There are several ways you can choose to launch a professional photography website. You can order it from a web studio or a freelance web designer. It’s also possible to build the one using the available CMS (Content Management System) that are so popular nowadays. The most affordable and reasonable option, though, is using a website builder.
Best Photography Website Builders Overview:
|Website Builder||Wix (see review)||uKit (see review)|
|Best for:||Photographer Portfolio||Photographer Promo Website|
|Easiness||Needs some time to cope with||Ideal for newbies|
|Photographer Templates:||Pre-designed templates for photographer’s portfolio||Responsive templates for photographer’s landing page|
|Technical Support:||Live support, forum answers||24/7 online support|
|Commerce Options||Full Featured e-shop||Smart and Easy Shopping Cart|
|SEO Options:||Dozens of SEO options||Full set of SEO|
|Pricing Options:||Free to $24.50/mo||$4 to $12/mo|
Depending on how in-depth you plan to customize your website, you can choose between specialized, versatile and professional website builders.
Specialized site builders
Pros: Industry-specific web services are exclusively aimed toward photographers which means you’ll find many photo-specific features in them, including numerous image-centered templates; galleries; slideshows and more.
Cons: Usually, specialized site builders offer limited feature sets that don’t go beyond creating online photo galleries. In other words, if you decide to extend your website one day, this will be pretty difficult, as most site builders don’t open up the codes. You can only use the building blocks they provide.
Versatile site builders
Pros: Versatile site builders offer photo-specific features as part of their full arsenal which means you have to manually pick out the best solutions. The good news is that you can endlessly extend your portfolio as your business grows: you can add custom pages, create profiles for your customers, add custom forms, forum, blog and also integrate eCommerce.
Cons: Versatile site builders may lack those exclusive photo-focused features found in their specialized counterparts. Also, they may have a slight learning curve.
Examples: Wix, uKit and Weebly are probably the easiest site builders to create a photography portfolio. You can publish your website in less than one hour with them.
Website builders for designers
Pros: Professional website builders are meant for web professionals who know what it takes to build a website, but want to create websites without having to rely on expensive developers. These site builders provide a Photoshop-like control panel most designers are familiar with.
Cons: Such web services are a great destination for creating static websites, not dynamic web resources, as they simply lack interactive features. The good news is that you can export your website’s code once it is ready, modify and host it elsewhere.
Examples: Webydo and Webflow.
You can always select the one, which corresponds to your web design skills and individual preferences. We felt it necessary to put together our own list of website builders that we feel can help photographers and visual artists create unique websites designed around their works. So, below is our short review of the most effective website builders for photography business that target both hobbyists and professionals.
Wix – The Best Website Builder for Photography Business
Wix is a great choice for everyone, who has got a desire to launch a decent photography website from scratch. The website builder is easy to use for everyone, be it a non-tech savvy user, who has never been involved into web building at all or a web design pro, who lacks time to create client websites by means of coding. Wix works great for photo studios and professional photographers. As of today, the platform has more than 70M of users and the number of created photography websites that amounts to thousands.
Wix Features for Photographers
- Rich Photography Template Collection. One of the most amazing and, thus, attention-grabbing Wix feature is the collection of niche-specific photography templates it offers. This is one of the major aspects a user pays attention to when selecting a website builder to give a quality photography website professional look. With Wix, you won’t face such problems.
This is where you will find quality pre-designed themes for your photography portfolio, wedding photo website, street, romantic, city photography, traveling photo ideas, photo studio website, commercial photo website and more. All in all, you may choose between dozens of professionally-designed themes, which are mobile-ready right from the start. This is an essential feature both for you (a website owner and a photographer) as well as your current and potential clients, who will appreciate an opportunity to browse a website on the go on their mobile devices when needed.
- Wix ADI Interface. Apart from the common website editor that allows for easy customization of your photography website, the system now offers an advanced Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) interface that makes it possible to create websites even without mouse clicking – just sit and watch how the system is building your entire photography website. The tool is meant for beginners and for people, who wish to save their time and effort without compromising with the quality of the ready made websites.
- Wix App Market. Wix App Market is another place, where you can get quality widgets and applications to be further integrated into your photography website. Thus, Wix Pro Gallery will allow you to present your photos in the most favorable way to make them stand out from the crowd. This is a crucial aspect, considering the tough niche competition existing nowadays.
Wix App Store will make it possible for you to demonstrate and sell your photos online. Among the other apps that are worth mentioning here, you can find the Sell Photos app, Portfolio Builder, Instagram Feed, Social Networking Buttons, Online Forms, Google Maps, LiveChat etc. By integrating these features into your photography website, you will give it impressive and trusted look as well as superior functionality that won’t leave anyone indifferent.
- Photography Website Design Options. Apart from the rich template collection, Wix offers a variety of design editing tools. There are over 40 gallery types that come in a variety of design formats and you can choose any of them that fits your website most of all. You can also edit and crop your photos to gain excellent result right in the website dashboard prior to making them public. To give your portfolio professional look, you can add as many pages as you need, adding subcategories for your photo galleries and collections or portfolios.
- 3D Parallax Scrolling. 3D parallax scrolling option will give your photography website unique and extraordinary look, contributing to the impression it creates upon users from the very first sight. What’s more, you can choose any photo, gallery or video to set them as a background for your website. This also adds to the overall impression of your website.
- Blogging. Wix makes it possible to connect a blog to your website if needed. This is a useful feature for a photography website, because blogging is an essential aspect in the communication between you and your visitors or potential clients. By managing your own blog, you will stay in touch with your visitors, being able to answer their questions, share your tips and expertise and just stay closer to your community.
- Social Media Integration. Social media integration is an essential part of any photography website. There are, probably, no people, who don’t use social networks for their own purposes today.
Having the one that will represent your website and make it accessible to social network users will increase your website traffic and allow your current and potential clients to see your works, get in touch with you in a variety of ways and just stay informed about your professional life. Wix allows integrating your social media contacts into your photography website with ease.
• Connect Domain – $4.50/mo;
• Combo – $8.50/mo;
• Unlimited – $12.50/mo;
• Commerce – $16.50/mo;
• VIP – $24.50/mo.
Cost is another aspect Wix is valued for. For newbies and people willing to test the features of the system, it offers an unlimited free plan. You can use it for as long as you need, creating simple websites to improve your skills. However, if you are seriously focused on your photography website promotion, then it makes sense to upgrade to one of paid plans.
Any of these plans is a pretty nice choice for a photography website owner and each of them offers specific characteristics, features, prices etc. If you need a full-fledged photography website, mind, that the Connect Domain Plan is not the best option for you here as it comes with ad banners that will distract the attention of users, having negative effect upon your website perception. So, take your time to analyze other cost options to make the choice that will come up to your budget, requirements and features needed.
For all those users, who aim at creating quality, logically-structured and functional photography websites with impressive design, Wix is definitely one of the best solutions available in the contemporary web design niche. The website builder comes with drag-and-drop functionality, intuitive interface, simple dashboard and other features that facilitate website use even for inexperienced people. Photography websites created with Wix are the best way to present your professional talent and works to the target audience, ensuring decent result.
uKit – The Easiest Website Builder for Photographers
uKit has managed to gain trust between photographers all over the world. It allows creating websites for freelance photographers, small photo studios and even for any type of small businesses. Even if you are a newbie in website building, you can create a really good-looking website in hours with uKit. The functionality of the website builder is initially geared towards the creation of remarkable websites to help you grow your audience.
uKIt Features for Photographers
- Photography Template Collection. Just like Wix, uKit has an impressive collection of quality templates that are designed with the needs of photographers in mind. The collection includes themes applicable for various types of photography websites, including professional photographers, street photographers, photo studios, art photographers, photo salons, photo shooting activities etc.
Even if you cannot find the one that ideally meets you niche specialization, you can select any template you like to further customize it with regard to your photography business needs. This is very convenient, free, easy and fast. What’s important, all uKit templates are responsive by default and, thus, can adapt to any mobile devices, regardless of their screen sizes and resolutions. This fact just cannot be left unnoticed in the modern world.
- Template Change Feature. Unlike many other website builders popular nowadays, you have an opportunity to change the template you have initially selected. Even if you have already created half of your photography website and then realized that something went wrong and you didn’t like the design chosen, you are welcome to change it when needed.
- Widget Integration. An opportunity to integrate niche-specific widgets matters a lot for a photography website. With a rich choice of widgets uKit offers, you get a chance to select and integrate any widget to improve your website performance and visual appeal.
Some of these widgets include Social Networking Buttons, Comments, Online Chat, Timeline, Online Calculator, MailChimp, SlideShare, Timer etc. All widgets come with ready-made content you can further replace with that of your own. Their integration doesn’t take it longer than a couple of minutes. This is easy and understandable even for a newbie.
- Blogging. Blogging is another must-have feature for a photography website. If you are really serious about your business and wish to stay in touch with your clients and share your posts or ideas with them, then connecting a blog to your photography website will definitely be a bonus. This is a nice way to notify users about your upcoming photo sessions, scheduled events,news and updates.
- CallBack Option. One of the most useful features uKit is ready to offer you is an opportunity to connect a CallBack Feature, which also comes in the form of a widget. It makes it possible for your current and potential clients to leave the request and specify the time, when they will be available for communication. Your clients will be able to send a text message to your email or smartphone, pointing out the preferred time.
• Premium – $4.0/mo;
• Premium+ – $8.0/mo;
• eCommerce – $9.60/mo;
• Pro – $12/mo.
When it comes to the cost of the plans uKit offers, it proves to be much more moderate and affordable as compared to that offered by other website builders. Considering the fact that the service is mainly oriented on the needs of small business owners (and their budgets as well), uKit prices are affordable for everyone.
Yes, there is no free plan here, but it is not really necessary. Each paid plan has a 14-day trial period, which is more than enough to test all the features of the plan you have chosen for further work. Free trial offers the entire range of features provided by the plan, so, you’ll be able to take the advantage of all of them prior to making your final choice.
uKit is a drag-and-drop website builder you can use to launch a quality photography website. This system deserves to be ranked among the best and the most trusted website builders for small businesses. Launching a website is super easy with it. Due to the availability of professionally-designed photography themes, customization tools, intuitive dashboard, ease of use and other web design features, the website builder is a decent choice for photographers willing to create quality websites from scratch.
How a Photography Website Should Look?
What is the major objective of creating a photography website? The answer is obvious: a quality website is needed to drive the attention of the target audience and grow your client base. Thus, a photography website that can withstand tough niche competition has a list of must-have features that are obligatory for it. Some of them include:
- Easy Navigation. To be popular with the clients, a photography website has to be easy to use for everyone. It’s important not only to showcase your works, but to make them easily accessible by people willing to see them. A website should have clear and simple navigation, logically-structured sections and properly interlinking to provide the entire range of information users may need all in one place.
- Informative “About Us” Page. It goes without saying that the first thing users pay attention to when visiting any photography website is the photo collection and their quality. This is needed to assess the professionalism and creative abilities of a photographer. At the same time, most users are interested in the information about a company or a photographer they are going to deal with. This is where an informative “About Us” page will be of great help. It doesn’t make any sense to make it too long. Short but detailed info posted in several passages will be more than enough to create decent impression.
- Handy Contact Page. If you are a photographer aiming at popularizing your website, then having your contact info at each website page is not a whim, but a necessity. Your clients must be able to find all the contact data right when they need that. This info should be as detailed as possible so that the clients could reach you in the most convenient and easy way.
- Photo Gallery. An impressive Photo Gallery is definitely a must-have for a photography website. What’s the sense then to launch this website type at all? Try your best effort to make your photo collection a real “highlight” of the website – the one that will be attention-grabbing and awesome at a time. Add only the best and the most quality photos to your collection and take your time to subdivide it into thematic categories to simplify users’ search.
- Responsive Design. Your photography website should come with responsive design. This is the fact that should not be ignored if you really aim at success. With uKit, this will not be a problem at all as the system templates are mobile-optimized by default, making it easy for your website content to adapt to any screen size and ensuring better user experience.
How to Create a Photography Website
By creating a photographer’s website, you will be able to offer your services to a vast circle of users, which is not limited to the residents of your city or region only. However, to be effective and make nice impression upon the potential clients, your website should be well-structured, featuring all the required elements, such as:
Gallery. You should publish the best samples of your works on the homepage, because they provide general impression about your talent and professionalism. Don’t post too many of them. 15-20 photos will be enough to reveal your expertise and skills. If you work in several directions, make sure you post photos that represent each of them.
About. This page should include basic info about your job experience, career, professional achievements etc. Don’t publish your full bio – your clients don’t need it to assess your skills.
Services. This web page should offer a detailed list of services you provide and links to the corresponding portfolio sections. You may also specify the terms of editing photos and various shooting nuances. Don’t mention the prices, but note that they are individually discussed with each client.
Blog. Those users, who are genuinely interested in photography, will appreciate an opportunity to browse through the informative niche-related articles. You will also benefit from adding a blog to your website, because it will contribute to better search engine promotion.
Contacts. This page is a must for a photography website. Clients, who wish to get in touch with you, should have your contact info at hand. The contact info may include your address and telephone number, a map, e-mail, feedback form, Skype etc.
The global network has opened vast opportunities for the entrepreneurs, who aim at expanding and promoting their businesses by attracting the clients and business partners. Photographers are not an exception. It goes without saying that a quality photography website is a kind of a business card of a photographer.
Own website is major objective is demonstration of the talent, professional results, individual approach to the process of photo shooting and the representation of an author’s style. A well-structured and appealing digital photography portfolio can tell much more about the professionalism and talent of a person than thousands of words.
- A website can showcase your talent. It doesn’t matter what photos you focus on, launching a website of your own is the most effective way to showcase your talent. These websites usually have rich portfolios that can be updated any time you need. This is how users will be able to see your works all in one place.
- A website allows users reach you any time of the day. You may be too busy during a day to stay in the office or at home for the whole day. By providing your contact info at the website, you can be 100% sure that your existing and potential clients will be able to get in touch with you when needed.
- Client Recognition. Creatives having a website have more chances to win client trust and recognition as compared to those, who don’t have websites. The availability of a professionally-designed website persuades clients that you are serious about what you do.
- A website is a powerful information source, which contains the most important info about you and your creative life. This is the place, where you can tell people about yourself, your career advancement, news, plans, schedule and what not. Whatever information you have to share with your clients, you won’t find a better tool to do that than a quality website.
- Testimonials and Reviews. Make sure to leave some space at your website, where your clients will be able to share their impressions, comments, reviews, testimonials and ideas. Just make sure these comments are written by real clients.
A photography website is much more than just a resource used to establish online business presence. It’s like a visiting card that can help reveal the talent of a photographer by demonstrating his/her works in the most favorable light. The use of a website builder to create the resource will help you design a creative and unique website that will stand out from the crowd.
These online services make it possible to develop quality websites even to those creatives, who don’t have any coding skills at all. They offer customizable templates and visual editing options that allow making awesome photography websites from scratch without any waste of effort and time. Why don’t you make use of this option right away? If you have a favorite photography site builder, just drop a line in the comments!