Friday, March 2, 2007

Portfolio Website Builders

How many artists out there have a website?
How many use a designer or web guru to build it for them?
How many design, build and manage it themselves?
How many would like to have more control over their site then they currently have?

As an artist myself I am curious as to what others do. There are a host of products and online services out there that will help you build a website. There are some that are designed for artists and photographers looking to display a portfolio of their work.

Interestingly enough 99.9% of these are template driven. This means that someone out there has designed a template and you plug your work into that design layout. Your "customization" options are limited. Any other artist can buy/use this template.

I've never fully understood the appeal of having the site that showcases my creative abilities look exactly like an untold number of other artists sites.

I'm a medical illustrator and am an avid Photoshop, and Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, Pagemaker, etc user. I like doing my illustration and design work. I have no trouble "designing" a look that I like and "mocking up" a website using software like this. I assume most artists would say this. Now getting it from a mock-up to a fully functional website is another ball game.

Outside of being an artist, I also run a company called Indexed Visuals ( The company helps market and advertise artists and their stock images on the web. Most of our listed artists need/have a website. Many of them use template services and I always cringe when I click on multiple artists and see the same template being used.

18 months ago I gave our development team what everyone thought was going to be an easy task: Build an online system where artists can design & build a customizable website, full of all the things that artists need, (like an interactive portfolio, stock search engine, request form, etc.) and create the system in a way artists can edit it, customize it, and build it without having to touch any code. Basically, let them work the same way the software they are accustomed to using works.

Well, 18 months, 16 days and 2,342 cups of coffee later we have what we believe is the first and only online artist portfolio website creator service of it's kind. ( is the home of this new website creator service. Artists can create not only a professional portfolio website but they can create with ease a truely custom website without touching a single line of code.

Cick on over and check out the demo if you don't mind. I'd love to get feedback. (Yes and people signing up but feedback would be good too) Make sure you read the directions first. It's easy to use but you need a few pointers to get started.