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Old 02-19-2011, 05:45 PM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

I need your opinion please. My website is old and clunky (a friend put it together years ago) and I now need an easy site where I can change/add/delete work frequently as well as have a sales function.

I very much like Clint of FASO (I get his newsletter), however, unless they changed something recently, I dont really care for the way their pics load on their sites. I guess I really dont like the general look as every site kind of looks like the next artist's site, IMHO. They also are more expensive than ArtSpan. But otherwise I know zero about ArtSpan except for what their website says. It appears they are cheaper too ($20 a month)

Could you please share your thoughts and experiences with either site? Pros and Cons? Also, is there a different site that might even be better than either of them?
Many thanks!
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:52 PM
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clintavo clintavo is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Hey olde bob - you should use FASO cause I answered you first . . . ;-)

Seriously though artspan does have a great product from what I can tell, I don't think you'd go wrong either way.

We have a ton of customization options on the sites - they don't have to look similar, our team can help you with that. We also just revamped how the sites are rendered so more styles can be more easily rolled out.

Regarding the images, I'm not sure what you mean exactly about the way we load pics. Sometimes they load a bit slow on the first page load because we store them in several data centers for redundancy across the US, however, the price for safe, redundant copies of the images is a slightly slower server (on the first page load). We thought the ability to keep serving images even if a data center went down was worth the slightly slower load times, we think protecting the image availability is one of our highest priorities.

However, I can tell you we are in the middle of completely redesigning our image servers to be faster in someways and to give some other neat options.

If you mean load the pics as in upload - we just rolled out a new multiple image uploader that lets you upload groups all at once, create collections, name the images and drag and drop the order all during the upload.

Here's an overview - it was in beta at the time that the following post was written but it's rolling out to all the sites as we speak (it will take a couple of weeks to roll out to everyone):

http://faso.com/blog/25665/faso-laun...n-private-beta

I hope posting this info here and the link is OK, I normally wouldn't "self promote" but it seems relevant to your question.

Our plans also include free entries in the boldbrush competition.

I would recommend you sign up for our free trial and decide if it will work for you. I would imagine artspan has some sort of trial as well, so you could probably try them both out.

Good luck, feel free to ping me if you have other questions.

Clint.

PS - we'll still welcome you with open arms in our newsletter community, even if you go with artspan :-)
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Last edited by clintavo : 02-19-2011 at 06:54 PM. Reason: add a clarification
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:40 AM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintavo
Hey olde bob - you should use FASO cause I answered you first . . . ;-)

Seriously though artspan does have a great product from what I can tell, I don't think you'd go wrong either way.

We have a ton of customization options on the sites - they don't have to look similar, our team can help you with that. We also just revamped how the sites are rendered so more styles can be more easily rolled out.

Regarding the images, I'm not sure what you mean exactly about the way we load pics. Sometimes they load a bit slow on the first page load because we store them in several data centers for redundancy across the US, however, the price for safe, redundant copies of the images is a slightly slower server (on the first page load). We thought the ability to keep serving images even if a data center went down was worth the slightly slower load times, we think protecting the image availability is one of our highest priorities.

However, I can tell you we are in the middle of completely redesigning our image servers to be faster in someways and to give some other neat options.

If you mean load the pics as in upload - we just rolled out a new multiple image uploader that lets you upload groups all at once, create collections, name the images and drag and drop the order all during the upload.

Here's an overview - it was in beta at the time that the following post was written but it's rolling out to all the sites as we speak (it will take a couple of weeks to roll out to everyone):

http://faso.com/blog/25665/faso-laun...n-private-beta

I hope posting this info here and the link is OK, I normally wouldn't "self promote" but it seems relevant to your question.

Our plans also include free entries in the boldbrush competition.

I would recommend you sign up for our free trial and decide if it will work for you. I would imagine artspan has some sort of trial as well, so you could probably try them both out.

Good luck, feel free to ping me if you have other questions.

Clint.

PS - we'll still welcome you with open arms in our newsletter community, even if you go with artspan :-)

Hi Clint, thanks so much for the faso, I mean fast, reply (....sorry for the vile joke)

One thing I didnt mention is that it's really great that faso has live people easy to reach. When first looking into this I made a quick call and the person was very helpful and friendly. No little matter, to say the least.

Okay, so I just go to your front page and see several big name artists (Laura Robb, etc) who use faso, and I think to myself, 'See, they all kind of look alike to me, darn it.', however, then kevn macpherson's site flashes by and it catches my attention. It's simple and clean looking (at least to me). I go to his site and my biggest gripe before was addressed....his thumbnails opened up right away to a large image. Before it was a two-step thing...click to a bigger thumbnail, and if you wanted to see it the biggest size you had to click again. Which, if you dont have the fastest system on your puter it could take too long, and kept me from wanting to explore much more of the art.

But again, macpherson;s site is different. Kudos for making improvements. So I need to explore more of your site options. That was one of my preferences of artspan is that they have so many different options. They dont have a 'cookie cutter' look (please, I dont mean that as an insult, it's just my opinion).

Also, you are working on upgrading the speed? That would be terrific.

So at this point I like artspan for a greater variety of sites to choose from, and I like faso for customer service (though artspan might be good too as I've not contacted them yet). Now, about the pricing? They have unlimited images for $20 and faso has 750 for $28 (and 750 images seems more than almost any artist would use). That's only 8 bucks, however, we will probably get 2 sites as my wife wants to ditch her clunky old website too. So that's 16 bucks a month, or $200 a year. Could you please make a friendly argument why faso is worth an extra $200 to me?

I really thank you for your time. Your writing is always so clear and your attitude always helpful and caring. All the best,
Bob
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:34 AM
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Greg Long Greg Long is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintavo
I hope posting this info here and the link is OK, I normally wouldn't "self promote" but it seems relevant to your question.


You are well within the terms of the UA Clint. And you are always welcome to answer questions here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Section 25
e. Informational Responses to Direct Questions — Individuals in business for themselves and representatives of organizations, companies and businesses who are not participants in the Partnership Program may post in their official capacity, but only in response to direct questions or posts concerning their business. Individuals may not provide information about their business or organization in response to a general question about products or services they offer; they may only respond to posts that directly concern their particular business. Responses should be kept short and provide only the specific information requested, or address the topic at hand in a non-solicitous manner. In no event may the response contain any direct or indirect solicitations for business or other promotional material. Only a single response should be made to any particular issue raised in a post; where appropriate, the response should refer the user off-site for future discussion.


Moderators note: I am moving this to Internet Sales, I have also PM'd CEvans (Artspan partner) to let them know this thread is here.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:53 AM
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Moderators note: I am moving this to Internet Sales, I have also PM'd CEvans (Artspan partner) to let them know this thread is here.

Great, Greg. This kind of detailed 'from-the-horse's-mouth' info is interesting to many of us here.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:08 AM
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Hi Bob,

In my opinion, FASO has the most pleasant and art catered layouts for fine art, unless you have some template custom made, but then we're talking money up front.

However my experience with their support is neagative, as you can see from my post: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=871382
But other people to whom I've asked, they are satisfied with their support, so maybe I had bad luck.

I thought about joining FASO, but had some doubts to which they didn't answer.

José
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:35 AM
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Diane Cutter Diane Cutter is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Granted I don't use my FASO website to the full capacity (too busy in the studio) but I've been very happy for several reasons:
  • I am not a website developer and don't want to spend the time/money personalizing my website or learning how to do so.
  • I like the ease with which I can navigate any updates.
  • I have had great technical support from a real person (billing problem which was my fault, not theirs, and it was cleared up quickly with no hassle).
  • I am not bothered by 'cookie cutter' format since people who come to my site are not other artists looking at the site format but rather they are clients who come specifically to see my work and may never look at the other FASO accounts.
  • I appreciate and read (most) of the articles and support information sent regularly by FASO, all very helpful from a marketing standpoint.
  • While initially I thought I could find a cheaper host, I have more than made up in $$ by not spending hours of agony trying to cope with lesser hosts and/or software programs (Front Page) which I just didn't understand.

Diane
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:20 PM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane Cutter
Granted I don't use my FASO website to the full capacity (too busy in the studio) but I've been very happy for several reasons:
  • I am not a website developer and don't want to spend the time/money personalizing my website or learning how to do so.
  • I like the ease with which I can navigate any updates.
  • I have had great technical support from a real person (billing problem which was my fault, not theirs, and it was cleared up quickly with no hassle).
  • I am not bothered by 'cookie cutter' format since people who come to my site are not other artists looking at the site format but rather they are clients who come specifically to see my work and may never look at the other FASO accounts.
  • I appreciate and read (most) of the articles and support information sent regularly by FASO, all very helpful from a marketing standpoint.
  • While initially I thought I could find a cheaper host, I have more than made up in $$ by not spending hours of agony trying to cope with lesser hosts and/or software programs (Front Page) which I just didn't understand.
Diane

Hi Diane, I think I'm like you, and maybe most artists are, in not wanting to mess with the site but rather just make art. But doesnt artspan also offer the advatages you mention....or am I missing something?....is artspan more complicated than faso? Maybe that's the question....who is easiest to use.

Also, the problem to me with the cookie cutter look is that as soon as I see it I say to myself, 'darn, this will take awhile to load". You know, when the first page of thumbnails comes up, it can take awhile. That is if you have anything but the fastest system and fast connection.

But maybe, as you say, it doesnt really matter because clients are going to look anyways. But then, as I mentioned previously, kevin macpherson's site looks simplified and fast. I wonder if that's standard fare ($28 a mo) or is only available with the $40 version? I think I'll call them and find out.

I hope some artspan artists will reply here.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:32 PM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bringer
Hi Bob,

In my opinion, FASO has the most pleasant and art catered layouts for fine art, unless you have some template custom made, but then we're talking money up front.

However my experience with their support is neagative, as you can see from my post: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=871382
But other people to whom I've asked, they are satisfied with their support, so maybe I had bad luck.

I thought about joining FASO, but had some doubts to which they didn't answer.

José

Hi Jose - yes, I saw that thread after I posted this one. May I ask what questions you asked them? Maybe they were questions they just didnt want to answer? Hopefully it was just a glitch on their part.

One reply to you mentioned to go with 3 other web-servers, but I looked them up and they didnt seem all that friendly for artists who might have tons of images. Also, their prices seemed about the same as artspan and faso. weebly has a free site, however, if you google 'negative reviews' on them it's pretty grusome.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:02 PM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Originally Posted by olde bob
I need your opinion please. My website is old and clunky (a friend put it together years ago) and I now need an easy site where I can change/add/delete work frequently as well as have a sales function.

I very much like Clint of FASO (I get his newsletter), however, unless they changed something recently, I dont really care for the way their pics load on their sites. I guess I really dont like the general look as every site kind of looks like the next artist's site, IMHO. They also are more expensive than ArtSpan. But otherwise I know zero about ArtSpan except for what their website says. It appears they are cheaper too ($20 a month)

Could you please share your thoughts and experiences with either site? Pros and Cons? Also, is there a different site that might even be better than either of them?
Many thanks!

I mentioned in a previous post that I had spoken to FASO support by phone....apparently I mixed them up with another site provider because I just searched for 10 minutes on FASO's site and could not find a phone number to save my life. Artspans, on the other hand, is in plain sight. Maybe I overlooked the number on FASO, but if so, I wish it was in plainer sight. Netflix and Amazin used to not make their numbers public, but when they did (from public pressure) they scored higher on customer satisfaction and increased business as well. As a potential buyer of their product, I want answers now to help me make a decision, not in 24 or 48 hours by email. Chalk a big one up for Artspan here, at least in my mind.

PS....please correct me if I am wrong and FASO's number is indeed public. I would be very happy to eat crow....yet again......it's not bad really, it tastes like chicken....really old, tough, ornery chicken.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:43 PM
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Hi Bob,

I asked if the free trial could be referred to the $28 version, afterall if that's the version that I intend to keep, that's the one I should be entitled to try.

Another question was related to how long lasts the free trial, since there's another mentioned opportunity where is said to e-mail Clinton, e-mail that came back and didn't get any answers.

José
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:17 AM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bringer
Hi Bob,

I asked if the free trial could be referred to the $28 version, afterall if that's the version that I intend to keep, that's the one I should be entitled to try.

Another question was related to how long lasts the free trial, since there's another mentioned opportunity where is said to e-mail Clinton, e-mail that came back and didn't get any answers.

José

good questions....you mean they dont offer the $28 package for free then? I would want to try that too since that's what I'd most likely get. And no phone number to try to get them either......
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:21 AM
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Bob - The free trial does essentially offer the $28 package as that is our main package anyway. There are a few features that are not part of the trial because they involve third-party charges to us to enable. Off the top of my head those features that are excluded from the trial are a personalized domain name and personalized email addresses. But everything else works.

Regarding why faso is $28 - I don't really get into those type of specific comparisons because I don't know a competitor's product well enough to specifically do a fair comparison. I know that's true because when people compare to us and tout their lower prices they invariably leave out a whole plethora of features we offer (that they usually don't). A few of the things our plan includes in addition to all the common "portfolio site" features that are commonly not as obvious upon a cursory glance are an email newsletter module (ala constant contact type newsletters, free entries into the boldbrush painting competition which currently awards over $6,000 monthly, a built-in 6-year-old battle-hardened blogging module and those blog posts can be and often are promoted in our newsletters to over 20,000 subscribers (and sometimes we upgrade member blogs to features stories in those newsletters), Facebook integration with your email newsletter, discounts on some art vendors - including a good frame vendor, built-in web analytics http://faso.com/blog/24687/faso-laun...nced-analytics (you can also use google analytics if you prefer, we have dead-simple google analytics integration) all of our templates also include an iphone/android optimized template (the site will auto-detect if it's being viewd on a smartphone).

Regarding your question of Macpherson's site - yes that is a standard template - launched our enhanced templates last year - that is one of them.


Jose - I am very sorry you didn't have a good experience with us. Our mantra is "remarkable support", we clearly failed in your case. I am sorry about that. Obviously things happen and well-intentioned people screw up at times, I am sorry we did. I'm not sure exactly what happened there. I see that your experience was that we didn't respond. Again, I'm sorry, we do always respond unless something technical prevents us from getting the message or something technical prevents you from getting our response. I'm not sure how you contacted us but we recently discovered that some clients were not always getting our ticket responses via email due to overly aggresive ISP spam settings. Often a customer opens a ticket and we respond and the whole history is in the ticket but maybe the email doesn't get back to the customer and they assume we didn't respond. We have just changed to a third-party email company for our tickets and they maintain relationships with all the ISPs to ensure that the mail servers are always accepted. I don't know if that's what happened in your case but it does happen. We do prefer tickets to email because email doesn't always make it. You should know that everyone on our support team is trained to try as hard as possible to respond in 1 hour or less during the hours support is working. Again, I do apologize for your issue and I do hope our recent improvements will solve that for future artists who work with us.

Bob - we do have a toll free support number and it is in our control panel not on our main site (well it is on the main site, but currently it isn't front and center). The reason is that it is really a support number for customers and not a public number. We are actually looking for a person or a couple of people who could man the phones for new customer inquiries and do plan to get a second toll-free number for such those calls. If you decide you want to talk to our support people at some point here's a link to the number: http://faso.com/phone_support.html

I sincerely hope I've answered your questions and will keep watching this thread if you guys have more.

Thank you,

Clint
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:09 AM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

Hi Clint - thanks so much for your reply. As a small business owner since '87 I really appreciate how clear, thorough and friendly you are in your responces. Thank you for the phone number too. I need to call to ask a few questions. Personally, for me at least, it's really a huge plus when a business offers their phone number. When I want info that will help me try and make a decision on something, I generally want to talk to someone for quick answers. Sending emails and waiting a day can be frustrating. But that may well just be me and my impatience.

Thanks so much again,
Bob
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:13 AM
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Re: Art Span or FineArtStudioOnline websites??

We are a two-artist household each using FASO and are happy with service. I agree that the price is a tad spendy -- especially since we both use their web services. However, I suppose that's just the price of doing business and I just have to cut my sushi habit back to once-in-a-blue-moon. LOL

Their customer support is great, in my experience.

Last edited by NHyde : 02-23-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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