My mum is a painter and I would like to build her a website so she can display her work on the internet and possibly even sell some of her work
I now basic HTML and I have bought a domain and have a hosting company.
I would just like some help on how to move forward with this i.e is there some sort of “art gallery template / software” available?
There are plenty of options for setting up a gallery. You can use ready-made gallery software like Coppermine or [URL=“http://gallery.menalto.com/”]Gallery, among others. Your hosting company may offer an easy way to install these through the control panel, or you can download them and install them yourself. (You’ll need to check that your hosting package allows you to have a database.)
As far as selling goes, the easiest way is probably to use PayPal. However, in my experience that doesn’t work for selling art - don’t ask me why. I did a site very similar to the one you’re planning, and added PayPal buttons for the paintings, but not a single customer ever used them. That’s not to say there were no sales, but in every case, the customer e-mailed and enquired about a particular painting, then paid by cheque or bank transfer. Very odd. So after a while we abandoned the PayPal buttons and just left folk to e-mail if they were interested in buying.
Hopefully that’s given you some ideas how to get started. Let us know how you get on, and if you need any more help.
Not really, although flash is flexible for displaying pictures it would be a very steep learning curve.
As @TechnoBear; intimated, people don’t like to buy paintings online as much as they do in the flesh. Paintings are a tangible product that are rarely done justice online. Monitors have different colour settings, depth and resolution are different making it almost impossible to give an accurate representation of the piece.
I would design the site as a portfolio site but leave the commerce to physical transactions.
Instead of asking you to explain why this is better, I’ll just cut to the chase: it’s not better. Steep learning curve, browser difficulties, poor search engine results. Bear’s recommendations are dead on.
I recently did a site showcasing paintings and calligraphic art—both originals and prints—and they are selling fairly well via PayPal, so don’t give up hope. However, the artist is fairly well known and has be around quite a while, so that may be a big factor.
I don’t think the problem was PayPal per se, simply that people wanted actual contact with the artist first. In this case, the artist isn’t well-known, so maybe there was just something reassuring about that contact.
WordPress can be another good choice. There are a few spectacular themes for portfolios and that would be easy to setup… if the theme itself matches what you want. Else that would be something to add to your list of learning topics
Consider using media queries in your site design whether you script a site yourself or find a media queries based WordPress theme.
As others have mentioned Flash should not be the way to go as it is also not supported on iPods, iPhones or iPads and mobile browsing in a growing trend, so best not to ignore it.
Media queries would allow you to layout your Mother’s work in the size and manner you think highlights it best for the different browser sizes that could see it. For example looks good on an iPad, a resized browser window, an Android Phone, or a big flat-screen monitor at full size.
Depending on how quickly you need/want to get this live, you may consider this as an opportunity to “Spruce Up” your CSS skills, Learn media queries, and develop a custom Wordpress theme. Yes this is a tonne of learning and would be a lot of work but it gives you the best chance of getting exactly your vision. May or may not be for you?