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If you’re ready to grow your photography business, it’s time for you to take the giant leap and create a website. It can be a scary step, but it will feel more like a comfortable step into the future if you have the right tools, like the right blogging platform.
You might not know how important it is to choose the right blogging platform for your photography business. The truth is—when you publish photos on different platforms like Instagram or Facebook, only a tiny percentage of viewers actually see them. And when viewers do see them, they’re often fed more, so it’s hard for them to keep up with everything you’ve done, which leaves them feeling disconnected from your work.
A blog is different from these other platforms because it is all about building an online presence on your website. Your blog will be constantly updated with new content to help your audience connect with what you have to share. The most successful bloggers post anywhere from 2-5 times a week and repost their previous posts to keep their content fresh and easily accessible. No matter how many times you repost, if you choose the right platform for bloggers, people will always be able to find new content to maintain a connection and feel like they’re part of something.
Benefits of photography blog platforms
The benefits of creating a blog for your photography business are infinite. We can think of a few things as exciting as having a blog to share your photos, express yourself, and let the world know what you do.
Blogging is often one of the biggest factors in the success of photographers. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should start blogging:
- Showcase your work and build an online portfolio. One of the best ways to get noticed is to have your work seen by as many people as possible—and with a blog, you can easily do that.
- Build your brand and gain exposure. Blogging is a great way to increase traffic to your website, grow your social media following, and improve SEO for your website or business.
- Connect with like-minded people and build a community. Building relationships within the photography community is one of the best ways to stay inspired, grow as an artist, improve your photography skills and knowledge, find clients, and generally enjoy being part of a supportive network where you can share ideas.
- Share your knowledge and expertise. As well as helping you connect with other photographers, you can use blogging as a platform for sharing what you know about photography with others—and when they see how much value they’re getting from reading what you write, they’ll be more likely to want to come back for more!
Best blogging platforms for photographers
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform for photographers. It offers a high degree of flexibility, including the ability to customize your site’s design, add plugins, and integrate an online store. Tumblr isn’t a traditional blogging platform, but it’s another good option for photography blogs. The service lets you create a photography blog easily, sharing just one shot or several in each post.
Ghost is another platform that promises photographers “the best publishing tools on the planet,” according to its website. Ghost has a sleek interface and makes it easy to share links, videos, and photos in posts. You can even choose from more than 100 themes to match your photography blog’s style and personality.
On the other hand, Wix is one of the most accessible options for building a photography blog without coding skills. Squarespace is another user-friendly site builder that offers plenty of templates explicitly designed with photographers in mind (including special features like slideshows).
WordPress for Bloggers
WordPress is the oldest and most widely used blogging platform. It boasts a huge developer community that has created over 50,000 plugins and thousands of themes. Because WordPress is open-source, you don’t have to pay for the platform itself or most plugins and themes.
There are two versions of WordPress:
- WordPress.com—This version of WordPress gives you access to hundreds of free themes and thousands of free plugins. In its free starter plan, you also get unlimited storage space, which is ideal for photographers with large files that take up more storage space than text-heavy sites. However, it doesn’t offer a free custom domain name; instead, it provides a subdomain (yourblog.wordpress.com).
- WordPress.org—WordPress’s self-hosted version allows you to host your blog on your server so you can customize anything without worrying about someone shutting down your blog.
WordPress also gives you access to a variety of website builders and plugins you can use.
Here are two of our favorites:
Elementor is a popular WordPress page builder plugin that helps you design your dream website. The Elementor visual editing platform and a user-friendly interface allow you to build a professional-looking site without touching a single line of code.
It has advanced visual editing features that let you quickly and easily create custom pages and posts. You can also use it to add complex content, like tables, forms, and sliders.
You can use Elementor with any WordPress theme, but it’ll speed up your web design workflow if your theme is designed for Elementor.
Elementor comes preloaded with some plugins, but if these don’t fulfill all your requirements, thousands more plugins are available through the official repository.
Some examples include:
- Gravity Forms Plugin, which lets people create forms on their websites quickly without any advanced technical knowledge required;
- Yoast SEO Plugin, which helps people optimize their content according to Google’s search engine algorithm so that they get higher visibility in search results pages when someone types something related into the Google search box;
- WPBakery Page Builder Plugin allows you to create unlimited layouts using a drag & drop interface instead of manually writing code.
Divi is a tool for building websites that puts the layout in your hands.
The Divi Builder is the most popular and complete drag-and-drop WordPress website builder. It comes with a massive library of more than 1,000 pre-made layouts, and when you combine those with its set of tools, you get incredible flexibility and control over how your site looks.
If you’re willing to put in some time learning how it works (like any other tool), Divi can pretty much do anything you need it to do.
Users of all skill levels will appreciate its flexibility, while those with design experience can take full advantage of Divi’s robust design tools.
To recap, here are some WordPress pros and cons:
- Fast Loading Websites. WordPress is lightweight and fast—which means it takes less time to load, so people stay on your photography blog longer.
- SEO friendly. There are tons of SEO plugins on WordPress that you can use to boost your site’s search engine rankings. These can also help you sort out any technical issues on your website.
- Easily customizable. This is great because there are so many themes available, many of them free. It’s easy to learn and use, even if you have no experience with web development or coding in general.
- Huge developer community. There are thousands of developers who work on WordPress every day to make it better. This means that if you have an idea or want to see something new in WordPress, there’s probably someone who can help make it happen.
- Vulnerable to hacking. WordPress is a popular target for hackers. Malware can do all sorts of damage: steal data from visitors, hijack search engine rankings, redirect traffic, or send spam emails. You need dedicated plugins to keep hackers away.
- A lot of moving parts. WordPress is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a framework that you can build on. The processes for setting up an e-commerce website differ from those for setting up a photography blog or a presentation website.
- Needs coding knowledge. To set up a simple website, you might not need to know how to code. However, if you want to take advantage of WordPress’ full capabilities, you would need to reach out to a developer or learn how to do some coding yourself.
Check out our WordPress guide if you decide to go in this route.
Ghost is a blogging platform that has taken the world by storm. It’s been praised for its easy-to-use interface and customization options, allowing users to create their ideal website.
Ghost’s team also created a simple editor to write your stories and blog posts easily, as well as an author section where you can introduce yourself to visitors with your author bio.
Ghost has built-in SEO options and code injection capabilities, so it’s always good to go for search engine ranking or quick compatibility fixes. You’ll also be able to publish your content directly on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels from Ghost’s dashboard.
Ghost is an excellent option for photographers if you’re looking for an easy-to-use blogging platform focused on writing!
- Ghost is an open-source platform, meaning you can find third-party apps and integrations on GitHub. GitHub is home to over 2 million repositories. The Ghost community has created themes, plugins, and apps to help you customize your blog.
- Easy to use editor. Ghost’s editor is a great place to start, as it’s easy to use and learn. It has many features that make it intuitive and beautiful to look at. For example, the editor will automatically detect your theme and style preferences, so you don’t have to set up those settings yourself.
- Less customization. Because Ghost is so simple and streamlined by design, it doesn’t offer as much customization as WordPress does when it comes to theme options like changing fonts or colors and other things that aren’t related directly to the functionality or the website’s layout itself.
The truth is, Wix is a powerful tool that allows you to build truly beautiful websites. The platform has many unique features, including templates perfect for photographers. You can create photo galleries with albums and photos easily customizable via drag and drop. You also have access to great editing tools, like Lightbox and automatic image optimization. This makes creating high-quality sites a snap.
- If you want to create a website without coding, Wix is a good option. It has plenty of pre-made templates available for free or purchase. You can use these templates as-is or customize them.
- Drag and drop. Wix makes it easy for beginners who don’t know much about coding or web development to create websites in a few hours.
- Limited capabilities. The “drag and drop” interface makes creating a new site accessible but limits your ability to change things like the structure of your site or the navigation menu.
Expensive plans. You’d have to pay a steep price if you want to take advantage of their advanced features.
Squarespace is a popular and easy-to-use website builder that offers several templates for photographers. If you’re not experienced with coding and want to put together a portfolio quickly, Squarespace is a great choice. The platform is extremely user-friendly, making it easy to add your images and set up your site in just hours. You can also take advantage of the support community or search through the help forums if you need extra assistance creating your photography website.
- Easy to use. You can create new pages, post content, and add images without any coding experience. You can also access widgets and plugins that allow you to add functionality like a blog or an online store.
- Easy to replace graphics. You can customize your website’s design by replacing the stock images with your own.
- Analytics included. You don’t need to install extra plugins to know how your site performs. Everything is included as part of the platform.
- Limited templates. Squarespace offers beautiful templates, but the variety isn’t as diverse as on other platforms like WordPress. The more expensive Squarespace templates are, the more customization options they have.
Limited marketing capabilities. As opposed to other platforms, Squarespace doesn’t offer you the unfair advantage of working on your SEO or adding share buttons on your website.
When photographers do business with clients, they often have to send the client a portfolio, which is only accessible via the photographer’s website. Moreover, the photographer’s portfolio could live on different platforms, making it hard to decide which link to send to a potential client.
The problem with this solution is that there is no way for clients to easily get a sense of what kind of work the photographer does and how they could potentially help them.
That’s why we created Limey.
Limey is a landing page builder that helps photographers easily create digital business cards for their relevant portfolios (e.g., Shutterstock, Behance). Limey allows photographers to add links to their existing online portfolios and populate their landing pages with links to any websites they want to refer clients to. Clients will be able to visit these pages and immediately get an idea of what kind of services or products a specific photographer offers.
- Manage more pages. With Limey, you are not limited to managing only one page or link. You can add as many websites as possible, including social media, portfolios, or personal websites.
- Intuitive. Building a landing page with Limey takes a few minutes, and the process is straightforward.
- No code access. You’re limited to the platform’s capabilities and don’t have access to the code to make any desired changes.
If you’re a photographer who wants to leverage content marketing and social media to achieve your goals, you should definitely give Simvoly a try.
Simvoly includes everything from the ability to set up conversion funnels (just like you would on an e-commerce store) to creating landing pages and running A/B testing on them.
- Good marketing capabilities. It comes with an easy-to-use campaign builder that lets you create funnels.
- Robust editor. It has a visual editor that makes it easy for even non-technical people to use, and it gives you the ability to go beyond just creating text with images and videos in your posts.
- No email marketing features. You’d have to use third-party software to set up email marketing campaigns.
No huge community of devs. As the platform is relatively new, the community is not well built-out yet. If you need help or more advanced support, it will be harder to come up with a solution.
Weebly is an excellent choice if you’re a photographer, especially if you’re considering selling merchandise at some point. That’s because, as opposed to other platforms like WordPress, Weebly is easier to use and more affordable.
It only takes a few clicks to get your photography blog up and running on Weebly. You can also add additional features like payment gateways or e-commerce tools.
- Weebly has a clean, intuitive interface that makes it simple for you to build your website. You can drag and drop elements into place, customize settings, and add text and images. Weebly also offers a helpful “how-to” section.
- Affordable. The free plan offers 500MB of storage, but if you ever want to upgrade, you can pay $12 monthly for unlimited storage.
Less customization. You won’t be able to customize your site nearly as much with Weebly as you would with another platform like Squarespace or WordPress.
Pick the right blogging platform to save time, energy, and effort so that you can focus on what’s important.
One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a blogger is choosing a blogging platform. The right blogging platform for your needs can help you save time, energy, and effort to focus on what’s important – putting your best foot forward.
The following are some of the criteria we recommend thinking about when choosing your photography blog platforms:
- Ease of use – an easy-to-use interface will save you time and money. You won’t have to spend hours learning how to use it or fork over big bucks for someone else to do it for you. Some popular platforms may seem easy at first glance, but they can become complicated if customization is needed once you dig deeper.
- Features – Is there room to grow? Can the platform evolve with your changing needs? Does it allow plugins or themes that will help expand its capabilities? Will it provide everything you need now and in the future?
- Branding – Does the platform allow complete control over your content and branding? If branding matters to you, then choose carefully. Some platforms add watermarks and links back to themselves and control what content goes on your site. Avoid these unless this is acceptable to you.
You now have a pretty good idea of what you should be looking for in a photography blog platform.
The most important thing to remember is that the perfect platform doesn’t exist. You need to pick one that will allow you to focus on what’s really important: your photography.