For a photographer, setting up a website comes with a lot of pressure. As artists, our websites need to reflect our style and showcase our work, but they also need to be easy to navigate, fully functional on all types of devices, and make it easy for clients to book a session or purchase prints. All of this can be overwhelming, but since there is no better forum for displaying photos and having a wide reach, every photographer should consider having a website.
If you are not sure where to start, Beth Wade, a Charlotte, South Carolina newborn, baby and family photographer applies her background in sales and internet marketing to teaching photographers how to set-up impactful and effective websites in her Clickin Moms‘ class Basic WordPress Creation and Website Creation. Beth’s top-five tips for photographers who want to establish a website are:
1. Be Easy to Find
Choose a business URL that is short, easy to spell, relevant and ends with .com. Avoid unusual spellings and confusing names. For some photographers, using their name makes a lot of sense. For others who may have names that are hard to spell or that have multiple common spellings, going in a different direction is probably wise.
2. Maximize SEO
Choose a platform/vendor that offers complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) customization options, including custom URLs and unique page titles/descriptions. For example, you should be able to have a page that is named www.bestphotographysite.com/wedding-photos rather than one that generates a random string of letters and numbers. Check out the SLR Lounge’s SEO and Web Marketing Book for more information on the importance of SEO and how to optimize your site from naming your images for the greatest reach to defining the keywords for your market that will help you show up on the first page when a potential client searches on Google for a photographer in your area.
3. Be Responsive
The days of everyone web-browsing on only big computer screens are long gone. Your website needs to look good on everything from a huge desktop monitor, to an iPad, to a small mobile phone screen. To make sure your website looks the way you want at all times, be sure to choose a responsive theme design so that your content will display well with any screen resolution.
4. Showcase Your Photos
Photography websites should be about your photos. To help keep the focus where it should be, keep the primary navigation menu at the header or footer of your web page rather than on the side. This keeps your photos in the center and maximizes display space.
5. Keep Your Layout Simple
Although it is an often-used layout in photography websites, it is best to avoid grids on the home page because they do not provide visitors with any direction or sense of where to click first. If you want to showcase various images or genres, choose a few of your best to put in a slideshow and create separate galleries that you can include in your navigation menu.
Once you take the plunge into setting up a website, you will likely find that the learning curve is not as steep at you thought it would be and walk away wishing you had started a one much sooner.
CREDITS: Photographs by Beth Wade are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.