Artist Portfolios

Affordable and Free Artist Portfolio Sites

There are several alternatives for artists trying to create inexpensive portfolio sites for their work. Least expensive are the free blogging sites, though they are the least flexible in layout and design. There are also portfolio website which for a monthly fee provide artists with a way to exhibit their work online. Another alternative is to use WordPress, combined with certain themes. While this last alternative is a little more work to install it offers more fliexibility and control over the long term. Below are a list of alternatives and some examples of each type.


Blogs can be an easy, short term solution for creating an artist’s website. Because there are limitations to the ways one can organize artwork, it will be difficult for an artist’s site to grow over the years using these blogging services. Usually images will be stacked one on top of another in a single column. However it can be a good way to get started building a web presence as an artist and to learn some basic skills in website creation. And with a little work and imagination an artist could build a vibrant, informative and professional-looking website.

Below is a list of several blogging services, suggested templates, instructions and examples.


Examples using Blogger

Austin Thomas
Simply Changing the Header Creates Identity

Julie Evans
A Simple but Useful Artist’s Website(the beautiful work makes the site work).

Emily Anne Aitken
A Student Example

Blogger is easy to use and easy to customize. There are many templates available, but I want to highlight this list of templates which can easily be adapted to be an artist portfolio site.

Templates easily adapted as an artist portfolio site.

Free Templates for Blogger

Misc. Instructions for Blogger
Customize Your Blog

Edit The Layout And Colors
Posting Images on Blogger
Posting Images from 3rd Party Services (e.g. Flickr)

Blogger and Flickr
Integrating Flickr and Blogger is a great way to maximize the use of 2 robust web services available for free.

Student Examples

Erica Neradt is the hosted alternative to a self-installed instance of the WordPress blogging software. Your domain name will be rather than Like Blogger it is easy to use and set up and is a very good place to start, especially if you think you might install WordPress on your own someday. Many templates are available, many Widgets can be added, and it can be integrated with Flickr. You can also use TypeKit to augment the fonts that can be used in the webpages. Features Instructions
Upgrade to Modify CSS


Tumblr, of all the blogging services, has the most aesthetically pleasing temlate designs. It seems especially suited for creating an artist’s portfolio website and blog. Try it!

Tumblr Themes Directory
Instructions to Customize ATumblr Theme

Tumblr Themes Which Would Easily Adapt to Artist’s Portfolios
Museum Theme

Photo Board
Has a Portfolio
Watch The World – A beautiful minimalist themes
Use text from here:
to create

Featured Portfolio Sites and Services


FameDriver – Effortless websites and portfolios for stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, designers, and artists. It is in beta, so you have to email them to ask for an invitation. Get in on the ground floor.


CarbonMade For designers, illustrators and artists. A little slick but it works.


Student Examples, using Stacy

Clemens Klinkert
Ben Howard
Jimmy Costigan

StacyApp is a free alternative. As Anthony Kolber of Aesthetically Loyal states:

“Stacey is a lightweight content management system.

No database setup or installation files, simply drop the application on a server and it runs. Your content is managed by creating folders and editing text files. No login screens, no admin interface.”

Other Portfolio Sites


Extensive List Of Online Resources

Moshe Mikanovsky has posted and extensive list of online resources for artists with over 100 entries, including online artist portfolios.

Open Source Inventory System

CollectiveAccess, which is meant for museums and collectors, could also be used by artists to keep track of their work. It is a free open-source database for keeping track of large collections. It looks like a very good resource. Most other inventory systems are expensive.

WordPress and WPFolio

An alternative to purchasing the services above is to use the WPFolio template for WordPress created by Eyebeam. The advantages to WPFolio is that it is free and you have more control over the design and content. It requires more work to install and will require work and learning if you wish to modify the design of your site. You can see examples of the template at WPFolio. Scroll down the page to “Users” to see a list of WPFolio sites.

I have written tutorials for setting up a WPFolio Site from start to finish that is meant for beginners and non-technical users.

Do You Need Help?

For a small fee I will do the set up for you. Or for a customized site please contact me.

4 thoughts on “Artist Portfolios

  1. thanks for putting me up as an example.. not sure when you did this but it’s pretty cool… thanks!

  2. Arlo has been shut down (or rather is in the process of being shutdown…)

    They’ve put the following message on their homepage, and now recommend Virb. After checking it out, Vird seems to be a great product as well. Good luck!

    Joe 🙂

    ================== accessed 17-Oct-2011

    For the last 26 months, the Arlo team strove to provide you with the easiest way to produce a compelling artist portfolio presence on the web. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting and helping to share the work for thousands of artists at every stage in their careers.

    The team behind Arlo has however been focused on other facets of the art industry for several months and as the company’s direction has shifted it has become time to end new sign ups for the Arlo/Artists product. All of your existing paid accounts will run through the duration of your contracts – up to a year from today.

    As you transition off of Arlo, the folks at Virb have generously offered Arlo users 60 free days on their platform and have built an import tool to simplify the process of migrating your artworks. We cannot recommend highly enough the product at Virb and that team’s commitment to their customers.

    You can view more about the Virb platform, example sites and their offer for Arlo customers here:

    In the meantime, through the duration of your contracts, we will still be on hand at if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks very much for your business during these past few years. It has been an honor to serve you all.

    -Team Arlo

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