Useful Photography Website Tips | What Your Visitors Want: An A-Z Guide To Designing A User-Friendly Photography Website
Useful Photography Website Tips | There’s a misconception that photographers have it really easy when it comes to setting up a stunning website – after all, you’ve got the most challenging part already sorted out: great photos. Not only that, but photographers are also ridiculously creative, and being a part of a creative industry helps them nail the perfect website in one go, right? While being a creative visual artist definitely helps when it comes to setting up a memorable website, there are certain challenges and pitfalls characteristic for the photography industry that are rarely seen in other industries – the most notable being user experience.
Many photographers get carried away so much while working on the design aspects of their websites that they forget to pay attention to the usability. Your goal should definitely be a unique and memorable website, but keep in mind that a website that’s visually appealing, yet difficult to use will only frustrate your visitors and make them abandon it without giving you a second thought. To help you put up a website that not only leaves the right impression on your visitors the moment they land there, but is also super easy to use, we put together a list of our favorite usability tweaks. Let’s check them out!
Dare To Be Different | Useful Photography Website Tips
There are countless stores and markets online selling cheap web templates, but while you may think you’re saving money and doing a good thing, you’re more likely to be doing more damage than you think! Not only do these templates have tons of telltale signs of amateur design, but even if you do find a decent template, chances are it’s already being used by countless other photographers, many even in your particular area. You’re a part of one of the most creative industries, and you can’t afford to have your visitors feel like they’ve already seen your website many times before.
Simple Is Better | Useful Photography Website Tips
However, don’t overdo it, just because you need to make sure your website is unique and memorable. What most amateurs and beginner designers will do when trying to make a website unique is keep adding new design elements, flashy animations and countless special effects. While this will definitely make your website stand out, it might be for all the wrong reasons. Remember, the goal isn’t to overwhelm your visitors and bombard them with visual stimuli. Instead, you want the star of the show to be your work, not the skills of your developer!
Navigation Is The Backbone Of Your Website | Useful Photography Website Tips
Quite literally, the navigation bar is the most important element of your website, as it will allow your visitors to go from one page to another. The initial idea that pops into most photographers’ minds is to include as many links and submenus in the navigation bar as possible. The more options your visitors have, the better the chance they’ll stick around and browse your website. As it turns out, that’s far from being true. When confronted with too many options, web users are more likely to experience what is known as choice paralysis than to know where to go next.
A recent study found that the most optimal number of navigation bar items is around 7, so figure out which pages are the most important ones. This doesn’t mean you should leave out all the other pages – instead, you can tuck away the links in the secondary navigation, whether it’s the sidebar of the relevant pages, or even in the footer. Just like with the design in general, simplicity in the navigation bar will allow your visitors to focus on your work instead of trying to figure out how to get from one place to another.
Limit The Selection Of Your Photos | Useful Photography Website Tips
Another common mistakes we see on way too many photography websites is too many photos. We get it, you want to showcase your work and share your best and favorite photos with your visitors, but there are several things you need to keep in mind. First, this is a portfolio website, so if a shot doesn’t showcase your skills, creative style, or area of specialization, it doesn’t belong on your website – no matter how much the photo means to you. Second, the more photos you upload to your website, the longer it will take for your website to load. This is more important than you think.
The average internet user has become incredibly impatient, and you’ve got only a few seconds to grab their attention. And we do mean literally a few seconds! You have up to five seconds to impress your visitor, otherwise they’ll move on to the next photography website without giving you a second thought, so don’t make them sit around waiting for your website to finish loading. By limiting the number of photos you include, and optimizing each photo for web, you will considerably speed up your website and improve the user experience.
Be Accessible | Useful Photography Website Tips
And lastly, arguably the most important element of your website if your goal is to grow your client base – your contact details. You’d be amazed how many photographers set up great websites, only to completely leave out their contact details or bury them several clicks deep. You want your potential clients to be able to reach you the moment they decide to pick up the phone, so include the most important contact details in the footer or the header of each page, and you can feature the rest on the separate contact page.