artist website 12-2015 Home page, above the fold

I had always been a huge fan of Pegi Smith’s paintings and had been slowly getting to know her over the past five years or so, so when she asked if I could take over the maintenance of Pegi’s artist website from her previous webmistress who was retiring, I was delighted to accept the opportunity. After we had worked together for a couple of years, I let her know that maintaining and adding content to her website was taking more time than it should due to the outdated code, and that it would perform better overall if it were mobile friendly. She took quite some time to think that over, so when she called and said she was ready to convert her website, it came as a bit of a surprise. Immediately my mind began creating a fabulous site to frame the gorgeous dreamscapes created by this talented woman!

The existing version of the artist website was quite extensive, but it had become dated in more than one way. I was so excited to convert it to WordPress so it wouldn’t cost so much to maintain, and to provide a beautiful setting for her artwork. It took a while to get to that point, however, as a major battle with Yahoo over her domain and email had to be won first. That was a hard way to begin, but once we got past that major bump in the road, I went to work with great joy. I was determined to customize just about every detail possible throughout the site so it would be an appropriate reflection of her personal beauty and talent, attention to detail in her work, and deeply compassionate personality. Artist Website –  Full-Featured Home Page artist website by Hannah West Design LLC 2015 Home - menu open
The customized color scheme for Pegi’s site extends to the dropdown menu, shown above. We also added a nice web font to personalize the headings, and Pegi drew up the concept for her new logo, which I fleshed out and added to the site for her. Pegi is also a very accomplished violinist, accounting for the clef that represents her second initial. You can see how extensive her portfolio galleries are! There’s even more than you see here…and that means a LOT of art images to prepare! Her previous site was quite extensive, so in addition to many, many art images, there were also many, many 301 redirects to wrangle. But I just could not bear the thought of Pegi’s site losing traffic from people following old links only to find a 404 Not Found page, and so the search engines wouldn’t demote the page rank of her site, which had been online collecting “link juice” for many years.


Additional Pages artist website by Hannah West Design LLC About page

Art Gallery Pages artist website by Hannah West Design LLC - gallery page Blog

Blogging is a real asset to your website and extends your efforts at search engine optimization in important ways. Many artists are not fond of the idea, but if you really want to extend the reach of your announcements and get your artwork in front of people who haven’t seen it before, it’s an effective part of the plan that you should consider. I don’t feel that artists need to adhere to the frequent schedules that marketing experts advise for other businesses however. I feel your most important tool of your trade is your creative mind, and anything that taxes it is a liability, not an asset. But if you win an award, have a student that goes on to do really well with their art, get selected for an exclusive art exhibition, or have another achievement that’s meaningful to you…write about it! It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out essay, it can be just an announcement with a picture (always with the picture…and remember to fill in the ALT tag in the media library with something meaningful!!). Just write when you have something to write about, don’t wait too too long between posts, try to write with a friendly, inviting “voice,” and you will be fine. artist website by Hannah West Design LLC - blog
Soon Pegi will be writing her own posts on the blog at her artist website, but since she has a tendency to come creatively alive late at night, we wanted to have her blog page ready for action so she can begin at any time.

Contact Page artist website by Hannah West Design LLC - contact page