Building a website

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by bandannaman, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. I am looking at starting my photography business. Not sure what website builder to use. I have looked at Go Daddy, Wix and Squarespace any suggestions out there? Pros or Cons?
  2. Hi @bandannaman I think a lot depends a bit on:
    - how original/creative you want you want/need your website to be from day 1
    - whether you're prepared to pay someone develop and maintain your website

    Starting out, a website builder that you can use yourself is probably the best way to go.

    If you google "photography website builder" you'll find a number of recent reviews, for example at:
    - webcreate
    - creating a website today
    - website builder expert
    - superb website builders

    I've never used Wix but it seems to top the list in each of these reviews. Squarespace comes in the 2nd or 3rd place.

    I don't have any experience in building websites with photos except in Wordpress. The version is quick and easy, has free plans, includes 'hosting' but can be a bit inflexible for some things. Most website hosting sites also offer a free 'custom' Wordpress installation. This has no restrictions and enables you to take full use of the many free/paid themes and (gallery/e-commerce) plugins that are available. But the learning curve is probably longer than with other website builders.

    The minimum facilities you'll need are:
    - facilities to make well laid out text pages (intro, bio, references) that also allow you to include images where you want them
    - photo galleries, each with a visual 'featured image', that allow both thumbnail browsing and step-forward/back image browsing
    - a contact page that - in addition to your contact details - perhaps also includes a configurable fill-in contact form, the contents of which are automatically e-mailed to you
    -'Responsive themes' through which your website is automatically 'translated' to different devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, large-screen desktops, etc. A theme is essentially a layout 'template' which has varying degrees of customization options. Most themes these days are 'fully responsive' but not all. So before using theme, check that it is 'fully responsive' and what your website would look like on a phone or tablet.

    Bottom line: I would first try out Wix (demo) and if it looks as if you can do everything you want to, go for it. Above all, buy a custom URL! If - after a couple of years - you decide to move to another platform, you can take your custom URL with you.

    Hope this helps, Mike
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2019
    Charles_Webster and bandannaman like this.
  3. Thank you so much for this info!!!!! I will press on and see how this all goes. Still not very good at maneuvering through cyber technology!!! I would rather just go photograph!!!!!
    mikemorrell likes this.
  4. What are you planning to do? I've used and GoDaddy. I'm currently looking into using PhotoShelter and PhotoDeck offer Self-fulfillment and Licensing/Stock options. If you are doing Portraits, Weddings, Sports etc. then you have plenty of others to chose from too. You would need to see what the actual selling fees would be. They all vary anywhere from 0-15% If you'll be offering more of the Fine Art, Art Fairs, and Licensing of images then I would consider PhotoShelter or PhotoDeck. They would also give you the opportunity to have your own Stock Library and they have pricing info for usage fees. Also, these two let you pay annually at a discount, or by the month so you can test the waters first.
  5. I just set up a website for my travels which features photos and travelogue using Squarespace. You might find it useful to take a look. My goals are different than yours, I think, as I have no intention to sell images. It is pretty straight forward to do what I did, but you can see that I was just looking for something that is simple and clean.

    Any comments or critiques are welcome! Cheers.
    mikemorrell and Stephen_Prunier like this.
  6. I host my stuff using a local ISP - cost is about $5 per month. I build the website on a Mac using an app called Sparkle, and FTP the results up to my website. Works well for me.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  7. I would demo both Wix and Squarespace to see which one you like more. I personally prefer the builder that Wix has, but most of the people I know prefer Squarespace because of its simplicity.
    These days, I'm just using Siteground to host and Wordpress to build the site.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  8. Just came across this thread. Hoping to build a website as well. Will probably check Wix.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  9. Thanks for the list Mike! Pixpa seems to be a perfect platform for my photography website.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  10. Hi @rikaguite, I'm really glad that list was useful to you. Pixpa looks (from my first impression) an excellent choice! It seems to be very flexible in terms of customised menus (or not), gallery layouts and text. I've only quickly looked at 2 (menu/text/gallery) example sites (Harriet Esther Muntean and Gul Garg) but both - to my eye - look very attractive and very professional.

    Perhaps - at some stage - you'd like to add to this thread what attracted you to Pixpa rather than something like Wix or Squarespace (neither of which I know much about) and what your experience has been using Pixpa.

    You're certain to know people (customers, colleagues, etc) who'll gladly take a look at your 'draft website' and give you their personal feedback and any suggestions for improvement. If you indirectly (family or friends of family and friends) know a good website designer, you might want to ask her/his opinion too. There are of course independent website designers who you can pay to review your website. To honest, I wouldn't.

    If you think that any feedback from (professionals) might be helpful, just post a link. Post a link here too anyway, if you would. I'd be interested to see how you've used Pixpa and how your website looks.

    I wish you the very best in using Pixpa to create an awesome website that displays your best work attractively and professionally!

  11. Thanks for that, Mike! Definitely learning a lot from here.

    Graphic Designer at an online pet supplies dealership.
  12. Use Wordpress with a plugin called ProPhoto. It really is great and fairly easy to use. I left a link to my website so you can see how it looks


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