The Top 12 Things Never to Do on Your Artist Website


    This post is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner and founder of BoldBrush, known for FASO Artist Websites, the leading provider of professional artist websites, the $38,000+ BoldBrush Painting Competition and the free daily art marketing newsletter, FineArtViews. As a self-proclaimed "art fanatic", Clint delights that BoldBrush's San Antonio, Texas office is full of original art, as is his home office. You can connect with Clint on TwitterFacebook or his personal blog at


    As we all adjust to the new normal after having been sequestered in our homes, we're all finding alternate ways to make the most of our time.  So let's ask ourselves:  How can we use this time to get better? How can we be of service and use?   I know, without a doubt that great art is being created around the world at this very moment.  Perhaps by you!  Our entire team is focused 100% on whatever we can do to help you market and sell more art.  With that in mind, we're focusing FineArtViews on sales and marketing ideas more than ever before.  The following article was selected from our archives as it seems quite timely in the current situation and provides ideas we think you can use to improve your own art marketing.



    Today's post is a bit of a rant.  It's an updated rant from a few years ago.  I've dropped a few annoyances off the list (because they don't happen as much as they used to) and added a few new annoyances that seem to be in vogue.   Everything I rant about below I have really suffered through on actual artist websites.  So I apologize in advance for the following rant......



    1.  Right Click disablers
    People aren't trying to steal your web-quality images, but you're really annoying the rest of us who use the right-click for all kinds of options, including navigating websites.  (By the way, people can get your images even if you have a right-click disabler, so why have it?)

    2. Flash
    Oh please, please, please don't use flash. Don't make me wait for stuff to load.  Plus having to use flash's annoying little scroll bars to read text is really, really annoying when we have a technology that works great for text called html.  Also, flash really sucks on a mobile device.

    3.  Excessive Javascript
    This is similar to flash - don't make things animate, jump around.  Don't override regular html links and make them javascript links.  Just keep it simple and let your artwork shine.  (It's OK to use a little bit for statistics trackers and the like).

    4. Out of date information
    Please don't make me read about the exhibits you had in 2002 on a "current exhibits" page.  I'll just wonder if you've done anything since then.  Make sure your information is current please.  Also, make sure you have an easy system to keep your artwork portfolio current.  We want to see your newest work.  At FASO, we make posting new art dead-simple, and, as a bonus, we have a system that will automatically notify your fans when you post something new, so you don't even have to spend time sending an email or posting to a blog.  Oh, and by the way, we also remove past exhibits from your "current exhibits" automatically.

    5. Blurry images
    If I'm actually going to purchase your artwork, it would be nice to know what your artwork actually looks like.  In this day and age of "shot on an iPhone" there really is no excuse for sub-par photography.

    6.  Hard to Find Navigation Links
    Please just use plain text html navigation links.  I'm not impressed that you can make your links look "shiny." 

    7.  No Prices
    Don't make me guess how much to pay you because I'm not going to.  You're running a business, so post your prices.  

    8.  Unreadable Text
    Please make your text large and with enough contrast to easily read.


    9. Unlinkable artworks

    This drives me crazy:  I find a gallery of artworks on your site.  One-by-one, I take the time to view them until I find one I really like.  Now I want to email a link directly to this artwork to my wife.  But I can't because the gallery was created with some fancy pants javascript plugin (this is very common with Wordpress).  So now, if I want to show this artwork to my wife, I have to tell her "go to the artists site, click on artworks, start at the first one, click next 14 times."  Yeah, I'm not going to do that.  And I'm not going to buy your artwork without my wife on board with it.  So please, just make sure every artwork has a unique URL.


    10.  Separating your "portfolio" and your "store"

    Don't make me go to one area of your site to view your artwork and another area to purchase it.  Just make it one big seamless experience.  I should be able to view your artwork and then, if I find one I love, I should be able to buy it from the same place where I'm viewing it.  I suspect this distinction happens when artists try to "shoehorn" an artist's needs into a generic ecommerce platform.  Pony up and get a real  art website - they don't cost any more (and often cost less) than the generic website platforms.


    11.  No contact info.

    I love your art.  But now I can't get in touch with you.  That is supremely frustrating.  At BoldBrush, we've actually wanted to sponsor artists who we can't get in touch with, so we give up.


    12.  Pop-overs

    Please do not make me stop looking at your beautiful art to put up a pop-over advertisement for your newsletter in my face.  After I enjoy your art, if I'm interested, I'll sign up for your newsletter or follow you in a way that works for me.



    Until next time, please remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.





    Clint Watson

    BoldBrush/FASO Founder & Art Fanatic



    PS - Other things that are annoying that I dropped out of the top 12 list above because they are not as common anymore.  Someday I hope there's nothing in my top 12 list!


    * Resizing the Browser Window

    Do not resize my browser window.  I use a tabbed browser that fills my whole screen and keep several tabs open simultaneously.  If you resize my browser window, it messes everything up and I will leave and never ever purchase your artwork.


    * Huge High-resolution images for backgrounds
    In fact, don't use anything except a color for the background.  Why do you want to clutter up the page?  You wouldn't hang one of your artworks on top of another one of your artworks in real life so don't do it online!


    *  Music
    This isn't a gallery opening.  Please don't make me listen to the music you like.  If I want to visit your site while listening to heavy metal let me.


    *  Broken Links
    If links don't work, then why have them?  I don't have all day to figure our where you meant for links to point.





    Editor's Note:

    When seeking out new opportunities to showcase all of your art, it's always a wise choice to have a website that displays your talent. FASO Artist Websites are beautiful, very easy to maintain, we include SSL for our websites at no additional cost and we provide you with some great art marketing tools that automate many common marketing tasks for you. To sign up for a free, no obligation 30- day trial, click here.

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