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The Best Artist Websites: A Look at Traffic Trends (So Far) in 2008

EDITOR’S NOTE: Visitor traffic data below may be out of date. Since launching (what we feel!) is the best artist website service around, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue updating or reviewing other art website services. :) Visit the websites below for their most recent information.

Every few months I like to take a closer look at the online art market and see how some of the best art-selling websites are doing, traffic-wise. (Here’s the most up-to-date traffic graph, powered by compete.com, if you’re interested.)

I want to make it clear that the amount of visitors a site gets each month doesn’t necessarily indicate a website’s quality or effectiveness. Instead, I personally like to think of it as a measure of health, or perhaps reliability.

The more traffic a website has on a monthly basis, the more likely it is that they’ll be around tomorrow, next month, and hopefully for years to come.

Of course, for artists selling their art online, more visitors may also mean more potential buyers for their art. Naturally, that’s not always the case (since a website could have more artist members creating the traffic rather than art buyers) but it’s certainly something to consider.

OK, so all disclaimers aside, the last few months have been rather interesting. Let’s start with the two art websites at the top.

Imagekind-and-RedBubble

RedBubble and Imagekind continue to duke it out for top position, yet as you can see, they’ve both taken a dive in traffic recently.

RedBubble’s drop in traffic was so drastic that I checked another stats tracking site, Quantcast.com, to verify the data on our Australian-based friends.

quantcast-RedBubble

If I had to guess, I’d say that RedBubble had a few big months of US traffic which got noticed by Quantcast and Compete—good for the short term, but not necessarily a reliable prediction that they’ll achieve that amount of traffic again.

Imagekind was in same boat a few months back with their own spike in traffic (followed by a few quick drops) but there are already early indications that their traffic numbers are about to stabilize at a slightly lower level than their highest month.

I suppose that RedBubble might recover in the same way over the next few months, since the two websites have an oddly similar traffic history.

Moving on, some of you may have noticed how Yessy appears to be gaining slightly in my latest traffic update. After looking at Quantcast and Alexa.com, however, it’s more likely that Yessy is simply holding steady.

alexa-Yessy

I wouldn’t expect any major gains upward from Yessy in the next few months, but then again, there shouldn’t be any major dips either.

One slightly disappointing trend recently has been BoundlessGallery—their traffic numbers have been meandering slowly downhill since last June.

Boundless-Gallery

Of course, it could just be a seasonal cycle, since their current traffic level is very close to last year’s numbers. In that case, we might see an upswing in traffic as summer unfolds and some of their promotions get underway.

(Update: It wasn’t seasonal. BoundlessGallery has closed its doors for good.)

The big PicassoMio spike in March was apparently a one-time event, perhaps caused by a brief advertising or PR campaign. (See the Alexa graph below.)

alexa-PicassoMio

In contrast, Artist Rising appears to be legitimately, ah, rising in the ranks, jumping up several positions in January (and staying there) to beat out both PicassoMio and BoundlessGallery over the last two months.

Artist-Rising

I think they’ll be able to maintain that amount of traffic too. Artist Rising’s latest increases don’t look like a spike to me, and as I’ve said before, with a big brother like Art.com, they should really ONLY be headed one direction—up!

Of ArtByUs, ArtFlock, OriginalArtOnline, and GoZabo I don’t have much to say. Small increases come for each of them, followed by small decreases.

four-art-websites

I’d love to see one of those four break away from the pack and start getting some serious traction, but so far there’s no indication of that happening.

My gut says that ArtFlock has the best chance, simply because it’s still fairly new to the online art scene and appears to be innovating very quickly to meet the demands of artists in the UK. Whether or not ArtFlock can cross over into the US market (which primarily determines these rankings) and gain a large userbase has yet to be seen.

If I had to choose a couple winners this month, it’d be Artist Rising and Yessy for showing small gains and staying strong. The ones I’ll be watching with interest next month are RedBubble and BoundlessGallery.

Remember, if you ever get a hankering for some traffic stats, you can always check back by EmptyEasel!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

EDITOR'S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date. Since launching our own art website service for artists at Foliotwist.com, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue updating or reviewing other art website services. Visit the website below for their most recent information. . . . read more

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