Photography websites – you’ve probably seen them all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It seems that when it comes to a photographer’s website, many of us try to piecemeal something together with a DIY template to save some money. After all, when we start our business, cutting any corner possible is a must and it is much more fun to spend your hard earned money on a new piece of gear instead of a web designer. And it shows.

I’m one of the guilty ones. My website has been the bane of my photography existence. It’s broken pretty much every rule in the following video (with the exception of automatic music), and I’ve had more than a handful of professional web designers try to work with me to get it just the way I want it. In the following video, writer, creative business consultant, marketing strategist, and photography dabbler April Bowles Olin lists 10 website mistakes you should avoid and why.



Here are the 10 things she mentions:

Dark background with a light font – yeah, Apple, are you listening? It hurts the eyes (If you updated to the new OS, you’ll know about this horrible new auto feature for iBooks).

Music that automatically plays – Any of you who have experienced this know what she’s talking about; and to those infringers, if you insist on having music play automatically, please make the pause button really visible so we can make the music stop quickly and easily.

Huge chunks of text – I’m really guilty of this…I’m a writer, so what do you expect?!

Two sidebars or cluttered sidebars – My 6th grade teacher taught me KISS – keep it simple stupid and it has applied to all areas in my life, including my photography website

Lack of sharing buttons – People are lazy. If you want them to share, it must be not only sharable, but easy to share.

Lack of contact information – this is my personal pet peeve, especially as an editor trying to contact someone to feature, so I can imagine how a bride or potential client would feel. If I can’t figure out how to get a hold of you in less than 7 seconds, you’ve lost me.

Lack of shop or buy info/buttons – Again, you need to make it easy for people.

Unattractive or hidden opt-in – Don’t forget, people are lazy. If they have to scroll down to subscribe, most of them won’t.

More than 2-3 fonts and colors – more than that, and your brand can seem messy and not cohesive.

Overall, unappealing to your target market –  if your website looks like it belongs at Big Lots, but your target market are Bloomingdale shoppers, there’s going to be a disconnect there. They will be unimpressed and likely will not book you because you don’t seem like you’re the “right” photographer for them.

Watch Do Not Make These Website Mistakes!

This clip was from April’s CreativeLive class, Create Digital Products That Sell While You Sleep. Check it out here.

What mistakes have you made with your own website? Leave a comment below.