Female graphic designer using graphic tablet while working on computer at office
Tools

Platforms

Platform Options

List of platforms and features for Artist’s Portfolio Websites. The table below includes info on about 30 different platform choices. You can use any of them. Or any platform not on the list.

Easy, Honest!

All platforms can produce similar-looking websites. They will all frustrate you a little as you learn where all the buttons are hidden, but you should pick things up after you put a bit of time in.

Wix – Squarespace – WordPress

After teaching Art 490 for 5 years now, here’s a breakdown of what most students use:

  1. Wix – 59%
  2. Squarespace – 29%
  3. WordPress – 9%
  4. Everything else – 3%

If there’s anything you like – go for it – it will be fine.

I personally like WordPress, but I think Squarespace & Wix are easier to use. I know people who love Squarespace and hate Wix. I know people who love Wix and hate Squarespace. I’d guess they’re fairly equivalent.

Medium

Medium is a free and very cool writing platform. If you’re in Art History, Art Ed, or want to write about art, culture, art reviews, publicity, and so on, Medium is great.

Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is more technical than most Art students. I wouldn’t recommend it for most Art students. If you like code, or see a career there, Dreamweaver could be awesome.

Free, Freemium & Premium

Your many platform choices will use one of three different business models:

  • Free – you can just have it. We don’t want your money. Examples: Medium, Tumblr, Blogger
  • Freemium – you can have it for free. Or you can pay us for extra features. In the case of website platforms, the most common extra features are 1. Turn off our ads, 2. give you a Custom Domain Name, like CleoBrunner.com instead of CleoBrunner.Wix.com Examples: Wix, WordPress.com, Weebly
  • Premium – you just have to pay us. Examples: Squarespace, CarbonMade, OtherPeoplesPixels

Platforms & Costs

Besides Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Medium & Dreamweaver, here’s a table of lots more options.

Scary $?

As a “starving student” anything that costs money can be scary! After you graduate these costs should be reasonable in the context of your career.

The reason 2/3 of the class chooses Wix over the 1/3 that chooses Squarespace is because Wix has the Freemium option. This is nice in that you can have your website now and only choose to spend money later when you are able to or need to.

The disadvantage is that while there’s nothing wrong with CleoBrunner.wix.com, it’s just a bit less serious, a bit less pro, than CleoBrunner.com. So much of the focus of Art 490 is for you to make strong choices and then commit to them. Paying a few dollars and getting your own Me.com is not required for the class, but it will give you a bit more focus and commitment.

Portability

You should be able to stay with whatever platform you pick for a long time. If you do need to move your site, sometimes there are converters to pull your content in from Platform “A” to Platform “B”. Sometimes not.

If you organize your Images & Words someplace like

  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • GoogleDrive
  • iCloud
  • etc

It’ll be much easier if you do need to move your site. Plus you’ll have everything ready if you have to upload your work for various applications, grants, residencies, and so on.

Female graphic designer using graphic tablet while working on computer at office
image: FreelancingGig.com

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