Building a solid online presence is crucial if you want to make it into pro photography, but it's also important if you're a passionate amateur taking photography seriously. Today it's a lot easier to build your own website than it was a few years ago when DIY web design for photographers was pretty low end. Here are our favorite ten options for creating a competitive, professional level online portfolio.
Photoshelter is a very popular platform for building online portfolios. It lets you control layouts, images and fonts easily, without requiring any coding.
Carbonmade is pretty simple and intuitive to use, and it clearly focuses on resolving the most important need of any website: functionality. The web editor is a lot like WordPress but it's a little easier to use. You've only got 6 themes to choose from, and while that may seem like a limited range of options, it's the details that count, and Carbonmade lets you customize thumbnail formats, site width as well as other fine tuning settings.
Another option for creating a website and selling photos is Fotolink. Like most DIY website services, it doesn't require prior HTML or CSS coding knowledge and that can only be a good thing. It also features iPad and iPhone shadow sites, customization and e-commerce tools, as well as SEO.
Zenfolio looks like it's trying to be user friendly, but it can actually feel a bit overwhelming .It has plenty to offer, but it's easy to feel like everything's being thrown at you at once. Even so, it's one of the most popular options with photographers.
SmugMug allows photographers to build an online portfolio and sell their work. There are multiple themes and every site includes a fully-integrated shopping cart if you select the professional plan. You get to keep 85% of the markup and there are some pretty interesting marketing options available as well.
Dunked is one of the new players in this market and it makes getting started pretty easy. When it comes to themes though, Dunked only offers three options, but it's fair to say they all look good. Something particular about Dunked is that you will need basic CSS skills to remove the "Powered by Dunked" footer. Normally, this should go away once you go for a paid package, but in this case, you have to write a line of code.
Many photographers use Format because it's very intuitive, it has easy navigation and it puts everything into place. The theme templates are designed for specific content, thus giving a good range of options. You can also customize details like fonts, layouts and colors. There is also a protection mode that keeps your photos safe just in case anyone might want to steal them.
Squarespace is pretty solid and just about everything about it is polished and looks good. It's highly customizable and every photo you upload is saved into several sizes. That way, it will serve a different version depending on what device the viewer is using.
It's built by a pro photographer for other pros and it's a straightforward approach to building your online presence yourself. It only has three theme options, that are pretty standard, but nevertheless they look good and are clearly photography oriented. There are however multiple options for gallery layouts, but looking it at it from a bird's eye view, it's a little more limited than other options.
Our favorite website is MorePhotos, for a number of reasons. First of all, they help you effortlessly create a professional looking website. Their “Snap” product line features responsive, mobile friendly HTML5 websites: something that cannot be overlooked in today’s mobile world. Their SEO optimized, customizable templates include integrated blog, royalty free music, video, social media integration and more. Create holiday/special pages and templates that display during given time frames.
Want to sell your photos? Their newly released system offers the most advanced shopping cart on the market today. It allows you to create and sell products at any price and currency. Supports discount codes, gift certificates, double-sided products, greeting cards, framed and mated prints, green screen, masked image products… you name it. Anything can be created and sold with self or lab direct order fulfillment.
Features: Live tech support, Adobe Light Room Plugin, pre-paid events, pay to enter events (an exciting, new way to increase sales) to name a few.
Learn more about creating your website and selling your photos at http://www.morephotos.com/photography-websites