Website Tools for the Artist

Wordpress - SignalnoiseWhen looking for the right tools to help me write about and display my artwork I had to do a lot of research into what not only functioned properly, but what worked for my overall website design. I went with a clean, simple approach but the items and services that make this website function needed to be right.

So in this post I will outline the things I am using, where to get them, and how much they cost if price is an issue. I am doing this because if I was looking for these tools, there might be other artists with similar needs.

WordPress is obviously the engine I chose to use because of it’s slick backend interface, which makes updating a very easy process. It’s the only way to go, in my opinion.

The Simplicity theme was a wonderful find. Kochwerkstatt developed a very clean design which made adapting it to my Signalnoise identity very easy. I had to do a bit of translating (the theme arrived in German) but it’s been smooth sailing ever since because of the nice clean code. The theme is available in bright and dark versions.

The sIFR Titles plugin is what I used to make the entry titles. They are dynamic Flash movies that allow me to choose whatever font I want, making the overall design a bit more consistant. You will need a bit of Flash knowledge if you want to edit the animation that comes with the download.

Flickr handles all of my artwork uploads. You can’t go wrong with getting a Pro account for $24.95 per year with unlimited uploads. Flickr makes possible the following tools which are amazing for showing my uploads on this site:

The FlickerRSS plugin is what I use to stream images from my Flickr account to my sidebar to the right. Very easy to install and edit, and even has tag capabilities so I can display only the photos in my stream labelled ‘showcase’. Very handy little plugin coupled with a Flickr account, which I highly recommend for uploading and sharing artwork.

My gallery is made using the TiltViewer app developed by Airtight Interactive. This slick Flash application uses my Flickr account to suck in the images with my ‘showcase’ tag. It’s a wonderful and easy way to show images in my account without the need of having a typical Flickr page. I paid $90 for the application and it was well worth it.

That’s about the run of it. If you have any questions feel free to comment them.

13 Comments

  1. Hello!
    I found your site through an image on ffffound.com, and I am so glad I did! I have been looking around online for the best web tools for my new art blog/portfolio and was pleasantly surprised to find your posting on this very topic. Thanks so much for sharing this…hopefully you don’t mind if I use some of this info for my site! :) Thanks again!

  2. james (Author)

    You are most welcome, Kate. I’ve been more then happy with this system, and the expenses were quite minimal.

    I’m glad the post helped out, and if you have any questions feel free to let me know.

  3. Oh, and kudos! You do some BEAUTIFUL work!

  4. Hi James.
    I came to your site through Computerlove’ website.
    Your work is rocking man! Congratulations!
    And thank you so much for this post. I’ve been searching information about some tools to improve my design blog and I found it!
    I’ve just subscribed to your RSS.
    I will put a link to your website on my blog. :^)

    Best wishes,
    Christian Sisson

  5. Kate

    I meant to ask you before, James…how are you planning to do your store? Any special apps for artists you’ve come across that work well for a shopping cart?
    Thanks! Mine will be up soon and you are one of the first links on there!
    -KP

  6. james (Author)

    Christian, thanks so much for the kind words and I am happy to hear this post came as useful to you. I searched a very long time to find a system that works for me and I am happy to spread the word.

    Kate, can’t wait to see the new site! I’m coding the store myself and hooking it up to my Paypal account. I really want to make the store work on my own back (no third-party companies) so there will be nothing dynamic or fancy as of yet, but I will certainly post on how it pans out.

  7. Hi James! How you’re doing?
    I’ve just posted about these website tools on my blog.
    Thanks.

    Cheers :^)

  8. ideorehoavoig

    A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth.
    — R. Stallman

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  9. Vi Diec

    Hey very nice blog!!

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