WordPress for Artists

WordPress for Artists
A number of my website clients are Artists. WordPress is a wonderful platform for web design and development including portfolio or gallery sites for artists. Artists need to have a content management system that will enable them to add new works and post information about shows and exhibits on a regular basis. With WordPress Artists can manage their website themselves and even blog if they wish too.

Someone in my WordPress LinkedIn group recently asked about WordPress theme suggestions for artist websites. There are a number of attractive WordPress Gallery themes but I haven’t worked with any that I would recommend. In my experience, the real magic for an Artist site is in the plugins that you implement.

Here are three plugins that are specifically useful when developing a custom WordPress Theme for an Artist – they work equally well for any site that needs a slideshow or image gallery:

  • AutoNav Graphical Navigation and Gallery Plugin: This plugin will list child pages in tables with thumbnails. I can create one page called “Galleries” and child pages for each individual gallery such as Paintings, Drawings, Mixed Media, and Photography. The parent page “Galleries” will display a table of linked thumbnails above the child page name. Thumbnails are generated automatically from the first image uploaded to the gallery; you can change the thumbnail image by assigning a Featured image to the child pages.
  • WP-SimpleViewer: Simpleviewer is an easy-to-use, free, customizable image viewing application that generates a Flash image gallery. I say free but you will probably want to upgrade to SimpleViewer-Pro to remove the Simpleviewer logo from your gallery. Images and captions can be loaded from the WordPress Media Library or from Flickr.
  • JQuery Colorbox When inserting an image into a WordPress page or Post the default is to link to the full size image. This plugin will add an attractive lightbox effect for these larger linked images. Image groups can be displayed in an automatic slideshow. JQuery Colorbox features 11 themes from which to choose. Requires PHP5.

You can see these plugins in action on the WordPress site I recently launched for Toronto Artist Brock Irwin and the JQuery Colorbox on Toronto Artist Robin Schurman‘s new site.

If you have worked with a theme or plugin that you would recommend for an Aritst please leave a comment.

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