Your photography hobby has grown into something you’re really proud of. It seems a shame to keep taking amazing photos that no one else sees.
You’re ready to share your talent with the world by starting a photography website. But you don’t know the first thing about creating a new website.
Never fear, there’s an easy option. No matter your skill level, you can build your own website using a website builder.
Why You Should Use a Website Builder for Your Photography Website
For anyone that wants a new website but doesn’t know where to start, a website builder is the solution to your problem. Using a website builder to create your new photography website comes with some key benefits.
1. It’s easy.
Building a website from scratch used to be a lot of work. You would have to learn to code, and laboriously get the coding right for each element of each page. Newbie website creators today are lucky not to have to worry about all that. You don’t have to learn to code at all, and you don’t even have to build your website from scratch.
Website builders let you start from a template, so all you have to do is change out the colors, provide your own original images and words, and move things around on the page to make it your own. A good website builder will be intuitive enough that anyone can figure it out without having to spend much time at all learning the ropes.
2. It’s fast.
Because you’re not starting from scratch and website builders are so easy to use, you can get a website ready and up fast. If your needs are fairly simple, your website can be ready within an hour. But even more complicated photography websites with a lot of pages or elements can be finished within a matter of hours or days.
3. It’s affordable.
Hiring a designer can cost hundreds of dollars, but a website builder will only set you back somewhere in the range of $4-$50 a month. And for most basic photography websites, you should be good sticking with the low end of that range.
4. You can still take advantage of professional designs.
Good website builder companies hire skilled professional designers who are knowledgeable about website design best practices to create the templates they provide. That means by using one of their templates, you get to benefit from a designer’s expertise without the expense required to hire them directly.
If you don’t know much about how to create a website that’s intuitive and provides a good user experience (UX), you don’t have to spend a lot of time learning. You can trust that you’re starting with a design made by someone who already did that work.
5. You can create a mobile-friendly website.
So many people do much of their web browsing on their phones now that online mobile use has surpassed desktop. For your photography website to be accessible to most of your potential visitors, it has to work as well on mobile as it does on a big screen. A good website builder will make this part easy by providing options to make your website mobile-friendly or, even better, providing responsive templates so you start with a website structure that already looks great on mobile.
Either way, you can create a website that provides accessibility to all of your visitors without having to figure out any additional complicated tech.
8 Website Builder Features Photographers Should Look For
Your needs are unique – you won’t have the same priorities as someone building an ecommerce website or a writing-focused blog. When looking for the best website builder to create a photography website specifically, there are a few main features to be on the lookout for.
1. Ease of use
Photography is your priority, not web design. You don’t want to spend hours just figuring out how to use the website builder you choose. So go with a website builder known for being intuitive and easy to get started with. Drag-and-drop functionality is a good indicator that a website builder will be easy to use, and you can usually get a feel for how difficult a website builder will be to use by doing a quick demo or looking over some of the available tutorials.
Most website builders worth considering will come at a cost, but there are plenty of options that provide the main functionality you need for a photography website without charging much. Chances are, you have a limited amount that you’re willing or able to spend on creating your website, so make sure you find a website builder that falls within your budget.
Consider the features and services that come included in the cost of your website builder, as a website builder plan that looks more expensive on its face than another one could actually save you money if it means not having to pay for additional services you need. For example, all Gator website builder plans come with web hosting included—a service that all websites require and you’ll have to pay extra for with many website builders.
3. Photography templates
We already discussed how important templates can be to making the website creation process easier. You don’t just want template options that are created by skilled designers (although you definitely want that!), you also want a website builder that specifically offers templates designed to showcase photography.
When you can choose a template that’s designed to accomplish the main function of your website—in this case, sharing photographs—you won’t need to make as many changes to make the design work for you. Don’t just consider whether a website builder offers templates, pay attention to the types of templates they provide and how relevant they are to your needs.
4. Enough bandwidth
High-resolution photographs take up space and they can slow down how fast a web page loads if it doesn’t offer high enough bandwidth. All website builder plans will offer some bandwidth, but if you’ll have a lot of high-resolution photographs on your website, you want make sure the plan you choose will include enough bandwidth for your website to work properly and your pages to load quickly.
Here are some more tips for optimizing your photos for fast-loading.
5. SEO features
If you want people to actually find your website and see your photographs (beyond your friends and family), then search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important tactics to use for greater visibility. Many website builders provide SEO features that make it easier to do basic on-site optimization like customizing your URLs, title tags, and image alt tags.
To be clear, good SEO requires more than just on-site optimization. But it’s an important first step and something that a website builder that provides proper SEO features can make a lot easier.
6. Social sharing features
Another important tool for website visibility is social media. Website builders sometimes offer social sharing features that both make it easier for you to share links to your newly published photos on your own social media channels, and to encourage your visitors to share photos they like on their profiles.
Good social sharing features mean you can bring your photos to more people with a simple click of a button. That makes your promotion efforts just that much easier.
7. Educational resources
Even if you choose a website builder that’s extremely easy to use, you want to make sure you can learn about all the different features so you can get the most out of it. Before you make your choice, look into what educational resources the website builder provides to help you learn the product. They should offer articles, tutorials, or videos to walk you through how to use the website builder and the different things you can do with it.
8. Customer service
With even the best tech products, you’ll occasionally hit up against issues you need help with. Any good website builder—and especially any that comes at a cost—should offer customer service support. Look for a website builder that provides 24/7 customer support so you know you’ll always get help at the moment you need it. And make sure they allow you to get in touch using the form of the contact you prefer, whether that’s email, chat, or phone.
Find the Best Website Builder for Your New Photography Website
The Gator website builder satisfies every suggestion on this list and comes with website hosting from one of the most reputable hosting brands available. We provide templates designed specifically for photography websites and include a number of features to help you reach more people with your photographs.
So no more excuses, get your photography website up and running today with the help of our easy and affordable website builder.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.