I've got a new business name and a new website. Go to www.smilodoncreative.com to learn all about it! 

Three questions to answer before you (re)design your artist website

So you don't have a website, and you're tired of feeling unprepared when people ask how they can find out more about you. Or maybe you're kind of embarrassed by the site your cousin made for you back in 2005.  It's hard to use, and it's all pepto pink because you were so into that color.  

Time for a new website. 

What are your goals? 

Why are you even bothering with a website?  There are lots of reasons, but which reasons are specifically resonating with YOU? Don't embark on the project without knowing the answer to this question.  Dig deep and figure out what you really expect your website to do for your career.  (Pro tip: It really should DO SOMETHING.  It's not just a pretty trinket to pump up your ego.)

What's your budget?

I know it feels scary. "How can I know how much a website costs?" is not so different from "How long is a piece of string?" A website costs anywhere from $0 to $18,000,000.  Really.  So just pick a number and go from there.  (Here's a little bit about my own experiences with budgeting.)

Who is going to help you?

Find someone to help you with this project.  That might mean a professional, or it might mean a friend.  If you're hiring someone, ask around for recommendations.  Read this Mike Monteiro article on how to pick a good designer.  You want somebody who gets you, and you want somebody who isn't afraid to tell you no.  Remember how I said a website costs from zero to one billion dollars?  You want somebody who can keep you safely in your range, who can look to the future and who can gently guide you back to those goals. 

If you're not hiring a professional, there's still no reason to go it alone.  Recruit a friend to give you feedback.  (Or develop an informal advisory board.) Maybe you know someone who is also itching to redesign their site--have work dates together! If you're using SquareSpace or Weebly, use their support desk--that's why it's there!  Even as a professional web designer, I call on other experts when I am stuck on a problem.  (And, as with all feedback, remember your goals and only take in the feedback that works towards those goals. Trust yourself.) 

That's it. Not so hard, right? Of course, you could write a book on each, but that's a good place to get started. 

Are you starting a web project? What's causing you trouble? Leave a comment and let me know. 
p.s. If you're at the end of a project, this post might be more helpful.