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Business Tips

Reasons To Use WordPress For Your Photography Blog

By Guest Contributor on June 9th 2015

Professional photographers rely on a quality web presence to display their work to the world. Therefore it’s incredibly important for them to be able to quickly, easily, and cheaply upload their pictures to their website and position them as needed. For all intents and purposes, there’s no better platform for these processes than WordPress.

Reasons To Use WordPress For Your Photography Blog

Though there are certainly more than a few different methods of building a photography blog, nothing quite gets the job done like WordPress. With the world’s most popular CMS/blog platform, you have a great deal of control in regards to how your content is displayed and maintained. You also have thousands of different themes to choose from and customize. And let’s not forget that WordPress is extremely user-friendly and can be 100% free.

Let’s examine some of these points in a bit more depth.

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Price

Photography can be a lucrative business, an expensive hobby, or it may lie somewhere in between. Regardless, it’s a good idea to consider affordable options when creating your website. Luckily, there are literally thousands of 100% free WordPress themes available for download. Moreover, even the premium themes usually range between $30 to $200. These prices are far below the average cost of a custom website.

Convenience

Beyond the price though, the real value is in the convenience. You’re getting a working website in the time it takes you to download a zip file. And some premium theme providers like TemplateMonster do not only offer photo-blog WP themes, but also 24-hour support, just in case you have trouble getting started.

Of course, you can always download those free themes as well. This is an especially good option, as there are so many custom photography themes available.

Speaking of variety…

Enormous Choice of Layouts

Photography is an especially popular niche. It’s, therefore, no surprise that photography themes for WP are especially plentiful. Major providers have gigantic sections dedicated exclusively to photography themes. You can pick out a theme with little fear of duplicating the web presence of other photographers in your area.

The reason for this saturation is simple. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. Since that’s the case, most themes come out of the box with all of your standard requirements. Such as…

Search Engine Optimization

You won’t get far without a little love from Google. And while it’s up to you to come up with a decent keyword strategy, nearly all WP themes are built with the SEO architecture to make ranking easier. With easy access to metatags, an SEO checklist, and free plugins to help you on your way, it’s a relative breeze to get noticed in local search rankings.

[RELATED PRODUCT: PHOTOGRAPHY SEO AND WEB MARKETING E-BOOK]

Of course, this isn’t the only feature you should be worried about.

free wordpress photography theme by slrlounge

WP Themes are Packed with Features

WP themes, both free and premium, often come with the most important structural and stylistic attributes that users have come to expect from a professional photography website. For instance:

  • Responsive design
  • Parallax scrolling
  • Animated effects
  • Background video
  • WPML ready
  • Online chat functionality

Still, the best thing about using WordPress is undoubtedly the variety of styles and presentations available through the myriad of templates you can find online. To get you started, here are 5 awesome free photo-blog WordPress themes to give you ideas.

[Check out more articles on SEO and Web such as: BEST WEBSITE BUILDER FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS]

5 Awesome Free Photo-Blog WordPress Themes

melissa

1. Melissa

Built with the Cherry Framework, this custom theme is beautifully animated through HTML and JS. The main photo-slider slowly cycles through the high-quality images right above the most recent blog posts, while other impressive features unfold as you scroll downward.

Demo

Download

free wordpress photography theme by slrlounge

2. Free WordPress Photography Theme by SLR Lounge

SLR Lounge has been developing this photoblog template for over a year, and the effort really shows. Artistic, responsive, and minimalist, this photography blog puts an emphasis on the actual photography, navigation, a small bit of branding, and that’s all. It’s available for free download through the link in the heading, and instructions to install it can be found right here.

Demo

Download

gallery-theme-wordpress

3. Gallery 

The Gallery Theme (which also happens to be responsive) from Dessign.net is a perfect offering for any creative pictorial producer. It boasts an impressive number of features, as it’s compatible across an array of browsers and highly customizable. It too, sticks to a strictly minimalist mystique and throws all the user attention at the work, navigation, and social sharing options.

Demo

Download

Photo World

4. Photoworld 

Photoworld presents an ethereal foot forward for any photographer’s art. The full page slider dominates the homepage with attractive imagery strolling across the screen at unhurried intervals, and the navigation bar sets the tone with an obscured transparency that ends up making all of your navigation options extremely legible and attractive. The ghostly transparency continues on all of the child pages and gives an airy yet approachable feel to the entire site.

Demo

Download

photolab - free wp theme for photographers

5. Photolab  

Another parallax-enabled photoblog with a little less in the way of animated transitions, Photolab instead exercises its right to pagination as it relies on post previews made of text to attract the clickthrough. Again abundant with whitespace and sticky navigation options, this theme presents a smooth and serene aesthetic to its users.

Demo

Download

Conclusion

Using WordPress themes to build your professional presence on the web is a fast and easy option in a world of complicated branding solutions. Furthermore, WP themes take care of the most important consideration for any professional photographer: time. Building and maintaining a website takes tons of time. Time that’s usually better spent tracking down clients and heading to their locations so you can shoot. A WP theme allows you to focus more on what you love and less on worrying about your web presence.

About the Guest Contributor

Zack Rutherford is a freelance copywriter. Combat sports enthusiast and poetic soul, Zack endeavors to create beauty through syntax, sentence structure, and the liberal use of hyperbole. Follow him on Twitter (@zack_rutherford) or visit his website (Zackrex.com) to read all of his innermost thoughts and unfounded opinions.

If you’re interested in becoming a guest contributor, contact us!

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Anthony Malaga

    Lets take a break and look at some pictures from Lee County Fl. http://entryleveljobscam.blogspot.com/

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  2. Dustin Baugh

    Isn’t this the second or third time this article has been posted?

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  3. Dragoș Ardeleanu

    well, if you don’t need a blog, but only a portfolio website, you might just use the 500px premium features ;)

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  4. Daniel Lee

    I previously used Tumblr as my photography blog and wanted something more (I’m know some basic stuff about HTML but not enough to build a site/theme from scratch) so ended up switching to WordPress.

    I like WordPress better in pretty much every single way. One theme that is really great which you didn’t mention is “Gridsby Pro”. I use it for my website and the free one was that good, I paid the $15 for the pro since I wanted to support the developers.

    One thing that could be mentioned in a follow up article could be WordPress.com vs Org. I personally use WordPress.org to set mine up since I found a highly recommended local host which I already had a domain with.

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  5. Paddy McDougall

    As a total Luddite with 3 WP sites what can hackers do if they hack my site? Now worried

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    • Anders Madsen

      Depending on the severity of the attack they can:

      – use it as a file storage for whatever they want to share, and trust me – if you are lucky, it’s pirated software. If you are less lucky, it’s virus infected files that will cause Google to drop you like a hot potato and show a huge warning sign to visitors until the virus is removed. If you are very unlucky it’s highly repulsive and very illegal porno material.

      – use it for sending spam mails in the tens of thousands with you as the sender.

      – use the server on which your website resides as a bot, normally utilized for DDOS-attacks against other websites until “protection money” has been paid to the attackers.

      – deface the website and use it for political propaganda, normally sending your meticulously crafted search engine optimization straight down the drain and costing you business.

      So, yeah – there is reason to be worried.

      However, having your website with a reputable web hosting company and keeping your WordPress, plugins and themes updated will go a very, very long way and at that point, there really is no reason to be worried any more.

      Yes, shit still happens, but the lower hanging fruits will usually be picked earlier – and you would be on one of the top branches… :)

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    • Brian McCue

      Tagging onto Anders response. If they spam with your domain, it could end up blacklisted on many servers. I have seen many sites that have been hacked and had virus’ installed on them. This could really piss off your clientele. And if you don’t have it backed up, you start over from zero.

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    • Brian McCue

      I’m curious to know if anyone is using these photography based hosting sites? They can host your domain, some even email and also your galleries with full printing/eCommerce capabilities.

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  6. seoras logan

    There are many many other excellent options now that are every bit as good if not better than WP.
    This does seem to be just a big advert for WP.

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  7. Federico Voges

    You should probably include this in your list.

    Reasons not to use WordPress: security.

    Just search for “wordpress vulnerability” in your favorite search engine.

    WordPress itself, and its plugins, are frequent “guests” in the security news.

    You can keep a WordPress site more or less secure, but it takes time to keep track of security advisories and upgrading.

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    • Steven Pellegrino

      I’ve been running WordPress sites for 10+ years and have never had an issue. Before I went full-time as a photographer I was a web developer/consultant, so I can say, from personal experience, security is a very easy thing to deal with on WordPress.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      Do not use “Admin” as the default user. A lot of hosting companies that install it for you through the control panel will set-up the administrator as Admin. If you’re using Admin, a hacker is half-way there to getting in.

      Install some security plug-ins:
      Acunetix Secure WordPress
      Login LockDown
      Wordpress Firewall 2
      Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker

      Updating WordPress is easier than ever as the software can and does update itself. Plug-ins & themes are one-click updates. You don’t have to track down the updates, you’re notified in the WordPress Dashboard.

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    • Anders Madsen

      I agree to Steven Pellegrinos comment, and would like to add a couple of additional pointers as well:

      – don’t keep unused plugins in a deactivated state. The code files are still there and can be exploited if you don’t update the plugin when a security fix is released. Delete unused plugins instead.

      – the same goes for themes. Delete them if you don’t use them.

      And, just to be clear: Just because something is closed source (like Squarespace or Wix) doesn’t mean that it is inherently more secure.

      Scanning for vulnerabilities is done against these platforms as well, but since the code is closed source, there is no public record of known issues and actual break-ins are less likely to be publicly known as well.

      That all being said, I’d say that todays website building systems in general are very, very secure. I’ve been a sysadmin and later a CTO in a webhosting company for 15 years before becoming a full-time photographer, and the way these systems have evolved and matured is incredible.

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    • Federico Voges

      You are missing the point, you both have IT experience (and I work in IT). But I’d guess that we are the exception. This is a photography site, so you need to take into account this when talking about these topics.

      The advice you both give is correct, but it’s also the kind of advice I’d expect to see in the article. At least in a sidebar.

      I’m not saying don’t use WordPress, but security is a recurring concern when using it and it should be mentioned for the less technical audience.

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    • Anders Madsen

      Frederico, point taken.

      It’s probably so much second nature to me now that I consider performing a plugin-update a no-brainer, but you’re right – as a user of WordPress it is important to understand the tool and be aware of the security challenges that you need to address now and then.

      That being said, I think WordPress has done a tremendous effort to make it as easy as possible to maintain a secure installation, even if you don’t know anything about IT.

      It takes something like four clicks and all plugins are updated to the newest version and you basically just do as you’re told – my wife swears that she can even do it before coffee in the morning. :)

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    • Brian McCue

      Very good point. You need to be very careful choosing plugins and even themes. I would also suggest finding a reputable WordPress hosting company so that you can use your own domain.

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