It has taken months to get to this point. Spending two or three hours at a time, and working across several different sites each with different characteristics has allowed some forward movement. More than anything I am struggling to get the set-up of the pages as they are written to appear in the same way on the actual site and I have come to the conclusion that you cannot. No matter how many times you resize images and move text around, when you come into the site from the search engine it never has the layout you have spent hours trying to set up.Why can’t WordPress offer a WYSIWYG design?
However I have gone this far and rather than abandon the site altogether as I originally intended I am now going to focus more on getting the portfolio aspects to work. But I fear again the options are just too limited. I thought it would be possible to put grids together for each set of images, with space for commentary against each one. This is clearly not how it works.
My writing sites, both based on a free WordPress template (2014) work like a charm, so if you are in the early phases of setting up your own site, maybe that is a better option even though technically that format doesn’t seem to have a portfolio element. But I could be wrong about this.
Another idea is to sign up for an Art Archiving service. Again, it involves expense, in this case an annual fee. But you can put all your paintings on it, and track where they are, whether any have been sold, prices and such. Plus I think there is a facility for commenting on the paintings. More on this soon.