I only need 15 minutes of your day and I will help you create your own photography website that will present your work to customers and make you money.
I will go through every step in detail and tell you exactly what I recommend but I will also list alternatives.
Ready, set, go!
How to Create Photography Website Summary:
- Pick a domain name
- Choose a website hosting service
- Pick your theme
- Install plugins
- Add content
Step 1: Pick a domain name
Finding a domain name has become very difficult over the past years.
Over 1.8 billion websites exist at the moment (source) with ~ 1.5 created every second. Let that number sink in. During the time you’ll be reading this blogpost (10 minutes) up to 1,000 website will be created worldwide.
To make the matters worse, several companies buy meaningful domain names and then auction them for several thousand dollars.
A good idea is to use your firstname and lastname as your domain name (e.g. https://www.johnsmith.com), especially if you want a personalized website such as a blog or a portfolio.
This way, you’ll get the domain name you want (unless you have a super popular first and last name) and personalize your website at the same time.
You can search domain name availability with GoDaddy.com.
A clever workaround to a taken domain name is choosing a domain other than .com – there are .org, .blog, .net, etc.
You can use a domain name generator, such as namemesh.com, to get some ideas. You just need to come up with some keywords that are useful in your niche. In the photography niche, useful keywords would be:
Step 2: Choose a website hosting service
Congratz! You have successfully minted your website’s name. You’re over the hump. What follows is super easy, if you follow my tutorial.
But first I will lay some truth on you.
If you go online to search for website hosting services, the majority will promote Bluehost, an inexpensive but unreliable hosting service. These people are dishonest and here’s why.
Bluehost is a neat (neat, not great) website host. There are several other which perform better in almost every aspect – uptime, speed, reliability, etc.
But why does everyone promote Bluehost?
We – affiliates – get a percent of every sale (I do, too) for the products we promote – this is no secret. What makes Bluehost so popular, is that it gives the highest commission while being inexpensive, making it a perfect item to promote for bloggers.
I am affiliate for both, Siteground and Bluehost. Siteground is slightly more expensive than Bluehost and it also gives smaller commission, yet I still would like you to use Siteground, because Siteground will serve you better, even though I am worse-off promoting it.
Here are some numbers and comparisons.
|Popularity||Highly popular||Popularity declining|
I host Otterreviews with SiteGround and I have zero regrets. I too was pushed towards the Bluehost first but I had some doubts and did my research, during which I found many drawbacks of using Bluehost.
Still, the final decision is yours:
If you decided on Siteground, this is how you proceed:
1. Select SiteGround domain hosting
Click on the button above, which says “Host with SiteGround”.
2. Pick WordPress hosting
You’ll end up on a page that looks like this. Choose the second option, “WordPress Hosting”.
3. Choose your hosting plan.
If you’re starting out, the basic plan StartUp will suffice, you don’t need more for now.
If you have some extra cash and want a lightning-fast website, GrowBig or GoGeek are the way to go. Don’t forget that the user experience IS EVERYTHING.
GrowBig and GoGeek plans come with Speed-Boosting Caching, a feature that significantly speeds up your website.
4. Register your domain
This step is fairly simple if you already picked a domain name at Step 1. Now, all you have to do is type your chosen domain name where it says “example”.
5. Install WordPress
Don’t be discouraged, this is actually very simple. Just press the button and wait :).
You’re ready to start customizing your website. Let’s go!
Step 3: Pick a theme
We have already established that speed is crucial for websites and since you picked SiteGround, you’re halfway to a perfect website.
Now, you have to choose a theme. Themes also heavily impact website speed.
I had to go through some trial and error before I found GeneratePress. It is one of the most optimized and fastest themes.
When I switched from the previous so-called “the fastest theme” to GeneratePress, my website’s loading time halved.
Here are results for my website now that I use GeneratePress.
100/100 Score by Google SpeedPage Insights
A (99%) and A(97%) by GTmetrix loaded in under 1 second
An average website takes 8.3 seconds to load, according to GTmetrix, meaning that GeneratePress enables you to be 9x faster than the average website!
GeneratePress has a great free version but if you want to speed up your website even more and get countless options for designing website, there’s an inexpensive Premium version.
Step 4: Install plugins
WordPress is highly customizable and there’s no shortage of plugins that bring new functionalities to your website.
There’s a golden rule with plugins: less is more. Plugins can heavily slow down your website. A lot can be done with some clever plugin planning and very little coding knowledge.
Here are the plugins that I highly recommend (all of them are 100% free):
- AMP by AMP Project Contributors: makes your website AMP-compatible, meaning it’s designed for mobile experience. It helps you rank higher on Google and it speed up your website for slow internet speed connections.
- Rank Math SEO by Rank Math: amazing plugin that takes care of all your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues.
- SG Optimizer: The aforementioned SiteGround’s gem. This plugin is also 100% free and has the functionalities of plugins that would cost you $40+/mo.
- Site Kit by Google: This plugin will automatically connect all Google services for you.
How to install plugins in WordPress
First, you need to navigate to your WordPress admin Plugin module. You can do so by one of the two way:
1. By typing the following link into your browser (where “example.com” is your domain name):
2. Navigate to Plugins from your WordPress Dashboard by clicking Plugins in the sidebar as shown in the image:
Step 5: Imagine your layout
You probably already have a vague idea of what you want your website to look like.
You don’t? No problem.
I recommend you check several other blogs or portfolios to get a better idea of what you like.
Here are a few:
The design of your website also depends on your needs. No matter what you’re going to go with, I have a few guidelines for you:
- Choose a colour palette. There’s nothing worse than using incoherent colours. You’re a photographer, you should know that not all the colours work well together.
What works well these days is a set of complementary colours.
You can find some ideas here.
- Clean design. Don’t clutter your website with plugins, sidebars, pop-ups, ads, etc.
- Large font size. Not everyone has a perfect eyesight, plus it’s a lot easier to read larger letters. Make sure your font is at least 16px.
- Intuitive menus. Don’t over-complicate your menus. If you create a labyrinth of menus, categories and tags, no one will understand it but you. Keep it simple.
Step 6: Add content
You’re all set to start adding content to your new photography website.
This is the fun part.
Your photography website should include at least these pages:
- Home Page
- Contact Us
- About Us
If you offer any type of services, you should also include a Shop page for your ecommerce store.
Bonus Step: Include Keywords in Your Blog
Keywords are key (no pun intended) to getting free traffic from Google and other Search Engines.
Make sure you add them to your blog title, headings, text, and meta descriptions.
To help you with that, you installed Rank Math plugin, which tracks your progress of optimizing your website for Search Engines.
To find the best keyword, use these two tools:
These 6 steps will help you create photography website that you will proudly show to your clients and family.
Remember that these are just the basics and you will have to learn more in the future, but that’s the fun part of learning a new skill.
I hope this tutorial helped you. If you know a friend who’s thinking about creating their own photography website, feel free to share it with you.
Enjoy your website!
Matic is a landscape photographer from Slovenia and creator of Photutorial.