Photography Website Best Practices | How To Set Up A Photography Website: Tips For Exceptional Web Design, Usability, And User Experience
Photography Website Best Practices | Setting up a photography website is quite a different challenge than setting up a website for any other type of business. You’re a part of an incredibly creative industry, and just any website won’t cut it – you need to set up a unique visual experience that will leave a favorable and lasting impression on your potential clients, show them what you can do for them, and convey the nature of your brand. Sounds like a lot to ask from a portfolio website, but it’s definitely not impossible.
In fact, it has been done many times. And while all the successful photography websites are unique in their own way, there are certain things they all have in common. If you’re just starting out in the industry and you’re about to set up your very first website, or you’ve been around for some time now and want to check how your website stacks against some of the most effective photography websites out there, we gathered a list of things vitally important for impressive design, seamless usability, and exceptional user experience. Let’s get started!
Simplicity Is The Soul Of Efficiency | Photography Website Best Practices
The very first thing you’ll notice about all the photography websites that convert most visitors into paying clients is just how simple the design is. While the look and feel of your website is important, most visitors aren’t there to evaluate how creative the design is. This is a photography website we’re talking about, after all, and the visitors want to see your photos. If you set up a complex website packed with intricate design elements, effects, shadows, and animations, the website might detract from the impact of your work. Remember, your photos are supposed to be the star of the show, so make sure the design doesn’t overshadow them.
Don’t Overwhelm Your Visitors | Photography Website Best Practices
The design itself isn’t the only thing that will need simplifying if you’re hoping to boost the effectiveness of your photography website. Limiting the number of photos you showcase in your portfolio section, for example, will affect pretty much every aspect of your website. Not only will the website load a lot quicker, but your visitors will have a much better experience viewing your works. If you upload every photo you ever took, your portfolio will feel like it’s dragging on and on. Think about your area of specialization, as well as your ideal client, and upload only the examples for that niche that showcase your skills, talents, and creative vision.
Streamline The Navigation | Photography Website Best Practices
Yet another commonly overlooked area of photography websites that can make or break user experience is the navigation bar. People got used to seeing certain things on every website they visit, and the navigation bar at the top of each page is definitely one of those things. Out of all the areas of your website, this is probably the last one where you want to get creative, so stick to the tried and tested approach – list only the most important links in a bar at the top of each page. You can always tuck away other less important links in a secondary navigation (like a sidebar, for example) or in the footer. The goal is to allow your visitor to focus on the examples of your work, not confuse them by forcing them to try to figure out how to get from page to another.
Mobile Optimization Is No Longer Optional | Photography Website Best Practices
Whenever we design a website, we make sure it’s completely mobile-friendly, so it leaves the same impression on the visitor, no matter the device they’re using. However, you’d be amazed just how many websites out there look absolutely terrible on mobile devices, even though more and more people are using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access the Internet. So many people are using mobile devices, in fact, that even Google tweaked their search algorithms to give better rankings to websites that have been designed with mobile responsiveness in mind.
Blog Is Your Ultimate Tool | Photography Website Best Practices
If you’re serious about your photography business, you’ll definitely set up a blog page on your website. A regularly updated blog is one of the most powerful marketing tools any photographer can have. When done right, blogging can improve your search engine rankings, and spark interest among potential clients. And the best part, it’s completely free. However, in order to get the most out of your blog, there are a few requirements you need to keep in mind, as not any type of blog will be as effective as you might be hoping.
First, come up with 5 industry-related topics that will appeal to your target audience. Think tips and tricks for better sessions, industry secrets (and no, we don’t mean the Gossip Girl type of secrets!), and even throw in an occasional personal post. This will give you a great opportunity to use your target keywords in an organic way, which will help you improve your rankings without breaking a sweat. To get even better results, set up a blogging schedule and stick to it – search engines pay special attention to how often you update your website, and photography websites are notorious for being updated every 3-6 months. You will also give a reason to your visitors to keep coming back for more even after they’re done viewing all of your photos.