As many of you probably know, in addition to running EmptyEasel I also co-manage an art website service at Foliotwist.com, where we offer a very affordable website solution for artists who want a more effective (yet still easy-to-use) art website.
I usually get several emails each week asking about the features that Foliotwist offers, so today I thought I’d just write them all out in a long list along with some explanations of why they’re important.
Here are the features that come with a Foliotwist website:
1. A free domain name
Buying your own domain name can be an annoying task, especially if you’ve never done it before. Domain registrars will always try to “upsell” you with some useless item or another—and if that’s not bad enough, even the price of a basic .com domain will vary from place to place.
With Foliotwist, you don’t have worry about shopping around to find the best price on your domain, or anything else domain-related for that matter. Just type in the domain you want when you sign up and we’ll register it free of charge.
Of course, if you already own a domain name that you want to use, no problem. But if you’d like to start fresh with a new one, it’s on us. :)
(I’m told I need to add a disclaimer here—your domain is free as long as you use it with a Foliotwist website. In other words, you can’t sign up, then cancel, just to walk away with a free domain.)
2. Unlimited artwork uploads
Or Website PRO plan comes with no image limits or storage limits, and I guarantee that it never will. You can upload all of your artwork—every last piece—and keep them posted on your website for as long as you’d like.
I should also mention that you can upload five images per individual artwork, so alternate angles, close-ups, or installation views are possible too.
3. Multiple unique galleries
This is a great feature for any artist who creates several different types of art and wants to keep it all organized logically under one website. Using Foliotwist, you can create new galleries at any time and divide your artwork by subject matter, medium, or however you’d like.
4. Movable artwork and galleries
Foliotwist artists have always been able to name and describe their galleries and artwork, but for 2010 we added the option to move everything around as well.
This means you can have your favorite gallery show up first in your list of galleries (or last, or in the middle) and place your artwork in whatever order suits you.
5. Easy-to-use admin panel
A big part of every Foliotwist website is the admin panel. This is where you can upload artwork, add blog posts, customize your website, and much, much more. No one will see your admin panel except for you, and we’ve made it so intuitively simple that truly ANYONE can use it.
If you’re not a web programmer, your friends will be amazed that you can switch artwork on your website, re-title blog posts, and do everything yourself—and you won’t ever have to learn anything about programming to do it. It’s all point and click. :)
6. Customizable templates
We offer two templates: a “blogger” template and a “minimalist” template. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be in complete control of your website’s colors, fonts, and logo. You can also switch between templates in a single click.
7. Automatic PayPal buttons
If you’ve ever spent WAY too much time setting up PayPal buttons and wished there was a better solution, then you’ll like this: Foliotwist has the simplest way to add PayPal buttons next to your artwork—it just does it for you.
As long as you have a PayPal account (which is free, by the way) those “Buy Now” buttons will appear next to your artwork, instantly. Your visitors can click and buy your artwork securely, right from your website.
8. Quick-edit price sheet
When you change your mind about a price, you can easily update your artwork from your Price Sheet page in the admin panel. You also have the option to say “not for sale” or “contact me for more information.” When a piece sells, just mark it as “sold.”
9. Google Analytics integration
I won’t explain much about Google Analytics here, other than to say that it’s the best way to learn about the visitors to your website—where they came from, how long they stayed, etc. (Read this article to learn more.)
Each Foliotwist website can be easily integrated with Google Analytics, so all of that information is free available to you, if you want it.
10. Your own branded email address
Not all of our artists want one, but if you do, we’ll set you up with a new, professional email address at email@example.com.
We’ll also automatically forward all the emails to your current email address, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between two different places to check your email.
11. Google website submission
If you choose our PRO or Group plan, we’ll go the extra mile to update your website’s sitemap and submit it to Google daily. This helps Google know exactly how many pages you have on your website (and what they’re about) so that nothing gets overlooked when people are searching for your website online.
12. Full-featured blog
One of the hallmarks of a Foliotwist website is the fact that it comes with its own blog. No longer do you need to manage a separate blog on some other domain—you can do it all from a single location in your admin panel.
13. Easy social links
If you have a Facebook or Twitter profile, it’s only a matter of seconds to link to them from your Foliotwist website.
We’ve also included links to Pinterest, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious below each of your blog posts so that your visitors can easily help promote your website for you.
14. Print-on-demand links
Do you sell art prints or reproductions of your artwork through sites like Imagekind, RedBubble, CafePress, or Zazzle? If so, I’ve got good news—with Foliotwist you can link directly to your prints from your original artwork on your Foliotwist website. Helping visitors find your prints has never been easier.
15. Integrated newsletter
Every artist ought to have a newsletter (here’s some more info on why and how). Naturally, Foliotwist includes a built-in newsletter system where you can send email updates, add subscribers, and manage your email list.
There’s also a handy subscription field directly on each Foliotwist website, so anyone who visits your website and is interested can easily sign up on their own.
16. Tips and tutorials
Although we do think that our admin panel is pretty darn easy to use right out of the box, we’ve also added little tips that appear in important areas throughout your admin panel, so you never have to wonder how anything works.
17. One-on-one support
All of our artists can email us 24/7 with questions or concerns and either Zac or I will personally respond.
We’re here to answer anything, from basic admin panel questions to advanced SEO questions. If something needs even more explanation, I’ll give you a call to talk about it over the phone. Great support is simply part of our service, and we’re happy to help out at any time.
18. Instant setup
As soon as you create a name and password for your account, your website will be live. There’s no waiting, and you can immediately start uploading artwork, adding blog posts, and trying out every feature of your Foliotwist website.
19. Art marketing done FOR you
With our new “Artwork Reveal” program, we’re cultivating a list of art buyers, collectors, agents, and other art-interested folks, and sending out hand-picked artwork from all of our PRO members each month. This way, YOUR artwork gets seen, and you don’t have to do a thing!
20. A free 30-day trial
I can talk about features all day, but the best way to see how something works is to try it for yourself. :)
We’re confident that Foliotwist is the best art website solution out there, but if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, no problem. Trying us out is completely free—we don’t require ANY payment information from you until your free trial is over and you’ve already decided to join.
As always, if you have any questions about Foliotwist or any of these features, please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask.