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.
|https://www.samhurdphotography.com/||Sam Hurd||WordPress||Second Street Creative|
|https://www.roseyredphotography.com/||Rosey Red Photography||Squarespace|
|https://www.stylestorycreative.com/||Style & Story||Showit|
|https://afistfullofbolts.com/||A Fist Full of Bolts||Squarespace|
|http://www.nessakphotography.com/||Nessa K||WordPress||Second Street Creative|
|https://letsfrolictogether.com/||Let's Frolic Together||WordPress|
|https://www.gabemcclintock.com/||Gabe McClintock||WordPress||Second Street Creative|
|https://sarahellefson.com/||Sarah Ellefson||WordPress||Studio 9 / Made to Thrive|
What is the best website builder for photographers?
- Wordpress - No question, our top suggestion for building a photography website. Easy to use with new Gutenberg page builder.
- 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.
- Showit - Technical issues and too much freedom to mess things up, but easy to create gorgeous sites.
- 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).
- Wix - I can't recommend this to anyone. Squarespace or Showit are better alternatives.
- 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.
- 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!
- https://www.linandjirsa.com/ - 38,100 organic traffic per month
- https://dylanmhowell.com/ - 4,200 organic traffic per month
- https://www.samhurdphotography.com/ - 3,800 organic traffic per month
- https://thefoxesphotography.com/ - 3,500 organic traffic per month
- https://www.indiaearl.com/ - 2,500 organic traffic per month
- https://adammason.com/ - 2,200 organic traffic per month
- https://afistfullofbolts.com/ - 1,100 organic traffic per month
- https://adventureinstead.com - 1,000 organic traffic per month
- https://twomann.com/ - 1,000 organic traffic per month
- https://www.ryanflynnphotography.net/ - 931 organic traffic per month
- https://catalinajean.com/ - 921 organic traffic per month
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.
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 also have a review of our favorite WordPress Themes: https://www.fuelyourphotos.com/wordpress-themes-for-photographers/
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 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
- Flothemes - Constantly pushing the industry forward with both their aesthetics and back-end admin tools for page building and theme options.
- Kadence - A fast and well featured WordPress theme that utilizes the block editor and Customizer as WordPress intended!
- Elementor Pro - A page builder that can also build full themes. This is a much more DIY solution, but the possibilities are limitless.
- ProPhoto - I don't recommend these themes for 2020.
- 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:
- Siteground - Affordable hosting that is fast and offers good customer service.
- WPX - More expensive managed hosting with 32 second customer service and free malware removal.
- 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:
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