Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business

Introduction

Whether you currently own a website or are looking at building a website for your photography business, there are plenty of things to take into account.

In this day and age, the photography industry has become a very crowded market, so standing out from the crowd is the most vital aspect of any successful Photographer.

Gone are the days of being noticed for your talent and solely that. If you produce beautiful pieces of work but no one notices you over Joe Bloggs and his smartly designed website, you wont gain any traction in the Photography Business.

So let us begin your journey into success online, and for those that have a website… Bear with us you may learn a thing or two?

 

Picking A Domain

The initial stage of any website is the domain name. This alone will be the brand behind your business.

If you aren’t new to the photography world and have already created a name for your business then it is in your best interest to try and find something relevant to this. For example if your business was Joe Bloggs Photography, then try and see if www.joebloggsphotography.co.za is available.

Naturally as we are focusing on a South African market it is always best to get hold of a .co.za domain. This isn’t vital but for local SEO this is a great place to start and will have some oomph from the word go as people will know straight away you are South Africa based. Alternatively, a .com has just as much power and will be beneficially if you wanted to open up into Destination Photography.

Here at Find Photographers we actually offer a service of registering a domain for you. To do so click here to be taken to our facility and we will get cracking on finding a domain that suits your business.

 

You Should Only Have One Site

One thing to note that many people often forget is that one site is better than several. If you are focusing on various countries then various sites may be worth while but if you have a joebloggsphotography.co.za and a joebloggsphotography.com just for two sites, imagine how hard it will be for a client to work out who to contact.

The same applies for sharing your link with people. If we have one link to share it will rank higher in Google than spreading the share rate above two.

 

Plan Your Layout/structure

The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business
The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business

The next step is to plan a structure or layout that suits your business needs. The reason this is important is because this can have an affect on the website platform or method for designing it.

A simple html site may have certain functionality but if you want to constantly update the site with blog posts then this may become a tedious task coding them in each time.

Therefore, you need to work out a structure that suits your photography business needs.

It is recommended that you include the following as a minimum:

  • Home – Showing off your best work and a brief introduction
  • About – Clients want to know who they are dealing with so this is vital to be yourself show people what you look like and if you can include a video.
  • Portfolio – Time to shine, and show off your work. It is an idea to create different categories for the different types of work you carry out for example, Wedding Photography, Engagement, Couple, Family etc.
  • Contact – You will want people to enquire about your services… Get them here!

On top of this other pages you could include, but are not necessary are:

  • Packages – A great way to share sample prices or what you have to offer. Some people are against this as they like to keep their prices to themselves as each photo shoot is different but clients like to know a rough estimate before being shocked, and is often enough to deter people.
  • Services – Although this can be linked to Portfolio but it highlights what type of photography you offer.
  • Blog – A great way to keep the site active, share your latest work and of course offer useful advice where you can. These types of resources go a long way when people are choosing a photographer for the task at hand.

 

Choose Your Website Platform

Now you have designed a flow chart style structure of how the site will look you need to choose a platform that best suits your needs.

There are plenty of options out there from, Squarespace to WordPress, Wix and of course your own coded site.

For most people WordPress does everything you will need in a website and can be self hosted or hosted via their own online system as https://wordpress.com.

Although as mentioned this is down to you. Are you looking to sell prints as well? This is something to consider when choosing a website platform that suits.

Here at Find Photographers alongside our Domain registration and Hosting we also offer web design and customised themes, such as WordPress themes. We do all the hard work for you so you can just log in and share your photos and add your content.

For further information on our services contact us today. Alternatively click here to see our Template Budget Range WordPress site.

Want to go at it alone? No problem at all, just make sure you find a solution that answers all your questions.

 

Find Hosting

Now you have chosen a website platform the next step is to purchase hosting. Prices vary drastically online for Web Hosting and the same can be said about the specifications.

Things to take into account:

  • SSL – With new Google requirements Lets Encrypt is something to look out for
  • Space – Images are large even when they are fully optimised for the web. It is therefore important to ensure you have enough space.
  • Email – Most decent platforms will provide you with unlimited email addresses linked to your domain
  • WordPress Optimised – Only if you decide to go with WordPress, ensure the host can provide tweaks for this.
  • Bandwidth – Planning on being popular on the web? Ensure your host can cope with your needs.
  • Linux – Not necessary but Linux servers tend to do better with WordPress and similar design sites.
  • Backups – Worried about losing everything? A good host would set up regular backups for you.

Yet again hosting can be found anywhere. A great place to start is a simple Google search.

Alternatively, we provide hosting for websites at discounted rates for photographers, and can have your website set up in minutes.

 

Choose a Website Theme

The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business
The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business

No I am not talking seasons… Its not Christmas yet!

So you have decided to use a website platform such as WordPress? Then the next step is choosing a Theme. There are plenty of free themes out there and various premium options at a premium rate. Which you decide is down to you.

One thing to take into consideration is the fact that this is going to be the front of your business and therefore it is in your best interest to have something that sets you out from the crowd and looks presentable proving why someone should book a photo shoot with you rather than someone else.

Installation of Themes is simple enough that anyone can do it. However it is then down to you to customise and make it suit the needs of your business, creating pages and menus to suit.

We offer a service of installation and customising themes. If this is something you would like us to do. Get in touch today.

 

Plugins

Once you have the theme set up and looking how you want it to. You can then delve into the world of plugins.

One thing to remember when installing plugins, is that the more plugins you have on your site the slower it may potentially be.

Some plugins will be useful such as Yoast SEO for improving your Search Engine Rankings, and a Social Share Plugin would be a great asset when sharing your content.

This is definitely a topic for another day…

 

Blog

As we mentioned earlier it is always worth having a blog on your site. Not only is this a way to share your latest work but also a way to communicate with your clients and potential customers.

It is a great way to provide resources for people and to show you are human as well. Just think how hard it is for clients trying to find a photographer for their wedding or business requirements? If you had content that helped make this process easier, it builds trust between you both and helps build that relationship.

Still not convinced? Take a look online and search for “Wedding Photographer in Cape Town” on Google and see just how many of those top websites have a blog.

 

Personal Email Address

This one is more a pet hate than anything else, but you spent all that time designing a new website and paying yearly for a domain name, yet you are not using it to its true potential.

So many times we see people with a beautiful domain and using an email address like joebloggsphotography@gmail.com

It doesn’t look professional. Ok it may be an easier platform to use but Google also have something called Business Suite that does all you need. Alternatively, a good host provider should supply you with an email address that matches your domain name.

 

Website Usability

The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business
The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business

Ok we got side tracked, but website usability is key to the success of your business. A confusing site or a site that isn’t user friendly is going to cause people to load it and then come off of it.

This is what is known as Bounce Rate. The lower the bounce rate the better the site. So if your bounce rate is 80% you are doing something wrong! The idea is to keep people on the site.

Google sees this information and if its not looking great, in their eyes this means your site isn’t doing them any justice either. So naturally your rankings will go down in Google.

Mobile friendly/responsive sites are vital with the world going mobile focused. You can test this here:

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

 

Speed

Another aspect that is linked to Website usability is the speed of your site. With images usually being of a large size it is vital that you take this into account when uploading oversized images.

We all get annoyed when we load a website and it takes more than a few seconds to load. So ensuring you have a fast site is vital.

A great way to test this is to visit the following website:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

 

SEO

Often neglected or done poorly SEO has a major impact into the results of your website and photography business. A poorly marketed site can lead to it being found way down on page 10 of the results on Google.

Who visits page 10?!

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it does just that. In simple terms its about getting you found and ideally at number 1 on Google.

A topic for another day, but with great plugins available for WordPress such as Yoast SEO a lot of the hard work is done for you.

Looking to improve your results and get noticed? We would love to help. Get in touch!

Alternatively, take a look at our guide which can be found here… Click Me!

 

Social Media

The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business
The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business

How many times have you been on Facebook today? We all do it throughout the day. It becomes a routine when we rise in the morning to the moment we lay down at night.

It is therefore the most obvious platform to market on. Done well this can gain a lot of reputation for your brand alongside various other Social Media Platforms.

Some great platforms to focus on are:

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus

There are others but these are key. To begin with go deep not wide, and become a specialist in your field. See what works for you and stick to it.

 

Google Analytics

The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business
The Ultimate Guide To Building A Website For Your Photography Business

Simple enough to install, Google Analytics will give you a great insight into the world of Analytics and how your website is performing.

Word of warning… Don’t expect miracles in the first few days. It often takes websites months if not longer to achieve great things.

You will be able to gain access to insights of user behaviour. Where users are coming from and a lot more information. It will help you pinpoint your focus in the future.

 

The Next Steps

Now you have your website set up and ready to go the next step is to market it. We have mentioned briefly SEO, Social Media and speeding up your site, but nothing beats the power of word of mouth.

Share your site with friends, and family. Get them to share on their social media platforms and get your business cards updated with your new website. Its about time you take over the online space as the best photographer in Pretoria, or the most sought after Wedding Photographer in Durban. Now is your time, take advantage of it!

And who said building a Photography Website was going to be hard?

Sign Up To Find Photographers

Ok you don’t need a website to do this, and technically this should have been your first step to success, but like any business in this day and age your own website is essential.

Now you have your own website though, be sure to sign up and submit your website to our directory to help point people to your website. To do this just Click HERE!

 

We Can Help

Here comes the sales pitch!! Just kidding, we want you to succeed and we wont throw anything in your face. That being said we do offer a variety of services for new and existing businesses.

Some of the services we currently offer:

Web Design Based Services:

Marketing Services

Still not sure where to go next? Contact us today for a FREE consultation.