Free blog hosts are a great resource for artists who want to create their own portfolio or website online. Below I have provided a short summary of three of the most popular free blogging hosts: Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr.
Blogger / Blogspot
Blogger by Google hosts free blogs using the format www.(yourname).blogspot.com. Blogger is useful for setting up a working journal or studio blog about your practice, updated as you add new images or news to it. It is more suited to a journal or conventional blog format where you can post news, pictures of work, the progression of works in progress—rather than a formal portfolio.
The disadvantage of Blogger and the reason it is not good for a “formal” portfolio or artist’s website is that by default, you cannot have a static landing page. It is technically possible to alter the code to change your Blogger blog to a static page, but you need to edit the template in HTML. If you are up for the challenge, Blog Help gives a good explanation here.
Blogger allows you to “monetize” your blog, should you choose to put advertisements on it.
Here is an example of an artist’s blog on Blogger, works by Claudio Rodriguez Valdes, using a non-static landing page.
WordPress hosts free blogs using the format http://(yourname).wordpress.com. Like Blogger, the templates to choose from are non-static, although the process involved in creating a static landing page is much simpler, the instructions provided by WordPress themselves here.
WordPress offers a wider range of aesthetic choices in its free templates. The dictionary of themes can be found here.
WordPress does not allow you to run advertisements on your site as Blogger does.
Alyson B Stanfield’s ArtBizBlog has a great guest post by Kim Bruce which explains steps (including making your landing page static) for how to use WordPress to manage your portfolio.
Here is an example of an artist’s blog on WordPress, Creativity + Connection by Mary Bennett.
Tumblr hosts free blogs using the format http://(yourname).tumblr.com. Unlike Blogger and WordPress, Tumblr is much less customizable unless you are familiar with HTML. Because of this, Tumblr is only good for most people if you like one of their existing templates and the features built into that template.
Generally, Tumblr’s templates are quite simplified in design and features, but this can be an advantage for you if you want a clean, simplified website.
Tumblr makes sharing content easy between bloggers, as you can “re-blog” other Tumblr posts with one click.
Here is an example of an artist’s blog on Tumblr, works by artist Julia Mai.
Have you used either Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr to set up your art website? What are the advantages and disadvantages you have found?