How to Set Up a Website for Tattoo Business
So you want to set up a tattoo gallery or a site store to help your tattoo shop gain notoriety. Unfortunately for you, you’ve never done something like this before, and maybe you don’t even think you are good with computers! Today, we’re going to help you out with how to start a website and get you started on spreading your art across the net. With a combination of low cost hosting and minimal time commitment, you’d be surprised how easy everything is to set up! As a tattoo artist or enthusiast, you want the majority of your time to be spent seeking out new art, so we’re going to help you build a simple, hands-off site that has the potential to be expanded if you want to build a community around your idea.
Starting a website only requires a few things—your wallet, a computer with internet access, and a piece of paper to write all of your passwords on. As an artist or a lover of the art, the small cost of setting up a website is well worth the exposure. It could easily triple or quadruple your visitors if you do everything described in this article. If you are interested in new pursuits, these also work in other modes of business as well. We will cover the driving force behind your views and visitors—social media—in another article. For now, let’s get that framework set up! We need a site that shows you have made excellent contributions to the world of tattoo art.
How to Set Up a Website for Your Store Portfolio
A tattoo gallery site is a great way to get your art out there, but unless it is coupled with information, it may not work as a business site. If you’re wondering how to open a website and have it make a real impact on visitors, there’s one place that you need to start. Your website’s name. You might think that you can use just any free hosting service, but let’s go ahead and compare these two URLs (or, website addresses):
InkDoneRight.com VS InkDoneRight.RandomFreeHostingSite.com
One of them looks more professional than the other, right? A free hosting service is a step above no hosting service, but that step up is very small indeed. You won’t have access to hundreds of tools out there to help you optimize your website, make it look awesome, automatically set up emails or scheduling, or learn about your visitors on an individual basis. Instead of being interactive, these free hosting services look more like a cheap piece of paper a restaurant would use as a menu. Instead of something fancy with pictures, this would be maybe one or two pictures thrown in next to nondescript prices and minimal explanation of the options.
By comparison, building your own site can cost less than $100 per year (that’s only $8 per month), looks vastly more professional, and it would have access to hundreds of tools for you to use. With that tiny investment and a do-it-yourself approach, you can make a website better than any free service could get you in less than a day—with no experience, either. All you need is time, the pictures you want for your website, and a website theme you like.
Time and images are the easiest to gather—you should have a little time and a lot of images lying around, anyways. Go ahead and sort it by style (or artist, if you are building a studio or gallery site), and once that is done, start to narrow them down. First, separate everything you think is your most phenomenal work. If you have a couple dozen left, you have the perfect amount. If you have less than that, don’t fret—your site can be more minimal and give a greater emphasis to those images. Scan or save all of the pictures onto your computer, so you can easily access it while you’re working. Once that’s done, pick a day to start your website. Weekdays work best, in case you need to call support to help you with an issue, but any day is fine, really.
I’ll say this now, if this is your first time building a website, it will be rough. But it’s completely worth it, and once you have everything set up, it is incredibly easy to maintain. For both hosting and themes, there are a ton of support workers on standby waiting to help you. After you’ve done it once, you can do it again and again—it’s easier than learning to ride a bike, but works in about the same way!
Best Hosting for a Tattoo Website
Where Do I Get a Domain Name and Hosting?
Domain names are basically code words that your computer uses to access your website. You type the domain name into your website address bar, and then you get to navigate to a site. Some examples of domain names are Google.com and InkDoneRight.com . In order to get a website address, you have to register it with a domain name service. These services tell other computers to go to whatever website you hook it up with, instead of a ‘Page Not Found’ screen. Domain names cost very little and are usually coupled with hosting.
If a domain name is an address to a home, then hosting is the house itself. Hosting serves up whatever you have saved on it. In our case, we are going to be using a few tools to set this up automatically! We will be looking at a few hand-picked hosting companies that anyone could work with—even someone who has never built a site before!
First, I’ll go over how pricing works with these sort of setups. The higher the cost, the better your customer support will be and the more people can view your site at once. If you are expecting hundreds of people to show up to your site in the same second, you’ll need very expensive hosting. For smaller studios or new sites that will have maybe ten or fifteen people browsing the site at the same time, there is no need to spend the extra money. We’ll talk about high traffic sites later, but for today we are only looking at affordable and reasonable hosting services that offer good customer service and great automated tools to help you get your website online as fast as possible! They will automatically register the domain name (or website address) so that you only have to worry about building the site. We have also negotiated special coupons from InkDoneRight if you buy hosting using our links.
This is the one we recommend the most. SiteGround has brilliant customer service that reacts lightning-fast to any issues you might have. They are always helpful and go the extra mile to get everything in order for you. You can choose to host it in different countries as well. When someone accesses a website, they get information from a physical server sitting somewhere in a room. If your host server is in Europe and your visitor is in North America, your visitor will have to wait a longer time to view the webpage than someone in Europe. The difference is small, but if your server is in a strange country, you can speed up your site simply by picking a close country for your site to be hosted in. On top of that, if someone Googles ‘Berlin Tattoo Parlor,’ servers located close to Berlin will be prioritized! This is awesome for a local business or small tattoo shop that may not get much traffic otherwise.
It has dedicated WordPress hosting. WordPress is a tool that lets you set up your site with a few clicks of the mouse and includes things like comments, store templates, website templates, and more for you to use. It has high security, there are no downsides, and it only costs $4 per month. Which is excellent.
Here is how you get registered and claim your free domain name:
Go to www.SiteGround.com and choose your hosting plan:
Get 25% of your hosting package if you use the coupon: HowToSetupWebsiteIDR
This is one of the first services that I personally used for my websites until I found something better for high-traffic sites (which is also on this list!). HostGator has been around for over a decade and has never wavered in its great performance for its low price. It is a US company with offices in the states, which makes it ideal for hosting American websites or sites that expect to get a lot of visitors from North America. Starting a website with them will automatically give you credit towards advertising, which is a must for new websites. Installing WordPress takes just one click and it works for both small websites and sites with a million visitors per day!
The hosting has slower support than SiteGround, mostly due to the fact that the company outsources their hosting. At the same time, the service is so simple and reliable that I would be very surprised if you had to call them! This is what InkDoneRight uses to serve you awesome galleries every day! We have negotiated a 25% discount with them (Coupon Code:HowToSetupWebsiteIDR), so if you choose them, be sure to click through our link to get that discount!
Link: BlueHost WebSite Hosting
This is what I use for my personal websites, although it is a little pricier than the other two. The reason is that it has blazing fast internet speeds and allows for subdomains—which is good for websites that have very distinct divisions in the type of services they offer. If your website will be focusing on HD tattoo pictures or gallery features, this would be the best choice for you. If we go back to our house analogy, images are very heavy packages that have to be mailed from the server host to your viewer’s computer. BlueHost basically tosses these packages on a hypersonic megaspectacular jet beyond compare and gets it to your visitor as fast as physically possible, with not a scratch on the package. You can probably see why it works well for image-heavy sites! We highly recommend BlueHost, and it has what is possibly the best reputation as a webhost on the internet!
Here is how you get registered and claim your free domain name:
Go to www.BlueHost.com and choose your hosting plan:
Link: eHost WebSite Hosting
eHost is, by far, the cheapest option available on this list. A starter package is only two or three dollars per month. They also include a website builder, so you can create your own custom theme! The themes are simple and don’t really compare to a WordPress theme, but if you are short on cash and just want a placeholder, then this is the best choice for you.
WordPress Themes for a Tattoo Website
Once you have your hosting services all set up, you’ll want to install WordPress. All of the services we recommend come with a WordPress installation that lasts a few clicks. With WordPress in place, you can focus on how to create a wordpress website. The first thing you need to do is purchase a theme. Free themes are nice and all, but as with free webhosting, there is no support and they may come off as looking unprofessional. Paid themes actually have support services of their own who can add features or customize it if the options you want aren’t there. It also has much better security, since updates to the theme will always check for vulnerabilities in the code—something free templates don’t do, if they update at all. Most themes are between $50-80 and you only need to purchase it once to use for many years. Picking out the best wordpress theme for tattoos can be a difficult choice, so we picked out the ones that we thought were best suited for the job.
Here are some awesome themes that work well with a website made for tattoos:
If you are heavily involved in the community or want to make text posts, this is the theme for you. This interactive theme allows your visitors to put the types of things they want to see right onto their screens with minimal fuss. It also comes with its own shop section.
If you just want to set up a simple page that requires minimal time to get up and running, Chronology is perfect. All you have to do is post images and it will automatically set it up on the website. This is ideal for personal galleries or tattoo shops that want to get their work out there.
This is another extensive theme that focuses on images rather than content. It is highly customizable and fine-tuned for gaining more visitors as time goes on. It easily hooks up to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more—which are all important things that we will talk about in future articles. This American Horror Story Fan Site is a real live example of the theme.
If this theme looks familiar to you, that’s because you’ve seen it before. In fact…you’re seeing it right now! InkDoneRight uses this theme. It’s good for blog-type information and it is also well suited to galleries. It is integrated with social media and looks quite professional.
Although its main use is photography, you can switch this photo album into a tattoo gallery easily! Plus, it has six or seven different and amazing color schemes that you can switch between. They all look awesome and professional!
Link: The Gallery
This is an awesome mix of blogging and art. The main focus is art, but with a click of a mouse, viewers can read the information for your store or your price listings. It’s also spectacularly beautiful.
Your Tattoo Shop
Link: Your Tattoo Shop
This theme is made specifically for tattoo shops. It gets right in there and makes potential customers familiar with your store, tattoo style, and so on. It also supports a blog, a store, and hooks into social media.
How to Build Your Own Website & Needed WordPress Plugins
Once you have your theme, you have to customize it! Plugins are an awesome way to do that. The free version of WordFence Security or WP Security & Firewall will keep your site safe from hackers and spammers. Yoast SEO is good for tracking where your visitors come from and helps you figure out your best target audience so that you can improve your traffic. There are also plugins for double featured images, Google Analytics, Contact Forms, and more! You’ll find that even paid layouts will leave out simple things like a view counter, but all of them can be remedied by installing these plugins. It’s also simple to install them—just hover over your ‘Plugins’ menu bar and select ‘Install New.’ These plugins are mostly free and will support your template. If you notice a plugin that conflicts with your WordPress theme, you can contact the theme’s support and they will adjust the theme to accommodate you!
Creating your own website has never been more simple or more important than today. A website for your tattoo shop gives you an edge over competitors and exposes your store to many more people. Creating your own website is so essential that you are certainly losing your audience if you have nothing set up or if you don’t include a web address on receipts or business cards. We will be going over the nitty-gritty details of how to make your site stand out from the crowd, but for now, this article will give you everything you need to set up your first website for tattoos!
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the rest of InkDoneRight! You can join our email list for weekly updates or follow our Twitter for updates as they happen. As always, thanks for reading!