Essential Portfolio Website Advice | Critical Characteristics Of A Great Photography Website – How Does Yours Stack Up?
Essential Portfolio Website Advice | If you’re serious about your business, setting up a website is no longer optional – regardless of the industry you’re in. Long gone are the days when only online businesses and large corporations had online presence; even local brick-and-mortar stores can benefit from setting up a website that showcases their inventory and provides the potential clients with all the important information they need. However, not all websites are created equal, and some might even be doing more damage than good!
Keep in mind that you’re marketing to millennials – a generation that practically grew up online and spend most of their time glued to some sort of a screen, whether it’s a desktop computer or a smartphone. Unless your website impresses them, they’ll move onto another photographer without giving you a second thought. In other words, you might be losing business because of your website without even knowing. To help you get a better idea of what an effective portfolio website looks like, we gathered some of the most important characteristics all great websites have in common. Whether you’re setting up your very first website and you’re wondering what you need to do to get the most out of your investment, or you already have a website up and running and you’re wondering if there’s anything you should improve to get the most out of your investment, we’re sure you’ll learn something new today. Let’s dive right in!
It’s All About Mobile! | Essential Portfolio Website Advice
Not so long ago, there was only one option if you wanted to browse the web – you had to use a desktop computer. Today, however, more people than ever are using mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. In fact, it’s only a matter of time when the number of mobile users surpasses the number of desktop users, which means your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Unless your website works just as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer, your potential clients won’t try too hard to pan around and pinch and zoom looking for information or trying to view your work.
Mobile-friendliness is so important for user experience, in fact, that even Google updated their algorithms to rank responsive websites a lot higher. A while back, the tradition was to set up two separate website – a desktop and a mobile version. However, the technology has advanced by leaps and bounds and you no longer have to set up two or more different websites. Instead, you can set up a single website that will automatically adjust to fit the screen of the device being used to view the website, not wasting a single pixel!
Simple Is Better! | Essential Portfolio Website Advice
While you may be tempted to add countless bells and whistles to your website to make sure it stands out from all the portfolio websites out there, keep one thing in mind – the ultimate goal of your website is to showcase your photography, not the mad skills of your web developers, which is why keeping your website simple is absolutely critical. A complex website will not only overwhelm your visitors and detract from the impact of your work, but it will also take a lot longer to load, which will end up affecting your search engine rankings.
Unnecessary design elements that clutter up your website are not the only thing you need to look out for. There are other things amateur designers and beginners often get wrong, and the most damaging mistake can be often found in the navigation bar. While your initial reaction might be to include as many links in the navigation bar to make browsing seamless, this might achieve exactly the opposite effect – overwhelm your visitors paralyze them with too many options. A recent study found that people can hold only up to seven things in their mind, which is why we advise our clients to limit their selection to only the links to the most important pages whenever we design a website.
Readability Is Paramount! | Essential Portfolio Website Advice
Another thing we advise our clients to limit are the fonts they use for their websites. Even though fonts can be a really fun and powerful tool that will grab the attention of your visitors, guide their attention and help you emphasize important information, they can also be very detrimental for the user experience when not used right. To begin with, you will want to limit your logos to 2-3 fonts max and try and stick with fonts from the same font family. Many people will think that this is just a personal preference, but it has been proven that the human eye finds it difficult to scan multiple fonts, so keep your selection down to as few fonts as possible.
The goal here is to convey a piece of information as quickly and easily as possible, so don’t force your visitors to sit there trying to decipher your message. Instead, stick with simple fonts that are easy on the eye – leave the complex calligraphic fonts out. Also, keep in mind that serif fonts (fonts with small lines tailing from the edges of the letters) are a lot easier to read in print, but sans-serif fonts (fonts without the lines) are easier to read on various screens. And lastly, font size is also a vital factor affecting the readability, so make sure your text is actually large enough to be comfortably read.