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How to Design a Website for Your Art

Learn how to make a plan for launching your online portfolio and how to design a website for your artworks.

Everyone and their dogs have websites, right? Well, let’s make your website stand out. Learn how to design a website for your art, and maybe, later on, your favorite pet. Who knows? When you learn how to design a website, just remember one thing. It takes planning! Here are some tips on how to design a website for your art or graphic design.

It’s Important to Learn How to Design a Website

As an artist, most likely you’re starving. Well, as an artist, most likely you need to sell your works. Maybe you need to get in touch with collectors or simply build a simple online store. But, it’s important to learn how to design a website for your work that impresses because potential clients will see that you’re creative, that you’re professional, and that you pay attention to detail. Designing a good website will make you that dough!

Create a Goal

Aim high and plan ahead. Before you even start and get too ahead of yourself, figure out what you want to accomplish with your website design. Learn how to design a website with a solid call to action. There might be more than one, but you want to focus on as few as possible. It might be to gather a lead, build a network, or just sell your artwork. Whatever it is, make sure your goal is strong and clear because it’s what will drive every decision you make while you design your website. Designing a website with no goal or direction can be confusing and result in just plain disaster.

Organize your Website

If your webpage is one page, then this part will be easy. But, most likely you’re going to have lots of pages and links. You’ll probably want a page for your resume, your cv, your portfolio, your contact information, etc… This is how to design a website that’s clear and organized. Plan it out! Maybe even draw a web or make a list of pages you want to design. You just want to be clear when you start to design pages. This will save time, make your viewers happy, and set you up for success. So don’t even start designing until you’ve got a clear site structure.

Photograph your Artwork

No one wants to see an online portfolio full of tic tac tow pixelated images. You’re going to want your artwork to be on display in full HD glory. Visitors should be able to see every brushstroke. And no one wants to see an art portfolio with just text and no art. So, you’re going to have to take some photos. Take some high resolution photos. Learning how to design a website for art and design is important, but learning how to take quality pictures might be just as important. You’re going to want to learn how to get the lighting right, the resolution right, the format right, and the perspective right. This is among other things. So before you learn how to design a website, check out some books on taking good photographs. And try to find the best camera around! Buy one, borrow one from a buddy, or borrow one from work. Dazzle your visitors with images that are as beautiful as your artwork!

How to Design a Website

Create Wireframes

Now it’s time for some fun! This is where you learn how to design a website using wireframes. Wireframing is a pretty essential practice in designing a website. It’s basically your chance to build a layout and add some notes about how visitors will view and interact with your website. So, grab a piece of paper and get creative! You can draw this out in any way you will understand when coding or designing your website, but generally boxes with an “X” in the middle represents an image, lines are text, and rectangles are headings. Go figure. After you’ve got a good user-interface down, turn those lines into text.

Get to Writing!

As a visual artist, this may not seem as exciting as taking pictures or drawing out a layout. In fact, it may seem frightening. But, this is one of the most important steps in learning how to design a good online portfolio. The copy of your design should be informative, creative, and shareable. Make your titles and descriptions… well… descriptive. This will help visitors to your website engage with and understand your work better. Your resume, cv, and artist statement should all be clear. But, don’t sacrifice creativity! You’re an artist and visitors are going to want to see your creativity in your writing too. Be sure to make it easy for your visitors to share your content on social media too. This will help spread the word about your artwork. Think about things you’d want to share on social media. Maybe it’s something unique and interesting, funny, or just plain beautiful. Just remember, your copy is an important tool for marketing your artwork.

Design your Code

Now you’re ready to design the code for your online portfolio. So let’s get to it! There are two different ways to do this. You can use a visual editor or a code editor. When learning how to design a website, coding your website from scratch can proove very challenging. But learning how to code your website might offer you more customization. It’s really a matter of preference.

If you want to learn how to design a website from scratch using raw HTML and other languages, you’ll first need to download and install an IDE. This is where you’ll design the code needed to show your website portfolio. From there, you’ll want to learn how to code in HTML, if you don’t know already. Then begin to layer your skills with lots of other amazing languages, like CSS and Javascript. It’s all surprisingly easy to learn how to do, but you can always find someone to do it for you too if the budget is right.

Check out some of these editors:

Sometimes, though, if you’re just learning how to design a website, it might just be easier to use an online website builder or portfolio maker. If you’re designing a website specific to showcasing your artwork, try Culture Hog’s portfolio website design tool. There are similar tools out there, but this is the cheapest and offers loads of features. You can upload and share your work, write descriptions, and even create a personalized artist bio page. It’s got a beautiful site design and visitors will be nothing short of impressed.

Embellish and Engage

People visiting your website will surely gawk in awe at your work, but make them stay on your site even longer by embellishing your style and adding some fancy Javascript. The longer people are into your art the more likely they are to become leads or buyers. So when learning how to design a website, keep in mind things that engage your visitors. This is usually some Javascript that makes the presentation of your work pretty or just fun. Animations are great. If you’re making your design from scratch with your own code, look into things like parallax, ken burns, and animated texts. If you’re using a portfolio builder check out the many built-in features to give your website portfolio an engaging design.

See Animate.css for a great example of engaging animations.


It’s much harder to make something that’s amazing and impressive than it is to make something that falls apart with one click and looses a customer forever. If someone on your website sees something that doesn’t work or is just short of amazing, then they’ll click back and search for something else. It’s very easy to loose leads in this way. So, another great lesson when learning to design a website, is to make sure it works! Of course you’re going to build it to work, but also be sure to test that it does. Things might work just fine at first, but after changing a simple font or just uploading a new work of art can prove fatal to some other feature. It just helps to check on your website from time to time as if you were a customer and see if things look and run well.

Upload and Launch

You’ve done it. You’ve learned how to design a website. So get it online!

If you’ve chosen to use a website portfolio designer, publishing your artwork is as easy as clicking, “upload.”

If you’ve made your design from scratch, now you need to find a website hosting company or buy a server to host your site. (Most people go with the first option, cause it’s much cheaper.) Just do a quick search for hosting providers and compare what’s out there and what works with your budget.

Culture Hog recommends SiteGround. It performs well and is inexpensive.

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to design a website and can start generating leads for your artworks!


As a bonus, share your hard work! This isn’t really specific in learning how to design a website and might come naturally, but it’s important to note. Share your website! If you build it they might not come. So, let people know it’s there. Share your url with your family and friends, put a link on social media like reddit, Facebook, Twitter, etc., spread the word the next time you’re out for a drink, and just get creative in your advertising.

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Written by

Topher is the proud creator and editor of Culture Hog.


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