A website builder for artists might sound like an oxymoron, at least to some old-school painters and sculptors. But even if you're someone who exclusively works in physical media and doesn't like to mess about with technology, we'd argue you still need a website that presents your work to the world, and allows potential clients and gallery owners to find your contact details.
The best website builder makes it easy to create a website that meets all of your needs, even if you know nothing about code. But there are a lot to choose from, and most of them use so much marketing spin and technical jargon that's it's difficult to know which is right for you.
So we've done the work and saved you the trouble. In this article, we pick the best website builders for artists available today, discuss the pros and cons of each, and share the information you need to make the right choice. And if you can't find what you're looking for here, be sure to check out our general best website builder article for a more broad range of options.
The best website builder for artists available now
As an artist, you want your work displayed in the best possible light. There’s a reason why the best physical galleries are curated with care, attention and lots of empty space, giving each painting or sculpture the visual room it needs to breathe. And Squarespace’s stunning templates are the closest thing we’ve found to reproducing that experience online.
While most web builders are focused on small business owners, Squarespace has always had the creative community firmly in its sights. And its lovely layouts, meticulously crafted by professional designers, are the ideal choice for artists wanting to wow people with their digital portfolio. Plus if you want to add a blog or add an online store to sell your prints, Squarespace has you covered too.
Like all the web builders on our list, Squarespace allows you to builld a website without needing any knowledge of coding. Instead, you just use drag and drop to pull your own images and text into the template you choose. If you need to tweak the template further, that’s pretty straightforward too.
We’ll be honest, it’s a bit more fiddly than other web builders on this list such as Wix, and there is a bit of a learning curve. But with useful prompts popping up wherever you hover your cursor, it’s nothing you can’t master in an hour or two with a bit of concentration. And your reward will be an elegant and professional looking website that’s going to look pretty impressive.
Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, and it is one of the more expensive web builders on our list. But given how nice its templates are, we think it’s a price worth paying if you can afford it. And there’s a 14-day free trial, with no credit card needed, so you can spend a lot of time trying it out before you commit.
Are you an artist who generally avoids digital technology? Did you glance at Squarespace and still find it confusing and overwhelming? Then you might get on better with Jimdo. For those with absolutely no experience, it provides a guided walkthrough for artists to help you build your first website.
You can start creating your site without committing any money or supplying a credit card: just choose the ‘free’ option when you get to the payment page. All you then have to do is answer a series of questions about what you want your website to do, and respond to (or skip) a series of prompts that make it super-easy to do things like changing the fonts and adding your own images and text.
That said, Jimdo is not just for nervous newbies. At the opposite end of the scale, if you do know something about how to code, then the system allows you to installs widgets that allow you to modify the HTML and CSS of the templates.
We should add that Jimdo isn’t perfect. There’s no live chat or phone support, only tickets; and you won’t get a fast response to those either, unless you’re on the most expensive plan. Plus its templates are pretty basic, and certainly not beautiful. That said, if you just want to set up a website quickly and with the minimum of fuss, Jimdo can certainly deliver that.
Artists are known for being perfectionists. So maybe you’re looking for more than a basic template-driven layout, and want greater control over the look and feel of your site? In which case, you might prefer Voog, particularly if you have some experience of web building, and aren’t scared of a little work.
While Voog only offers a limited number of templates, they are very well-designed and attractive, and look great on all screen sizes and devices. Plus you get a huge range of options to customise your site, especially when it comes to blogging and ecommerce features.
You don’t need any technical knowledge to use these, although if you are a developer there are also a bunch of cool database and API tools that will help you tweak things further. And if you get stuck, customer support is available 24/7 via live chat, email, and phone.
Perhaps the standout feature of Voog, though, is the way you can set your site to be available in multiple languages, in just a few clicks. You can either trigger the language to change automatically depending on location, or allow your visitors to pick their preferred language from the menu. Either way, for any artist wanting to promote themselves and their work beyond the English speaking world, this is a valuable feature that can expand your reach hugely.
Wix is focused on small businesses of all kinds, from plumbers to lawyers, and doesn’t make any specific effort to appeal to artists as such. And its templates are generally functional rather than particularly elegant or attractive. But that doesn’t mean that artists should ignore it. As number one on our list of best website builders overall, it has a lot to offer.
Its drag-and-drop editor is super-easy to use, even for beginners. With over 500 templates in total, there are a lot of art-specific templates to choose from, including ‘Illustrator Portfolio’, ‘3D artist’ and ‘Graphic Artist’. And if even that terrifies you, you can just use Wix ADI, a system based on answering questions that's similar to that offered by Jimdo.
The biggest selling point for many artists, however, is that Wix's prices are very low compared to most rivals. In fact, there’s even a ‘Free forever’ level that will get you a basic website for zero money. To get a feel for what Wix is capable of, you can see a selection of artist websites created with its web builder here.
Do you primarily want to use your website to sell your artwork? Then we’d recommend Shopify, a website builder that’s specifically focused on creating online stores, and which also has some beautifully designed templates. Admittedly, most of these aren’t free, and indeed the service as a whole isn’t the cheapest web builder you can find. But Shopify is basically the gold standard in ecommerce web builders, so if you're taking your business seriously, it's going to be worth the investment over time.
The drag-and-drop system is very easy to use. There’s excellent technical support that really suggests the company cares about its customers. The payment system works very smoothly in practice, and you get a huge range of options for customising your store in a way that suits your needs.
All of this is irrelevant if you’re only expecting to sell the odd print every now and again. In that case, you're probably better off with a basic website and taking orders by email. But if you’re serious about setting up a business around your art that generates a regular income, then Shopify has everything you need to make it a success. Learn more about selling artwork on Shopify in this blog post.