I've just been sprucing up my blog, trying to persuade my dealer I'm "a going concern".
I know some artists spend a lot of money on this (well, for me a lot of money....) OK there's probably a tax deduction there - but first you've got to spend it, right? And basically what they get (from web-designers) is pretty boring - your usual menu bar with Home|About|News|History|Works| etc - the usual tedious FLASH slide show of UNDERSIZED!!!!!!!
JPGs that chug along on a timed rotation or horizontal scroll bar, and which you can maybe click on examples for their 'full' size (file URL). ZZZZZZ.
Or else it's those tiny fucking thumbnails that take some random section of a painting as 'representative' and arrange 30-40 in some tight little grid that's supposed to tell you a) what the whole painting looks like b) how it compares with others. God I hate those thumbnails!
Especially the ones that are about 2 X 1cm. Come to think of it, my gallery uses those...
Ahem, so let's be clear here, we're talking about ARTISTs' websites.
Anyway I can't afford the whole customised domain deal - Me.com - my name is taken anyway. I have to make do with the free blog option. Basically you chose between Blogger and Wordpress. I've tried both. Wordpress may have been better 5 years ago. I think Blogger have lifted their game, in terms of templates and options. They at least give you a choice of fonts FFS! Without making you pay for them. Wordpress are just too hungry for payment - over everything. Both hound you for advertising and stats. I tried Wordpress for my painting blog and regret it. I don't think their dashboard or settings are as good as Blogger, but having set the whole thing up now, I can't be bothered transferring it all over to Blogger. I've done that before as well - moving from a smaller (thoroughly crooked) 'free blog' service to Blogger. It was a real pain.
The only real difference between a blog and a customised site is the template limitations. On Wordpress the home page generates new pages for each post, indefinitely, on all templates. That is, you can have as many new 'posts' or pages as you want for your work - but they're automatically stacked on the home page, starting with the most recent. Listing them through a monthly (!)
archive (provided to most templates) is pretty bloody useless, frankly. And that means everytime someone comes to your site, they're greeted by your most recent post. This works really well if the blog is basically a diary of ongoing, presumably topical events, but is not strictly what you need if you're using it as an archive or display of your work.
If you have all your work neatly lined up, awaiting upload, it might work. You then post selected works in the order you want them to appear. But if you're building the site bit by bit, like me, you might want to resort to what I call a pseudo-homepage-post. What I ended up doing is writing a standard introductory page (welcome... here's how it's set up... etc) which I have to delete (or trash
as Wordpress prefers to say) each time I add a new post of work/s and then re-post, editing it to include a listing for the new post/page, but ensuring that it remains the most recent post/page to the home page. As the pseudo-homepage grows more complex, I've got to copy the HTML onto a word.doc somewhere, to save me reloading the thumbnails etc. Yes I use thumbnails!
But a) I use the whole painting and b) they're not fucking microscopic and c) I don't really expect the visitor to compare them - they're just an adjunct to the description and link.
Oh and if you're interested, my site is here