5 Incredibly Easy Ways To Start Creating Your Photography Website
High fives all around! You decided that it’s time to start a website to show off that beautiful photography of yours! Problem is, it can be a little confusing to get started. I get it. There’s a lot of choices out there and you might be a little confused by which one is right for you. Let me help you out a bit. Here are five choices that will make it easy for you to start your photography website. Everything from what I do NOT recommend to EXACTLY what I did when I first created a photography website.
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1. Use Free Site Builders
Ok, I’m going to get this one out of the way first. There are hundreds of free website builders you can get online right now. Google it and you’ll get probably get several pages that will come up. I’m not going to recommend any though because, I don’t think you should go the free route (sorry, I know, I’m pretty frugal too) The only reason to go the free way is if you just want a place to post your images online and send the link off to grandma and grandpa so they can view your work. If you have even the SLIGHTEST feeling that you will turn your photography into some kind of business someday, invest in your own domain and site. (and it really ins’t too expensive) There are so many reasons why you SHOULD NOT get a free site:
- You look way more professional with your own domain (ex: www.cozyclicks.com is more professional than www.cozyclicks.freesitebuilder.com) See the difference?
- You’ll get found on Google with your own domain (and hey, that’s where people go nowadays go to find the businesses they’re looking for! Don’t you want your site to show up?)
- You’ll get way more storage with your own domain (and you’ll need it for all those beautiful photos you take!)
- Your site won’t have all of the branding all over every page promoting the “free” web site builder. (once again, wouldn’t look very professional)
- When you do decide to switch over (and trust me you will) it can be pretty difficult (sometimes impossible) to transfer over all the work you’ve put into designing your free one
It’s honestly not too much to invest in( a lot of times just dollars a month) , think of your website like the storefront to your business. The more clean and professional looking, the more future clients will trust you. If it doesn’t look like you’ve put the time or effort into branding yourself with your own domain, most people won’t take your seriously.
This is another option you can go with. Website builder for photographers. Wix has it all. You can get your domain through them plus lots of choices for photography templates to create your site. And guess what? You can get started for FREE! They have lots of free templates and will even let you publish for free…. BUT , like I mentioned earlier if you are thinking about becoming a business you’ll want to upgrade (and it’s super easy) to have their branding removed and appear more professional, get your own domain, more storage, connect to Google analytics and more. It’s about $100 for the whole year to upgrade.
An alternative to Wix, Weebly has a lot of the same ease and options and is similar in price (maybe some options even a little cheaper!) This is also a great alternative if you are thinking about creating an online shop to sell your own prints or products someday.
Smug Mug is slightly different from the previous options, but still super awesome for photographers. SmugMug website builders allow you to showcase, share and sell your prints all in one. This is a great choice if you also want to host online galleries for your clients and allow them to purchase prints or digital files. With SmugMug there is also a free trial available OR if you think this option is right for you, get 15% off your subscription at this link here!
This is the option I went when I first started out. I got my own domain through iPage separately from my website templates. I did a bit of research and went with iPage for my domain. For the most part, I had zero issues with iPage, plus got lots of freebies too like Google Adwords and Facebook Ad credit. This is probably the least expensive rout to go too. They have some deals as low as 1.99/month (which is pretty sweet!) BUT, if you get your domain separately, you also have to get your template separately. This is unlike Weebly or Wix which has them available for you. I went though ProPhoto for a template (there are other places you can go for templates too) and found the process a little more difficult a first. I think in the long run though, doing it myself really taught me a lot about SEO and website design. I’m also kinda geeky and playing around with code and online stuff is interesting to me. If you know you’re not that tech saavy and don’t have anyone around to help you this might not be the way to go for you. BUT if you kinda like tinkering around with this kinda thing and find it somewhat fun and easy to work with- I’d totally go this route!
Hope this help you make a decision on how to set up YOUR photography website! And once you do set it up, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your site so we can check out what you’ve got!!
The Friday Five is a short sweet blog post that comes out each Friday with 5 quick tips to help portrait photographers. To see previous week’s Friday Fives click here. Have an ideas YOU would like featured on an upcoming Friday Five, tell me your ideas here!