Photo Contest Insider Blog


Website Builders for Photographers

May 3, 2016

As a photographer, you probably don’t want to waste precious work hours trying to create your own website from scratch. Aside from planning photoshoots, capturing images, editing your work, and marketing your business, there just simply aren’t enough hours left in the day!

One thing is for certain though: it’s vital that every photographer wishing to excel in his or her field has a professional-looking and easily accessible website. Thankfully, this task is now simpler than it sounds, as there are a number of helpful website builders available for photographers just like yourself.

In this article, we’ll be looking at three of our favorite website builders in particular, as well as giving you a run-down on the features, benefits, and pricing of each one.

Zenfolio

Zenfolio:

Zenfolio describes its beginnings as “humble” with “lofty goals”. The idea for this business began in a coffee shop, when four friends had the idea to combine their passion for photography and shared background in technology. The result? An all-in-one web solution for both amateur and professional photographers allowing them to organize, display and sell their images with uncompromising quality.

Fast-forward to the present day and Zenfolio has a team of almost 60 people and over 100,000 users. This year marks the company’s 10th anniversary.

Like all easy-to-use website builders, you won’t need to know anything about coding in order to get started. With a variety of customizable themes to choose from, creating a website with your desired ‘look and feel’ is (thankfully) as simple as just a few clicks. You can add your own logo and branding too in order to ensure that your website is as personal and unique as your own business. The service also includes an integrated photo blog so you can keep your homepage as easy-to-navigate as possible.

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The service also offers a suite of marketing implements, so SEO tools are already built-in, as is social media sharing. Automated email marketing and email templates are also available, as well as coupon and gift certificate options for your customers.

Zenfolio allows users to manage their website and services on-the-go, as they have apps available for both Android and iOS. Plus, your clients can proof and buy their photos by using the PhotoMoments app. Another element of this service is that Zenfolio has a partnership with many of the leading print labs and their integrated shopping cart includes credit card processing for client orders.

Photographers who are with Zenfolio can also take advantage of member discounts where they can save as much as 50% on tools, gear and equipment rentals, as well as post-processing services, classes and workshops, and promotional material including business cards. There’s also email, phone, and live chat support available to users around the clock.

If you’re interested in building your website with Zenfolio, plans start at $5 a month and there are three tiers of plans available for all levels of photographer. They also offer a free 14-day trial.

Weebly

Weebly:

Weebly was founded in 2007 by three college friends, David, Dan and Chris. The idea for the company came to fruition as they saw how difficult it was for their friends to put their work online. As a result, they teamed up to build the first service that allows everyone to easily create a high-quality site. Designed with the first-time business owner in mind, Weebly has helped over 30 million users to build their sites.

Weebly’s drag and drop website builder, integrated eCommerce platform and responsive themes allow you to build a website, online store or blog without the technological know-how. Users are able to build their website in ‘real-time’ too, meaning that there’s no need to install or upgrade software. The website builder allows users to implement content elements such as text, photos, maps, and videos into their site with just a click of a button. Another important element is that you have total control over color schemes, templates, and themes in order to represent your brand as authentically as possible.

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Weebly’s shopping cart software is set-up automatically when you create your website so you can start selling your photography services or products online immediately. The service can also be accessed on-the-go via their apps for both Android and iOS.

When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Weebly automatically optimizes your site and product pages so you’ll have everything you need to start ranking in search results.

In regards to selling your photography services or products, Weebly lets you choose from payment options including Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, and Square. You can also accept major credit cards directly from your own domain name. To incentivize customers, this service lets you use promotional offers such as coupons. Additionally, you can determine when and where to apply taxes.

Weebly’s monthly plans start for free for their most basic option and the most expensive plan (the ‘Business’ plan) costs $25 per month. There are 4 plans to choose from.

SmugMug

SmugMug:

SmugMug’s journey begins back in 2002 as an exciting idea shared between a father and son. Both passionate photographers, the men decided to create the platform for those who invest time, energy, and love into their photos. Still run as a family business, SmugMug can now boast “billions of happy photos and millions of passionate customers.”

Similarly to the other website builders, SmugMug also offers a wide range of design templates and themes which can be customized with a ‘drag and drop’ method. SmugMug also specializes in galleries, however, so photographers have the ability to be able to showcase their images in a grid-like fashion. You can also add your own domain name or company logo.

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SmugMug also acts as a photo organizer where users can upload their photos in bulk from multiple devices in order to store them in the one place. The service lets users organize, tag, sort, and edit the images before they go up for view.

SmugMug also helps photographers with the optimization side of things through providing detailed stats and analysis which lets them monitor the visitors to their site. The service utilizes “safest cloud storage available” in order to protect users’ photos and videos, as well as to preserve them for an unlimited amount of time.

When it comes to using SmugMug on-the-go, the service also has that covered with the availability of its app for both iOS and Android.

SmugMug’s Basic plan starts at $3.34 when billed annually (or $5 when billed monthly) and they offer a free 14-day trial.

You can also find more helpful tools for photographers on our Resources page.