Using the best website builder for artists could be a game changer. Whichever one you go for, it will enable you to present your artwork online without the need for any coding knowledge. Selling online is also a major route into making a living from your art, so we also factor in the ecommerce features of each website builders for artists.
Of course, many artists use customised websites like Instagram and Behance, but in our view, a customised website will make your work look more professional. You’ll also get more creative control over how you present your work, as the platform’s interface won’t limit the format. Imagine it like a digital gallery, which allows you to control the size and layout of your pieces.
We’ve aimed to offer options to fit different budgets, and for each option, we’ve summed up the pros and cons and we suggest who it’s best for. We’ll start with quick links to our top three options, and then dive into the full list. If you’re not looking to create a site for art specifically, then take a look at our general guide to the best website builder. And if you are hoping to depend on Instagram for now, see our guide to how to sell on Instagram.
The best website builder for artists: Our top 3
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The best website builders for artists in May 2023
The $12 / £10 a month that Squarespace charges on its basic plan isn’t a great deal, especially when you consider how much extra money your own artist website could potentially make you. But if your budget won’t stretch that far, then Wix has a basic plan at a more affordable $8.50 / £6.50 a month, that’s worth investigating.
Unlike Squarespace (above), Wix is not specifically aimed at creatives, but at the mass market. And its templates tend to be functional rather than beautiful. But if you’re interested in saving money, that may be a compromise you’re willing to make, especially considering that its interface is easier to use than Squarespace’s. (For more details, see our Squarespace vs Wix comparison).
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor offers more than 800 templates, including a lot of art-focused templates to choose from, many of them for specific things such as art photographer, illustrator, art gallery, and so on. And if even that’s too complicated, you can take the ultra-easy route of using Wix ADI, where you answer questions and the platform just designs a website for you (JimDo, number 6 on our list, offers a similar approach).
In short, this is best cheap website builder for artists today, and there’s even a ‘Free forever’ option that will give you a basic website for no cost at all. Be warned, though, that your site will be plastered with ads, you’ll have a Wix-branded URL, and storage and bandwidth will be limited. To learn more, check out this selection of artist websites created with Wix, and our Wix review.
In theory, having your own website gives you ultimate control over how your work is presented online. However, if you lack design and coding skills, you’re limited to using the templates that are available. This means that the best website builder for artists will normally be one that has great-looking templates. For this criterion, Squarespace wins hands down, making it our top pick.
Aimed specifically at creatives such as artists, illustrators and photographers, Squarespace goes to great pains to allow you to present your portfolio in style. Its templates are crafted by professional designers, and they really are lovely. You don’t need to know anything about coding: just pick a template, then drag and drop your images and text into it.
Admittedly, Squarespace’s interface isn’t the easiest to use: there’s a bit of a learning curve involved. But you do get helpful advice pop-ups wherever you hover your cursor, so it doesn’t take too long to get up to speed. Squarespace is also one of the more expensive web builders. But if you want a website that can really show your work at its best, we reckon it’s worth the extra cash. You also have the option of adding a blog or an online store to sell prints and other items. In theory, it could pay for itself and more over time.
There’s no free plan, but Squarespace does offer a 14-day free trial, with no credit card needed, so you won’t get charged accidentally by forgetting to cancel the trial. For more details, see our Squarespace review and our comparison of Squarespace vs Wix (the next on our list).
If your main interest in having a website is to sell paintings, prints and other artworks direct to the public, we recommend Shopify. The website builder that’s most focused on creating e-stores, Shopify is fundamentally geared towards helping you become a successful online retailer, whether you’re selling other people’s products or your own.
Shopify has some nice looking templates, the interface is easy to use, and it offers all the ecommerce features you can shake a stick at. Be warned: unlike Squarespace or Wix, most of the templates aren’t free, and the service as a whole is on the pricey side. That said, if it helps you sell more, then that extra cost should be worth it in the long term.
The platform offers excellent technical support, its payment system works with a variety of providers, and you get a huge range of options for customising your store. Learn more in our Shopify review, and our comparison of Wix vs Shopify.
Fabrik is special in that you choose which creative discipline you’re showcasing, and its intelligent themes work accordingly to present your work in the optimum way. This includes artists, but also photographers designers, 3D artists, illustrators, agencies and more. You upload your high-res images and the AI does its magic, arranging your work in the perfect way for every device from mobile to billboard.
You can arrange your work in galleries and, crucially, you retain creative control over the final product as you can tweak any suggestions made by the intelligent system. There are blogging tools but ecommerce has to be set up through a plugin (Fabrik has tutorials to take you through this). The finish is gorgeous, and you can switch from theme to theme easily.
Plus, it runs with Google Analytics. We reviewed it back in 2016 and loved it, and it’s turned into something even better since then (see our Fabrik review if you’re interested).
Do you take a lot of time to perfect your art, painstakingly working on every minute detail until you get it right? Then the chances are, you’ll want to do the same with your website, and won’t be satisfied with just dropping in your images into a pre-built template. In which case, if you’re prepared to put a little time and effort, Voog is the best website builder for you.
Voog has quite a limited number of templates, but they’re very well-designed and look impressive on all desktop, tablet and smartphone screens alike. And more importantly, you get a huge range of options for customising them to your heart’s content, especially when it comes to blogging and ecommerce.
You still don’t need to understanding coding to do so, although if you do, there are some great database and API tools to help you tweak things further. Either way, if you have problems, support is available 24/7 via live chat, email, and phone.
Another distinctive feature Voog offers is setting your site to be available in multiple languages. You can either set the language to change automatically depending on a visitor’s location, or let them to pick the language themselves. Either way, if you want to promote your art beyond the English speaking world – and art is a universal language, after all – this could prove very useful. See our Voog review for more.
WordPress is website building software that powers around a third of the web. And if you have some familiarity with it, then Bluehost is well worth considering.
Bluehost doesn’t just offer some of the best web hosting, it also offers its own website builder. And what’s different is that it runs on top of WordPress. So once you’ve built your site using the easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor, you have many options to finesse things further using one of the thousands of WordPress plugins.
On the basic plan, Bluehost’s web builder isn’t as cheap as those of rivals like Wix. But then again, on those cheap plans you’ll get ads and clunky domain names. So if you want a professional look for your site, Bluehost represents good value. Particularly if you want ecommerce features, which are a lot cheaper than Wix has to offer. For more, see our Bluehost web builder review.
As we said earlier, you don’t need to understand code to use any of these website builders. But maybe you’re an artist who generally finds using computers and web technologies intimidating and difficult? If that’s the case, Jimdo is a great option when it comes to ease of use for beginners.
Anyone can use this website builder to get a site up and running: it really couldn’t get much simpler. Because you don’t actually have to build the site yourself: the system will automatically do it for you.
Here’s how it works. You 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. Then Jimdo will ask you a series of questions about what you want your website to do.
You can respond to (or skip) a series of prompts that makes it super-easy to do things like change the fonts and add your own images and text. This guided approach makes Jimdo great for those for whom even a template-driven platform like Squarespace is overwhelming. (Wix, number two on our list, offers a similar approach via its Wix ADI service).
Yes, Jimdo’s templates are pretty basic and not exactly beautiful. But if you want something quick and easy, that may be a compromise you’re willing to make. That said, Jimdo isn’t just for newbies. If you know how to code, you can install widgets that allow you to modify the HTML and CSS of the templates.
On the negative side, Jimdo lacks live chat or phone support, so if you get stuck, you have to fill in a form. And you can’t expect the fastest response unless you’re on the most expensive plan. See our Jimdo review for more.
Do you need a website as an artist?
No artist needs a website. Indeed some established artists make a healthy living through word-of-mouth, and don’t have any digital presence at all. But if you don’t already have patrons funding you or commissions flowing in from existing customers, and you need to promote yourself and your art, having your own website can help enormously.
Yes, you could showcase your work on a social media platform like Instagram, but people are going to take you less seriously. On your own website, conversely, you can choose how your work is presented, who comments on it, and make it easy for people to find exactly what they’re looking for. Plus potential customers and clients won’t be distracted by all those pesky numbers for followers and likes which, although we don’t like to admit it, do influence our view of creatives to an unhealthy degree.
What is a website builder?
A website builder is an online service that you access via a browser, which allows you to build your own website. Most of these services are available as monthly or annual subscriptions, and will usually include hosting for your site and a domain name. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll usually gain access to an interface that allows you to craft web pages using templates and a drag-and-drop editor. Essentially, you just need to pick a template and add your own text, images, videos and so on.
What’s the best website builder for artists?
In our view, the best website builder for artists is Squarespace, because it’s specifically aimed at creatives and has the most beautiful templates. This means your work can displayed in the best possible light, with lots of white space that allows your art to breathe. The interface is also relatively easy to use, the service is good value (if not the cheapest on the market), and there are excellent ecommerce tools if you want to sell prints or similar items.
What should I include on my artist website?
Whether you’re seeking to attract buyers, clients or employers, it’s important that your online portfolio only contains your best work. Yes, it’s tempting to load it up with everything you have available, to make it look like you’re prolific. But most people aren’t going to have the time and patience to endlessly scroll until they see something they like. So you have to be ruthless, and pare it down to the bare minimum. Most importantly, if you’re looking for commissions, pick the kind of work you want to do in the future.
You’ll also need an ‘About me’ page, so people know who you are and what makes your art different, and a ‘Contact me’ page so they can get in touch. For more advice, read our article 10 tips for a killer design portfolio.
What’s the best free website builder for artists?
The best website builders all cost money, but some of them do have free plans. These are usually very limited in terms of storage and bandwidth, so you won’t be able to load many high-res images, and not that many people will be able to visit your site at once. Your site will also be plastered with ads, and have a clunky, branded URL. So as a long-term solution, they’re not recommended.
That said, it can be a good way to get started building your own website. If that idea attracts you, we recommend Wix, as it’s free plan is pretty good, and when you decide to upgrade, its paid plans are quite cheap too.
What’s the best cheap website builder for artists?
If you’re looking for a cheap website builder for artists, Wix is our top pick. Although it’s not specifically aimed at artists, it is very easy to use, with a great drag-and-drop interface based on 800+ templates. Plus its cheapest plans are cheap indeed. Watch out for the small print, though: as with most web builder services, the price will jump in your second year, so make sure you can take that hit before signing up.
How can artists build an online store?
The easiest way for artists who don’t know code to build an online store is using Shopify. This website builder platform makes it easy to set up a website and add a shop to it. This will allow you to list products such as paintings, drawings, prints, books and more, and sell them directly to the public. You’ll be take payments from a variety of payment providers, and there are also marketing tools to help promote your work.
There are countless other features to help customise your store, including integrating it with your social media accounts. Overall, you’ll pay more than with other website builders, but the extra income may potentially more than compensate for that.