How to Build a Photography Website That Is Easy to Update
Unless you have been living in a Wifi-less cave for the past decade or so, you know how important it is to have a photography website. Portfolios have grown to become much more than a place to display your work. They are now a fantastic tool to get new clients, strengthen your brand, and even sell copies of your work. But as John Knowles said, “everything has to evolve or else it perishes”. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your site is if you don’t take the time to update it regularly.
As obvious as it may seem, it’s fairly common to find portfolios that haven’t been updated in months. Consequently, photographers are missing the chance to show how their work improves over time as well as the opportunity to get recurrent visitors. More often than not updating their sites simply falls down the list of pending tasks. In order to make sure your portfolio grows along with you, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you create it.
Dedicate time to planning
As eager as you might be to start creating your professional photographer website, it is important to take some time to organize your thoughts beforehand. Consider what your portfolio needs and see how others are covering these demands. Imagine where your business will be in a few years, and how that goal will impact your online presence.
While this part might seem a bit tedious, it will save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run. Taking care of this thought process early on will allow you to build a much leaner and agile portfolio. It will also help you identify which photography website design trends are here to stay and which ones will fade soon. As a result, your site will stand the test of time for much longer and it will be significantly easier to keep updated and in style.
Settle on a clear aesthetic
Looks aren’t everything, but they certainly matter a lot. In fact, visitors will probably judge your portfolio by its appearance before they even start looking at the photos. Once you have decided which sections your website will consist of, you’ll need to figure out how they will look. In this case, early research will also help you achieve a long-lasting result.
There are three main elements to consider: layouts, color scheme, and fonts. However, not all of them will behave the same way as time passes. You might find that making small changes on your gallery layout is an easy way to refresh your portfolio as it grows. In this case, the Wix Pro Gallery allows you to apply quick edits on the way your photos are presented. All you need to do is make sure your images meet the standards of the best resolution for website photos.
As for your website color scheme and fonts, you should aim to integrate them as part of your brand rather than using them as ever changing items. In order to maintain consistency as you add new text or sections, you can simply save them. This can easily be done on Site Colors and Text Settings respectively.
Limit the number of galleries
When it comes to showcasing your work, the motto “less is more” becomes more relevant than ever. Ideally, your portfolio should only include a small selection of your very best work. Try to aim for no more than 20 to 30 images per gallery. This limitation also applies to how many galleries you include on your site. You might be tempted to create a gallery for each type of photo you capture to show what you’re capable of. This is actually one of the most common portfolio mistakes made by photographers.
When people visit your website, they want to gather a general idea of your work within minutes – if not seconds. Even if they decide they like your work, they probably won’t browse more than a couple galleries. This is the main reason why you should break down your portfolio into as few categories as possible.
The second most important reason is that it will take you much less time and effort to keep your photography website updated if you don’t need to keep up with a dozen different galleries. Focus on the two or three genres you shoot the most. If you have outstanding photos that don’t fit under any of them, consider adding an extra gallery for your best outcasts.
Wix Photographer Pichit Phan only displays two galleries
Share your most recent work
The main goal of building a portfolio that grows with you is, of course, showcasing your latest projects. Needless to say, this is one of the most time-consuming tasks when it comes to updating your website. You probably won’t start offering new services or win awards every other week. However, it is quite likely you’ll still want to share new photos with the world within that time span. Here’s where social media makes its big entrance.
Most photographers tend to share their work online every day, if not a few times a day. Yet they only sit down to update their online portfolios every other month at best. Even if your website includes links to your social accounts, most visitors are likely missing several weeks worth of photos and improvement.
To make sure your portfolio always offers a peek into your most recent work, you can simply add your Instagram feed to your website. As it updates automatically every time you post a new picture, you won’t need to spend any extra time making sure your online presence is synced.
Andrew Scrivani uses his Instagram feed as a main gallery
Check it regularly
Even if you don’t have time to properly sit and update your portfolio periodically, doing some small maintenance work is an absolute must. Every now and then, simply check for broken links, images that don’t display properly, or out of date information. Using your portfolio for sharing photos with clients online is also a great way to keep it fresh. All of these things are key for a proper user experience, and failing to take care of them might result in lost business opportunities.
Are you up for the challenge? Time to put it to practice on your own photography website!
By Judit Ruiz Ricart
Photography Expert for the Wix Blog & Social Media Team