The basics of building a photography website
We live in a world where the art of photography reached new and challenging meanings. People take photos with a wide range of gadgets (tablets, mobile devices, and professional cameras) to easily share them with the world. They feel the need to show others what they see and get instant gratification for it. Basically, in a way or another, everyone has become a certain kind of photographer, no matter the approach: street, food, events, products, people, etc.
On the other hand, few of them have a strong focus on becoming trustworthy players in this landscape. In other words, few have the will to invest time and energy to create a lifestyle out of photography and pay their bills thanks to their passion. However, today it is easier than ever to shape a path by building up a website that highlights the real you.
How can you make it happen?
WordPress as your companion
Over 37% of the world’s websites are hosted on WordPress. You might not be a fan of numbers, but you can’t ignore the huge impact this platform has in the digital playground. Its tremendous success is due to a bunch of factors, both tangible and non-tangible. Nonetheless, the ease of use alongside the liability asset makes WordPress a perfect fit for photographers, but not only.
Imagine you’re a solopreneur who wants to spend your days photographing a wedding for your dear ones, a charming place from down the street, or some outstanding handmade products but needs to postpone some of these activities. Why? Because you’re are too busy managing your website. Well, WordPress helps you do more of what you love most and maintain a catchy website at the same time.
The theme makes it or breaks it
As you might know, the digital garden is full of WordPress themes. Some of them are great; others are disappointing. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to dig deep and find the one that fits your needs. Don’t be fooled by looking only at eye-candy demos, and start searching for relevant info about the authors and their portfolio. Stick to the theme that is aligned to your specific needs because it’s the only way to create value in the short and long run as well.
For example, we focus our photography and portfolio WordPress themes on solving your digital problems. We make well-informed decisions to help you get traction in the world wide web. With our themes onboard, you not only grab attention and get compliments from lots of peoples; you can also gather hot leads that keep your photography business moving forward.
Images and stories from the same puzzle
Having great images and content on your website is not a nice-to-have, nor should it be a surprise request for you. As a photographer, you already appreciate and respect the power of visuals, but what it’s crucial to remember is your unique brand essence.
Select those images that line up with your identity regarding general mood, colors, and formats. On top of that, write content aligned with your particular tone-of-voice. No matter if you need a short description for some photos or a long story for your blog, make sure that everything is under the same roof. If you’re a friendly person who likes to create meaningful connections with your customers, then your content should be the same: relaxed, informal, and cordial. Long story short: write as you speak and act.
If you have trouble writing content about and around your photos, we have an in-depth blog post that can get you past your writer’s block and give you a few interesting approaches to make your posts unique. Read it here.
In theory, as a photographer, it is easier to create an online community with people who appreciate and trust your work. This is mostly because great pics capture attention, and everyone is eager to share them through their social channels. However, this is only the beginning of building a consistent audience for your website. You need to actively do things to foster dialogue and empower them to act as brand ambassadors.
Keep in mind that communities can have a real impact on your photography business. They act as gateways for connecting with other folks that can become buyers of your products and services. That’s why it’s important to keep track of their needs, actively listen to their ideas, and provide them valuable content.
We have a lot of experience in building communities, from the ones created with our customers to those tailored to a broader audience, like the Upstairs Community—where we share stories written by people like you that make us better people. So, if you are looking to actively build and maintain a community, learn from our experience by reading a thoughtful piece published on our blog on how to run a community online and offline.
Go even further
Focus on maximizing social media exposure
There’s no doubt that we live in a hyperconnected world. We’re still adapting to this lifestyle, and we’re trying to explore it in ways that are meaningful and useful for us. Social sharing is a great opportunity, and it can help you increase your impact in the digital world. It’s a great start for creating an online community that appreciates and promotes your work.
By gathering the right people around your website, you can easily expand your reputation through different social channels. However, we highly encourage you to stick to the ones suitable for your website and core activity. Otherwise, you will quickly dissolve your digital presence, and people will jump the boat.
Invest in a performant and secure website
Think of your website as your home. You don’t want to have burglars around the corner who are staring and waiting for the perfect moment to get in and steal something that’s important to you, right? Well, it pretty much could happen to your website if you don’t take online security seriously. You could be hacked and lose the entire work you spend so much time to make it happen.
On top of that, there are alarming numbers to consider: in 2015, Google reported that hacking had increased 180%, while other researchers reported that 86% of all websites contained at least one severe vulnerability.
Make sure your digital keys are in your own pocket and that you don’t end up losing your entire online portfolio. Delivering the best experience for your visitors comes hand in hand with ownership and control over your website. There’s definitely a bit of a learning curve before you manage to understand the bits and pieces that make up your website, but such investments pay off in the long term.
If you need help, you can learn from our own experience. You can start with the ebook on WordPress website performance wrote by Vlad, our Chief Technology Officer, read the blog posts we wrote on the topic, or if that’s too much, use our professional optimisation services to get it out of your hair.
Take image optimisation into account
It is said that image optimisation is an art that you should learn to master. There are tons of arguments why we highly recommend investing in this area, mainly because you’re a photographer. You already know that images can boost an article and make it more vivid, but it also contributes to improving your website’s SEO.
In other words, you should care deeply about having a spotless website from top to toe. Image optimisation is an important piece of the puzzle since it can help you offer a lovely experience for the people who are eager to browse your website.
Because images are the main content on your website, being mindful when uploading them is highly important. On the web, images need to follow certain rules so that you can get the best out of both worlds—offer quality images that help you sell your work and services while also keeping your website speedy and performant. You can learn about the intricacies of images on the web from our 9+ years of experience in running a WordPress business and creating a dozen photography and portfolio WordPress themes by reading this article.
Make your website SEO a priority
Once you have a website, SEO is something you can’t avoid. Google starts indexing your content, and if you don’t know how to maximize its potential, things can get blurry.
Moreover, it’s estimated that three out of four clicks from internet searches go to the top five positions on Google. Also, keep in mind that millions of pages on the web can match a potential keyword. Any site that hopes to rank high for a particular word or phrase will have to make sure their site’s SEO gives them the best possible chance.
The good thing is that in our products, we take all the necessary measures to ensure your SEO technicalities are on point. All that’s left is to learn how to optimize your content and pages to make the most out of your content. A good place to start is the Yoast SEO online training course.