This article is a practical and clear list of basic things an artist should think about when creating a functional--and not good looking--website. Check it out.
Here's and excerpt:
It’s a proven fact that sign up forms with more than 3 items (usually – name, email & one other item) will have a significantly lower sign up rate than the easier forms. People HATE doing things for too long – so don’t over complicate things. Make things as easy as possible for your readers by pretending a 4 year old will be viewing it. It definitely helps get things out in the open where they need to be.