Beautiful pictures fascinate people, on prints and online. If you are a photographer – doesn’t matter professional or amateur – and haven’t got yourself a website, it’s high time you should.
In this week’s article, I’ll walk you through how to make your own photography website in 6 simple steps.
6 Steps to Make Your Own Photography Website
Step #1 – Select a Domain Name
Before we get to the main part of the website, we need to give it a name. In the internet world, this is called a domain name. A custom domain is a website name that you pay for versus a subdomain which is free. If you want something that reflects your brand, I would recommend that you go with a custom domain. If you are just building a portfolio, you can always start with a sub-domain and upgrade later on.
There are plenty of ways to come up with a domain name. You can choose something artsy, professional or even use your own name, which is quite a common trait among fellow photographers.
Step #2 – Select a Publishing Platform
The next step is to select the type of platform to build your website. You can use simple website builders or content management software. Website builders are easy for beginners, but they usually have restrictions such as limited pages or limited image storage which is not ideal for a photography site.
On the other hand, content management software has more flexibility, allows more customization and most importantly, it makes your website more visible online (we will talk more about this later). Hence, I would recommend that you use WordPress because it offers more advantages than the typical website builders.
Step #3 – Select a Hosting Plan
A host is a company that stores your website content, provide backups and allow you to access the servers to modify certain files. Hosting fee is how much you pay to the company for these services and the pricing plan often differs according to the type of technologies that powered these hosting. You will probably see a variety of free plans (which usually come with a subdomain), insanely cheap ones as well as higher priced hosting packages.
So which one should you go for?
In order to run a smooth photography website, you should have a fast loading server. Online images can take up a lot of bandwidth so a slow page load isn’t going to provide your viewers with good user experience. So choose a plan that’s within your budget, offers reliable hosting services and has a lot of positive customer reviews.
Up until this point, it may appear that you need to go to three different places to have all the things set up. Well, technically you do, but with SiteRubix, you can actually complete all three steps, at a very affordable fee, in one single platform.
Step #4 – Choose a WordPress Theme
Here is where the fun part begins – deciding how your website would look like. WordPress is renown for a variety of themes and when it comes to the photography niche, there are plenty of choices to choose from.
Do you like to showcase your pictures in large images with a minimal sidebar? Go for Water Lily.
Do you want to create a photoblog with a stunning slider? Try SnapShot theme.
Or do you want to blast your pictures large and wide? Then you should check out the SKT Full Width theme.
Most WordPress themes are professional looking and responsive, which means the website layout will change to suit the device that the readers are using. After installing, you should always check using your smartphone or tablet; if it doesn’t work correctly, change to another theme no matter how much you like it. A theme that isn’t responsive will drive your mobile readers away and that’s not what you want.
Even with free themes, you can be spoiled with a lot of choices. If your budget is willing, you can always use premium themes to create a more fantastic looking website.
Step #5 – Create The Main Pages (Your Selling Points)
To create a professional outlook, you need to tell the world a little about yourself. In the WordPress user dashboard, you’ll see “Page” on the left hand side column. Create some pages for the following.
- An introduction about yourself.
- What your website is all about.
- Showcase some pictures about your work.
- Include positive comments/ feedback from people who have hired or worked with you.
- Let viewers know how they can contact you.
Give some thoughts when you are writing content for these pages because they can affect the reader’s impression about your work in general.
Step #6 – Introduce Your Site to Google
Next on the checklist is to submit your site to Google Webmaster and create a Google Analytics account. This will prompt the search engine to start indexing your web content and track your online traffic.
Most WordPress websites are designed to optimize for search engines, so as long as you are producing good quality content, most people will find your site online easily.
If you are running a local photography site, you can also list your business online with Google for free. This will enable local customers to find you better and help get more positive reviews for your photography site.
Exciting Journey Ahead…
- Create online photography courses for beginners.
- Sell some eBooks.
- Sell photos online.
- Promote workshops for aspiring students.
- Collaborate with other photographers to work on creative projects.
- Be an affiliate and write reviews for camera gadgets and related tools.
By learning to diversify your source of income, you are no longer that photographer who takes another picture. You are an online entrepreneur in the making. How exciting is that? 🙂
If you want to learn more about growing a successful photography business, check out the Online Entrepreneurship Certification at Wealthy Affiliate University (WAU) for tools and support to help you get started.
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
– Alfred Eisenstaedt
Do you have any thoughts or questions about creating a photography website? Please leave your comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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