- Good, large images of the artwork
- See item #1
- Easy navigation (skip the bells and whistles)
- Good , easily found contact information
- A bio, a CV, a bibliography
- See item #1
From my perspective, as a web programmer, if you really want to see some reliably lousy websites, then look no further than those that artists (painters, sculptors and the like) put up for themselves. They may not have the "discoey" music gaudiness of some restaurant websites, but as far as everything one shouldn't do when making a website goes, they hit all the major notes:
Using a 10 different fonts on one web page? Check.
Having a bunch of broken links on the front page? Check.
Gaudy color schemes (you know, because the website is an "extension of their work")? Check.
"[S]he was holding a ruler up to her computer screen" ... priceless.
Uploading image files that are way too large, thereby causing any visitor to the website to have to wait ten minutes for a page to come up because each work sample is 4 megabytes? Check.
Updating the website once every six years? Check.
Putting their personal Hotmail address on the front page of the website, thereby contributing to the world-wide junk mail scourge (and not to mention making themselves look like a hack)? Check.
Forgetting to pay their web hosting fees, so that half the time their website is "down for maintenance"? Check.
Oh, and this might be the worst ... taking their visitors' emails and including them in large, un-blind-copied show announcement emails? Great big check.
The list goes on, but aside from the bad aesthetic and bad internet manners, they're lousy as customers - a lot of micro-managing, obsessive-compulsive attention to every unimportant detail (I had a woman once call me and complain that a line break was 2 millimeters lower than where it should have been ... she was holding a ruler up to her computer screen), fickleness, and of course the lack of ability to pay for any of the work they've just demanded too much of your time for.
I learned these lessons long ago and don't service many artists anymore. Unless they pay in advance and have a day job.
Again, though, what I personally want to see at an artist's website are good, large images of the work. Everything else comes a distant third.
Labels: artists websites