This posting is about my own experience through now nearly 15 years on the internet.
It is what I have learnt.
I would like to be able to pass on other artists the pitfall we face when we try to build our first website.
If you have never tried to build a website but know a bit about computing and internet and blogging, I am sure you are capable of building a website.
My first advice will be to do good research about where you are going to build your site from.
There are so many site builders who can tempt you!
I have had TWO bad experiences.
I ran away from one (who advertise heavily) who had taken my money, ran my site for two years and all of a sudden, my site vanished.
Very bad when I had the luck to have my work featured in a magazine!!! with NO functioning site.
After three weeks of argument over the phone where I was taken to the far east and going nowhere,
I finally got them on Facebook.
The bad publicity got me my money back.
I heard that many of their customers where in the same predicament and one had to close their online business as they had lost so much money.
The second one was ok, but trying to build a site was a total nightmare (this one advertise heavily too)
I tried one who is reputed for artists websites. I found it extremely difficult to do anything with.
I have warned friends about it but they got tempted and regretted it.
I fell back on Weebly. I would not go anywhere else.
Good choice of templates - easy site to build - aftercare customer service excellent
and to top it all, you can build your site Free.
You pay if you take a Domain name.
I would advise you to try to build a FREE site and take a domain name if you are happy with it.
AH!!!! Now coming to DOMAIN NAME.
My first domain name, Beatricecloake.com was stolen.
HOW? If your server does not inform you that your payment has to be renewed, your domain name go online, offered to be bought.
Some morons, love to speculate with other people domain's names.
If a domain has received many hits, they buy the domain for their own business.
When mine was stolen, the first owner was in Japan, selling Hair remover :D !!!
I caught him, exhibiting on his first page my own CV.
It was not difficult to find his ware about. I got in touch with him. He took down my CV.
Their purpose is to catch people searching for the name of an artist and arriving on their sites.
Later, he abandoned the domain name who was taken by other shoddy characters who contacted me and offered the domain at an exhibiting price.
My domain name came back to me thanks to WEEBLY and at a reasonable price.
So beatricecloake.com is all mine once more!
So, artists, when you build your first website, search for a very good server, take your time. It might take you one week, two weeks, ask friends, other artists etc...
As for the Domain name....
If you are example Joe Smith, you might have more than one Joe Smith in UK or in the world.
I would advise you to take the domain name of Joesmithart of Joesmithfineart.com or co.uk etc....
Another way is to have a domain name without your name. If you no longer use it, nobody could use the domain name and have people coming for you on their site.
I know of artists who for example have a domain name such as:
www.thestoryofKent and display their full name on the Title of their sites.
I have been told, when you forget to renew the payment of your domain name, it takes ONE second for someone else to buy it.