I compared FineArtStudioOnline (FASO) a website creation and hosting service for artists with self-hosting your website and using Wordpress with a custom theme.
Thank you @nancifrance for the suggestion.
First the Cons:
Cost. Recommended plan is $25 monthly ($300 yearly). Paying for a domain, hosting service, and theme separately will cost you less. (Estimated cost of DIY option: $150 yearly) FASO has lower cost plans but they limit how many images you can add and charge you by image if you go over.
The updating interface is not as organized and modern as other options. This really isn’t a big deal as this part is hidden from the public. However, it isn’t easy to find editing options for specific areas of your website.
Limited customization. If you wanted to change the look of your site, you can but your options are limited. For the free trial, there are 24 similar themes to choose from. You have limited flexibility to change the settings of your chosen theme. You can change the color scheme of your site by using predefined color palettes.
No coding/technical experience needed. In my opinion, this is FASO’s best selling point. Artist’s without any technical skill can create a website easily and have it up and running in a day or two!
Professional looking website. I was pleasantly surprised at the appearance of the finished websites. Here is an example of a FASO website: https://todorovitch.com/
Integrated newsletter system. This is another feature that makes it easier on less tech-savvy artists. If you’re using Wordpress with a custom theme, you would need to add another step to match the functionality of FASO. I would recommend using the MailChimp newsletter system and adding their signup form to your site.
Unique options tailored for artists not seen in standard portfolio themes. FASO created preexisting fields for artwork media, substrate, size, year, subject, style, gallery, and availability. This makes adding artwork information really easy. You can attach gallery contact information to each piece of artwork which is a huge plus. An example of the image options are seen below:
Hosting your own site with Wordpress and using a custom theme will allow you a lot more flexibility for a cheaper price but this is only a viable option for artists with time and technical skill.
FASO is an excellent option for artists looking to create a professional website quickly without the need for coding or technical experience.
Hope you found this review helpful! Please leave any comments or feedback below.