11 Gorgeous WordPress Themes for Artist Websites

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I’ve talked a LOT about using WordPress for your artist website. I even built a whole class on using WordPress to create a fully functional, beautiful site for your art. A handful of artists keep asking me to share my list of WordPress themes that work well for artists. I finally sat down and assembled a list of some of the best themes that you can install on WordPress. Take a look!

FREE THEMES:

WPFolio – is simple, sleek, and easy to use. This theme comes closest to ‘traditional’ artist websites. Get WPfolio 2.0 here.

f8 Static – a free theme by GraphPaper Press a huge image at the top with a gallery further down the home page. Very beautiful. Get f8 Static here.

Fullscreen – A non-traditional site great for artists who want to make a big impact with their work right off of the bat. Here’s a rendition that I did, using Leonardo DaVinci’s work. Get Fullscreen here.

Workaholic – another Graphpaper Press theme for free! This one focuses on a message at the top, integration of social media, and the gallery on the home page. Get Workaholic here.

PREMIUM PAID THEMES

Paid themes often offer something extra. Ecommerce integration hooks, easier setup, better code, or some other feature. I’ve played with a lot of premium themes. The following are themes that I have played with, or that other artists I know and trust have used with success.

Striking – One of my favorite new artists, Michael Whitlark, uses this theme. It’s loaded with features, included a spinning  and sliding header, a bunch of fonts, and short codes for all sorts of fun tricks. Get Striking here.*

Deep Focus – Kelli Bickman is a mural painter that I’ve followed for some time. Her site is built on the Deep Focus theme, and I love it! It does a great job of organizing her work into easy to navigate categories. Get Deep Focus here.

The Style – A little bit different, but great for artists who are a little bit different. I’ve seen some politically charged artists with a message use this theme to great effect. Get TheStyle here.*

Photocraft – this is great theme for those who do works in series or who have strong themes to their work. It’s built for photographers, but you can definitely use it for your art. There’s a slide show built into the theme as well. Get Photocraft here.

Overall – If you want your look to have that modern, technology feel, Overall is great for that out of the box. In addition, there’s a multi-column gallery layout that’s built into the theme, as well as a slideshow on the home page. You can see here a video embedded in the home page slide show. Get Overall here.*

 

[BONUS NEW THEMES]

Portfolio – Want a plain white theme with very little distraction? Portfolio does a beautiful job of showing your work. In addition, Portfolio handles all of your images as custom post types (in WordPress speak, this is the idea way to handle it). Get Portfolio here.

PREMIUM THEME FRAMEWORKS:

For the professional web programmers, or the masochists, there are some theme frameworks that carry some heavy duty capabilities. If you’re afraid of coding, leave these alone. That said, if you want a framework that is super-flexible, and easy to manipulate if you know a little code, then these frameworks are doing some great things.

Thesis – TheAbundantArtist.com was originally built in Thesis. I loved Thesis at the time, but in 2013 they radically changed the underlying structure of the theme and it no longer worked for me. That said, it’s still a solid theme framework that a lot of people use. Also, if you are going to make multiple sites, Thesis actually allows you to export your settings and import them into another site with Thesis. Get Thesis here.*

Genesis – A competing framework to Thesis, Genesis is another powerful way to build websites. Genesis is backed by Copyblogger Media, one of my favorite companies on the web. I switched to Genesis with the 2014 redesign of TAA. One great advantage that Genesis has over Thesis is that it adheres more to the WordPress standards. This makes it work easier out of the box, and will support future features easier. Get Genesis here.*

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Suggestions Welcome!

Do you have any great WordPress themes that you use for your artist website? Share them here in the comments. Got questions? Let us know!

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Chief Monster Hunter at The Abundant Artist. Digital Strategist for Creative People. Husband. Actor. Storyteller.

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Comments

  1. AmiriaGale says

    Hey Cory,

    Great post. I also recommend Atahualpa as a great free wordpress theme, which is what I have used to create the blog embedded in my website: http://www.amiria.co.nz/artist. It’s perhaps not as slick as the beautiful themes you have listed, but it can be customised in a huge number of ways, which makes it very useful.

    I am off to experiment with the themes you have listed :)

    Amiria

  2. a_creative_life says

    Thanks for sharing these, Cory! It’s a great list (and I expect nothing less from this fabulous site!)

    I’m on another premium framework (Headway), which is awesome (you can design your site by literally *drawing* your various boxes — for header, navigation, widgets, etc. — on a grid), but despite being easier on us non-native-techies than other framework themes, it’s still definitely not for the faint of heart. They all have their own learning curve…

    I especially love what Michael Whitlark has done with his free theme. It’s beautiful to see what the artists in ArtEmpowers.Me can accomplish when they implement the lessons!

  3. a_creative_life says

    Thanks for sharing these, Cory! It’s a great list (and I expect nothing less from this fabulous site!)

    I’m on another premium framework (Headway), which is awesome (you can design your site by literally *drawing* your various boxes — for header, navigation, widgets, etc. — on a grid), but despite being easier on us non-native-techies than other framework themes, it’s still definitely not for the faint of heart. They all have their own learning curve…

    I especially love what Michael Whitlark has done with his “stock” theme. It’s beautiful to see what the artists in ArtEmpowers.Me can accomplish when they implement the lessons!

  4. says

    Great information, Cory. I like the Weaver theme because of the ability to customize. I have a business training website and an art website that use this theme, but they look completely different.  On my art website, I created a static page and most of the pages act like a regular website, but I still have the blog page acting as a blog.  Also, I’ve used gallery plugins to highlight my artwork.  Love to hear what you think or suggestions – My art website is: http://Wendy-Malowany.com

    • says

       @wendymalowany Thanks for commenting! Your site looks pretty good! My only question is this: does it convert? Are you getting sales out of it? If so, great! If not, then what do you need to fix?

      • says

         @CoryHuff I can’t answer that yet, since I only created the site early this year and have just got the payment processing set, but have to integrate the purchasing buttons, etc.  It’s still a “work in progress”. :-)  Also, I am currently working on artwork that needs to be completed for a May 30th deadline, so that’s taking priority right now.

  5. jaimehaneyartist says

    Thank you Cory for getting these together. Now I just have the hard decision of picking only one!

  6. says

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your different articles. They are so informative and interesting. This post give truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. thank you so much.Keep up the good works.

  7. says

    Thanks for these great examples. I have been using the Custom Community theme for my artist site, but I would like to now add a shop on the site to sell artworks directly. Do you recommend I buy an e-commerce site or just add a plugin to make this possible on my current one? I look forward to your response!

  8. says

    WordPress looks interesting :) I have been using Weebly for a site (that I am now getting away from). Can you weigh in on Weebly?

    Thanks!
    Jessica

    • says

      Jessica, It sounds like I’m at the point you were at in April. I’m following Cory’s TAA & AEM and I want to change my Weebly site to a WordPress one as sson as I get time. How did you get on? Good results?
      I need to choose a theme. Maybe Striking or Deep Focus.
      Did you unpublish or delete the Weebly to set up the WordPress?

  9. leslie says

    Are there any good wp themes for artists using a vertical format? I want a home page showing my posters (3:4 ratio). Everything looks like it uses thumbnails which don’t work for posters or horizontal. I only found Grid so far. Thanks.

      • says

        Hello Cory,
        I have the same question. Most portfolio sites are based on a landscape format for the images. I would be curious if you have found any WordPress themes you like for portrait/vertical formats for unique posters. Thanks again for all the suggestions for how to make an income as an artist. MM

  10. says

    I’m currently rebuilding my website fallenartworks.com using the Fullscreen theme mentioned above. However, a lot of my images won’t comfortably fit into the thumbnail size used in the theme…is there any way around this or do I need to crop some of my images so that they’ll fit?

    • Cory Huff says

      Devin – I’d suggest finding a theme that your images fit into, rather than trying to make the changes. If you want the thumbnails to show your full art, you’ll need to do the cropping before you upload. Fullscreen is a free theme and so I’m not sure if the provider offers any support at all.

  11. says

    Cory, I’m confused. Neither Deep Focus or Striking are available on WordPress. I’m right at the beginning and I just need to choose a theme. I need to close down my Weebly and set up my WordPress buy because I need the option of selling internationally I need an option with a great shop etc so that clients can buy from me directly online.

    • Cory Huff says

      Deborah, these are themes for self-hosted WordPress sites. They won’t work on WordPress.com. There are links in this blog post that will allow you to purchase & download these themes, but you’ll need to set up hosting services and your own site. Instructions on that are here.

    • Cory Huff says

      Probably nothing. It just means that they have easy places to put all of the Title & meta information, and that the site code is well-built.

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