Wordpress is a great resource for an artist that is looking to create their own website to promote themselves and their art. I recommend going with the self hosted WordPress platform found at WordPress.org. But there are some costs associated with going that route.
First you’ll need to purchase a domain name which is about $10 a year. You will also need to get web hosting which can be $6 to $15 a month depending on the hosting company and the plan you choose. I believe these expenses are investments in your art career and well worth the cost in order to promote you and your work. But I also know that for some artists just starting out these are expenses they simply can not afford.
If you are looking to create a web presence without spending a dime I recommend starting with WordPress.com. This is a completely free blog service that offers plenty of great features and customization all within a community of other users who are there to help you when you need it. You could head over to WordPress.com right now and have a website/blog up and running in less than 15 minutes without ever having to break out the credit card. This option takes away any excuse you may have for not having your own artist website.
The great thing about starting with WordPress.com as your website service is that the content you create on your site is easily transferred to a WordPress.org site when you’re ready for an up grade. Also WordPress.com offers paid upgrade options as well to improve your site without ever having to move it. Any time and effort you invest in WordPress.com is not wasted due to this ease of upgrade that is built in.
WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org
If you are not familiar with WordPress you might be a bit confused at this point by the mention of WordPress.com and WordPress.org. They are two different blogging solutions. Simply put the .com version is a blog service and the .org version is a blog software.
WordPress.com hosts your blog or site on their servers for free and your domain name is something like artpalaver.wordpress.com.
WordPress.org offers software that you install on your own server you’ve rented from a hosting company and is then connected to your own domain name. It is what I use here on artpalaver.com.
WordPress.org is super flexible and can be customized in just about anyway you can imagine to just about whatever you need it to do. Right out the box it is very search engine friendly. There are countless themes and plugins available for free that help you change the look and function of the your site. And there is a large community of avid users found on blogs and forums around the web that will help you when you need it. Those are just some of the reasons I think WordPress.org is a great solution for a do it yourself” web presence. But I do understand that the approximate $120 a year price tag can be too much for the emerging artist.
Start with the completely free option and eventually move to the better self hosted .org option.
If you do start off on WordPress.com though one small expense you might consider is buying yourself a domain name. Scrape together the $8.88 needed to secure the name for a year and then have it forward to your WordPress.com site. myart.com is better than myart.wordpress.com.