
I already had an art website, a contract with a web hosting service, a domain name, and a blog hosted by Google (Blogger). But my site was 5 years old and needed to be totally overhauled with new, fresh content and current styling. It also needed to be integrated with my blog.
The objective was to get a very professional, crisp and clean looking website that leveraged the excellent advice from I’d Rather Be in the Studio by Alyson Stanfield, Guerilla Marketing for Artists by Barney Davey, and Starving to Successful by Jason Horejs.
I debated between using a DIY website platform and creating a self-hosted website. Self-hosted means you own your website and have full control over it. It also means more work to set up and maintain.
Nevertheless, I opted for a self-hosted WordPress website (WordPress.org) in order to have more options and functionality for my site.
Like most artists, I am very selective about the look and feel of my website. I want to be sure that it shows off my art well, so I put a high value on having the control of a self-hosted website.
WordPress is used widely and here to stay. Because I learned a valuable skill set, I will be able to maintain and update my website for years to come. Websites need to be living things and constantly infused with new images and content.
Here are the technical solutions implemented for HollyVanHart.com, along with the costs.
|Hosting service (Linux)||~$6/month|
|‘Salient’ theme for WordPress||$55 one-time fee|
|18 WordPress plug-ins for special purpose functions||Free|
|My time to learn WordPress and create the website||100 hours of my time|
Why 100 Hours?
Why did it take me 100 hours?
My investment of time included learning WordPress and creating all-new content. It also included tweaking the site until it had the look and feel I wanted. Still . . . 100 hours of my time was way too much!
WordPress is a wonderful solution and is used by 19% of websites today. But it’s not for the inexperienced. I didn’t realize the needed functionality would require not only WordPress.org software but also a custom WordPress theme, no less than 18 special purpose plug-ins, and a lot of research on how to piece it all together.
Benefit From My Experience
The response to my new site has been all positive and encouraging, but I can’t recommend building a website on your own.
If you need a new website for your art and, like me, don’t have prior website experience, I recommend using a DIY website platform or hiring a consultant who knows what they are doing. Just be sure that you can add/edit your images easily and make other simple changes on your own.
Our time is better spent in the studio.
Did you DIY your site? What is your experience?
About Our Guest Blogger
Holly Van Hart is an award-winning artist based in the Silicon Valley. She paints abstract nature paintings that surprise us with unusual colors and textures, and ignite new excitement about a particular slice of nature. Click here to learn more about Holly and her work.