Art Business

Behind the Scenes of my Website Redesign

May 4, 2021

I'm JULIET!

I'm a full-time artist and online educator. You can find my watercolor designs on products all around the globe. This blog is where I share all of my latest art business tips for you!

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Designing, or redesigning, your website is no small undertaking. If you run a creative business, chances are your website is one of your most important marketing tools.

That’s why I knew I needed a new website – and for a few years now! I used to host my website on Squarespace, but when my online shop started growing, I went ahead and got rid of that Squarespace site and switched everything over to Shopify. If you’d like to read a full comparison between my favorite website hosting platforms, head to this separate blog post here.

But I knew that eventually I needed a new home to host my blog posts, online classes, and a page dedicated to my licensing portfolio and services for clients.

After my new website reveal, I had quite a few of you email me to ask me which website platform I went with. And I decided to go with Showit!

I’m very happy with Showit but I do only recommend it with some reservations. Again, head to that blog post I linked above if you’d like more of my thoughts on Showit. Now I’ll give you a quick overview with how redesigning my process worked behind the scenes.

First, I purchased a template

I purchased a template about a year ago to start with because that was in my budget at the time. A fully customized site would be amazing, but 1) I didn’t have the time to design that myself (even though I consider myself pretty Showit savvy now) and 2) Fully custom sites with a designer or a design agency can be quite pricey (like $10-20k+, but you may be able to find good designers for closer to $3-5k). And I knew I could take a template and make it my own with some help. Templates on the other hand, will run you a few hundred dollars to usually not much more than $1k.

Pick a template that feels like you

When shopping for a template for any platform (Showit, Squarespace, etc.), I encourage you to find something that feels uniquely like you. Something that you can very specifically visualize your content throughout. And remember, you can always tweak these as needed or get help to move layouts around if you can’t on your own.

Before you start shopping though, loosely map out your website. What pages exactly will you be including? This will help you get some of that worked out early and hopefully save you from buying a template that doesn’t fit your needs.

Get your copy and imagery ready

If you have all of the photos you will be using in one folder, and your copy all written in a Google doc before you start customizing your site, it will be SO helpful.

After sitting on my template for almost a year, I decided to get some outside help to customize everything and get me in gear. If you’re going with Showit, here you can find their list of Showit Designers. And if you’re using Squarespace, here is their list as well.

From first contact with the designer/virtual assistant to site launch, we had everything up and running in just over 8 weeks. Her help was invaluable in making it happen, and customizing details throughout my site like adding a new portfolio section.

Define the goals of your website

When you’re working on your website, try to be very strategic about who you are designing it for. Are you trying to reach customers of your shop? Licensing clients? Students for your classes? All of these things? Keep that in mind and get as specific as possible.

Oh, and don’t forget to create an engaging about page! It’s one of the most visited pages on any website.

Good luck, and happy designing!

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  1. Thanks so much for these insights Juliet! How did you decide that Squarespace wasn’t serving your needs anymore? (I know I will be facing these decisions at some point, just not sure where that tipping point is).

    • Juliet Meeks says:

      Hi Roxanne! For my shop, I knew Shopify was more robust and offered lots of app integrations. Squarespace has evolved their ecommerce more now, but I would still stick with Shopify. It has a very nice backend interface and lots of other things Squarespace was lacking.

  2. Kalyn says:

    The new site is absolutely stunning, Juliet! Thanks for sharing behind the scenes! With Showit, do you have to have a separate platform for hosting a blog and a shop and then link them all together? I’m considering switching, but confused as to how to integrate shopify, blogging, portfolio, etc. all in one place. Thanks much!

    • Juliet Meeks says:

      Hi Kayln! Thank you so much! Yes, I host my blog on WordPress but it integrates with my site. The VA really helped me get that set up. I would say to make sure that any template you pick has a blog. As for as my shop, I still host it on Shopify but just link it πŸ™‚

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