So, you boast amazing camera skills and the ability to focus on details. Unfortunately, there is no use of them if you are unable to showcase your talents on the Internet. For this reason, the only way to get recognition is to create a photography website for free in case of tight finances. Getting your work on social media is good but not enough.
A strong web representation is necessary not just to highlight your best works but also to grab the attention of potential customers or colleagues to team up with. The good news here is that building a new site from scratch may take you several hours considering that you already have prepared relevant content and photos to showcase.
Best Services To Create a Photography Website:
Wix – The Best Photography Website Builder
Wix – is the best photography website builder, which delivers a broad spectrum of niche-specific tools and features. The system targets photographers, creatives, models, artists and other users, who have an intention to start and manage professional portfolio projects. Due to the integrated WYSIWYG editor, the platform allows tracking all the steps of the web design process. It is a nice solution for beginners and web design experts.
Wix website builder offers multiple and diverse photography website design options. It has over 40 gallery types available in various design formats. Users may choose from different design editing options, add/modify web pages, upload and edit photos, create portfolio galleries, add sections/categories etc.
There are multiple photography-focused widgets available in the App Market that can enhance your portfolio design and performance. These include Wix Photo Albums, Portfolio, Before and After Slider, Portfolio etc. Due to the Pro Gallery widget, for example, it is possible to create amazing lists of photos and images. You are free to pick the needed format whether it is going to be an Instagram grid or full-width slider. Moreover, the feature comes with extra protection to prevent your works from downloads by third parties.
Apart from photography widgets, there is also access to other add-ons that can help you manage your project. Thus, you may integrate analytics, set event calendars, integrate booking services, integrate Live Chat and contact forms, and more. The system delivers total freedom in terms of third-party service integration.
The website builder offers 3D parallax scrolling feature to pick and set any image/video file as a website background, HD video hosting option to create and integrate presentations from Vimeo and YouTube, multiple client integration opportunities that let you drive user attention. Among the widgets you can use for this purpose, it makes sense to enlist the following: Scheduling Pro, Live Chat, Events Calendar, Contact Management +CRM, 123 Form Builder, Wix Forms, Google Event Calendar, Latest News, Wix Chat, Book Appointments Online, Callback etc. Finally, Wix has an integrated eCommerce engine, which lets you connect a small web store to your website to start selling works online.
With Wix, you do not need to create a new website from scratch. Simply pick any of the available responsive layouts from the list and proceed to its customization. Choose a category you need (Wix has a separate category of photography themes), add texts, contact info, photo samples, testimonials, and go live in minutes. You will get a mobile-friendly and stylish website for free (see Wix portfolio examples).
The website builder offers two design editing options to come up to the needs and skills of diverse user categories. Standard Wix Editor is a better pick for proficient users as it allows for deep design customization. Wix ADI, in its turn, makes it possible to create websites in the automated mode even without mouse clicking – just sit and watch how the service is building your entire photography website.
Wix lets you build an endless free website, but this plan still comes with certain restrictions. This eventually prevents you from starting a full-featured project. To get access to the advanced features and tools, it makes sense to upgrade to one of the premium plans:
Website Wix Plans
- Combo ($14/mo) – absence of system ad banners, free domain name connection for 1 year, custom domain, 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage space, 30 minutes of videos, free SSL Certificate, 24/7 customer care;
- Unlimited ($18/mo) – Site Booster App (free for 1 year), Visitor Analytics App (free for 1 year), 2GB bandwidth, 10GB storage space, 1 hour of videos, $300 ad vouchers;
- Pro ($23/mo) – Events Calendar App (free for 1 year), unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage space, 2 hours of videos, professional logo, social media logo files etc.;
- VIP ($39/mo) – 5 video hours, first priority support, 35GB storage space etc.
- Business Basic ($23/mo) – customer accounts, no Wix ads, unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage space, 5 video hours, $300 ad voucher, secure online payments, custom domain name, free domain for 1 year, plans and recurring payments, 24/7 customer support;
- Business Unlimited ($27/mo) – business development tools, 10 video hours, 35GB storage space etc.;
- Business VIP ($49/mo) – unlimited video hours, unlimited bandwidth, availability of the complete Wix Suite, 50GB storage space, customized reports, priority support.
Wix has a 14-day money-back guarantee for users, who are not satisfied with the selected plans. What’s more, newbies have a nice opportunity to save their budget due to the special offers and 50% discounts the system introduces every week from Tuesday to Thursday.
Wix lets you handle every task when bonding a photographer site from scratch. The web building process takes a couple of hours and only and it does not require any preliminary programming awareness. The website builder abounds in photography-related features and tools, thus letting everyone start and manage quality projects.
uKit – Cheap Photo Studio Website Builder
uKit – is a cheap photo studio website builder, which stands out from the crowd due to its ease of use, intuitive nature and convenience. There is no need to master intricate coding nuances to work with the system – so understandable and simple for everyone it is. The software comes with a user-friendly interface and multiple tips that help everyone get started with ease. uKit is a great solution for photographers, artists and just for creatives, who wish to showcase their talent and professionalism by means of quality project presentation.
To start a full-featured project, the website builder lets you browse and choose multiple widgets from its extensive collection of add-ons. You can pick and integrate Social Networking Buttons, Timeline, User Comments, Timer, Service Calculator and other widgets depending upon your portfolio requirements.
uKit also allows for effective user interaction. It grants access to tools and features that ensure effective communication with potential clients and partners. These include callback and live chat widgets, integration of which takes a few minutes only. Likewise, the system lets you integrate social network accounts into your project to share business news, events and updates with the target audience in Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other resources.
The system comes with integrated blogging and eCommerce engines. They make it possible to connect a blog to your portfolio website to interact with users and to start a web store to sell your products/services without the need to leave your photography website. As a website owner, you can grant temporary project access/management rights to other users you cooperate with.
uKit boasts an extensive collection of templates with a separate category of photography websites. There are only several of them there, but each design is professional, responsive, free and completely customizable. If you don’t like the selected theme for some reason, you can always switch to another template without losing the submitted content. There is also an opportunity to choose and customize a blank theme to create a truly unique and personalized photography website design.
uKit pricing policy is one of the most affordable in the contemporary web design market. In fact, this is one of the cheapest platforms you can find out there. The system doesn’t have a free plan yet there is an opportunity to test its features at no cost during the 14-day trial. Ready to go live with your project? The go ahead to explore the following subscriptions:
- Minimal ($4/mo) – 24/7 support, SMS notifications, backup, custom domain name connection, unlimited page number and disk storage space, over 200 professional templates;
- Basic ($8/mo) – powerful statistics tracking tools, Google Analytics, no copyright sign, live chat support, premium designs;
- eCommerce ($9.60/mo) – shopping cart settings, currency choice, payment/shipping options, integrated eCommerce tools, acceptance of online payments;
- Pro ($12/mo) – custom code integration, eCommerce functionality, custom color scheme application etc.
You can save big, when working with uKit, if you pay for a longer period of time. Thus, if you make a one-time payment for 3, 6, 12 or 24 months, you can save up to 30% of the initial cost.
uKit is a feature-rich DIY website builder that lets you start, manage and publish quality photography projects. The system grants access to responsive photography themes, integrable widgets, customer interaction tools and affordable subscriptions. Its use does not imply coding proficiency, making the photography design process simple and intuitive for everyone.
WordPress – #1 Free CMS for Photographer Website
WordPress – is the #1 free CMS for photographer website development, which lets you launch large-scale projects, irrespective of their complexity, size and integrated functionality. The platform is quite complicated, especially for first-time users with little or no coding background at all. It takes some time to master it, but you will eventually get quality result, if you decide to give it a try and invest some effort into the system exploration.
WordPress prevails over its multiple competitors in terms of integrations and functionality. There are dozens of free and paid photography/portfolio plugins, application of which will make your project professional and appealing for everyone. The most popular and feature-rich integrations you can pick for your project include Storyform, WP-Media Tagger, Wordfence, Easy Watermark, Imsanity, Envira Gallery, Soliloquy etc. You can also choose from versatile event scheduling invoice and proofreading plugins, such as BirchPress Scheduler, Picu, WP Invoice and many more. Special attention should also be given to customer interaction plugins, namely Client Portal Plugin, WP Notification Bar Pro, Easy Social Share Buttons, WP Customer Area, Request Callback Plugin etc.
The CMS unveils an opportunity to sell your works/services online. This becomes possible via eCommerce plugin integration. There are lots of them out there, but the most popular and trusted one is WooCommerce and it allows connecting a web store to your photography project.
Along with plugin integration, the software makes it possible to browse dozens of photography templates on the web. They are specially designed for WordPress by third-party developers, being available in free and paid variants. Mind, however, that free designs are more subjected to malware threats, which triggers the need to deal with trusted web experts only.
When it comes to template customization, WordPress users have two options. It is either possible to edit the selected theme in the Gutenberg Editor that is quite intuitive and simple or switch to the standard editor, which requires more thorough exploration.
WordPres is a free Content Management System, which means that you can download, install and use it at no cost. To get access to more advanced features and tools, however, you won’t go without paid plugin integration. Some of the ebay examples are listed above. Likewise, you will need to invest into quality templates and hosting/domain name. This is where Bluehost proves to be the best solution. Being officially recommended by WordPress, it delivers a rich spectrum of tools and features to match your project hosting requirements. The cheapest Bluehost subscription costs $2.95/mo only.
WordPress is a renowned free CMS, which works great for photography website development. The system grants access to multiple photography and customer interaction plugins/ templates that eventually let you start/manage professional portfolio projects. The system is not quite easy to master, but it is definitely worth user attention.
SmugMug – Platform to Protect, Share, Store, and Sell Your Photo
SmugMug – is a quality platform to protect, share, store and sell your photos. This is the place, where you can create and tell all kinds of photo stories as well as keep them safe and share with users you need. The platform also lets you sell prints and downloads to make profit. SmugMug somewhat differs from its competitors. Apart from creating photo collections, the service also allows other users to select and use the uploaded images from corresponding collections.
The platform unveils multiple opportunities to users, who have an intention to compile appealing photo galleries and to present them to the target audience in the most favorable light. You can upload images separately or use the bulk upload feature, if you intend to add many photos. Having uploaded your photos, you can organize them into collections, sorting them out based on multiple parameters. Right after that, you’ll have an opportunity to personalize the images and photo galleries, adding titles, keywords, descriptions and captions.
As soon as you are done with your photo gallery creation, you can set up safety parameters. The system allows adjusting accessibility settings as well as safety characteristics. It’s up to you to specify users to grant access rights and to enable photo sharing options. SmugMug allows creating shareable links and making posts in social networks to evoke user interest.
The software is also known for Lightroom integration, which lets you upload, sort out, organize and manage images with a few clicks only. Availability of the integrated eCommerce engine allows for web store creation to sell your photo collections there. As a web store owner, you can set up image display parameters, set and customize price lists for different categories of users, design and sell gift certificates, create and upload logos/ watermarks for your collections etc.
SmugMug lets you create stunning photography projects, which feature responsive design and easy customization. The system offers over 20 pre-made templates to match any specialization, topic and preferences. It comes with a handy drag-and-drop functionality and lets you conveniently modify and manage photo collections with maximum simplicity. The software allows uploading images, creating new collections, sorting out the elements, customizing gallery content and completing other actions to reach the desired result. It supports HTML and CSS design customization to let you create one-of-a-kind project.
The system doesn’t have a completely free plan, but the available 14-day trial lets you test all the available features at no cost at all. If you are satisfied with the options/services offered, you will have an opportunity to upgrade to one of four premium subscriptions with regard to your special requirements:
- Basic ($7/mo) – unlimited full-resolution storage, personalized photo website, detailed security and privacy settings, free desktop and mobile apps, 24/7 support;
- Power ($11/mo) – full control of gallery design and security, drag-and-drop design tools and templates, complete website customization, advanced security/privacy settings, personalized domain name;
- Portfolio ($27/mo) – integrated sales tools, watermark protection;
- Pro ($42/mo) – custom photo and gallery pricing, client management tools, marketing promo campaigns, packages and coupons.
The system lets you save up to 40% of the initial cost by making annual payments. This is convenient, fast and beneficial for regular platform subscribers.
SmugMug differs from lots of other website builders and web design resources. The systeem lets you create photo galleries, save them and even offer your works for sale. It unveils multiple photo management and sharing options, letting users pick the preferred subscriptions based on their objectives and intentions.
Carbonmade – Free Website Builder for Photographer’s Portfolio
Carbonmade – is a free website builder for photographer’s portfolio, which allows creating and customizing visually-appealing and full-featured online photography projects. The system is not the easiest one you can find out there, but you will quickly master in a few hours. Mind that baseline coding skills may come in handy to you to simplify the web design process and maximize its efficacy.
When it comes to portfolio creation, the website builder allows for unlimited video and image uploads. It does not impose any restrictions as to the number of photos/videos you would like to add to the project. HD video support is also available here, letting you upload your video files directly to the system by using the custom video player. This eliminates the need to waste your effort and time, while embedding videos or uploading them from other platforms.
Carbonmade does not only let you create and manage photo/video collections. It also allows sharing the portfolios with other users, who are interested in them. This is done by granting access codes to certain users, while other people won’t be able to access them without your permission.
The website builder also lets you see and control your portfolio statistics to find out how much users are interested in your work. By using integrated analytics tools, you can see the number of people, who have visited your project and to define the most successful/popular portfolio (if you have several of them). Other Carbonmade features that contribute to your portfolio performance include password protection, fullscreen covers, gallery sliders, Lightbox integration, photo captions, custom logos and favicons, video loops, thumbnails and backgrounds, audio/PDF/SVG/Vector/GIF support, social buttons, video and photo cropping, image optimization and many more.
The website builder doesn’t have many templates. When signing up for the account, the system will ask you to specify your profession to come up with suitable designs and layouts. All in all, there are 9 categories of professions to choose from here. These include Photographer, Motion Designer, Illustrator, Concept Artist, Industrial Designer, Graphic Designer, 3D Designer, Architect, UX Designer. For each category, Carbonmade offers 4-5 layouts. Pick the one that appeals to you most and go ahead to create outstanding photo gallery presentation.
Carbonmade doesn’t have a free plan, but you can test the system and the features it offers using a free trial. As soon as it comes to an end, you will have to upgrade to one of premium subscriptions. The system currently offers three of them:
- Beginner Plan ($8/mo) – limited customer support, custom default Carbonmade subdomain, unlimited photos and images to upload.
- Pro Plan ($12/mo) – up to 50 projects, domain connection, ad removal, create private portfolio creation, integrated analytics etc.
- Expert Plan ($18/mo) – unlimited features, Talent Pool listing etc.
Thus,Carbonmade pricing policy is somewhat above the average. However, if you need a professional portfolio, then it makes sense to invest into it or keep looking for a more cost-effective alternative.
Carbonmade is created with the needs of photography website owners in mind. As a specialized website builder, it grants access to multiple industry-specific features, responsive designs and tools needed to launch and manage a professional portfolio project. The thing is that the system is not quite intuitive and it also may seem a bit expensive for beginners.
Major Steps to Create a Photography Website
Are you ready to get started with your photography website creation? Whatever web design platform you will go for, the steps to launch a project will remain nearly the same. So, follow this step-by-step guide to customize and deploy the project in minutes. Don’t forget to have ready-written content and images to upload by your side.
Step 1. Signing In
The first stage is to register. Otherwise, you will not be able to take the use of all the features the selected system offers. There are two options you may face here. Some systems stick to traditional registration with email and password required to log in. Others may offer to use any of the existing Google or Facebook accounts. There are also platforms that provide both alternatives and it’s up to you to pick the one that appeals to you most.
Step 2. Find a Template
Having completed the sign up process, you will have to pick a template. Reach the corresponding section in the system dashboard, preview the samples if possible and make your choice. Some platforms, by the way, make it possible to select blank templates to let you create unique portfolio structure and design. This option is a bit more time-consuming, as you will need to add each and every block yourself instead of getting a ready-made layout to add content and go live.
Step 3. Edit Content
As soon as you are done with template choice, it’s high time to add and edit content. Some editors offer convenient drag-and-drop functionality, which means you may copy and paste the test in the on-page sections. Others, on the contrary, let you create your own website structure. You will have to edit baseline SEO settings, homepage titles, and descriptions, meta tags for other pages. The process does not require special skills, but mind the guidelines the system generates.
Step 4. Add Widgets
Uploading images and adding content is only half of the process. To make your photography project stand out, you may need to integrate plugins, widgets or add-ons. This depends upon the functionality of the service you work with as well as on its web design approach. Do you need a web store? Then you’ll have to spend some time connecting and customizing it to start selling online.
Step 5. Connect Domain and Publish
If the selected plan impies an opportunity of domain name connection, go ahead to do that before publishing the project. Do you have a registered domain already? Then you only need to connect it using general website settings in the dashboard.
Don’t forget to preview your site with a preview mode if possible (it highlights desktop and mobile versions), make final changes and press the “publish” button.
Essential Photography Website Features
The feature set will depend on how you want to use your site. Is it a portfolio to show some of your best works? Or do you want to sell photos online? Are you an individual or represent a photo studio? Is it going to be a one-page portfolio or a website with several pages?
Let’s say, you are an individual eager to make a good presence online and share some of the best photos to grab the attention of the target audience and find new customers. A typical situation for freelancers and independent artists. In this case, you might need to have the following on-site elements:
Homepage or About Me Section
Creating a separate Homepage is a good idea instead of placing all blocks and elements on s single page. It will result in faster and simpler navigation for your customers with no need to scroll down to the section they look for.
The Homepage is a good chance to introduce yourself as a proven professional. Moreover, it may give your website a boost in terms of SEO optimization. Search engines require textual content to identify who you are. In addition, you will be able to introduce as much info about yourself as possible.
Portfolio or Gallery
This section is the core of your future photography website. Customers will mainly visit this block to discover some of your most stunning works and images to evaluate the level of your qualification. The options are endless. Is it going to be a dynamic or status gallery, a full-width slider or anything else?
The idea is not just to attract the attention, but to make it simple for the visitor to browse through your photos. You may sort them out by categories, for example, landscapes, urban images, portraits, etc. Make sure a platform you choose provides several options.
While you probably look for a way to earn some commissions as well, this section makes it possible to show customers’ reviews and impressions after working with you. Include some of the best works you have done for your previous customers, show their recommendations, make the most of their previous experience to make your website and services look more trusted.
A must-have feature for every photography website. It comes as the only way for customers to reach you from the start. It is not necessary to implement complicated booking apps that are often paid. You may include some baseline info like:
- Phone number.
- Links to your personal social accounts.
Just make sure you never leave that section blank.
Another vital feature especially for photographers. With lots of media content, you are able to make the most of social media integration letting visitors share some of your works they like. Photos and images are still the driving force when it comes to social platforms. Grab the attention of the online community and create an army of followers.
The Bottom Line
Still wondering how to create a photography website? The answer to the question looks quite simple: you need a quality feature-rich web design platform that will comply with your major project requirements. The choice of the system depends upon multiple factors like your industry specialization, budget, web design skills, available time, requirements and business objectives.
Wix is a flexible website builder that delivers cost-effective and fast solutions to create a new site with no special skills. Users will additionally get tools to market and promote their photography websites as well as grab the attention of the audience with photos, images, and previous works represented most stunningly.
uKit is the cheapest web design system and it’s also one of the simplest solutions understandable to everyone. It offers a separate category of photography templates, integrable widgets and affordable pricing options to comply with user requirements.
WordPress is a globally known CMS, which boasts powerful integration options, versatility of professional templates as well as the opportunity to pick a hosting provider and a domain name. This helps achieve maximum project personalization to make it stand out from the crowd.
SmugMug is a system that lets you create stunning photo galleries as well as store, promote and share them with other users. The platform is not difficult to use, being a suitable solution for everyone and it’s also reasonably-priced.
Carbonmade is a specialized portfolio website builder, which encompasses multiple niche-specific tools, features, templates, integrations and other must-have elements. The platform requires preliminary exploration, which may be a hindrance for beginners.
When picking a web design software to get started with your photography project, you should initially consider your special needs and other parameters listed above. If you have time, you can test each system to decide on the leader. If not, browse the reviews to find out, which service has more to offer based on your individual situation.