There are various platforms to set up a photography website. Users may actually choose from all-in-one and specialized software. This mostly depends on the project parameters, degree of coding expertise, budget and some other aspects. PhotoShelter is that very niche system that ensures seamless and professional photography website creation.
What Is PhotoShelter?
PhotoShelter – is a comprehensive platform designed for professional photographers. It consists of several blended technologies that include a photo archive, storage facilities, and the website builder.
If you simply need somewhere to store your images or share them with friends, you’d better look for a simpler option. This particular product will mainly serve dedicated photo gurus and niche experts.
With PhotoShelter, photographers can create customizable websites or portfolios to display their work in a professional manner. The platform offers various templates and design options to present images and galleries in an appealing and organized way.
Additionally, the software makes it possible for photographers to securely store and back up their high-resolution images. Cloud-based archives and storage facilities ensure instant access to all assets despite the location.
The system comes with a bunch of instruments letting individuals make the most of a pretty powerful engine. One of the significant advantages of PhotoShelter is its integrated eCommerce functionality. It enables photographers to sell their images as prints, digital downloads, or licenses directly through their websites.
The platform handles the transaction processing, delivery, and licensing aspects, making it convenient for photographers to monetize their work.
Furthermore, PhotoShelter provides tools for image distribution and marketing. Photographers can create private client galleries, share password-protected images, and even collaborate with clients for seamless workflow management.
As a result, we have an ultimate photographer web tool to share photos, get paid, store images, and promote yourself.
Pros and Cons
PhotoShelter is a platform designed mainly for professional photographers who want to not just share or store, but also sell their works. The platform is not perfect and can be complicated in some places. However, it still serves the photographers; needs in a good way.
| ✔ eCommerce functionality.
✔ Easy-to-use website builder.
✔ No coding skills required.
✔ Simple service integration.
✔ Cloud-based storage facilities.
✔ Customizable portfolio.
✔ Reliable image protection.
✔ Client proofing and collaboration.
| ✘ Limited free trial.
✘ Plans are pretty the same.
✘ A bit strange pricing policy.
✘ It can be complicated to connect your own domain.
✘ Learning curve for beginners.
✘ Limited social interaction tools.
✘ Limited video support features.
When it comes to using PhotoShelter, the question of pros and cons is mainly the matter of personal user experience and individual preferences. To decide on further system application, you need to individually test the software along with its integrated feature set.
What Is PhotoShelter Used for?
PhotoShelter mainly comes as a specialized online platform for photographers that allows showcasing, selling and distributing their works/services. This is the place to create visually appealing and customizable portfolios to present your creativity to the target audience.
Photographers can leverage PhotoShelter’s eCommerce capabilities to sell prints, licenses and digital downloads directly from their portfolio website. They can set pricing, offer different product variations and securely handle transactions.
The website builder notably simplifies the process of delivering high-res images to clients. Photographers have a great opportunity to create private galleries, share password-protected download links and control access to their work.
With PhotoShelter, experts can offer licensing options for their images, letting individuals and businesses to legally use their work for specific purposes. This helps them monetize images apart from just selling prints.
Overall, the software serves as an all-in-one platform for photographers to professionally present their work, generate sales, protect their images, collaborate with clients and effectively manage their digital assets.
Ease of Use
PhotoShelter developers promise an easy-to-use platform that makes it possible to create websites in minutes. Well. Some of those claims are true. The website builder itself is very intuitive. It will take newbies from 10 to 30 minutes to figure out how it works. However, the ease of use ends when it comes to connecting your domain. The process is quite difficult unless you opt for the default one. First things first, however.
Steps to Get Started
To proceed to your portfolio website creation, you need to sign in first in order to get access to all of the PhotoShelter instruments. The process is the same as with other platforms. There is a free demo version available for 14 days only. It looks pretty short although it is still enough to understand if the system suits you. To get started with the free trial version, a user is asked to type in his or her first name and surname as well as indicate an email and set the password.
You will not need to confirm your password. However, a welcoming letter will still be sent to the email provided. At least, you know you have your account activated. By the way, no sign of social media integration when signing in, which is bad. Nevertheless, we can live with that.
Right after you sign in, you will be redirected to the Dashboard and the Admin Panel that contains a list of general settings and website management tools. Users may edit website names, descriptions, download a new favicon etc. The panel has the Statistic section where you may track your website visitors as well as connect Google Analytics and other tools.
The PhotoShelter control panel comes with all the website building tools on the left. There are not many of them, however. You will find some baseline options like template layouts, fonts, colors, page titles, and meta description box. Each page section consists of separate sections that can be managed. For example, you may choose an image or text for the logo section, add new galleries, edit block names, etc.
The same can be applied to other pages. By the way, each template comes with the predesigned layout that typically includes:
- A Homepage or main portfolio.
- The About page where you may represent yourself.
- A Contact page with all required contact info.
- An Archive page with several ways to store and manage your photos.
There is not much you can do about the initial layout. The platform looks very limited in terms of web design. However, adding new photos is very simple. All you need is to create a new gallery, give it a name, and download images from the local folder.
While the software makes it possible to fine-tune the portfolio and to make general settings, you will still have to independently choose a default domain that will contain the name of the platform or your custom one. You will find the guide on how to connect the domain in a relevant section. The process might be a bit tricky. So, make sure you read the guide carefully.
A default domain comes with an already integrated SSL certificate, which is a huge plus. It has the following look based on our example: superwebsitebuilders.photoshelter.com where “superwebsitebuilders” is the name you have indicated during the registration process.
Of course, it will not work out for a comprehensive SEO strategy. To promote your site and boost its SEO ranks, one will need a custom domain. In the situation with PhotoShelter, you will need to set up a CNAME. The good news is that the platform offers a detailed guide on how to connect the domain using the CNAME settings.
Having upgraded to the premium plan and connected the domain name, you are welcome to proceed to your project publishing. Just press the corresponding button to go live with your portfolio.
Features and Flexibility
PhotoShelter offers a solid pack of features that help not just to store photos or create a website. Photographers may integrate the eCommerce functionality to get paid directly from customers, manage prices, etc. In addition, you will have a chance to create private galleries with limited access, share images in high resolution, track stats, and more.
With PhotoShelter, photographers have the opportunity to offer their prints, digital downloads and licenses for sale. This is due to the integrated eCommerce engine the system comes with. They can set pricing, offer different product options (such as print sizes) and handle transactions securely using supported payment gateways.
The system makes it possible to connect several payment options. It comes with support for PayPal and Stripe. Moreover, users can connect their Merchant Accounts to enable direct sales. PhotoShelter has an integrated shopping cart with no need to set it separately.
The stats depict total sales as well as pending transactions. You can set your own prices as well as distribute printed products featuring photos with watermarks.
PhotoShelter includes a built-in shopping cart system that enables visitors to add multiple items to their cart and complete the purchase in a single transaction. The cart allows for easy modification of quantities and product selection.
What’s important, the platform grants access to the broad range of sales tools to enhance user shopping experience and boost sales. These include options for cross-selling related products, creating limited-time offers, offering discounts, and implementing promotional campaigns.
To help photographers track their revenue, analyze product performance and understand buyer behavior, the system provides detailed sales reports and analytics This data allows experts to make informed decisions about pricing, product offerings, and marketing strategies.
PhotoShelter provides various portfolio settings to let photographers customize and configure their portfolio websites with regard to their preferences. The system subscribers can adjust image presentation settings and choose from various presentation options like grid layouts, slideshows or single-image displays. They can also control image size, cropping and aspect ratios for optimal photo/portfolio presentation.
You are welcome to create individual portfolios as well as multiple galleries to organize the selected images into different categories or projects. Likewise, it is possible to set up hierarchical structures to create sub-galleries or group images based on themes or events.
PhotoShelter enables photographers to display metadata and captions alongside their images. They can choose which information to show, such as camera settings, location, or copyright details. This helps provide context and additional information about the images.
There is also a separate toolset to customize navigation menus and create dropdown menus for easy navigation within the portfolio website. Photographers can create custom links, highlight specific galleries or pages, and organize their content for a user-friendly browsing experience.
PhotoShelter offers tools for professional image licensing, thus letting photographers provide exclusive solutions for individuals and businesses to legally use their work. This feature makes it possible to monetize various types of photo products.
PhotoShelter delivers simple tools to manage your portfolio. They include easy portfolio search with detailed filters. Users may look up needed photos by keywords, date, pricing type, etc. Here you may also create a new Light Box, edit the customer area as well as the shopping cart.
This is a great option for those who already have a website or blog. You may not even use the website builder. The system will generate the code that can be embedded into an existing site letting your visitors access the portfolio directly. All you need is to copy the HTML piece and place it to the needed section on your own website.
Each website created with PhotoShelter has SSL encryption integrated by default. It will work well for the site SEO as well as for the overall reputation on the web. Additional security tools include Image Theft Guard that protects your works from stealing or getting into the wrong hands without your notice. Users can enable or disable the feature from the admin panel.
Photographers are free to apply their exclusive custom watermarks to protect the copyright. The feature comes with the watermark preview mode. In addition, general security settings let you indicate the maximum size of each image displayed on your website.
Client Proofing and Collaboration
Photographers subscribed to PhotoShelter plans can share galleries with clients, letting them review and select images for specific projects. This streamlines the feedback and approval process, enhancing collaboration between photographers and clients.
Photo Organization and Archiving
PhotoShelter provides tools for organizing and archiving images. The platform users can add keywords, tags and metadata to their images, making it easier to search and manage large collections. This ensures efficient image organization and retrieval.
The system allows creating instantly searchable content using its advanced PhotoShelter AI tool. It tags and keywords your images in the automated mode so that you could find the required content in almost no time.
To help photographers track their portfolio performance and understand their target audience, PhotoShelter grants access to stats tracking and analytic tools. Photographers can gain valuable data on visitor behavior, image views and sales, enabling them to make informed decisions about their online presence and marketing strategies.
Users have an opportunity to connect PhotoShelter with multiple niche tools to enhance their brand/portfolio presentation. The website builder may be integrated with a Lightroom plugin that lets photographers publish images directly from Adobe Lightroom to their PhotoShelter account. This helps streamline the workflow by simplifying the process of uploading and managing images.
PhotoShelter also integrates with WordPress and various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Photographers can easily share their images and portfolio updates on these platforms, expanding their reach and attracting a wider audience.
Integration with professional print labs like White House Custom Colour (WHCC) and Bay Photo Lab is possible here as well. This integration lets photographers automate print order fulfillment and shipping directly from their portfolio websites.
These integrations enhance the software functionality and let photographers streamline their workflows, extend their reach and integrate their portfolio websites with other essential tools and services.
PhotoShelter SEO Features
PhotoShelter allows photographers to professionally optimize their websites for the search engines. You can customize page titles and meta descriptions for all portfolio pages. This enables them to create unique and descriptive titles and snippets that attract the attention of search engine users.
What’s more, the website builder enables photo experts to add alt tags to their images. They provide textual descriptions of images, improving accessibility for visually impaired users and helping search engines understand the essence of image content.
PhotoShelter generates search engine-friendly URLs for each portfolio page, incorporating relevant keywords and descriptive text. This helps search engine bots understand the content and context of the pages, increasing their positions in the search engine results.
To prevent duplicate content problems, the system implements canonical tags. They specify the preferred URL for a selected page, guaranteeing that search engines attribute the appropriate value and ranking to the desired URL.
Another SEO-related highlight of the software is automated XML sitemap generation. This simplifies the process of web page crawling and content indexing for search engine bots.
The platform does not spoil its users with a wide selection of ready-made layouts. It currently offers only 9 different templates. They all feature different layouts although the overall structure looks the same. All themes are mobile-friendly. However, there is no mobile preview mode to check how the site looks on smartphones or tablets.
Within each template, photographers have the flexibility to customize various elements of their portfolios. They can modify colors, fonts, backgrounds and other visual elements to match their branding and create a unique look.
PhotoShelter designs are specifically tailored to showcase images prominently. They emphasize the visual impact of photographs, providing ample space for images to shine. Grid layouts, slideshows, and full-screen display options are common design elements used to present images effectively.
Templates provide intuitive navigation and a seamless user experience. Clear and well-organized menus, logical page hierarchy, and straightforward browsing ensure that visitors can easily navigate through the portfolio website and discover the photographer’s work.
Photographers have a great opportunity to popularize their brands and make them stand out from the crowd. To do this, they can add logos, watermarks and custom headers to reinforce their visual identity and create a cohesive brand experience.
PhotoShelter offers quality customer support. There is a personal assistant available via a live chat here. If you need any software-related information, you can read the posts available in the system blog or browse an extensive user community. For your convenience, the forum is divided into several branches/topics where users can share their experience as well as ask/answer questions.
The system also has accounts in social networks which increases the chances to solve your project-related problems and to promote your brand on the web.
Have any comments or suggestions? To get expert assistance, you are welcome to fill out the online contact form available on a separate page. The support team members promise to respond within 1 business day only.
How Much Does PhotoShelter Cost?
The system has a 14-day free trial. It is more than enough to understand if the product suits you. Then you will need to activate any of the three available paid plans. They are as follows:
- The basic plan ($10/mo) – 4 GB of cloud storage, Vimeo/Instagram/Twitter/WordPress integration, unlimited public and password-protected images, SEO and social sharing tools, free setup and free support, opportunity to sell prints and license images, mobile app etc.;
- The standard plan ($25/mo) – 100 GB of cloud storage in addition to the client proofing tool.
- Pro plan ($45/mo) – unlimited storage, all features form the two previous plans.
All packages come with a custom domain, unlimited access to all of the 9 templates, a custom mobile app, and more. So, the main difference in storage, which makes the pricing policy a bit strange.
PhotoShelter for Photographers
PhotoShelter offers a comprehensive suite of features and services tailored specifically for photographers. It comes as an all-in-one platform that helps photo experts showcase their works, market their services, sell prints and licenses as well as effectively manage their business.
The website builder makes it possible to create stunning and customizable portfolios, using the list of templates available in its gallery. Photographers can efficiently manage their image collections, uploading, organizing and tagging their photos, adding metadata and easily searching/accessing files.
PhotoShelter is used both for portfolio creation and selling ready-made works. As a project owner, you can customize product offerings, set pricing, manage orders and choose fulfillment options.
The system enables photographers to offer licensing options for their images. They can define different usage terms and pricing structures, providing clients with sufficient flexibility to license images for various purposes.
Integration with third-party platforms and services also enhances your portfolio website performance, streamlining workflows, automating processes and enhancing the overall brand efficiency.
PhotoShelter provides detailed sales reports and analytics to help photo experts track their portfolio performance, main stats, user behavior and other factors that affect project promotion and its popularity with the target audience. As a result, they can make unbiased decisions regarding pricing, product availability and marketing strategies.
To sum it all up, PhotoShelter comes with a comprehensive photo-related toolset and features to present, market, manage their world and offer them for sale. Whether you need to create a stunning portfolio website, sell prints and license or streamline workflows, PhotoShelter will cover your niche-related needs.
Is PhotoShelter a Good Website Builder?
PhotoShelter is a good tool for professional photographers who want to grow their online presence as well as promote and sell their works. The platform offers several good-looking templates that are free to access despite the plan. Users will appreciate advanced portfolio and archive management tools as well as simple ways to integrate third-party services.
If you consider taking pictures as your hobby, you may need a simpler and cheaper software to store and share them via various channels. In this case, you should try some easier options such as Wix. It comes as an all-in-one solution with hosting and domain in the pack in addition to hundreds of responsive templates to meet your needs.