All websites need general and regular maintenance. Websites need as many tune-ups as are possible too. Without these, the websites would not run smoothly. As an artisan, you need to pay more attention to your website. Failure to do this would make your website difficult to use. Visitors would flee upon discovering that the site is not user-friendly. Websites need maintenance. Websites are like cars in that you can’t expect them to work well without any care.
Regular maintenance is necessary to provide the server with all the patches and small tweaks it needs to perform optimally. Most websites are built on popular CMS platforms such as Joomla, WordPress and Drupal, which all need updates to remain safe and relevant to users. If the platforms undergo maintenance and updates, your site would be unsafe because it shall lack the new features needed to make it safer and securer.
Therefore, what can an artisan do to take care of his website well?
- Proper Maintenance
If you have the admin rights, you will receive regular notifications. Most of the notifications will revolve around the updates that you need to permit on the website. The updates ensure that your website doesn’t stop humming along. The updates ensure that content on your website remain safe. The updates keep the website safe and secure from all manner of spambots and the works of nefarious individuals such as hackers.
- Occasional Change of the Password
It pays to be safe than sorry. Your website can’t or shouldn’t continue operating with the same password every year for the last decade. At some point, you will have to change the password. Contrary to what you believe, passwords are never 100% safe or secure. Therefore, form a habit of changing the password on a quarterly basis. Don’t give admin access to just about anybody. Give such access to people that you trust only.
- Invest in Backup Services
Many hosting providers are renowned for offering excellent backup services. If your provider offers these services, don’t hesitate investing in them. Failure to invest some money in backup services could lead to plenty of regrets later. Backup services are helpful in situations where you lose control over your website because of hacking. The services are necessary to protect your website against the likelihood of losing its content.
- Allow pros to handle all coding or design
The pros are good at what they do. Therefore, leave what you can’t handle to the pros. You can mess up your site while trying to do its coding. You should only handle coding if you’re 100% confident with your skills. Otherwise, you might discover that you’re unable to undo something that you did. Fixing a coding error could cost you thousands of dollars to fix; not forgetting the time wasted and lost opportunities waiting for the solutions.
Additionally, even though artists can be professional painters or designers, they may not be trained in professional website design. Reach out to trained pros when it comes to your design, since you don’t want your website to come across looking shabby.
In most cases, you should leave maintenance of the website to professionals. Do only the minimum but leave the bulk of the work to professionals. Hiring pros and experts to do the job ensures that you get somebody who is capable of doing it right the first time, thus saving you money and time. Proper, effective and regular maintenance of the website is mandatory. For this reason, you should invest some money in it.
If you’re an artist, your website should follow the mantra of ‘keeping it simple’. Your website should be fast, easy and well organized. It should be user-friendly, especially if you use it for e-commerce. Users should have an easy time navigating through the site. Simple navigation and easy-to-read content brings more traffic to the website before convincing the visitors to keep returning.
A person visiting the website for the first time should be able to know where he is as quickly as possible. The first-time visitor should not have a difficult time trying to identify who you are. The first-time visitor should the kind of art that you offer. Any website that lacks these basics will have a hard time trying to attract more traffic. Consequently, the website won’t bring in the kind of money you expect.
More artists are investing their time, efforts and personal resources on having a presence on social media. Few realize what they are missing by failing to invest in websites. Social media is good, only that it controls what you can or can’t post. Having your own website is a much better option as you have final control over the platform. You can post whatever you feel like. You’re the only one who can change the rules on what to post on your website.
So, what are the most important must-have features on an artist’s website?
- Domain name
Free web hosting services are not good with an artist. What you think is free is actually not free, but rather lame. Visitors to your website will have to struggle through distracting ads if you opt for the free web hosting services. The hosting site controls about 50% of what appears on your website. Consequently, your art ends up competing with other commercial stuff that don’t benefit you instead of dominating the screen.
- Say NO to third-party ads on your site
Ads that have nothing to do with your art are not worth displaying on your website. Therefore, keep your website free of third party ads. Click-through ads might bring in a few more dollars in your pocket, but they are not worth the hassle. What you have to know is that ads only distract the people visiting your website. Anything that distracts your visitors will lead to losses. More visitors will avoid your website.
- Keep the site compatible with the major browsers
Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox are the most common browsers. Your website should be compatible with these browsers. How can you ensure that this is the case? You have to build a website that appears the same whether you open it on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Before making the website public, you should test it on all different browsers first.
- Build a mobile-friendly website
Today, more people prefer browsing the Internet and opening different websites on their mobile phones. You will lose a lot by building a website that visitors can’t open using their mobile devices. The artwork you display on your website should still look amazing no matter the device used to open or view it. The number of people expected to continue using their mobile devices to open websites is likely to increase. Don’t be left out. As Tulsa SEO points out, this is also a major component of Google’s algorithm, which could make all the difference when trying to get more fans, followers or customers for your art.
Lastly, find a way of linking the website to all your social media sites. Make it easier for visitors to move between the website and your social media accounts or profiles. The site should make it easy for anybody visiting it to understand what you do. The website is like your own museum. You have to see yourself as the curator of that museum. Therefore, design a website whose content is both easy to navigate through and understand.
The 2016 season opens on April 3rd! Our Market is filled with a wide variety of inspiring artwork and handmade products, yet intimate enough to be an inviting experience for thoughtful shoppers of all ages! No admission fee. Easy access. Free parking. Spend a few minutes with us – or a few hours. Think of it as an adventure and enjoy “the hunt”!.