As a photographer, creating and building a portfolio is a key component in the future of your business. In order to showcase your art and attract clients, you will need a website that acts as an online body of work. Luckily, there are plenty of sites that offer visually appealing, easy to assemble and affordable plans. If you’re considering building your website, yet still wondering where to start — we’ve outlined the steps to creating your site today:
How To Build Your Photography Website: Hosting Sites for Photography
There are several hosting platforms that offer stunning templates and designs for photographers.
In my opinion, Squarespace is the top choice for building your photography site and yes, because I host my own site here I may be a bit biased. Squarespace offers a selection of templates for varying styles: whether you want big, beautiful images, sliding galleries or grid options – there is a design that will fit your portfolio. The best part about Squarespace is the ability to switch between templates without having to readjust your content. You can easily try out different designs and your existing galleries, blog posts will seamlessly transfer.
Plans start at $12/month and can be billed monthly or annually. And if you’re a student, Squarespace offers you a 50% discount your first year along with a free domain.
Another great portfolio building site is Format, which markets itself as the go-to site for photographers. They have a solid selection of unique templates that are customizable and easy to build. They offer a free 14-day trial for you to test out before purchasing a plan, so the best thing to do is work with different templates to see which style fits your work. They offer some innovative gallery options and also host a magazine that features photography work, articles and competitions you can enter. Plans start at $6/month and increase depending on the plan you prefer. As for design, I personally like the templates: Obsidian, Panorama, and Industry.
Known for its drag and drop capabilities, Wix is a hosting platform that is easy to use and offers a selection of templates for varying types of photography. Whether you’re a photojournalist, wedding photographer or food photographer – Wix has a template that will work for you. Wix offers a free website option as a start with “yourphotographysitename.wix.com” as the setup. If you’re looking to link your own domain, the basic plan is $5/month and then increases with options and features. Some templates I recommend are the Events Photographer Template, the Photographer and Art Director Template, and the PhotoJournalist Template.
The last photography building platform worth mentioning is from Adobe. I wasn’t aware of this until recently, but Adobe offers a free portfolio for its Creative Cloud subscribers. If you’re a photographer that uses their services for Lightroom, Photoshop or the other Adobe applications, you are eligible to build a site on their portfolio platform. Although the basic website comes with a “name.myportfolio.com” extension, you can always upgrade by connecting your own domain. I recommend themes: Thomas, Matthias, and Marta
How To Build Your Photography Website: Purchasing a Domain
Once you’ve decided on a portfolio building platform, the next step is to find a site that will host your domain. This process truly depends on how much you want to spend and which capabilities are necessary for your photography business. Some options for domain hosting include:
– GoDaddy: Simple to use and affordable, choose to add email capabilities or stick with the basics
– Google Domains: Plans start at $12/year with the ability to add personalized email for an additional $5/month.
– Using your Portfolio Site: Squarespace and Wix both offer options to purchase your domain through them, prices vary depending on your selected name.
Once you’ve chosen your portfolio platform and purchased a domain, you’re ready to start building your site. For photography websites, remember to showcase what you consider your best work: keep it simple, minimal and add a variety of images to show your capabilities. Be sure to reach out if you need any help getting started or choosing a site that is right for you.
Have a photography site you’ve built with one of these platforms? Share your portfolio with us by dropping your website link in the comments below!
Shannon Ciricillo is a fashion, lifestyle and travel photographer and writer. Her vision lies in creative storytelling and writing about her experiences stateside and abroad. You can check out her work at www.shannonciricillo.com