No one doubts the importance of a website for photographers today, having a site to collect and show your work to the world is mandatory.
You may think that showing your photos on social networks like Instagram or Facebook is enough. But having your own domain where you can find yourself with just a search, contacting you through a form, browsing your best photos, gathering all your social networks in one single web, or selling your photos over the internet, only has advantages.
Best sites to create web pages for photographers
If you don’t want to get complicated and you need to make a photography website quickly and intuitively. Let’s see which platforms are the best to make websites for photographers that serve as a portfolio.
Arcadina, photography websites
Perhaps one of the best known for its simplicity, intuitive interface, and variety of templates that they put at your disposal. The system to create your website is very simple, you choose the template that you like the most from the entire catalog and start customizing everything to your liking, font, add your photos, Youtube or Vimeo videos, text, logos, links to social media, etc. If you get tired of the template, you can change it in a few clicks without losing what you previously added. So you can modify the appearance of your website or portfolio in a matter of seconds.
Checking the loading speed through Pingdom Speed Test of some of the websites of photographers that have their portfolio with this platform, the loading is decent in most of them and it would improve optimizing the images that are uploaded. Something really important and where this type of platform usually fails more due to the amount of extra code they have compared to websites made with a lightweight CMS and the hosting they use.
In your private panel within the platform you will find a section dedicated to SEO, although it is very basic, you will find the minimum options to optimize the web for Google and make customers or interested parties find you at least by name. You can add a blog (highly recommended) where you can add updates on your work, tutorials, or how you took a particular photo.
In the event that you want to sell your photos online, Arcadina has included a section on its platform so that you can add payment options for each photograph, either by Paypal or through the bank. This functionality is appreciated, since in WordPress for a user with little knowledge, he would have to spend time learning how to use plugins such as Woocommerce and implement payment gateways, it really is very easy but I know it can be scary. You could also use this payment option to sell not only photos. But also photography services, courses, workshops, books, or whatever comes to your mind.
In the event that you do photo sessions or weddings, you can create a private section, protected with a password so that only your clients can access, view their photos in complete privacy, and make payments through that private platform.
The websites for photographers made with Arcadina are responsive, optimized for mobile devices, something essential in 2018.
Some interesting features:
- If you have a purchased domain, they will take care of redirecting it to your new website.
- Traffic control, the possibility of connecting the website with Google Analytics.
- In the event that you sell photos or services, Arcadina does not take any type of commission (it would be more). You make the monthly or annual payment and you forget.
- Possibility of showing your website in several languages.
Arcandina’s prices are divided into 4 options, the cheapest costs 7.50 euros per month if you pay the entire year or 9 euros if you pay month to month, but it does not have an online store or email accounts. The most recommended for a basic website may be the Silver option. It costs 15.83 euros per month paying the full year or 19 paying month to month.
If you want to try the platform, you can do it for a 14-day free trial without having to enter your credit card.
Wix for Photographers
Wix is one of the most used sites outside the world of photography by those who do not want to complicate with WordPress and need a website.
What is most striking about Wix is the number of different templates it has designed for all kinds of uses and businesses, from portfolios for photographers and creatives in general to online stores. The templates are optimized for mobile devices, they are responsive and also designed in HTML 5. Each website can be complemented with Apps that they sell through their App Market.
Wix allows you to make a free web page, yes, keeping your name in the domain, that is, if you want your website to be called Raulfotografo.com in the free Wix option, it will be called raulfotografo.wixsite.com, in addition, to lose other functionalities and include advertising. If you don’t mind having that “tag” in your domain name, go ahead, but personally, I don’t think it gives a professional image of your work as a photographer.
Once the template has been chosen, designing the web could not be easier, you will only have to drag the different elements such as images, videos, titles, social network icons, etc., to the site you assign. You can add animations to the elements with a couple of clicks, although this option is not recommended if you want your website to load fast.
Through its application store, you can add more functionalities at the same time, live chats to interact with your audience, calendars, newsletter subscription forms, etc., let’s say it is similar to WordPress plugins. Like Arcadina, Wix lets you make multi-language sites, so you can have your photography website ready for any visitor. Another thing that I like is that you can add Google Adsense ads (choosing a paid option) through applications in your store.
You can sell photos through your website with the available eCommerce options. Add a blog and even do a basic SEO for your website.
You can see the WIX prices on the web but I’ll leave them here:
- Version connect domain for $ 4.08 per month in which you will need your own domain
- The Combo option of $ 8.25 per month with free domain,
- Unlimited, the most popular for $ 12.42 per month, with unlimited bandwidth, free domain, no ads.
- eCommerce, 16.17 dollars per month.
- The VIP option costs $ 24.50
I advise you to go to their website and read well what each option includes before buying anything.
Squarespace, the website for photographers
One of the most famous platforms internationally and one of my favorites as an alternative to WordPress if what you want is just a portfolio or a site where you can sell your photos. It stands out above all for the wide variety of elegant and minimalist templates available. Surely you have heard of them since they spend a lot on advertising sponsoring important YouTubers within the sector or making announcements with Keany Reeves or John Malkovich himself.
Like other platforms, Squarespace offers a free trial without having to give your credit card. So it would be best to try uploading your photos and designing the template before subscribing to their services. The templates are 100% responsive and borderless phones, the elegant design of its templates is really spectacular. You need to be able to edit the mobile version of the web as for example in WIX. But at least it has a “mobile view mode” that will help you check how it will look on smartphones.
To modify the templates you will only have to drag and drop the elements that interest you. Such as titles, images, videos, logos, text paragraphs, etc. There are so many customization options that it can even be a bit overwhelming for the first time.
This platform is not just for photographers, any type of business or website has its template in Squarespace. You could make an online store of products or simply sell your photos or services through your portfolio.
It is compatible with Google Analytics, although it has its own analytical tool “Square Space Analytics” with which you can also see visitors in real-time.
The most interesting thing about this platform to make websites for photographers is to be able to export your site in Squarespace to WordPress in case one day you want to switch to the most used CMS in the world and the option I recommend the most. Just for this point, I would choose to have my portfolio with them.
The worst thing about Squarespace is that it takes 3% of the sales you make from your work, something that I don’t like at all but it is the price to pay for having a payment gateway on your website and the comfort of not having to learn to make your own page.
Squarespace prices range from $ 11 for the PERSONAL option paying the annual fee or $ 15 if you prefer to pay every month to the BUSINESS plan that costs $ 17 for the annual option or $ 24 if you pay month to month. For a portfolio, the cheapest option is more than enough, but if you plan to sell photos, advertise, make a blog, have your own email or customize the template’s CSS, you will have to take the BUSINESS plan. You can change plans at any time, so you can start with the cheapest plan and if you are convinced to level up.
Bluekea is another of the most popular options within the platforms to create photography pages without spending time learning WordPress. Really all the options that I present to you, offer an intuitive, customizable interface and a responsive design.
This platform works in a similar way to the previous ones. You choose a template, upload the photos, place everything to your liking and that’s it. Bluekea highlights the way to present photos with animations, slides, grids, etc. I really like how portfolios are with this platform, you can see examples on their website. I am surprised by the number of landscape photographers who opt for this type of template. The truth is that the minimalist design is luxurious.
Among the most interesting features are:
- Free domain included.
- Modify ALT and TITLE tags of each photo, headings, or text both on the cover and on the rest of the web.
- Private clients area, where you can give access to whoever you want through a password. It is perfect for delivering wedding work or photoshoots.
- You can create your own online photography store and sell your photos with a payment gateway included through Paypal.
- WordPress blog integrated into your website, something that I really liked and that stands out from the rest of the competitors.
- Create your multi-language photography page through subfolders.
- Connect your website with Google Analytics.
- Good loading times
- Very interesting and most attractive designs.
You can try their service for 20 days for free, if they convince you later, the prices range from $ 15 per month / $ 150 per year in its PRO version to $ 20 per month / $ 200 per year for the Premium version. I recommend you visit their website to take a look at what each option includes.
Before creating your photography website
All these options are fantastic as an alternative to WordPress if you need a portfolio or online store to sell your work, but (and this one is important) if your idea is to make a blog or a website for your local business and you need it to a position in Google, I recommend you learn the basics of WordPress with the tutorials that I left you at the beginning of the article and make your own website or hire someone.
The loading speed of the web is important today and these types of platforms usually need a lot of extra code, if we add some large images to make the web look good or if they are poorly optimized, the result can be very negative. Not to mention the quality of the hostings compared to a private one, with SSD disks, 24-hour support in Spanish or daily backups. As I said, this type of platform to create websites, I see them great for portfolios.
Another negative point that at least only Squarespace is saved (and I don’t trust the final result too much), is being able to export your website to WordPress if you need it one day. With the rest you will have to start from scratch and depending on the type of website you have made, the work can be overwhelming.
As for the price, I see it as reasonable, thinking about the work they save you if you don’t have much idea of making websites. So that you can do the math, if you buy a domain for free, it can cost you from 1 or 2 euros to 10 euros a year. A decent and reliable hosting does not fall below $ 80 a year. Therefore I think the prices are within than reasonable.