For those artists who use Wordpress, this CMS has no shortage of plugins. It’s probably the most supported CMS on the web, with thousands of tutorials on how to use it, and more plug-ins than you would ever need.
When I first discovered Wordpress a few years ago, I had a habit of trying out as many plugins as I could.
Very soon though I discovered that this presented a major problem – my website was dramatically slower!
I made some other mistakes with that blog, which is why I do not have it now (even though I still own the domain). I didn’t pay attention to security – and the site was hacked and files corrupted.
I’ve learned a lot since then!
Here are a few recommended free Wordpress plugins for artists. If you would like to tell us what WP plugins you use, please do so in the comments.
Searching for a free Wordpress portfolio theme? Take a look at this post: WPFolio
8 Plugins for Artists Using Wordpress
NextGEN Gallery is the most commonly used Wordpress Gallery plugins and has over 7.5 million downloads. It allows artists to upload their artwork to their Wordpress sites, and organize images into albums and galleries. More of the awesome features include:
- Choice of two gallery layouts: slideshow or thumbnails
- Slideshows have many options, including image order, speed, size, transitions and optional navigation
- Capable of batch uploading
- Images can be organized by moving them to different gallery pages.
- Resize images by pixels
- Watermarking of a single artwork, or batch watermarking.
- Lightbox view – two options, Shutter or Thickbox
- Albums to group many galleries under one heading.
- Bulk resizing of thumbnails
All in One SEO Pack
This is one of the most popular Wordpress plugins for optimizing a blog for search engines. It provides useful features, such as automatic optimized post titles and meta tags.
There is also the option to provide your own meta description and keywords for each post. When installing, the default settings are mostly sufficient.
Setting your title, description and keywords for your home page is recommended.
Read more about this plugin here: All in One SEO
Trackable Social Share Icons
Social sharing icons will enable visitors to share posts to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The buttons appear at the bottom of posts so that readers can decide if they would like to share it after finishing reading. Icons include Delicious, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Digg, Pinterest and Reddit. The plug-in also has a custom button option for including other social networks.
See more about this plugin’s features by visiting: Trackable Social Share Icons
SEO Friendly Images
This is another SEO plugin, but this one is specifically for automatically optimizing alt and title tags of images. This is an important step if you would like images appearing in Google Image Search. Read more here: SEO Friendly Images
Thank Me Later
Thank Me Later will enable the blog owner to write a thank-you message to commenter's, to be mailed to them after a set time interval. This can be useful for inviting readers back to your blog, asking them to subscribe and follow at social networks.
Download this WP plugin here: Thank Me Later
Wordpress Backup to Dropbox
Regular blog backups are recommended in case of the unfortunate incident of something bad happening to your blog – all all your posts and data being lost. You will also need a Dropbox account for this, which is free. Settings can be adjusted to backup at certain intervals.
Find out more here: Backup to Dropbox
Wordpress SEO by Yoast
Ready for a much more powerful SEO plugin than the previously mentioned one, with many more options? Then give Wordpress SEO by Yoast a whirl. Some features include:
- Get a preview of what your post will appear like in search engines.
- Analyzes your page to check for things you have forgotten, such as alt tags, post length, meta description, subheadings and more.
- Use of breadcrumbs to make a site easier to navigate.
Ultimate Security Checker
Use this WP plugin to scan your website checking for security loopholes. The plug-in gives a grade, and recommends things you can do to tighten security. Check it out here: Ultimate Security Checker.
If you have any other helpful Wordpress plugins to recommend for artists with Wordpress sites, please mention them by commenting below.
For some advice on how to find a proper service for hosting a portfolio site, please check out this article: Where to Host a Portfolio Site?