Having a virtual portfolio is essential for photographers today. Your website can be compared to your personal brand. Therefore, a perfectly created website helps to attract new customers and raise your personal brand awareness. The importance of creating a photo gallery is necessary for every degree of skill, whether it’s a “photography newcomer” or a photographer with a decades of photo shoots under his belt. So, creating a portfolio might become a perfect platform for starting your own business and monetizing your skills.
Despite the popularity of social networks (like Facebook, Instagram, etc.) the efficacy of a website for photographers is indisputable. As known, customers are “buying with their eyes” and a portfolio website is a perfect chance to give them what they want. A personal website gives an opportunity to compile dozens of quality pictures in one place and, therefore, show photographers’ professionalism and masterpieces. While acquainting with a photo gallery every client can make his own conclusion about the photographers’ experience and professionalism. The quality of a website also may define the customers’ willing to approach his services.
Probably, there is no photographer in the world that underestimates the importance of a portfolio with a gallery of works. Moreover, It should be well-structured, logically constructed and systematically updated. Work on portfolio mustn’t stop at any time. Surely, there aren’t any photographer in the world that have stopped adding new photography masterpieces to his portfolio. It is a degree of professionalism.
Different website builders propose a possibility of creating a stylish website that helps to attract the audience attention, increase sales and even selling your works through different platforms. All of the above listed can be available with a different range of budget, time and knowledge. The best website builder for photographers is going to be discussed in this article.
What are the best website builders for photographers?
How to define the best photographer website creating platforms? What problems should they solve? What are the efficacy measures? We’ll try to answer these questions.
The first one to start with is a Wix website builder. Probably, every owner of small and medium businesses along with photographers has ever thought about landing page or personal website to increase the number of sales and brand awareness. Wix website builder is a perfect solution and answer to this. It was made especially to ease the creation process of websites. Since launching the Wix website builder in 2006 it has won the hearts of the customers around the globe.
Firstly, Wix’s advantages to admit are implemented SEO help that helps to increase the number of potential customers and significantly promote your website within the Internet and different social networks. Wix is a perfect choice for those who don’t have an ability or desire to pay a significant amount of money for web studios, freelancers or agents. It gives an opportunity to create own website of different style and publish it on the personal domain or web hosting. There is no need for extraordinary programming or web design skills, it can be a matter of a few hours only. Every user might choose the appropriate style, format, design, print, etc.
Also, one of the advantages that makes Wix service stand out from other website builders is its frequent updates. All these features make the Wix service convenient and user-friendly for all types of customers depending on their business goals. So, the Wix actions may be compared to the work of a full-stack web-design agency. Another Wix advantage is its competitive price in comparison with other website builders.
Availability of a free trial is definitely a plus for a photographer which is accompanied with an included free hosting and storage for uploading high-quality photos. However, there are limitations within the storage and often appeared advertisements at the bottom of the webpage. On the other hand, only for 5$ a month you can get a custom domain and URL, get rid of all the unnecessary advertisements and get access to a wider range of templates and tools.
To sum up, despite the availability of different templates and a high amount of creativity Wix won’t allow you to change your portfolio of photo gallery after publishing, which is surely a disadvantage. Wix is highly compatible with every platform and device, so your photos will look good on a tablet, mobile, and a desktop.
Squarespace for the photographers. It’s pros and cons.
Squarespace website builder has significant popularity within the photographer society. It also has a high level of compatibility with mobile devices as Wix. It is the best platform option for creating high-quality exceptional portfolios for photographers. Amount of used tools will make it look very professional and attractive for potential customers. Different templates will make your photo gallery look exciting.
As for simplicity, it is not a Squarespace privilege. One of the Squarespace disadvantages is its complicacy. Looks, like it was designed especially for those who have a technical background or web design skills. Creating a landing page or a website for photographers might be complicated.
The next advantage of choosing this platform is, surely, its affordability. The cheapest monthly plan will cost you only $12. Instead, you’ll receive unlimited storage for your high-quality photos and large-sized files. Quite good, isn’t it? On the other hand, in comparison with its direct competitors, Squarespace is quite pricey.
Squarespace is a wonderful option for creative photographers because it proposes incredibly stylish templates and frames that literally catches the eye. Taking into consideration this aspect, probably, there’s no better website builder for photographers.
All of the tools in this website builder are in-house, therefore, all the problems find its solution fast. Along with that, you’ll receive a 24\7 customer support.
As for simplicity, Squarespace is quite complicated in usage and might be hard for understanding for an average user. However, it has only a two-weeks free plan. For a premium plan, you’ll receive unlimited storage for your photos. Also, you’ll have a customized website that will catch the attention and a personal domain.
Squarespace website builder for photographers is easy to navigate and modern looking. Also, it has an implemented Editor that helps to customize your chosen template. Every action becomes simple, easy and even funny. Squarespace was logically built and divided into few sections- the Dashboard and Builder. On the other hand, it might take some extra time for a page to be uploaded.
Squarespace website builder will be a perfect choice for the photographers to make a small convenient portfolio with the selected photos. Also, there is a possibility of SEO promotion within the resource. Photographers may also buy an eCommerce plan to sell their works and prints with the help of a website.
Advantages and disadvantages of a SmugSmug website building platform
This professional website builder is a perfect choice for dedicated photographers. It is a good solution for those who want to make money on their works and photos. However, it doesn’t offer a free plan. The price varies from $4 to $25 for professional photographers.
Since you’ve made your profile, you can start making money. It is a direct advantage of SmugSmug. It is a wonderful chance to monetize photographers’ professionalism by selling their photos and prints. On the other hand, it offers quite limited abilities of a portfolio. Therefore, it is more suitable for a small group of photographers than for large companies.
SmugSmug offers a wide range of frames, templates, and tools to make your photo gallery looks attractive and cool. It can put the right emphasis on your strong points, visual effects, etc. On the other hand, the monthly plan is quite pricey for beginning photographers.
As for advantages, SmugSmug proposes a wide range of additional tools that will make your photo portfolio attractive and help you to make money such as social media integration, ability to make prints directly from the website.
Like previous competitors, SmugSmug has unlimited storage and ability to upload big-size files which makes it a good place to keep your files.
Also, it has such working areas like Site Pages, Builder, Design and adaptive Site view. A good option is a possibility to see all your changes in action. Before publishing a website, the customer might see a preview by simply clicking on a Preview button. While doing this you can switch between different devices kile desktop. tablet and mobile. It is a good option to see the final view of a website on different devices.
The Dashboard gives a chance to see the visitors statistics, connect analytics, enable different modes, view notifications and many more.
As for the speed of a webpage uploading, it is even faster than Wix has.
SEO tools and principles used in SmugSmug are the same for every platform. Mostly, they can be subdivided into the following points.
Headings are important (H1, H2, etc.) Don’t forget about filling out meta tags for each web page (title, description, keywords). All of these settings and features can be found in the “Pages” menu only by choosing the “SEO” section. This is very important.
Meta tags must be filled out with regard to the web page content and keywords used. It is important to receive successful search engine results. This is also the place, where you can disable any web page indexing, except for the homepage.
Adding links to other website pages in your posts. This will be helpful as well, but don’t go over the top: mind the context and don’t add too many links.
Possibility of Google Analytics connection. Surely, it can be complicated at first but then it won’t be a problem. This will be a perfect tool to observe the development process of your website to know what can be changed and added.
Also, it is important to remind about the possibility of social network integration. Every user may add as many accounts as possible. Along with that, you may add links to other external sources.
Pros and cons of a Weebly website builder for photographers
Weebly is the best website creating a platform for photographers. Simplicity is a Weebly’s privilege. One of Weebly’s advantages is its simplicity and user-friendliness. It was designed especially for those who don’t have a technical background or web design skills. Creating a landing page or a website is a matter of a few hours.
Like in the other website building platforms Weebly has a premium plan where additional tools may be proposed. It offers unlimited storage, custom domain, etc.
Weebly website builder has a pretty simple interface that makes work comfortable and easy. It doesn’t include unnecessary functions, which is an advantage.
Temporary domain and template might be chosen right after registration. You’ll need to enter your name, contact data, links to social media and the job are done!
Weebly gives an opportunity to experiment with blocks, images, adding new elements, etc. It will take only a few minutes to get ready for a job! There are four website editing options like “Design”, “Builder”, “Pages” and “Adaptive Site View”. Weebly is a highly customized platform that will do its best shape your portfolio as you like. Customers have an ability to use Weebly editor in order to set up font pairs for a website and change the uploaded images. A user can select only 2 fonts (for a heading and the rest of the text) and set their display options in details (interline spacing, size, font type, the spacing between letters). These settings are available in the “Design” section.
Also, Weebly proposes the unlimited file storage space and automatic optimization of user photos. Weebly offers quite an interesting function of SEO optimization and further promotion assistant. It significantly eases this process. In case of having different kinds of problems or question, every user might get access to a base of already answered questions. It is called FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. This might be problems with websites management or web design. They are logically structured and divided into groups and chapters.
Also, every user might contact every of Weebly experts within different sources like Skype or email. Surely, in case you haven’t found an answer. There is also an official Weebly blog available that covers main problems and questions.
Are dedicated photography website builders better than all-round website builders?
The better way to figure it out is to compare these websites by using the free trial. Above listed websites might be useful for different categories of photographers at the same time. For example, SmugSmug might be more personalized and customized than Wix may propose.
Can I make a photography website for free?
Professional photo gallery for your future customers surely won’t go free. It might cost you some affordable amount of money, but definitely won’t be free. For the exact price of monthly plans, you might visit the official websites.
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