A Review of Artspan: Contemporary Artists’ Websites

By admin in Art Business Advice > Selling Art Online

EDITOR’S NOTE: Prices and information below may be out of date. In addition, since we now provide our own websites for artists through Foliotwist, we no longer feel unbiased enough to continue updating or reviewing other art website services. Visit the website below for their most recent information.

This week I took a look at Artspan.com, a provider of contemporary artist websites, and even corresponded by email with its director and founder Eric Sparre.

Artspan Contemporary Art

Eric said that Artspan (founded in 2000) was the first company to offer full-featured artist websites, but he made it clear that from the start his goal has always been to use Artspan.com to help drive traffic to artists, not JUST create artist websites.

To that end, Artspan.com has become an art portal, bringing in traffic from search engines and then distributing it to Artspan members’ websites.

After talking with Eric and browsing through Artspan, I decided Artspan is similar in some ways to the other art-selling websites I’ve reviewed, since they all attempt to drive traffic to their artists.

The main difference, of course, is that with Artspan your name, bio, and artwork don’t exist only on a group website—you have your own website as well. More direct competitors of Artspan include Foliosnap, Big Black Bag, Foliolink and Fine Art Studio Online, all of which offer some sort of personal website to artists.

A basic membership on Artspan is $14.95 per month, while a pro membership is $19.95 per month.

You get a lot of things for that price, including:

1. Your own website with up to 15 images for a basic membership (and unlimited images for pro).

2. Stats of how many visitors your site gets, and a built in email/newsletter management system to keep in contact with previous buyers of your art and anyone else that wants to receive emails from you.

3. Inclusion in the Artspan directory of artists, which is browsable by location, artist’s name, or the category your art fits under.

4. Print-on-demand service, with print sizes ranging from 5×5 inches to 40×40 inches.

5. An integrated shopping cart for your buyers, with credit card capability (note that you’ll be responsible for the credit card fees).

6. No commission fee, unless you sell directly through Artspan. Then it’s 10%.

. . . and many more features, which you can view here at Artspan.

Artspan Artist Website

There’s a 30-day free trial for both the basic and pro option, so there’s not much risk in trying them out. Your domain name will cost $15.89 per year if you buy it through Artspan, so that’s something to consider when you sign up (many places offer cheaper domains, for around $8).

If you’re looking for your own website with a lot of management tools and features, Artspan has you covered, for a price that’s lower than most art website services.

Check out Artspan.com for more information about  what they offer, including their FAQ page for frequently asked questions. If you’re an Artspan member already, I’d love to hear from you and see what you think of their service!


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