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Whether you’re a professional photographer looking to showcase your portfolio or an enthusiastic hobbyist eager to share your passion, building a photography website is a crucial step. 

It brings together your best shots, contact details, and even a potential sales platform into a polished and accessible package.

If you’re wondering how to create a photography website from scratch, especially if you’re new to the process, then this guide will walk you through the steps, ensuring that your journey to build a photography website is a seamless one.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. How to create a photography website in 8 simple steps
  2. What makes a good photography website?
  3. Beyond the basics of your photography website

So, let’s dive in and turn your vision into a stunning online reality.

How to create a photography website in 8 simple steps:

  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 consider to create a photography website. Let’s have a closer look at them.

Pre-work: Define your goals

Before you start building your website, make sure to determine the purpose. Is it to showcase your photographs, attract more clients, sell prints, or provide photography resources?

You should also start defining your target audience. For instance, are you targeting couples for wedding photography, nature enthusiasts, or commercial clients? Understanding your audience will help you tailor your website accordingly.

Having answers to these questions will help steer you in the right direction when you begin to create your own photography website.

Step 1. Choose a website 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. 

Step 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 TLD such as. blog, .co, .us, or .xyz.

Step 3. Load up WordPress

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.

Launching WordPress with Bluehost is easy. If you opt for a WordPress hosting plan, it can be installed with a single click!

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.

Step 4. Select a WordPress 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 WordPress Website Builder, you get access to a premium theme with many layout options. You can edit all 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.

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

Step 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 WordPress, 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 photographs, information about you and social media accounts, contact forms and even a blog.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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 image quality of your pictures, but it’ll be a great way to protect your work.

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:

1. Portfolio: Showcase your best work while focusing on the type of pictures you want to take for future clients. The primary focus of a photography website is to display stunning images. Ensure that your photographs are of high resolution, properly optimized for web viewing, and accurately represent your skills and artistic style.

2. About me page: Give visitors the chance to learn more about you and your professional background. An informative and engaging “About” page that tells your story, shares your background and experience, and allows visitors to connect with you on a personal level. This helps build trust and establishes a connection with potential clients.

3. 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. 

4. Clear and intuitive navigation: Make it easy for visitors to explore your photographs by organizing your work into logical categories or projects. Use a clear and intuitive navigation menu that allows users to browse through different galleries or collections effortlessly.

5. Minimalist and clean layout: Opt for a clean and uncluttered design that puts the focus on your photographs. Avoid distracting elements that can take away from the visual impact of your work. Use ample white space, simple typography, and a consistent color palette to create a professional and polished look.

6. Social media integration: Integrate social media sharing buttons to allow website visitors to to easily share your work on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. This can help expand your online presence and reach a wider audience.

7. Testimonials and reviews (if possible): Display client testimonials or reviews to showcase your credibility and the satisfaction of previous and prospective clients. Positive feedback can instill trust and confidence in potential clients.

8. Responsive design: Your website should be fully responsive, meaning it should adapt and look great on various devices and screen sizes, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. A mobile-friendly design is crucial as many people browse the web on their smartphones.

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 website, you may be wondering what else you can do to drive traffic to your photography website.

1. Optimize your content for SEO

Even if you’re familiar with optimizing blog posts for search engines or already use search engine optimization 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.

alt text for a photography website

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”.

2. 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. You can also use a premium service like Optimole to compress your images and host on a CDN.

3. 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.

4. Connect to your social channels: Spread the word

Part of gaining website traffic includes building backlinks from other quality websites. If you have local clients, you could ask other photographers 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 with a Google Business Profile. 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.

5. Online appointment scheduling

Imagine your clients browsing your stunning portfolio and seamlessly booking sessions, all within just a few clicks. Online appointment scheduling brings this convenience to your fingertips, enhancing client experience and allowing you to focus on what you do best – capturing moments.

When it comes to WordPress, there are fantastic plugins that seamlessly integrate this functionality into your website. Two top recommendations are:

  • Bookly – This user-friendly plugin offers customizable booking forms, real-time availability updates, and secure payment options. Its intuitive interface ensures a seamless experience for both you and your clients.
  • BirchPress Scheduler – Packed with features like customizable booking calendars, email notifications, and even group bookings, BirchPress Scheduler streamlines your appointment management while maintaining your brand’s professional image.

By incorporating these plugins, you’re not just automating your appointment process; you’re creating a streamlined, professional, and customer-focused photography studio. Embrace the power of online appointment scheduling and watch your bookings soar while you continue to capture memories that last a lifetime.

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 build 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 professional site 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 own website, without the hassle of coding.

Focus on developing your online portfolio and start building your photography website with Bluehost today!

Common questions about creating a photography website

Can I Make Money from a Photography Website?

Absolutely! A photography website can be a lucrative venture when leveraged effectively. Monetization strategies include selling prints and digital downloads, offering photography services such as portrait sessions or event coverage, conducting online photography courses, and utilizing affiliate marketing. Additionally, showcasing a portfolio can attract potential clients or employers. With a targeted audience and consistent online presence, a photography website can generate substantial revenue.

Can you make a living selling photos online?

Yes, many photographers profit from selling online through diverse platforms and niches. Success hinges on photo quality, marketing, consistent uploads, and understanding licensing and pricing. While profitable, it requires dedication and strategy.

What Is the Best Platform to Create a Photography Website?

There are numerous platforms tailored for photographers. The best platform often depends on your specific needs, but at Bluehost we recommend WordPress. WordPress is highly customizable with themes and plugin and is best suited for those who want full control.

What Makes a Good Photography Website

A stellar photography website is a blend of aesthetics, functionality, and effective branding. A good photography website captivates visitors with its imagery while ensuring a seamless user experience and clear communication of the photographer’s brand and offerings.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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