How to Create A Photography Site Using WordPress: Themes, Tools, and Hosting You Need
- Aug 04, 2015
Today, I’ll attempt to help any photographer out there among our readers who might be interested in creating his or her own WordPress photography website.
To start, appearances are everything. Photography sites have to be visually appealing and there is a lot of competition in this industry.
Photographers need a website that doesn’t distract people from the imagery and yet has good navigational capabilities.
You may be divided as to the type of website you’d like to create. Let’s have a look at the facets of a good photography website by looking at preview pages of some great photography themes.
WordPress Photography Themes
Here are a few photography themes to give you a fair idea of the sort of choices available to you.
I like this theme a lot. The focus is maintained on one image at any given time. A lot of themes display portfolios with multiple images. But for someone who’s looking to curate your photography and make purchases, I feel looking at one image at a time is the way to go.
The little “i” at the top is used to describe the picture.
You can also add some awesome effects, try this demo out (click on the image below). Oyster for example, has a KenBurns effect. This would come in handy if you specialize in photography of large natural/urban landscapes.
Personally, I find images are best served by allowing full screen viewing modes as opposed to a portfolio view. After all, most photographers want to impress their prospective customers with powerful photography. How impressed do you think anyone would be if they were welcomed by a page like this one ?
Now don’t get me wrong, that’s some pretty good photography and Lens is actually one of the best selling WordPress Themes on ThemeForest. However, the landing page of your site should showcase your best work in all its infinite glory. A portfolio doesn’t accomplish that. Lens does have full screen display available too.
Easy To Browse Through Images
When you scroll through the imagery, the theme quickly adapts to provide emphasis on one image while making visible, all the other images in the album. There is also a description provided by the side, in a color that contrasts your imagery. And the share button pops up when someone might need ’em.
A portfolio is pretty useful as well. I guess a lot depends on the type of photography you are into. If you have a very randomized collection of photography across a wide spectrum, a portfolio with margins would actually look great. Screenshot below is from a popular photographer’s website.
Service Page and Product Archives
Typically for anyone who provides a service or sells a product, you’ll need a page dedicated to services and one for a product archive.
Although I do not fancy a portfolio for a landing page, they are great when you want to create a product archive for easy browsing and purchase of pictures.
If you want an ultra professional look with an “I am here to sell my awesome pictures” message. You can split the page in two. This not only helps display imagery, but also advertises the availability of your photography for purchase and your skills for hire!
Protect Your Images
Another thing you’ll need if you are professional photographer, photo proofing. Photo proofing restricts content access to only password holders.
Check out Borders Theme with its Photo Proofing in effect.
Checklist Of Theme Features
Let’s recap what pages your site will require:
- Landing page with your best works
- Portfolio display with purchase options
- Services page and appointment booking system (wedding photographers)
- A contact form that never fails
- Customer testimonials
- Photo protection mechanisms
- Very good eCommerce plugin compatibility
- Powerful lightboxing features and media manager
- Side menu navigation
- Optimized for mobile use
Ensure that any photography theme you purchase makes it possible to share publicly accessible images across social networks.
To sell images, check out these plugins:
Web Hosting & CDN
As far as hosting goes, I’d recommend WPEngine.
Why? Photography sites are media heavy and bad caching can make a mess of things. With managed hosting, everything is taken care of and you can focus on adding beautiful pictures.
To make things even faster, use MAXCDN as your content delivery network to deliver your static data which includes your site’s imagery. Given the volume of pictures on most photography sites, a CDN would work wonders. But you can delay this, if you so wish.