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      Cool Looking Photographer Sites?

      One of the hardest challenges of beginning your career as a photographer is building your website. It can be technically difficult, there are design considerations, you need to worry about user experience, and DIY web design is a tough skill to master. Hopefully this article will help your journey to a new or refreshed site.

      Wedding Photographer Website Inspiration

      I wanted to share a few of my favorite wedding photographer sites that I found inspiring. These are designs that work well with their imagery and present a clean user experience. I’ll include website platform info where available.

      18 Inspirational Wedding Photographer Websites

      WebsitePhotographer NamePlatformTheme
      https://briarsatlas.com/Briars AtlasShowitCustom
      https://www.katchsilva.com/Katch SilvaWordpressFlothemes
      https://rafalbojar.comRafal BojarWordpressCustom
      https://ferjuaristi.com/Fer JuaristiWordpressFlothemes
      https://adventureinstead.com/Adventure InsteadSquarespaceSquaremuse
      https://niravpatelphotography.comNirav PatelWordpressFlothemes
      https://lincolnpictures.co/Lincoln PicturesSquarespace
      https://www.samhurdphotography.com/Sam HurdWordpressSecond Street Creative
      https://www.roseyredphotography.com/Rosey Red PhotographySquarespace
      https://www.stylestorycreative.com/Style & StoryShowit
      https://afistfullofbolts.com/A Fist Full of BoltsSquarespace
      https://aimeeflynnphoto.com/Aimee FlynnShowit
      http://www.nessakphotography.com/Nessa KWordpressSecond Street Creative
      https://adammason.com/Mason PhotographyWordpressFlothemes
      http://portfolio.jamesmoes.com/James MoesCargo.Site
      https://letsfrolictogether.com/Let's Frolic TogetherWordpress
      https://www.gabemcclintock.com/Gabe McClintockWordpressSecond Street Creative
      https://sarahellefson.com/Sarah EllefsonWordpressStudio 9 / Made to Thrive

      What is the best website builder for photographers?

      1. WordPress – No question, our top suggestion for building a photography website. Easy to use with new Gutenberg page builder.
      2. Gatsby.JS – Our favorite static site generator. You’ll need a developer, but will have an easy to use, beautiful, modern, fast, and secure website.
      3. Showit – Technical issues and too much freedom to mess things up, but easy to create gorgeous sites.
      4. Squarespace – Okay for small sites (under 10 pages). Not the best platform for handling large number of blog posts or complex site structures. Poor performance on 7.0 and no upgrade path to 7.1 (which offers much better performance, but limited design flexibility).
      5. Wix – I can’t recommend this to anyone. Squarespace or Showit are better alternatives.
      6. Weebly – Again, can’t recommend when there are better options.

        Other interesting platforms that we haven’t tested properly to rank: Webflow, Format, and Ghost.

      One of the most popular questions we hear in the Fuel Your Photos facebook group is asking which website builder or platform to use. It’s a major decision, as it can be expensive and time consuming to migrate from one platform to another. There are also often monthly or yearly contracts to keep in mind.

      After having experience on hundreds, possibly thousands, of sites between us.. We’ve both landed on WordPress as our favorite platform. It sometimes has a reputation for being difficult to setup, but in our experience that’s purely based on which theme, hosting, or page builder you pick.

      Other popular options are Squarespace, Showit, and Wix. These are all going to offer varying levels of drag and drop freedom, generally at the expense of technical excellence and pagespeed.

      Best Wedding Photographer Websites by Organic Search Performance (SEO)

      I also wanted to share the best performing photographer sites that I’ve come across while doing market research. When browsing photographer sites, I often put their domain into an SEO tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs. This will tell me how successful their organic search efforts are, what pages are ranking, and for what terms.

      Takeaways:

      • You only need enough organic traffic to satisfy your marketing goals.. if you’re in a smaller market, you can probably book out a season on less than 500 organic visits per month!
      • Backlinks are still very important (number of referring domains specifically). If you’re new to photography, have built great content, and are wondering why it isn’t ranking super well.. time to start building that authority.

      If you have a site that you think should be on the list, comment below and I’ll check its stats!

      1. https://www.linandjirsa.com/ – 38,100 organic traffic per month
        Lin and Jirsa Photography
      2. https://dylanmhowell.com/ – 4,200 organic traffic per month
        dylan m howell photography seo
      3. https://www.samhurdphotography.com/ – 3,800 organic traffic per month
        sam hurd photography
      4. https://thefoxesphotography.com/ – 3,500 organic traffic per monththe foxes photography
      5. https://www.indiaearl.com/ – 2,500 organic traffic per month
        india earl photography
      6. https://adammason.com/ – 2,200 organic traffic per monthadam mason photography
      7. https://afistfullofbolts.com/ – 1,100 organic traffic per month
        a fist full of bolts photography
      8. https://adventureinstead.com – 1,000 organic traffic per month
        adventure instead photography
      9. https://twomann.com/ – 1,000 organic traffic per month
        two mann photography
      10. https://www.ryanflynnphotography.net/ – 931 organic traffic per month
        ryan flynn photography
      11. https://catalinajean.com/ – 921 organic traffic per month
        catalina jean photography

      These SEO tools aren’t perfect, but they can give a decent idea of what tactics are working for photographers. The top site on the list shows the value of creating useful content like how to create a wedding reception timeline, Chinese wedding traditions, how to pin a boutonniere, and Korean wedding traditions. They’re getting an incredible amount of traffic that is pure gold for brand awareness.

      bride walking through forest portland redwood deck hoyt arboretum

      Is WordPress good for photographers?

      Our favorite web platform for the majority of photographers is WordPress. It is the best mix of ease and capability. Practically everything you can imagine is not only possibly, but somebody has probably done it already.. and made a plugin to offer that functionality. This open source development community isn’t matched with the stand alone platforms like Squarespace and Wix.

      Many people have tried WordPress in the past and had issues with either reliability (hosting issues, theme/plugin updates crashing sites, hacking, etc). WordPress is now such a mature ecosystem that you can get around almost all of these issues simply by picking the correct stack of hosting, themes, and plugins.

      We wrote an in-depth post about our favorite WordPress hosts, it goes into detail on what we recommend for different needs and price points.

      Corey has also created a video that shows him setting up his favorite WordPress theme and page building plugin called Elementor.

      We’re also fans of the WordPress themes from Flothemes. In general, they have the best aesthetics and technical optimizations. Unlike most theme companies, they also offer prompt and capable customer support. Here’s a full review I did earlier.

      Squarespace photography websites

      If you’ve followed me on social media, you’re probably aware of my general stance on Squarespace sites. I really want to get an in-depth post up that looks at the technical issues I’ve ran into, it’s been in progress for too long. To be brief, I believe their platform has crippling issues that will make ranking in competitive markets more difficult than it should be.

      They make it fairly easy to make a clean website design. Unfortunately, this ease only extends to sites with a handful of pages. If you plan on blogging regularly, they don’t have tools build into their CMS to handle larger numbers of pages. This makes making changes across a body of pages far too difficult and time consuming.

      The other large issue is with the amount of costly javascript needed to render any page. It simply makes performance, especially on mobile devices, far too slow when comparing to other platforms. You can see distinct ranking issues when comparing mobile and desktop performance with the typical Squarespace site.

      The final issues are with general uptime and reliability, there have been far too many issues in the past few years. The downtime isn’t competitive with quality WordPress hosting. There have also been issues with contact forms not sending messages, which is the most frustrating problem a small business owner can have.

      Wix wedding photography websites

      I can’t honestly recommend anyone use Wix for their wedding photography site. Yes, it’s fairly easy to build your first website using this platform, but I’d even recommend Squarespace over Wix.

      Showit Photography Websites

      Showit is probably the platform that is currently easiest to build a “beautiful” photography website and there are many web designers that specialize in building sites using this platform. There are definite technical SEO issues and I’ve seen massive increases in organic traffic when replicating Showit designs into WordPress. That said, I’d recommend Showit over Squarespace and Wix. At least your blog will be WordPress based.

      Tips for Building a Photographer Website

      • Don’t forget the user experience.
      • You need to keep mobile in mind, most photographer sites see ~50% mobile traffic in 2019.
      • Compress your images and size them properly.
      • Don’t be afraid of text content.

      Popular Photography Website Templates

      1. Flothemes – My favorite photographer wordpress theme company. Constantly pushing the industry forward with both their aesthetics and back-end admin tools for page building and theme options.
      2. Elementor Pro – A page builder that can also build full themes. This is a much more DIY solution, but the possibilities are limitless.
      3. ProPhoto – I don’t recommend these themes for 2020.
      4. Divi – Also can’t recommend their themes for 2020.

      WordPress hosting for photographers

      We have a huge post on hosting for WordPress over on our SEO education site, but my top three suggestions are:

      1. Siteground – Affordable hosting that is fast and offers good customer service.
      2. WPX – More expensive managed hosting with 32 second customer service and free malware removal.
      3. Cloudways – FAST cloud hosting for $11/mo. My current host. Slightly more advanced setup and dashboard.

      For more info on these options, and the hosts we recommend you stay away from:

      https://www.fuelyourphotos.com/best-wordpress-hosting-for-photographers/

      Comments

      Wow these sites look amazing! I’m just starting out my wedding photography business and it looks like I have a ton of work to do on my website.

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      This was so interesting!! I loved looking through the list of sites. I’d be super interested to see how our site ranks with the SEO list you gave near the bottom. I’ll check out those links you referenced for analyzing it.

      Can you check out our clean custom wordpress website? We used no theme ( Astra Default white theme )

      Hi Dylan, I’m wondering why ProPhoto isn’t recommended for 2020? Thanks in advance!

      Great question Graham! I need to do a full post on prophoto. I’m mostly basing this assessment on how likely or easy it is for the typical photographer to set their site up in a somewhat optimal way for SEO. The PP site’s I’ve worked on all needed some work to get them to a decent baseline. Performance issues, indexation, some misc tech issues.

      Bro! Thanks so much for the inclusion mate! Even though I have so much work to do on it and things to fix, it’s a real thrill seeing this mention and makes doing stuff differently worthwhile.

      Great rundown of the different platforms, too. Wix has always been “no’s-ville” for so many reasons. Squarespace, great UX on the backend, but a really inflexible and bizarrely clunky design engine, which has had no improvements in five years. When you say it as “no improvements in half a decade”, that’s pretty wild. Awesome support team really invested in the creative community, though. They might be a sleeping giant. I believe they will make enormous changes with their backend experience and relaunch within the next 12-24 months, to something closer to what Showit and Flothemes (flex) are doing – which is of course, the future – although I imagine they will offer more intelligent mandatory restraint (such as auto-gridding options), which Showit doesn’t have.

      I feel Showit has too much freedom and misses the mark for those who aren’t design-minded, and the interface feels straight out of 2003, but it’s been a pretty fine current option as a CMS for me when I needed to smash this site together quickly – and as you said, the WordPress inclusion is priceless.

      I’m ever keeping an eye on Flothemes and usually encourage everyone to do the same – Ross and his team are the future, NO question in my mind!

      Big love m8! Oli

      Man. I agree 100%. Did you see the new Flo themes that dropped yesterday.. I love their page builder in comparison to showit’s.. and they’ve NAILED some pagespeed fixes. The grids in flexblock are so nice when throwing pages together. I’m pretty stoked on their progress.

      Thanks!
      Would be so nice to read a post about page builders!

      Hey Dylan!

      Thanks so much for including my website as an inspiration, I truly loved creating it with Made to Thrive and Studio 9 Co.

      Hello!
      Thanks for this blog post!

      Can you please comment on why you don’t recommend DIVI theme for 2020?

      I need to get a full post up about Divi / other page builders. My issues with Divi are that they’re just not keeping up with the competition in the space. They don’t perform at all as well as other pagebuilders like Oxygen, Elementor, and BeaverBuilder. Their shortcodes are also a super pain in the ass if you end up migrating to a different pagebuilder.

      Rad content, Dylan! Really appreciate you sharing your findings with other websites in the industry. Super valuable for other photographers to know they don’t need a TON of website page views in order to fill their calendar for sure. Quite a few of these photographers are making a lot of money, too. Thanks man! Kyle, Luma Weddings

      Thank you Dylan! I am new to SEO and your website + facebook group provide a wealth of knowledge! Looking forward to putting your advice into action.

      Ooo, thanks for sharing this! This actually makes me feel more competitive than I was feeling previously and is a nice check up tool, thank you! Main take away though is that what I felt like was a good amount of backlinks (that could always go higher) at about 2.1k is basically nothing if I’m comparing to other photographers. So, thanks for the insight!

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