Easy (and free) web page

I’ve been feeling the need to create a web site but not knowing much about the subject I thought I would investigate.  
There are a lot of providers at different pricing and contracts and services.   Too many options for me to choose so I thought I would find a low cost alternative.

All I wanted was a site where you could get some background info, see some work and email to contact me.

In a matter of ONE day I came up with a FREE web site using google sites…


I don’t plan on selling through the site so this will work just fine.

It has some analytics and does what I need and … after all Free is Free
It’s easy to setup (I did this in one day)

If you check it out and see anything that could be improved let me know.


  • If anyone is interested in going this route I would be glad to help you understand how to set it up. It’s easier than you think.
  • edited July 2021
    The site and your paintings look great, @GTO. And it's free. Beats paying some website designer.  :)  

    How do you get it up on the web so people can find it?
  • @tassieguy. That is a question that I’m at currently trying to figure out.   I submitted it to google Search Console and so far it verified that I am the owner of the site.  I don’t know how long it will take for the site to be indexed.   There are two drawbacks to this approach.  1. You can’t get to the site using a “name” url.  That means a url that does not have www. In the name.  The other drawback is I can’t add meta tags to the site because I can’t get to the html header text to embed the tags.  That means I can’t add keywords to be associated with searches.  
    One way to work around that might be to buy a domain name and associate the domain name with the site. But I may still have the keyword issue. 
    But, pros outweigh the cons.  It’s a secure https  site, it’s fast, it’s always up, it’s super easy to update and did I mention that it’s free?
    If you’re interested I can post the steps and links to videos on how to set it up.  You will spend more time getting your images together than it takes to build new publish.
    I do see on the analytics that you could monetize the site with ad revenue if you get to a certain criteria.
  • edited July 2021
    Thanks, @GTO.

    Yes, I'd be interested in the steps and the links to the videos showing how to set it up.

    There may come a time when I can no longer take the pressure of selling through a galley with the requirement to have a certain number of new paintings to show each year. Don't get me wrong. I love what I do and I'm really grateful to the gallery for taking me on but it's grueling work and I'm not getting any younger. I'm not at that stage yet but it will happen eventually and I'd like to hit the ground running with a website. Then I could paint at a more leisurely pace and enjoy it more and maybe make a few sales online to keep me in paints and brushes.  My IT skills are at very rudimentary level so the easier it is to build a website the better. 

    Thanks again.  :)
  • Your site looks great GTO.  Looks to be a great FREE way to have a website you can direct potential customers to.  Thanks so much for sharing this information.  I absolutely LOVE your museum quality work.
  • GTOGTO -
    edited July 2021
    @A_Time_To_Paint thanks. :-) 

    @tassieguy and anyone else who is interested...

    Set aside about one day to do this.  It is good to collect the images and descriptions, etc that you want in your site beforehand.  This is going to be easier than you expect.

    Also, you may want to listen to some "site building music" to get into the mood before you start...
    Chicago - 25 or 6 to 4 - 7/21/1970 - Tanglewood (Official) - YouTube

    If you are in Canada you might want to listen to these guys instead....
    One Fine Morning-Lighthouse (STEREO) - YouTube

    I've attached a pdf with some instructions.  If you get hung up on anything post your question here (someone else may have the same issue.) and I will try to respond.

    Also, if you create a site post the link here.  I would be very interested to see what you create.

  • Wow, thanks a million, @GTO! Those are instructions even I can follow. 

    I won't be able to get onto this straight away. It will probably have to wait until I've finished the current series, "The Mountain". I have six paintings I'm satisfied with so far. I hope to get the rest done by December so I have twelve for the January show. Then I'll do the website. I'll certainly post it for C&C. 

    Thanks again, GTO.   :)
  • No problem @tassieguy. anytime.  
  • Your site looks great @GTO! looks very professional, and beautiful paintings too :)
    I saved your instructions just in case, thank you! not sure if I ever will need it still in no painting mode :(
  • Thanks @ArtGal. .  I know that “no painting “ feeling.  It usually happens between paintings.  
    I hope you get past it.
  • Very good site @GTO.

    I set mine up just over a year back on Weebly, thats free too, though actually I pay around 40 quid (£) a year to reregister with them.
  • @MichaelD is the registration for your domain name?  I see on google it’s about $12 / year depending on the top level domain you choose.
  • edited July 2021
    Your paintings are beautiful. The web page looks like it's free. The web is a difficult place to stand out. Free is not the way to go. I have several web pages working right now. They're cheap enough. Have excellent e-commerce, Blog support and other features. You are in a league where you need to stand out.

    My main site is done on SquareSpace.  
    It's at https://jimkingston.com
    Another site is on FASO http://www.jimkingstonfinearts.com Faso offers a variety of formats, e-commerce , a monthly competition, blog service, newsletter, marketing and a lot more. The interface is a bit 1990s but hey. It's not expensive.

    You need to shine a light on your work.
  • GTO said:
    @MichaelD is the registration for your domain name?  I see on google it’s about $12 / year depending on the top level domain you choose.
    I thought I had already bought the domain name. I think they just charge that small amount each year and claim that its to re register the free site.

  • @KingstonFineArt. Your web pages look great.  I’m going for a simple approach at this time.  For now it’s a place to direct people to who might be interested in seeing some artwork.
  • CabralCabral -
    edited August 2021
    It looks great. One drawback you mention is really important for the ones, like me, that write html, and not to have access to the index.htm file is a nuissance, but being free is a good advantage. I am looking into mocha hosting, because it is really cheap with no increase in the future, with a domain name included and you can mess around html as you wish. I think is less than 4 dollars a month. Meanwhile I am happy with blogspot since it allows to put your own name before blogspot. There used to be a free website host that I think is still around and you can do your own index file: https://www.000webhost.com/
  • Thanks @Cabral that is good info to know.  If you have a blog post it or send a PM and I will check it out.
  • Happy for your website, @GTO , it looks fantastic and so do your paintings.  

     I checked your site out and love that sourdough bread painting!!
  • And @GTO in looking at your site just now I saw your 'My Morning Song' painting!  It is breathtaking!!!
  • Thanks @allforChrist.  I just learned that painting won first place in the still life category at the 97th Hoosier Salon a regional show that opens at the state museum in Indianapolis. 
    Here’s a link to their web site.  There are some videos by artists you can see a video I did there (Gerald Traicoff)

    The catalog probably will be posted by Saturday.
  • edited August 2021
    That's fantastic news, @GTO. I knew that painting was a winner. Nice video, too. You came across really well and i enjoyed hearing you talk about your painting. :)
  • Thanks Rob @tassieguy.   The award was a nice surprise.  I attended the preview event award presentation last night and managed to connect with some associates that have contacts with galleries and collectors.  Maybe something will come if it.
    I have two other competitions that I am submitting to for the year.  So, we shall see how that goes.  Meanwhile… back to the easel. 😀
  • That's great, Gerry. You're doing everything right to get yourself out there and seen. Most importantly, though,  the work is amazing and that's why I know you'll have a gallery chasing you soon.  Onward!  :)
  • GTO said:
    Thanks @allforChrist.  I just learned that painting won first place in the still life category at the 97th Hoosier Salon a regional show that opens at the state museum in Indianapolis. 
    Here’s a link to their web site.  There are some videos by artists you can see a video I did there (Gerald Traicoff)

    The catalog probably will be posted by Saturday.
    Congratulations @GTO! it's so well deserved, your paintings are beautiful :)
    it was nice to watch your video too :)
  • thats a very good website you have created... and filled with such quality stuff!! loved all the paintings, its nice to see them together.. and also congratulations for all the awards!
  • Thanks @anwesha and @ArtGal.  The video was fun to make.  It only took about six “takes” to get it together.  It was taken in my little “studio” (a spare bedroom). I learned a lot about music and composer copyrights in the process and managed to locate common use copyrighted music to add to the video.  It was a fun project to do.
  • Looks great, and I love your paintings!

    I'm currently using FASO for my web hosting.  My paintings are more impressionistic than yours and are nowhere near your quality!  I'm probably wasting money by paying for a website.

    Do you use Mark's techniques?  I'm considering signing up for his Art Academy to try to improve my realism.
  • @mstrick96. Yes, I do use Marks techniques. In July of 2019 I built an easel, shadow box, pallet stand, color checker etc.  I use Graham paint and walnut oil as a medium.  I still use a color checker, though not always.  But I will say this, if you want true realism you must use a color checker.(in my humble opinion). Even after doing some twenty odd paintings I will miss the actual value in some cases. 
    I think if you can do Marks academy you are bound to learn a lot and certainly improve your painting no matter what level you are at.  
    One thing I recently did was add black cloth to the ceiling in my little studio to cut down on glare on the color checker.  I also let some of the cloth hang downward to cut down on any reflective light from the walls.  
  • I had never been able to produce a decent portrait until I discovered Mark.  His proportional dividers and method for getting an accurate drawing were revolutionary for me!  I started using that and his color strings but never did make a color checker.  I did mak his easel and have since improved on it.  I now have a design I'm pretty happy with!

    I do mostly landscapes and portraits and paint a lot from photos.  I keep trying out different techniques from different teachers, but so far, what I'm most successful with  are Mark's techniques even though I only follow them imperfectly!  I need to get back to them and follow them more exactly.

    Thanks for the information!

    Mike S


  • @mstrick96 Mike , your web site has a lot of good work on it.  I recall seeing some of them posted here.  My favorites are your wildlife and especially your floral pieces.  Those are outstanding.  
  • Thanks @GTO!  My wife has been after me to do more of my florals and birds.  I just keep trying different things though.  Maybe I need to listen to her LOL!
  • @mstrick96 it’s always good to listen to your wife.   She is right though those florals are superb.  I don’t know what size they are but I would recommend doing them large in the same quality as you show them on your web site.  
    It’s also good to keep going in new areas too.   If you do take marks academy course I’d be interested in seeing what you do there.
  • Nice web site, professional appearance and easy to navigate. Great paintings!
  • Thanks @BarryC. It turned out to be easier than I thought to put it together.
  • Congratulations on your art prize. Your work is crisp, stunning and evocative. There is a lot of mastery of basics to achieve what you do in values, colour and even atmosphere. Love it.
    The site looks great. 
    Obviously you have a musical bent as well. Interests have a way of spilling over each other.
  • Thanks @Abstraction. the “guitar”,  “morning song”, “paper tiger” and “turtle medicine” are the most recent paintings.  They are a bit more elaborate compositionally and a bit larger in size.  While I have some formal training Mark’s instructions have really made a huge difference.  It does take a lot of patience and observation though.
  • Your website looks fab GTO! Well done! Thank you so much for sharing! I have a website, but it is seriously outdated and I need to revamp it. It is inspiring to see one that is well done!

  • Thanks @Allie.  I looked at a lot of artists web sites before I decided how I would lay it out and what content to put into it. 
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