Web Basics for Artists – April 5, 2007

Today, I presented Web Basics for Artists for Maureen O’Hara Ure’s ART 4980 001 Senior Studio Seminar class at the University of Utah. It was fun to meet all the students and hear about their artwork. My presentation covered the following topics:

  • HTML & CSS Basics
  • Web 2.0
  • Optimizing Graphics for the Web
  • Personal Web Pages on home.utah.edu
  • Other Free Website Resources
  • Setting Up with Your Own Domain

Key Points

  • HTML can be created using a simple text editor and free resources from the UofU.
  • On the web, images are measured in pixels. The dpi of an image is pretty much irrelevant until ink hits paper. Small file size is important.
  • There are many free resources for posting web pages, blogs, pictures, and media online.
  • To setup with your own domain, you need three things: 1) domain name registration, 2) web hosting, and 3) web pages.
  • When setting up a web page, keep search engine optimization in mind from the beginning. For example, add your bio to Wikipedia.
  • If you decide to purchase web design services from a freelance designer or an agency, be cautious and just make sure you are comfortable with the service agreement you enter into.

The web-based presentation is available online at the link below.

Web Basics for Artists
By Sheri Bigelow, 4/5/2007

Email Lists

After presenting, I noticed that Maureen mentioned mailing lists during class and I thought that email lists may have been another good topic. I always advise website owners to collect email addresses from people who are interested in what they do. There are two main types of mailing list management programs: announcement and discussion. Most will want an announcement list. These programs manage signups and unsubscribe requests automatically; however, you can also just keep a manual list of email addresses and use free email programs such as Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Mac OSX Mail to send messages.

Email is a low-cost, simple, convenient way to keep in touch with your patrons. It is generally NOT a good idea to buy email lists. What you want is an opt-in list filled with people you either have personal contact with, who have purchased your art in the past, or who have signed up directly from your website. If you do decide to setup an email list, your site should have a privacy policy and you should provide a valid physical address and an unsubscribe link in every email per CAN-SPAM laws. If you buy web hosting services, email list management programs are often included.

  • Campaign Monitor is my favorite fee-based email marketing tool. You can create an account with up to five subscribers for free, so it’s a nice way to try out setting up and sending email.
  • Constant Contact is another popular web-based email marketing tool. They have subscription-based pricing, and you can use their program for free with up to 50 subscribers.
  • Mailman is a popular discussion-based mailing list management program and is available for free with several web hosting packages.
  • There are many other options. Contact me if you have any questions about mailing list management programs.

Protecting Your Images Online

Another question that came up during class was how to protect your images. It’s a good idea to have a caption with copyright information. Some artists watermark their online artwork while others think that watermarking interferes with the experience of viewing art online.

Links from the Presentation

More Artist Resources

  • ArtistsRegister.com is an online register of visual art open to all artists who are United States residents. Prices to add your art vary based on location and range from $30 to $100 for Utah.
  • UtahArtists.com
  • ArtistsOfUtah.org – Professional Artists who live and/or work in the state of Utah are invited to be listed in our artist listings.
  • http://www.lib.utah.edu/fa/UtahArtists/
  • http://arts.utah.gov/services/artists.html
  • Mentioned in Blog Roundup for the 6th of April 2007 :: Christopher Ross

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