artist website checklist

A Beginner Artist Website Checklist


If you’re new to exhibiting and selling your art, you may not yet have a fully-developed website and that’s okay. Your artist website does not have to be perfect before you launch. The key is to have a few basics up and running to ensure that curators and potential collectors can find the information that they’re looking for. Following the steps below will help your website attract clients, promote your artwork effectively, and help you make sales.

Artist Website Checklist

  1. Professional Domain. Make it very simple for your clients to find you when they use a search engine. Choose a domain like or

  2. Clean, simple design. Keep the focus on your art! Don’t use too many colors or unreadable, artsy fonts because that easily becomes distracting and can take the focus away from what is most important - your work.

  3. Quality images. The photos you post of your work shouldn’t be blurry. Your artwork images should be cropped to the edges of each piece (or artwork can be shown framed) and should accurately portray the colors in your work. You can do your own artwork photography with your cellphone camera in natural daylight and then use a free image editor online as the most affordable option.

  4. Note loading times. A website that takes a long time to load will frustrate your users and negatively affect your Search Engine Optimization. Check your website analytics periodically to see if it is a problem or be proactive by avoiding using very large image files on your site.

  5. Share your story. People want to learn about you in addition to seeing your work. Include an about page with your artist biography and statement unless you already have that information on the home page. I would suggest including at least one photo of you too. It could be a more traditional headshot or one of you ‘in action’!

  6. Consider user experience. Think about how people will navigate your website when you create your menu bar. Make it simple to jump to all of the important pages like “About”, “Contact”, or “Portfolio”.

  7. Keep it organized. This varies from artist to artist, but make sure to organize your work in some way whether it is by year, medium, series, or whatever makes sense for your art. Doing this helps people see the trajectory of your career and find specific works they may be looking for.

  8. Contact page. Especially if you want your site to help with sales and media features, you absolutely need to create an easy way for people to contact you. I would recommend listing your email (ideally, with a link that directly opens a new message) over using a standard contact form. I say this because I’ve had issues with form responses accidentally ending up in my junk folder.

  9. Don’t forget your artist resume. List your accomplishments like recent exhibitions, grants, awards, residencies, and more! Either link your resume as a document on your “About” page or you can also create a dedicated page for it. Click here for a simple artist resume template any artist can use.

  10. Mailing list. Remember to use your artist website as an opportunity to grow your mailing list! You can choose to have a sign-up form on your “About” or “Contact” page or even create a pop-up with a special offer to entice people to subscribe to your newsletter.

  11. Integrate a webshop. To make direct sales through your site, integrate a web shop or choose a platform that allows for e-commerce capabilities. If you choose to sell through a third-party platform, have a prominent link in the navigation menu and/or on your home page. Otherwise, if you are not yet ready to run your own shop, be VERY clear that your work is available to purchase and give simple directions or create links for people to contact you if they want to buy a piece.

  12. Links to social media. Remind people that they can be part of your community and get additional insider content if they follow along with you on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, or on whichever channels you’re most active - and vice versa, add your website to your social media accounts too (and on your business cards, postcards, & thank you notes!).

  13. Blog or news. If you like writing, you may consider adding a blog that will give you the opportunity to share more about your work and life. Some artists simply call this section “News” and use it to give updates on recent press, current exhibitions, projects or collaborations, and studio sales.

  14. Link to other sites. Not only can quality links help with SEO, but if you’re working with a gallery, it can help them close sales when you link to them directly on your site. You should also link your media features to support press outlets and make it easy for your fans and clients to find your interviews!

  15. Minimal or no watermarks. 99.999999% of people won’t be on your site to try to steal your work. We tend to remember the negative stories about this unfortunate scenario happening to other artists and it sticks in our minds. However, if you choose to use watermarks over your images, ensure that they still allow others to properly view and appreciate your work.

  16. Update it periodically. It doesn’t have to be every day, week, or even month, but add new works regularly and definitely put a new blog post or announcement if you have a show coming up or a major project to share. Also, keep track of and note any works that are no longer available so that your customers don’t have to ask and be disappointed!

  17. Customize. This is YOUR website after all. If commissions or hosting workshops are a big part of your art practice or income, have a section or page dedicated to that.


If you have other website questions, feel free to email me. You can also find more website content and general art career advice in The Complete Smartist Guide book.