25 amazing WordPress themes for artists
Almost 50% of art and artist websites on the internet are built on WordPress, an online, open-source website creation tool. WordPress is probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system available today.
Most websites built on the WordPress platform (including this very site TextileArtist.org) use premium WordPress themes as their templates; themes give a website its look, style, layout and functionality.
Why WordPress for artists?
WordPress is a user-friendly, non-scary platform for designers and technophobes alike. It is used to create beautiful sites to showcase businesses and personal brands or as a blogging platform.
WordPress is particularly great for artists, most of whom would rather be in their studio than at a computer screen; it makes the whole process of creating an online portfolio fast and simple.
The other big advantage of using WordPress is that you won’t be paying huge sums of money to a designer. In fact, the only investments are your domain name, hosting and purchasing a WordPress theme, none of which are expensive.
The best artist website templates
Over the years, we’ve helped many artists with the design of their websites, including Daren Redman and Elisabeth Rutt, and recently we’ve been looking into themes to use in an update for our own site. In that process, we’ve come across several brilliant templates; each of the themes we’ve chosen to feature utilise a clean, crisp layout perfect for an artist website.
They also boast simple functionality, easy installation and all of them come with a built-in blog if you require it (it’s easily removed if not). I hope they offer some inspiration and perhaps encourage you to begin creating your own online portfolio site to showcase your artwork today!
Featured artist: Caroline Bartlett
A minimal theme created specifically to showcase the work of artists and photographers. The Dorsey WordPress theme is extremely simple to install and makes building your website headache free. For the more adventurous artist, there are options to customise colours and fonts to give your site more individuality.
Featured artist: Amelia Harnas
One of the best WordPress themes for artists looking to make a bold statement and a big impact with large images of their work on the homepage slider. The power of this theme lies in its simplicity and its reliance on the quality of the artwork. A no frills solution.
Featured artist: Ann Brauer
Detailed documentation included with the purchase of the Peak theme means it is easy to set up even for the most technophobic amongst us. Elegant and beautifully minimalistic, Peak is the perfect template for an artist website. It also comes with excellent customer support, which means that even if this is your first attempt at building an artist site, you’ll be guided every step of the way.
Featured artist: Ann Roth
The Art Gallery theme from TemplateMonster.com has been built specifically with artists in mind. The fantastic reviews speak for themselves: “Love the highly functional and easy-to-use template. The site looks absolutely amazing. This is the best looking and functioning website I have ever put together.“
Featured artist: Åse Ljones
Simfo balances a white background, typography and images beautifully, meaning the focus will truly be on the artwork. Having said that, unlike some of the other themes, Simfo does have a distinct personality; it would work well to showcase quirky or very contemporary art.
Featured artist: Ben Venom
A wonderfully slick design, a beautiful selection of fonts and numerous options for displaying images will make your art the star of the show with the Workality Plus theme. You have the option to display several pieces on the homepage slider to show visitors the range of your work. As a bonus, the popular WordPress plugin, Visual Composer Page Builder, allows you to build any page in minutes with an intuitive drag and drop editor.
Featured artist: Atsuko Chirikjian
A robust theme that offers great options for artists who are also regular bloggers. The look and functionality of the template are highly customisable with several colour themes to choose from and multiple widgets to link to your social media accounts and mailing list. Template Monster also boasts optional services such as an SEO audit and full installation.
Featured artist: Bren Ahearn
Photocrati is an affordable yet highly versatile solution to create stunning websites for artists and photographers. It offers over 60 starting design options, built-in galleries, e-commerce and blogging capabilities as well as limitless customisation possibilities all in one seamless package. The options truly feel limitless here, so let your creative juices flow; if you’d like to feature a large range of work on the homepage or you’d prefer one large impactful image, Photocrati has the ability to do both and much more.
Featured artist: Caroline Bartlett
Reframe Plus is highly flexible & customizable, hi-res (up to 1600px) responsive WordPress Portfolio Theme for artists and photographers. A fantastic option if you like your images big and impactful. The art really will be the star of the show with the full page background slider template on the homepage of your site.
Featured artist: Cas Holmes
Divi offers beautifully elegant and seamless design and functionality, but balances this with the powerful homepage slider that showcases artwork with confidence. With its advanced Drag and Drop facility, this WordPress theme makes a simple task (building your artist website) even simpler!
Featured artist: Daniel Kornrumpf
This is the theme for the most technophobic artists out there. Why? Because it’s drag and drop function means that it is even simpler to put together a stunning website for your artwork. Beautiful and numerous portfolio options mean that you can get the exact look you require.
Featured artist: Gillian Bates
Fullscreen displays are great for artwork and the ePix WordPress theme takes great advantage of that. With various homepage options available to display images to their full potential, this theme is smart and clean. Other features include a stunning gallery and an easy-to-use page builder.
Featured artist: Sue Stone
Artist Portfolio WordPress is a responsive theme specially designed for artists, photographs, designers and creatives. A minimal and clean design with a full-screen image viewer to click on artworks and view in more detail.
Featured artist: Yvette Smith
Made is a beautiful theme specifically for artists from the guys over at MadebyMinimal.com and features 4 gallery templates, plus options to display portfolio projects, the ability to control the width of the sidebar, 2 menu styles and powerful customisation options.
Featured artist: Susie Vickery
This theme includes 6 different homepage layouts and 2 options for blog layouts making it one of the most flexible available for artists. As with many of the WordPress templates featured in this article, it is responsive, meaning it adapts and looks great on all devices and in all search engines.
Featured artist: Richard McVetis
Bedford empowers you to beautifully showcase your work on any device. Its layout is based on a flexible grid system and it is retina-ready. It comes with a simple drag and drop page builder and provides fields and options to easily modify the styling of your website.
Featured artist: Regien Cox
The Essenza theme has been put together with a great attention to detail making if a professional-looking option for any artist website. The developers have the aim of giving ultimate creative freedom to the user, which means the theme is highly adaptable and will give you a beautifully individually styled weskit with minimal effort.
Featured artist: Priscilla Edwards
Another beautifully simplistic design created especially for use by artists. A great easy-to-use template for a website where the artist has a large body of work to showcase on their homepage. Created by MadeByMinimal.com, the same people who brought us the Dorsey and Wright themes.
Featured artist: Nathan Vincent
Klasik is an adaptable and clean template aimed at designers and artists. There are several options for light and dark backgrounds as well as colour and font customisation making it a great WordPress theme for artists looking to express themselves through their websites.
Featured artist: Mary Fisher
Recital has received universally brilliant feedback from users and 5 Star reviews on ThemeForest.net, not least because it has been specifically designed for creating artist websites using WordPress.
Featured artist: Liz Hewitt
With lots of options for customisation, WordPress Wave isn’t the simplest of themes on offer, but if you’re prepaid to put in a bit of work, you can create a truly stunning portfolio for your work.
Featured artist: Kent Henricksen
What makes the Other theme so unique and beautiful is the homepage gallery, which instantly showcases your work for visitors in a user-friendly and dynamic setting. Perfect for artists looking to get creative with their website.
Featured artist: Kath Maxwell
Deliciously Simple in look and deliciously simple in usability, this theme is great for big images, clean styles and easy browsing. This is the perfect theme for the most technically inexperienced artists out there. Just upload your text and images and you’re ready to go!
Featured artist: Karen Goetzinger
Slick, stylish and smooth, Centreal provides a great way to display artwork at its best. The centre-aligned design makes this theme stand out from the crowd in a subtle, understated way.
Featured artist: Jennifer Collier
A powerful portfolio aimed at individuals and companies alike. Although I maintain that art is best showcased with minimal fuss, Wonder offers ways of subtly adding colour and interest to your site should you so wish. This theme also makes adding audio and video elements intuitive and easy.