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Online Art Galleries – How Many Visitors Do These Artist Websites Really Get?

EDITOR’S NOTE: When written in 2009, the information below was accurate and current. However, since launching our own artist websites business at Foliotwist.com, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue reviewing other art website galleries online. Up-to-date traffic estimates can be found at compete.com.

Do you ever wonder which online art galleries actually get the most visitors. . . and which ones don’t get much traffic at all?

This is something that I’ve always been interested in since starting EmptyEasel.com, because just like traditional galleries, online galleries NEED people to visit them. Without a lot of visitors, there’s not much chance they’ll sell a lot of art.

And of course, if you’re making the decision to join an online art gallery, you probably want to know that your art will be seen.

So today I’m going to share the current monthly traffic estimates of over 30 online art galleries (all of which have been reviewed on EmptyEasel in the past).

These estimates were compiled by compete.com, and are not guaranteed to be accurate—in fact, in my experience, compete’s traffic numbers are consistently LOW.

However, their numbers are probably equally inaccurate for all of the websites in question, so we can assume that the sites which are shown to have the most traffic, do actually have the most traffic.

So let’s start at the top. . .

Online art galleries with 1,000,000+ unique visitors per month:

Etsy, CafePress, and Zazzle are all huge websites, with tons of features, tons of members, and tons of visitors every month. Sure, CafePress and Zazzle aren’t necessarily considered typical online “galleries,” but I’m including them here because a lot of artists use them to promote and sell their art.

million-plus-visitors-per-month

As you can see, Etsy.com (represented by the blue line) has seen a tremendous growth in traffic over the last year, and according to Compete, is now getting somewhere around 5.5 million visitors per month.

CafePress is falling slowly, and from the look of things, Zazzle will probably overtake it, perhaps in the next month.

Now, as great as these numbers look, I want to emphasize that all of these sites have a lot of members. . . and those members probably make up a good portion of those millions of visits each month.

You can pretty much count on the fact that not every visitor will be buying art—and many of them will be selling art, just like you.

My key point here is that lots of visitors are great, but the sheer number of visitors isn’t ALWAYS proof that a site is better for selling your art.

Art galleries with 100,000+ unique visitors per month:

For art websites with over 100,000 unique visitors per month, Imagekind and RedBubble are the two main ones I want to talk about today.

hundred-thousand-plus-visitors-per-month

A year and a half ago, these two websites were neck-and-neck, and the big question in my mind was, which one would win in 2008?

Now it’s clear, RedBubble has taken a commanding lead (with almost 400,000 monthly visitors in September) and Imagekind seems to have pleateaued after all, below the 200,000 mark, despite its acquisition by CafePress.

I think we’ll see a solid bump upward for both of these sites during the upcoming holiday season, but after that, I’m not sure Imagekind will ever be able to catch up.

Online galleries with 20,000+ unique visitors per month:

Perhaps the most interesting range of websites (to me, anyway) is this one. All of these sites have fairly significant traffic, but some are coming while others are going.

twenty-thousand-plus-visitors-per-month

AbsoluteArts.com, ArtfulHome, and ArtWanted.com have all been around for over a decade. AbsoluteArts (the green line) seems to be falling steadily, while ArtfulHome (the blue line) seems much more consistent, with a very healthy jump in traffic during November and December.

ArtWanted is hanging in there at the bottom—I’m interested to see if it stays in the 20,000+ range next month—and ArtistRising (the hard-to-see orange line) is actually climbing very strongly upwards.

I expect it to see ArtistRising continue to grow, too, since it’s owned by Art.com, and I don’t think it’s reached its full potential yet.

Galleries with 10,000+ unique visitors per month:

This next graph is really just a tangled mess. . . the biggest thing to take away from it is that compete.com starts to guess a bit more as traffic numbers dip below 20,000. (That’s why the lines are jumping up and down so much each month).

ten-thousand-plus-visitors-per-month

Zibbet (the orange line) and ArtBreak (the blue line) are probably the ones to watch in this group. They seem to be trending upward much more than downward.

Online art galleries with 5,000+ unique visitors per month:

As we get lower, I’d expect to see more newly-launched art galleries, but both UGallery.com and DiscoveredArtists.com have been around for about a year and a half now. . . and ArtByUs.com has been around forever.

five-thousand-plus-visitors-per-month

Perhaps DiscoveredArtists.com and UGallery.com are just slow starters. For now, they’re only pulling in “OK” traffic numbers, which is a little disappointing.

Art galleries with 2,500+ unique visitors per month:

In this group there IS a newly-launched site: ArtQuiver.com.

twenty-five-hundred-plus-visitors-per-month

The other two galleries (OriginalArtOnline.com and ArtFlock.com) have been stuck in this traffic bracket for a few years now—they really need something to jump them out of it.

I expect to see ArtQuiver keep growing, however. They’ve got a very unique way of matching buyers with artists, and I think people will gravitate towards that.

Galleries with 1,000+ unique visitors per month:

Of the three galleries shown below, Zatista is the only one to have launched this year—so I’m not surprised that its traffic is still fairly low.

thousand-plus-visitors-per-month

I don’t have much to say about the other two, although I did like TheUntappedSource when I reviewed it.

Online galleries with less than 1,000 unique visitors per month:

There are quite a few galleries which just don’t have the traffic numbers to make them stand out in the crowd.

DailyOriginal.com might be the one exception in this group, since it only promotes a single work of art at a time (meaning, it doesn’t necessarily need a lot of traffic to be effective for that one artist).

Besides DailyOriginal.com, however, other galleries like MyArtPlot.com, GoZabo, StudentArtGallery.com, I Vote For Art, Nuzart.com, CollegeArtOnline and Artocracy.org all have less than 1,000 unique visitors per month—at least, according to compete.com.

I should also mention that I Vote For Art and Nuzart.com are based outside the US, which makes a difference in how compete ranks them; and both CollegeArtOnline and StudentArtGallery.com were launched just this year, so they still have time to grow.

Wrapping it all up. . .

So what can we take away from all this? Well, first and foremost, remember that these numbers are not accurate. They’re estimates, so each and every website listed above PROBABLY gets more visitors than compete actually shows.

But, if you’re thinking about joining an art gallery online, it never hurts to visit a site like compete (or quantcast) just to see if there’s anything going on behind the scenes. . . Especially if you’re planning on paying to become a member.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

As many of you know, in addition to EmptyEasel I also run Foliotwist.com, which is a web-based service that provides easy-to-manage websites for artists. Today we're rolling out one of our biggest updates ever, so of course I wanted to announce it here, first. If you don't have a website for your art, or if you have a website but you're just. . . read more

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