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Artist's Website Software

By Paul Watson on .

My website has grown organically over 12 years, but the code is looking very messy and unmanageable, so I’m thinking of recoding it from scratch (while adding a lot of improvements).

I decided that I may as well make any such “artist’s website application” available as a free open-source application for anyone else who wants to download it for their own use.  It’ll be PHP5 (object-orientated) with a MySQL back-end.

The main core of the script would be the galleries (gallery add-on modules for other applications like blogs always seem to leave a lot to be desired for a serious artist) with a strong emphasis on search engine optimisation.

There’ll be a “leave comments” function for each image in the galleries, integration with PayPal and/or Google Checkout for online sales, automatic thumbnail creation, and RSS feeds of new work in the galleries. There will be a facility to add a few static pages (artist’s statement, front page, contact form etc).

There’ll be an exhibitions/events listing function – with incoming and outgoing iCal feeds for calendars and geo-tagging of galleries/venues (so I can integrate it with Yahoo/Google Maps).

Rather than trying to write a blog application, I’m going to concentrate on writing “bridges” that allow the galleries to integrate with existing blog software (WordPress etc).This is because there’s no way I could write blog software that’s anywhere as near as good as WordPress.

The same applies to discussion forums – I’ll just write bridges for SMF and phpBB. I am thinking of writing my own email newsletter application, though (because I’ve never found one that I’ve been 100% happy with).

I’m also going to investigate some ways to allow it to integrate with social networks, Flickr, etc.

So, my question to you is this:

What features and functionality would you suggest I include?  What’s important for you in an ideal artist’s website?