Website Options for Photographers: Pros and Cons
For today’s professional photographer, a website is the most important part of your brand. While social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are indispensable when it comes to establishing an online presence and attracting first customers, only your own website lets you present your work in all of its glory, helping you stand out and get noticed.
But how do you create a website for your photography business if you’ve never created one before? After all, you’re a photographer and not a web designer. Well, you have several options to choose from, each with its own pros and cons that you should keep in mind when deciding which option is best for you.
Option 1: Website Builders
These days, anyone can create a beautiful website without learning HTML and CSS because there are countless website builders like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly. Website builders start you off with a pre-built template that you can easily customise with drag-and-drop elements, such as text, images, and various widgets.
Depending on how much time you put into it, the results can look professional and incredibly polished, but your website probably won’t be as original as you might want it to be. In fact, it’s possible for someone to create a nearly identical website, especially if you use a free template.
Overall, website builders are a good choice for photographers who are on a tight budget and want to get a website up and running as quickly as possible and don’t mind switching to a more custom-built solution somewhere down the road.
Pros: No coding knowledge required. Very affordable. Professional results with minimal effort.
Cons: Limited customisation. Lookalike websites. Creates a direct dependence on a third party.
Option 2: Bespoke Website
There are many web developers and web development agencies that specialise in creating bespoke websites for professional photographers. If you choose to go this route, your website will be specifically crafted by skilled designers and developers to match your style, making it a powerful and unique marketing tool.
Most bespoke websites have a content management system—typically WordPress—which means that you can add content and make design changes yourself, instead of having to pay the developer for each and every modification. Still, even bespoke WordPress websites can be quite expensive, especially for professional photographers who are just getting their business off the ground.
If you have the money for a bespoke website and genuinely feel that there’s no better option out there, go for it. Just make sure to finish reading this article first because we’ve left the best option for the end.
Pros: Completely unique and crafted to match your style. Optimized for all devices.
Cons: High upfront cost. Takes a long time to design and build.
Option 3: Premium WordPress Theme
Premium WordPress themes occupy the middle ground between website builders and web development agencies. They cost only a fraction of a bespoke website, but they are infinitely more customisable than websites created using website builders, making them perfect for startup photographers who want to get the most value for their money.
There are many different kinds of premium WordPress themes, and some are designed specifically for photographers. One such theme is Grizzly Bear’s Ansel, which offers a clean, modern layout, easy installation, and stellar optimisation for search engines and mobile devices.
Because there are so many premium WordPress themes to choose from, and because you can customise your theme as you desire, it’s not likely that you would ever see a website that looks just like yours, but the chance exists. Some themes are better than others, so it’s important that you choose one that delivers on its promises.
Pros: Relatively affordable. Highly customisable. Little to no web design knowledge required.
Cons: Not all templates are SEO friendly. Other photographers may have the same layout as you.
As you can see, you have many options how to create a website for your photography business. Photographers who are on a budget can go with a website builder, while those who want a completely unique website crafted by skilled web developers should hire a web development agency and ask for a bespoke website. Finally, those who want the best of both worlds can purchase a premium WordPress theme such as Grizzly Bear’s Ansel, which was designed with photographers in mind and can be installed by anyone with minimal effort.