Make your website work for you by following these simple steps
Visiting a photography website should feel like a trip to an art gallery or museum. When it’s done right, all the elements on the page line up to create a satisfying experience that unfolds in an engaging manner.
Of course, creating that feeling for your photography website is easier said than done. It requires practice, experience, the right tools, and a stunning portfolio of images before it all comes together.
There are a couple basic concepts that you need to get right in order to achieve your goal of creating a stunning website.
Choose the Right Template
Like a director picking the right actors for a movie or a coach putting the right players on the field, if you select a template that suits your photography style, half the battle is won.
Answer these questions and let them guide you when choosing your website template:
- What is your objective with this website?
- What styles are your competitors using?
- Who is likely to visit your site?
- What is your brand?
Once you reach your answers, you’ll be better equipped to choose a website template that suits your needs. And don’t forget that in 2017 most users will likely be visiting your site from a mobile device, so be sure your template is optimized for mobile (also known as ‘mobile responsive’).
Don’t overload the front
The temptation is to make sure that your best work is all on your home page. Of course, you need to make a dramatic and brilliant first impression, but you can’t put it all out right away.
Select one or two strong images up front, then spread the rest around. Spreading your images throughout your website instead of having everything on your homepage will also increase the speed that your home page loads.
As the influential blog fstoppers puts it
“Load speed is critical. The longer you force a user to wait before showing them the content they seek the more likely they will be gone before the content even shows up.”
Make Navigation Simple
Make sure that it’s easy for your visitors to know where to go, how to get around, and what they will find when they get there.
Create a story in your mind, and lead your visitors on a journey.
On the web, there’s an overwhelming amount of choice and people get bored quickly. Make navigation simple, and you’ll retain visitors. Otherwise, they’re likely to get distracted and leave.
Let the people share
Digital marketing is more sophisticated than ever, but there’s still nothing as powerful as word of mouth.
Spend time making sure you have all the social media buttons in place, make them easy to find, and encourage people to share your work.
Include an e-mail signup form to create a powerful mailing list. Consider giving away some good images, valuable content, or specific tips/insight in exchange for an e-mail address. Generosity and confidence in your work really speaks to people and encourages them to invest the time and money that you want from them.
Once you have your website structured, it’s unlikely that you’ll change it too often. But you do want repeat traffic.
A blog that sets out your thoughts on photography, details your latest shoot, and shares tips and insights is a surefire way to boost traffic and help your website rank higher with search engines (increasing your SEO!).
A great website is non-negotiable when it comes to your photography portfolio. If you’re looking for inspiration, this is a great collection of photography websites that will set your mind racing.
Keep these basics in mind before you start building your website, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create an unforgettable site.