This Means You
A Custom Website for Artists Should Average Around $600. Find our What Every Artist Should Know About Building a Web Site from from hosting fees to design techniques.
To start off with, you need a website. Let's face it you're an
artist. You have to create, you love to create, you need to create. There is
something rewarding upon completing a project whether it be a song composed, a
play written, or a photo capturing the perfect moment that brings a feeling of
accomplishment. It's important to have that sense of completion especially in an
industry and environment that can at times be ruthless.
As an artist you're trying to distinguish yourself through
your art and in a way market yourself to the people around you. What better way
to assist in this task than with a web site. Actors, musicians, poets,
comedians, photographers, designers, dancers, painters, etc. A web site is a
powerful tool to market and promote yourself no matter what you do. The
technology is there to build a site that can play music, download documents,
display images, show video reels, animate pages and pretty much anything else
you can imagine.
In fact a recent article on the cover of Billboard
magazine said that as an independent musician a web site is just as important as
the music and live show. Not only that but the web site should be
professionally designed, updated, and well thought out. Whether you like it or
not a web site is an extension and reflection on the work you do and the art you
create. A shoddy looking web site that is just thrown up 'cause you feel you
need an on-line presence is doing more harm than good and should be taken down
The trick is to build a site that can project your unique
image and personality while looking professional and keeping within your budget.
My goal is to educate you on what to watch out for and what you need to know
concerning the building of your web site. I've been down the wrong road, have
seen the light and am now passing on that information. I'm not a web designer.
I'm a musician that has had a lot of experience dealing with web sites.
What You Need To Know
Don't Build the Website Yourself
Hire a professional. Unless you are a designer and already
know how to use programs like Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Front Page I would
suggest hiring a professional web designer to build the site. I've seen too much
time exhausted on artists trying to learn the software or attempting to use
'canned' templates to construct their site. The problem with 'canned' templates
is they look generic, uninspiring, and flat. And trying to learn the programs to
build a custom web site takes way too long and is most likely pulling you away
from what you really should be doing ' your art.
Cost of a Website
Common sense dictates that this will vary greatly
depending upon what you want in your web site. The more features you ad the more
it will cost. Extra features like flash, message boards, on-line store,
e-commerce, log-in databases, newsletters, steaming media and blogs are
typically considered a-la-carte and will increase the price. A basic custom site
should average around $600. This should include custom design, development,
hosting set-up administration, search engine optimization, de-bugging, and
hosting/e-mail administration. Much of the time you can negotiate, with the web
designer, a month's worth of site updates and administration in the overall
Organize and Prepare
You made the conscious decision to find the right designer
to build your site. Good job. Now you think you're work is done ' hardly. Your
web designer is going to ask you for content such as text, pictures, music,
whatever it is you want to present. It's your job to provide the web designer
with all the content they need so as to incorporate it into the design. Do
yourself a favor and search the internet for five sites that you really like.
Find web sites that are kind of similar to what you're about and send the links
to the designer with a brief explanation of what you like about each one. It's a
great way to begin the design process.
Web hosting is a service that allows you to upload and
store a site's html documents and related files on a web server. This makes the
files available on the world wide web for viewing by the public. If you have a
web site you need a hosting company that will store your site. There is monthly
fee incurred for this service. This fee is in addition to the cost charged by a
web designer to build your site, however the web designer should take care of
linking up your hosting company to the newly created site. The cost for web
hosting for most basic sites, probably including yours, should hover around $5
per month. When I had my first band web site built the designer told me hosting
was going to cost $25 per month and only $20 if I paid three months at a time.
Little did I know that I was a paying a ridiculous price. And on top it I was
paying her the hosting fee. The fee you pay for hosting should be paid directly
to the hosting company. I was paying her $20 while she was paying the hosting
company $5 and pocketing the rest. Multiply that by twenty clients and she had a
steady $300 per month stream of income. Needless to say I'm still upset over
When I first hired a web designer to build my site I
didn't want to know anything about the process. That was a costly mistake. The
fact that you're reading this article is a huge plus. But don't stop here. Get
to know a basic understanding of the terms, costs, software, technology, and
services provided. Having a general understanding of what's involved will save
you time, money and headaches in the long run.