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Both professional photographers or enthusiastic hobbyists could benefit from a high-quality portfolio website.

It makes it so a selection of your best shots, contact information and even another potential sales outlet can all come together in a sleek package.

However, setting up a portfolio website for the first time can be challenging. There are multiple ways to start, along with a myriad of hosting options, editors and designs to select from.

If you don’t know where to begin, don’t worry. We’ll go over how to create a photography website step by step to help you get the job done.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Makes a Good Photography Website?

How To Create a Photography Website

Beyond the Basics of Your Photography Website

Final Thoughts: How To Create a Photography Website in 8 Steps

What Makes a Good Photography Website?

Making a good photography website isn’t as complicated as people think. Just make sure it has the following elements:

  • Portfolio: Showcase your best work while focusing on the type of pictures you want to take for future clients.
  • About me page: Give visitors the chance to learn more about you and your professional background.
  • Contact page: People need to know how to reach you. Include your email or phone number. You may also include a contact form so visitors can give you their contact information. 

Besides these elements, your website needs to be mobile responsive. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices drove over 54% of all internet traffic. Design your website under the assumption that visitors will be viewing the page on their smartphone.

How To Create a Photography Website

  1. Choose a web hosting provider
  2. Register your domain name
  3. Load up WordPress
  4. Select a theme
  5. Put the pieces together
  6. Incorporate plugins
  7. Monetize your website
  8. Add watermarks to your work

These are the elements and considerations you must take into account to create a photography website. Let’s have a closer look at them.

1. Choose a Web Hosting Provider

Hosting is a must-have to create a photography website. You can find a wide array of reputable hosting providers offering paid hosting plans for you to choose from.

While researching your options, however, you may also come across free web hosting solutions offered by free website providers. Although these might seem like a swift starting point, you’ll have to make many trade-offs to make it work.

Free hosting comes at the cost of bandwidth, meaning your website will take longer to load. That can be deadly for media-heavy sites like photography websites. After all, the more photos you add, the more challenging it’ll be for your visitors to access your website.

If you still want a quick way to get your website rolling, choose a website builder that combines high-quality hosting with ease of use and customization. 

Bluehost’s Website Builder is a code-free site-building solution that can help you set up the website of your dreams in just a few steps. It only takes $2.95 to access more than 300 design templates, reliable hosting and an image library with unlimited uploads to showcase your work.

2. Register Your Domain Name

Registering your own domain is simple. Choose the name of the photo website you’d like, check if it’s available, and pay to register your domain.

Picking a .com or .net ending is easy for visitors to remember, but if those options aren’t available, don’t be afraid to try a different suffix.3. Load Up WordPress

3. Load Up WordPress

The Bluehost Website Builder runs on WordPress how to create a photography website

After registering a domain and securing your hosting, you’ll want to launch WordPress. This easy-to-use content management system (CMS) helps power over 42% of the world’s websites.

Once you have WordPress running, you’ll see the dashboard where you can start creating content, upload files or start playing with the look of your website.

Bluehost’s easy website builder simplifies that process — just drag and drop images, text and templates into place. The editor is available within the WordPress menu.

If you need a more in-depth tutorial to create a photography website, be sure to check out our blueprints for more information about WordPress.

4. Select a Theme

WordPress comes with a standard theme to help you get started creating your first pages, but you might want a specialized theme that puts photos first. Above all, you want a fast-loading theme that will showcase your photography well on any device.

With the Bluehost Website Builder, you get access to a theme with more than 1000 layout options. You can edit all of the visual aspects of your website within the builder itself, simplifying things further.

During the design process, you should decide if you want an online portfolio website that focuses primarily on your images or a more balanced website that includes a blog, online payments and bookings.

A good photography website will have a balance of images and fast page loading speeds

5. Put the Pieces Together

With the theme in place, you can start building your website from the ground up. That includes adding a homepage to cause a good first impression and menus so visitors can navigate through your website.

With our website builder, you can use customizable templates to speed up the process and get exactly what you want.

You should also create additional pages besides your homepage to focus on things like a gallery to showcase your portfolio, information about you and social media accounts, contact forms and even a blog.

Edit your web page easily in the Bluehost Website Builder

6. Incorporate Plugins

You can use widgets to create a photography website worth showing off. If you aren’t the type to let your photography do all the talking, you could try a plugin for displaying pictures.

You can find great plugins for creating photo galleries, carousels for displaying multiple photos, lightbox displays and social media linking.

You don’t have to choose between a site builder and plugins either. You can switch to editing with WordPress to add a 3rd party plugin, then hop back to the website builder for adjustments.

7. Monetize Your Website

A photography website can be for more than booking appointments. You can also sell your photos, prints or use a print-on-demand service to sell dozens of items with your photographs on them.

Using something as simple as a plugin like WooCommerce will help you set up your online store.

8. Add Watermarks to Your Work

Posting your best work online can expose you to art theft if you aren’t careful. Use a program like Adobe or an online tool to add your name, website or logo onto your images.

Doing so won’t compromise the quality of your pictures, but it’ll be a great way to protect your work.

Beyond the Basics of Your Photography Website

Once you have your first few pages set up and have uploaded some pieces to your photography portfolio, you may be wondering what else you can do to drive traffic to your photography website.

Always add descriptive alt text and title to your images to improve their SEO

SEO Optimize Your Content

Even if you’re familiar with optimizing blog posts for search engines or already use tools like Yoast to improve the pages on your website, you can also guide users towards your photography site by optimizing how you upload your pictures.

That means using a descriptive title, file name and alt-text for each picture. These help search engines understand what your photographs are about.

Just think about it — “classic wedding photographer” is far better than “img_8564”.

Aim for Fast Loading Pages

Keeping a balance between fast-loading posts and beautiful images is important. You want high-quality photos that showcase your talents, but visitors will leave if your website is slow.

If your website takes three seconds to load versus one, your bounce rate will increase by 32%.

Consider an image compression plugin like Smush to reduce the file size. You can also enable lazy loading so only the images visible on the screen will load. Jetpack is a good choice for that. 

Try Adding a Blog

Adding a blog is a great way to achieve multiple goals at once. You can create posts based on what your audience might be interested in.

Your blog also adds a personal element to your space and lets users connect with you. You can explain your connection to a certain subject or discuss the artistic process behind your photography business.

This part of building a photography website is flexible but a great option to explore. It is also a great way to show how you grow as a photographer and attract new clients.

Google My Business lets you create business profiles

Spread the Word

Part of gaining traffic includes building backlinks from other quality websites. If you have local clients, you could ask if they could link to your website in their posts.

You can also take this into your own hands by registering your professional photography website on Google My Business. Online directories allow you to add another point of contact for potential clients.

Lastly, add your website to your social media accounts and share new updates on multiple channels.

Final Thoughts: How To Create a Photography Website in 8 Steps

Making a website can be confusing at first, but it’s an essential step for building your brand and expanding your business. Now that you know how to create a photography website, it’s time to put these skills to use.

An easy-to-navigate website that loads quickly will appeal to most visitors. You can use a standard WordPress theme and build up your portfolio and work from there.

If you want to get started quickly but are concerned about quality and performance long-term, it’s best to use a reputable website builder.

Bluehost’s Website Builder is the go-to website creation tool for those who want complete control over their website without the hassle of coding.

Focus on developing your portfolio and start building your photography website with Bluehost’s Website Builder today.

Tiffani is the Content and Social Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. She has a passion for creating engaging content, SEO and social media!

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