1. Building A Photography Website / Things You Need To Keep In Mind
As photographers, we spend a lot of time marketing on social media. After all, it seems that the entire population is addicted to their social sites!
While it’s a good idea to reach a wider audience via social media platforms, you will always appear more professional if you have your own website. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have uniform profile looks which aren’t able to display your branding and personal identity.
Being able to show a customized site with your own design and a clearly displayed portfolio is preferable to clients scrolling through a disorganized Facebook album. Linking your social sites to your site, and vice versa will also ensure that you have as many ways as possible to reach out to potential clients!
So, maybe you’re unsure of where to start?
If you have a decent budget, it's always a good idea to get a website design and development agency to help to make you a fully customized website that stands out from the crowd of the usual template based photography sites. If you're not tech-savvy, this is always a good route to go down.
Webineerz has build our website in Webflow to be fully mobile optimized and responsive and we highly recommend that you check them out. Mention that you are a Photography Masterclass Magazine reader for a discount.
Sites such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix contain content management systems (also referred to as CMS) which allow you to store your media on your virtual account. If you’re ever unlucky enough to lose your computer files to a virus or fatal hardware error, this could save a lot of your portfolio!
This is also a great system for photographers who don’t know how to code, as these sites offer website templates, saving you from that painful coding struggle.
Whether you’re using a CMS or customizing your site in a program such as Adobe Dreamweaver, every website that sells a product needs to follow a few rules to be successful. Often, people lose potential clients because they’re turned off by the layout or navigation. Additionally, excluding important information could stop a sale in its tracks.
Here are a few tips to help keep the attention of your visitors from the moment they reach the landing page:
2. Keep The Navigation Simple
Before you even add content (photographs and text) to your site, you need to make sure the site functions as you want it to; think of it as creating the bones to support the body!
Choose a template or code the navigation as you wish, keeping in mind to make it clear and easy for visitors. The most common navigation technique is a bar in the top right corner; this can be either drop-down or appear as text without interaction from the visitor.
Keep tabs for only the really important stuff on the navigation bar; you don’t want viewers to have to click through a ton of links and tabs just to find what they are looking for.
Major links could be an about section, a contact page, a portfolio/gallery section, a pricing page, and a blog.
The footer is great for “afterthoughts” – location, search bar, social links, email list sign up…but try not to make it too packed with information, or it will clutter your home page.
Test your navigation when you’re done with it. Does your navigation lead to the correct pages? Do all of your links to outside websites work? Is it easy to move around the site and find exactly what you’re looking for?