What is the best website builder for photographers?
September 26, 2022
If you’re looking to make money from photography and are starting to build a portfolio of great photography, you’ll need a way to share your images with the world. And of course, you can create a Facebook page and advertise your photography that way, but to add an extra level of professionalism, a website that showcases all your work will be the best fit. For that, you’ll want to find the best website builder for photographers.
In this guide, we’ll show you some of the best options available for sharing your photos. Websites designed to show off your photos don’t have to cost much and look much more professional than just having a Facebook page.
We’ll walk you through some of the options so you know how to create a website to show off your photographs and start generating revenue from your photos.
Welcome to the AP Improve your photography series – in partnership with MPB – This series is designed to take you from the beginnings of photography, introduce different shooting skills and styles, and teach you how to grow as a photographer, so you can enjoy producing photographs (and videos) to take to the next level, whether it’s making money or just mastering your art form.
Every week you will find a new item, so be sure to come back to continue your journey and have fun creating awesome pictures. If you found these articles helpful, be sure to share them with people you know who might be interested in learning new photography skills. You’ll find a whole host of other articles in this series.
When it comes to building an online portfolio, there are a number of websites specifically designed for photographers (and artists), and you’ll no doubt have seen some of them advertised. The best way to set up an online wallet is to set up a dedicated website for yourself, and in the past this would have been an expensive affair, where you would have had to employ a website builder to create something for you.
However, things have changed, as you can simply pay for a website with a website builder like WIX or Squarespace, and have them build everything for you, with a “What you see is what you get” (WYSIWIG) interface, making it relatively quick and easy to set up. With these, you will also be able to start selling your photographs and services, which can quickly turn your photography into a paid job!
So let’s see what’s on offer, how much they cost, and why you might choose one over the other…
Best Website Builder for Photographers:
- square space
- SET OF PIXIES
- Smug Mug
Let’s examine them in more detail:
WIX – https://www.wix.com
- Cost – from £4/m (with ads), £7.50/m without ads
WIX is one of the biggest website builders and makes it extremely easy to create and set up a website. You can even use your Facebook login to register.
You’ll be able to customize the look of the site to whatever you want, and if you get stuck, you can pay for additional support and help when needed.
They make it easy to set up different sections, such as a portfolio, photo albums you can share with clients, pricing plans, and more, including options for a blog, events, and more. Even online programs, such as step-by-step training programs. In terms of comprehensive features, WIX is definitely one of the best.
For many people this will be overkill, and the sheer number of options and settings can be intimidating for those who aren’t tech-savvy or don’t want to spend hours learning all the different features.
You can set up a free website, but if you want to start selling, you’ll need to upgrade.
SQUARESPACE – https://www.squarespace.com
Squarespace is another big player in the world of website building, offering sites suitable for businesses, retailers, photographers and more. You can quickly set up a portfolio with Squarespace, and there are a number of attractive templates available to get you started. You can sign in with your Google account.
You can start setting up your site for free, but you will have to pay after the 14/21 day trial ends. You’ll find Squarespace offering 24/7 support if you need it, and a specific page detailing how they can be used by photographers, with many templates designed specifically for photographers, which means it’s is a website builder used by many photographers.
PIXPA – https://pixpa.com
- Cost – 15 day free trial, then £4.53/month
Pixpa gives you a 15-day free trial and you can sign up using your email address or sign in with Google or Facebook. They offer a range of templates designed to showcase your photographs and feature modern and sleek designs.
Although not as quick and easy to use as weebly, there are some good options and the template has everything you need right from the start, allowing you to simply fill in your details and upload your images.
With more content on display, setup can take a bit longer, and the 15-day trial means you can see if you like the setup or not, before deciding if you’re going to want to pay for it. You will need to pay for the upgrade before you can start sharing the site with others.
PIXIESET – https://pixieset.com
- Cost – Free option, with plans starting at $8/m
Pixieset offers a beautiful photography gallery, so you can organize your photos into albums, displaying them the way you want. You can also use the site as an option to share your photos with clients, for example, allowing them to upload a gallery of photos you’ve taken. This is handled securely with sending a download code to the person you wish to share the images with.
With Pixieset you get a lot of features, even with the free account with the ability to create unlimited albums, as well as sell your images. However, if you upgrade, you can sell your images commission-free, as well as using your own domain name.
500PX – https://500px.com
- Cost – Free option (21 downloads/week), starting at $4.99/m (annual plan)
500px is a mix of photographic community and photographic portfolio. You can share your images with the world, but being over 500 pixels means you’re truly part of the community. This way you can share images and get feedback from other photographers, as well as be inspired by others.
To set up and publish your portfolio, you will need to upgrade to the Pro account, and you can earn money from your images, through royalties from licensing your images.
WEEBLY – https://www.weebly.com
- Cost – Free option (with weebly bands), or from £4/m (annual plan)
Weebly is an extremely fast and easy website builder, allowing you to very quickly set up a site that looks good and can be customized with your own images. You can use it for free and the branding of weebly is very minimal.
If you want to use your own domain name, you will have to pay for it, starting at £4/m. To sell your images or other objects, you will then have to opt for a paid option (from £9/m). If you just want to share your images, the free option will let you do that.
SMUGMUG – https://www.smugmug.com
- Cost – 14 day free trial, then options from $16/m
Smugmug offers an easy-to-setup free trial (for 14 days), but prices are quite high after that. The site offers a range of stylish templates designed for photographers to show off their work.
It also offers unlimited full-resolution storage when you opt for the paid option, making it a good option for anyone looking to back up their photos online.
WORDPRESS – https://wordpress.com
- Cost – Free option (with ads), plus £3/m plan (annual plan)
WordPress is used all over the world by a surprisingly large number of people. In fact, several great websites run on WordPress, and you wouldn’t even know it. However, it’s also a great option for people who want to share images, along with stories and text to go along with the images. As in the example above, “Walks of 2021” includes short stories about the photographs taken.
Although WordPress might not be the most obvious choice for a photography website, there are plenty of templates out there, often focused on displaying images and photos in a nice way, which makes it a good choice. for photographers.
Learn more about creating an online portfolio website
An important note about paid websites: you will have to keep paying them if you want your website to stay online! So the difference between the free options and paying $16/month (or more) for the next 10, 15, or 20 years can soon add up.
Domain names cost money
Once you have bought one, you will have to keep renewing it. If you don’t renew your domain name every year, you can quickly lose your space on the Internet, and all of your momentum generated from handing out business cards, promoting your website, and sharing links with others will be lost.
Keep updating your site
It’s easy to set up a website and then forget about it, but once you’ve set up your website with your portfolio, you can use it to share your best photos with others and share with all online communities that you have joined. Be sure to keep it up to date with your latest work and remove any images you no longer like.
See you next week for the next article in the series of AP Improve your photography series – in partnership with MPB.
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