Why is WordPress one of the best platforms to build your photography or videography website on? We’ll tell you in this article. But first, let’s clarify what WordPress is for those who don’t know much about site development, yet.
WordPress (WP) is one of the best content management systems (CMS) available today for website building. Its power is in its flexibility and scalability. There are tens and thousands of customization options, plugins and extensions through which you can build just about anything on your site. And most of these do not require any coding knowledge, though watching a few tutorials before testing new ideas and extensions may be helpful *wink.
And please do not mistake this with wordpress.com, as in this article we’re speaking solely about the self-hosted version WordPress that you can download for free from wordpress.org
So, here are the main reasons why you should build your photography website on WordPress.
Also note that we offer a 7 Days WordPress course for Beginners, which will take you from zero to building a whole site in just one week! You can sign up here.
1. Design Flexibility
While there are tens of various platforms that you can build your website on, many lack the freedom and flexibility to tweak anything outside of their framework. WordPress on the other hand, has an abundance of choices and design features to help you build something unique, tailored specifically to your photography brand, work and taste.
Themes / Templates
One option is to choose from the hundreds of predefined templates available for WordPress users from various providers. These are ready out of the box. You just add your own content (text and images) and branding and your site is ready to roll. And the design variety is rich, anything from minimal, clean and modern layouts, to dark, bold templates, or a more classical, elegant and refined look.
Take Flothemes for example, we specialize on premiums, elegant and fully customizable designs for creatives. With 12 website templates in our shop at the moment, we can satisfy and exceed the needs of almost any photographer or creative out there. Each theme is fully packed with multiple page layouts (that you can tweak further) and customization options that allow you personalize your site to the extent when it looks and feels like a Custom one. At the same time, you can easily refrain from too much work, upload one of the demo sites, add your own content and DONE, your site is ready.
Looking for inspiration? Have a look at these brilliant photography website examples.
Having worked for over 10 years with creative brands from all around the world, we understand the fundamental requirements of a good looking, high converting and well functioning website, that stands out from the crowd. We’ve seen our themes used by wedding, portraits, family, kids, and fashion photographers, make up artists, lifestyle bloggers, event planners, decorators, workshops, large photographer communities (Lookslikefilm), and many other creatives with a visual portfolio. You can check out some examples here.
The second option is to get a Custom design, fully tailored to your brand, your personality, your style of work and most importantly, a design that speaks to your target audience. Options are limitless here, but the value and impact that a Custom website can have on your business, your website traffic and lead conversion is spectacular.
While fully Custom websites, built from scratch can cost a fortune, there are midway options for those that are on a budget – getting a template, and implementing a custom design for a few, most important and highly converting pages of your site (i.e. Homepage, About page, Contact Page, etc). can really pay off. The design will emphasize your portfolio, captivate your users’ attention and guide them through your website via Call to Actions and strategically placed content blocks, up until the content form.
2. More Control Over Your Site
WordPress outperforms many other platforms (such as Squarespace, Wix, Showit, Weebly, Zenfolio, etc) when it comes to offering you full control over your website. You get to choose your own hosting provider, which in its turn has an impact on your website’s performance, its loading speed and security.
Whereas with other platforms (which are closed frameworks) you abide to their own terms and server capacity, whether it fits your needs or not. Which is painful when taking into consideration outages, downtime and DDoS attacks that some platforms experience from time to time.
If you’re experiencing problems with your hosting provider, while on WordPress, you simply switch to a better one, like Siteground for example. Your website stays intact, while its performance can significantly improve, depending on server capacity, server location, CDN, backups and other key criteria that we describe here.
Lastly, when it comes to Data Portability, it’s super easy to export and backup all your content with WordPress, while many other website building platforms have limitations.
3. Functionality Flexibility
It’s simple really. Apart from the tons of inbuilt options that come with WordPress by default, there are tens and thousands of pre-built solutions (plugins, extensions and third party integrations) that can help you add extra functionality to your site and make it more powerful.
Some are free, others are premium, but there’s over 40k options in the WordPress repository. More than enough to help you build just about anything on your site, as your business and needs grow.
Also, since WordPress is such a popular and widely used platform, chances are, most of your favorite tools and software offer easy integration with WordPress, therefore your website.
4. Ease of Use
WordPress has a fairly simple and user friendly interface, that does not require any coding or web design experience. You tweak and customize everything in the backend, then check out the preview to see those changes. And even though it takes a bit longer to learn and get used to WordPress, as compared to some other platforms (Squarespace, Wix, etc) managing and updating it after everything was setup and launched is easy.
To be honest, with Flothemes, WordPress is even easier, since we’ve invested a lot of work, time and client feedback to build our own backend, and offer a more advanced, simplified and interactive experience for our clients. Each page is built out of beautifully designed, customizable blocks. You can drag & drop them into order, add or remove blocks to existing templates (50+ options integrated with most themes) to build out the exact page structure that you need. We’re also working on fully integrating our documentation and support systems into your backend (to be released this summer), so you feel guided each step of the way and can always reach out for a tutorial or help from our Support team.
And finally, for those who care about their mobile site and the experience users get while browsing via a portable device (You REALLY should!), there are multiple options to customize the way your site looks on mobile specifically, including a selective display of page blocks.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), WordPress is without a doubt the best platform to build your website on. Here’s why:
- it allows you to build a solid Image SEO strategy by adding alt tags and creating unique image names with keywords. Search engines can’t read images, and unless you use alt text or relevant titles, your images won’t show up in search results by relevant keywords.
- you can use highly effective SEO plugins, such as Yoast, and gain more control over keywords for each page and post, catchy titles, featured images when your site gets shared on social media, etc. Unfortunately most other platforms don’t allow plugins, and SEO options are limited.
- your website loading speed is in your own hands. This does not only affect the experience your users have on your website, but also has a big impact on your Google ranking. Page speed depends on a few key factors, such as your hosting provider, browser caching plugins that you use, as well as whether you optimize your images before uploading them to your website. A heavy website (if you upload very large images) and a poor performing server will slow down your site, taking ages to open a page or blog post. That’s why we continuously keep stressing out how crucial is getting a good hosting provider, and preparing images for web before uploading them to your site.
- you can easily generate the XML sitemap and submit it to Google and other search engines, so they recognize your site structure and index it faster and better. This also helps improve your ranking on search result pages.
- it’s fully optimized to work well on various devices and browsers, and with Flothemes your site will also look good on all devices.
- it’s fairly easy to add rich snippets in WordPress.Rich snippets are basically a preview of information (rating, reviews, pricing, etc) that you often see under a search result in Google. It offers additional data to your visitors, and can bump your ranking and click rate a bit. Rich snippets can be added manually or with the help of a plugin. Check out this tutorial by WPBeginner on adding rich snippets in WordPress.
If you’d like to learn more about SEO, check out our SEO guide for Photographers.
WordPress is an open source platform. You can download it for free from wordpress.org. The only costs you’ll have when getting a website on WordPress are:
- Hosting. Here’s how to choose one, and our recommended list.
- Domain. If you’re starting fresh, you need a name and url for your site. Some hosting companies offer it for free or at a very affordable price, so do check with your provider, normally between $10-20 per year.
- Theme. As mentioned, the pool of options is very large, depending on the design, functionality, amount of layouts, support, and tons of other perks and customization flexibilities. Choose wisely, as both, aesthetics & functionality are very important for a photography website. You only get one chance to impress your potential client, when they access your website for the first time. You want it to look good, reflect your brand, your style and personality. At Flothemes, we can give you that. See all themes we offer. Prices from free to in the thousands.
7. Huge Global Network
WordPress is used and supported by a huge global community (over 70 million users), who design and share various tools and resources to help improve your website. If you encounter any issues or have questions, chances are somebody already found an answer for this.
Flothemes founder, Ross Tanner with Flo clients, Barcelona Meetup
Additionally, if you become a Flothemes user, you also benefit from 2 additional groups of people. The first one is our Flothemes Support team, always at your service to help with any site questions or technical issues. The second one is our Flothemes Users Community, where our new and veteran Flo and WordPress users, are always willing to share their own experience and site building knowledge with newcomers.
8. Multilingual Site Options
If you work with international clients or would like to target more destination work in the future, you may need to translate your website into a second or third language. WordPress makes this task fairly easy, with plugins obviously! We recommend WPML. The default install comes with more than 40 languages and you can also add language variants, such as local dialects, using the language editor. What is even better, that it allows you to create a multisite on WordPress and run a separate site for each language, which is better for SEO.
9. Free Shop Options
Want to sell prints, presets, mentorship sessions, workshop tickets, albums or any other products to your clients or fellow photographers? You can easily add a shop to your WordPress website for Free. Use a plugin called WooCommerce. The setup is fairly straightforward, but do follow carefully their documentation and tutorials to make sure your shop works correctly.
Here’s the thing, WordPress is an amazing and powerful system and if you build your website on WordPress, you’re getting access to tons of functionality, customization flexibility and SEO options. Pair WordPress up with Flothemes, and you have the perfect combo to transform your photography website into a powerful and highly converting marketing tool. This is achieved through an eye catching, functional design, with strategic call to actions and layouts meant to highlight your work and get users excited about contacting you.
Find out more about why you should use Flothemes for your photography site. If you’re excited to get started, but hesitant about having to use a completely new platform, we offer a 7 Days WordPress course for Beginners. We’ll take you from zero to building a whole WordPress site in just ONE WEEK. Find more details here.
Comment below if you have any further questions. View all website designs by Flothemes here.