Why Thumbnails are Becoming a Think of the Past

  • Posted on 19th November 2013,


Thumbnails (the small square or rectangle preview images you click on, to see larger images) used to be one of the main features of an artist’s website. Somehow they signified the potential of seeing lots of great images, and it was hard to imagine a visual site without them.

Well, all that is now changing. As internet connections become faster, thumbnails are becoming unnecessary. It does not take much more loading time to load a full sized images. As a result, designers are jumping on the ‘look’ of ever larger and larger images. And, equally, thumbnails on websites are becoming out of fashion. Like animated buttons, or blinking underline links, they are a symbol of a period of internet history that is now in the past.

This is also true for top artists’ sites. This site uses purely large images, without even a sidebar. Other artists keep a menu (to enable things like CVs and contact buttons), but go straight for full size images.

Besides the problem that your site will ‘date’ more quickly than others, there are other reasons to avoid thumbnail images on your artist website.

  • Being able to update your site quickly is a must for artists. Thumbnails can also be a disincentive for quickly updating your own sites in the future.
  • Thumbnails are great for the ego (look at my images small! Now look at them large!), but they also can also cause a negative opinion for your work. Nothing is more of an anticlimax than opening up a large image that you have already seen the majority of as a small image. What’s worse – many people just scan the small images, and never see the work in all its glory.
  • Adding thumbnails to a site is also time consuming and expensive. Remove the thumbnail option – and receive a great site – at a $200 discount.

Of course, we still offer thumbnail sites for artists that cannot imagine a site without them. But we are seeing more and more artists choosing full-scale images, and expect this only to continue in the years ahead.

Less is More

  • Posted on 16th February 2013,

Getting your perfect artist website is easy. Simply email us to say hi – we like to chat through artists’ ideas, obligation-free. We can help with everything artists need to get online. We make all our websites by hand, and they are all easy to update yourself. With our low hourly rate, they are also much more efficient than trying to do it yourself. Click on any thumbnail to see some of our previous websites for a feel of what we like to do.

Francis Picabia

Our most popular theme is an elegant balance of text, images and white space. Thumbnails are automatically generated, and it comes with easy blogging capabilities, for optional studio updates. With personal tweaks this theme has been chosen by many leading artists.


Gary Singer

A stylish cover page, and attention to detail makes this an elegant variation on the first site, with four rectangular thumbnails instead of five square ones, and different fonts and image handling.


Rix Jennings

A PayPal shopping cart for selling artworks, an inline blog, and easy, drag and drop thumbnail placement makes this site a powerful portfolio and gallery in one. The choice of black is striking. Note also the slick ‘lightbox’ effect for viewing individual works.


Andy Best

A top menu design, with image thumbnails arranged with a ‘drag and drop’ system – each opening up to a separate page for the viewer. Combined with a cover page this makes for an elegant professional solution.


Mari Houghton

An elegant, classical site design, with a unique green background, cover page, and thumbnails to the side of the image. Notice how the large image smoothly changes when the mouse hovers over a smaller image. This website uses flash technology, but unlike other websites, you can update the images yourself online, without outside software.


Philip Sixking

We were able to create a version of the artist’s previous, Flash-based website (which required a web designer to edit or change), and create an elegant, single column site that was easy for the artist to update himself. Note the smooth, time delay slideshow on the home page, easily added to or reordered. There is also a striking use of full sized images throughout to suit the large format paintings.


Sally-Ann Rowland

Talking with the artist about her work led to her suggesting this bold, dusky pink background. With her choice of large format images over thumbnails it makes for a classic looking, and yet highly original, website.


Marcin Kobylecki

Our sites use a slideshow that is easy to add new images to, and visitors can cycle through by clicking on the image itself, by ‘Prev’ ‘Next’ text, or by elegant navigation arrows. Click on the above screen shot to see this used to good effect.


Michael Muir

A full screen and fully resizable cover page, a drop down work menu (arranged by exhibition title), and a colour scheme subtly influenced by the artist’s own paintings makes for a very stylish, contemporary site. (If you look very closely below the painting in this image you might see the ‘edit’ button – which is only viewable whilst you are logged in, for easy editing of your content.)


Morgan Allender

Elegant variations on our most popular themes led to this website that shows Allender’s beautiful large format paintings to great effect.


Ross Manning

A super minimal, elegant site for experimental work. This arrangement features square thumbnails, each opening up to unlimited images, YouTube videos, text, et cetera.


Dorothy Josey

Another version of our most popular layout. You can have thumbnails appear below your images if you prefer – in a grid, as in here, or in one line – with arrows to scroll across between them (not shown).


Peta Clancy

This artist went with some bold options, such as small thumbnails arranged in a grid, which really adds a unique branding to her site. Her seamless, online blog is also very effective.

Scott Glaser

We were able to reproduce this artist’s complex site, which he designed in Photoshop, pixel perfect into an online site, that the artist can easily update and change himself.

Kerwayne Berry

One of our favorite recent sites, this painter’s portfolio looks as substantial as the websites of the galleries who might be looking to include her work.

Professional Sites and Blogs: Yarn PR

Increasingly artists and businesses are adding blogs to their sites – either seamlessly into their websites, or as a separate site, linked to on their main website. This can be a way to keep updates about what is happening in the studio, show press or exhibition shots, or offer works for sale separate from their main promotional site.


Sites for Craftspeople and Small Businesses: Oak and Elm

Artist Website can also do great websites for craftspeople, small businesses, and galleries – often for the same low prices! Send us an email with what you’re after for more information.


More Options

Chat to us for more information, with any questions, or if you are ready to get online, let’s start the ball rolling : )

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