You are having an exciting idea about starting a photography business? You are struggling with challenges in planning? Let’s take it easy. I will give you the best suggestion to start. This is to set up a photography website. Why? A website is a place where shows off your works, even provides your prospective clients the details they need to cooperate with you. With only a website, you can get more clients; on the top of that, it is a quite cheap photography marketing tool to expand your business.
However, there are many options that make you confused to know which website you have to create. Even the prices of options are very different, so in this post I want to make everything clear. I will discuss what kind of website should be preferred, and what you should do when start out a website. Let’s dive in it now!
Website, blog, and blog site: What is the difference?
When plan for your business, you definitely take a look at forums and groups to get more advice. And website, blog, or blog site will be common terms you can see. So what they are and how different they are. In fact, there is a little difference among them.
A website is actually a set of pages which don’t have any frequent change. It may include pricing pages, portfolio galleries, contact forms, so on. And especially a blog can be placed on it.
About a blog, as mentioned above, it is a page on a website. All content on this page is updated regularly. Thus, with a blog, you can create new posts, add client images, news or promotions, or anything you want to update regularly.
A blog site may make you confused with the blog term. In fact, this combines a website and a blog together, in which the blog is the focus of the site which catch more attention of the visitors than ever.
However, because almost websites contain blogs, all blogs include unchanged pages, and blog sites are actually websites focusing more on the blog. So there is little difference between these three terms.
What does a photography website require?
Generally, a website with hundreds of pages or a huge multilingual website actually goes beyond your needs for a photography website. So not all of features is required for a pro photography site. Here are typical requirements for the best one:
● Site updates require no programming skills
● Relatively small site (5 - 30 pages)
● Various photo gallery options
● Elegant ways to show off your portfolio
● Huge storage space for high-quality image files
● Social media integration
● Password-protected client access
● Domain name and email account included
● Attractive design templates (responsiveness)
● SEO ready
● Blog option
● Appointment scheduling via website
● Technical support from the provider
● Cost: $8-12 /month, up to $25 with e-commerce
What kind of website is best to get more clients?
You can see that there is a number of requirements you have to concentrate on when setting up a photography website. Let’s go through them.
Domains and Hosting
First of all, you have to focus on the domain name, or URL. This is the web address that allows people access to your site. You may look the URL like www.abcd.com. The domain name is the path that leads people to go to your site, and it is hosted on the web server. Your site contains a bunch of files which everyone can access online. And the place that store all files is hosting. Once typing the domain name, it will take the visitors to the correct server to see your site.
Next you need a platform to make your site come true. To do this, you have some options of software to create your own website. Up to now, Wordpress is considered the most powerful platform that many users choose. This is like a foundation, and other elements inside can be built in many ways. Even you can change the look of the Wordpress site. Generally speaking, you can do anything on Wordpress.
For Wordpress, you can choose this service with two options. The first one is free services, such as wordpress.com. This features free hosting and domain name. In other way, you can use a self-hosted site. This means you have to pay for your own hosting service, custom domain name. Of course Wordpress can be used in free, but you can have more flexibility and management with a self-hosted site.
A free website?
A free website may catch more attention from you. I know the reason why, starting a business may take a huge amount of money. So you are trying to cut down your budget by anyway. But let’s imagine how professional your site is when you don’t have your own domain name, or full control over your site. The result may be losing a huge number of customers.
In reality, getting a self-hosted site is really cheap. For example, the hosting service - SiteGround is cheaper the cost of a drink at Starbucks. It takes you only $3.95 per month for web hosting service. So why don’t choose this way.
In addition, with self-hosted site, you can receive full support from the provider, like 24-hour online support via chat. So you can get any questions answered immediately. Especially, the installation for Wordpress is extremely simple and easy. It only takes you a matter of minutes to do this.
One more advantage that this kind of site can deliver is the server speed. Why I take care of the site speed? Speed is one of the key indicator which search engines like Google, Bing, etc. use to show up in search results. The higher the site speed is, the greater rank your site can reach. Thus, looking for a good hosting and domain with perfect speed is beneficial for those like you.
Best Wordpress photography themes for a professional site
While Wordpress is considered a foundation, a theme is the design, visuals that make your site look more attractive.
Once you finish the installation of Wordpress, the first thing you will want to do is change the theme of your site. Wordpress provides the basic themes, but truth be told, they are not very exciting. So how to find a good theme to suit your demands?
Make your own theme? Okay, it is a nice idea because Wordpress allows you to add custom CSS. But you have to learn more coding knowledge that may go beyond the ability of a photographer. So skip the process of sketching and building your own theme. Instead of that, pick a theme from Wordpress directory.
Some of them are free, some require fee. It may up to $100 for a premium theme. But they will expand more functionality than free themes. All of them are designed for your own field. So they can make your work stand out and get the most effective performance.
There are many sources to choose a photography theme. ThemeForest is highly recommended for you. You can easily find the best Wordpress themes for photographers.
Most important elements you have to concentrate on are:
● SEO support
● Easy sale integration
● Social media integration
● Efficient frontend and backend
● Minimalist design
● Searchable interface
● Clear navigation
● Easy customization
● Responsive design
What you should do to make the photography website stand out?
Try to Keep the Contrast High
In fact, images usually look well on the black background. Because it is more contrast then a white one. Contrast can bring out the color of your photos, making them more vivid and stunning.
Only Use High Resolution Images
When someone visits your site, they want to see high resolution and professional looking images. You don’t have to show fullsize images, but focus on the quality. Give high-resolution images for your clients may give more loading time. Everything on the web comes with a price, the high-quality work limits the load speed.
Protect Your Work
With the technology development, no matter how hard you have to try to protect your photos. Someone may steal them. The only way to save them is to embed watermarks on your photos. By this way, when thieves steal your work, the watermark still appear.
However, watermarks have some disadvantages:
● Take time to batch process your images to add watermarks
● The images won't look as good as they could.
Provide Details with Each Photo
Viewers tend to want to know more about your photo’s information. It may be whom you shot, or where was it. So let’s give a little information about each photo.
Rethink Your Navigation
For any visitor, the easier your site navigation is, the happier they are. If your site is too difficult to understand and use, your users tend to turn it off and generate more negative feelings. So rethink your navigation, make it easy as possible.
Scrolling may create a good effect for your site. But too much will bring to negative effects. For any device and resolution, you should limit scrolling. For smaller screens, rearranging the layout of your site. It will make your visitors happier.
Make it Easy for Your Users to Contact You
No matter how good your work is, if your viewers don’t have any details of you, you are not getting any work. To avoid this, add contact details to your site. You can create a contact page, or insert it in the footer, or anywhere your viewers can see it.
Whether you create a website for your portfolio or only show off your work, you should consider the end users. Make your site easy as possible to allow more and more users to enjoy your site. The less frustrated your users are, the more likely they will contact you. Hope that my advice can help you create a pro photography website. Thank you for reading!