How to Create an Outstanding One Page Photography Website
In recent years, the popularity of one page photography websites has increased noticeably. There isn’t a single reason for this, rather a set of factors arising from different areas. Among them we find a general design shift towards minimalism, a widespread decreasing attention span, and an overall lack of time for professionals to dedicate to their photography website.
On paper, one page websites cover all of these pain points. In reality, however, most people find it quite challenging to cover all their bases on a single page. The main rationale behind this is that we’re naturally wired to think of websites in their classical form, and struggle to step out of the known path. These ten steps will teach you everything you need to know about how to create a beautiful one page photography website. From the questions you should ask yourself beforehand, to getting found on search engines and more.
01. Decide if it’s the right fit
Two players. Two sides. One is a single page website. One is a classic website. Do you wanna know a secret? Both of them have their own benefits and drawbacks. Before you start creating your photography website, you’ll need to see what each design choice offers and which one you can benefit from the most.
A single page site is the epitome of minimalism. If you want a photography website that is easy to update, single page is your best choice. It enables you to display your content in a linear and straightforward manner. As a result, visitors can easily see all you have to offer without getting lost in an endless number of pages. The format is inherently adapted to mobile browsing, which can save you a lot of time and headaches. Last, but not least, one pagers are trendy and have the potential to look amazing.
But as great as one page photography websites may be, some photographers might have no choice but to stick to the classic design. For example, if you want to write a photography blog you’ll need multiple pages to allow users to easily browse through your content. Make sure you evaluate your needs and desires before sticking to one design style. Otherwise, you’ll have to face many obstacles and frustration before having a functional online portfolio.
02. Plan your content
Once you’ve made the final decision to create a one page photography website, you might find yourself unable to contain your excitement and want to start the creative process right away. But before you do so, there is one boring step you’ll need to take in order to avoid unnecessary hurdles in the future. Get comfortable, grab a piece of paper and a pen, and make a list of all the information you absolutely must include on your site. Afterwards, divide this data into different sections. You’ll most likely want to include an ‘About’ section, your contact information, and (of course) examples of your work. Try to keep the amount of information to a minimum; ‘less is more’ is a core principle when it comes to creating a one page website.
The next step is visualizing the user’s journey through your website. Start by determining the main message you want to convey - that is, the content that you want users to see before they start scrolling down. Below this, lay out your sections in an organized manner. Imagine the overall site structure as a story you’re telling your visitors.
03. Pick a template
A ready-made photography website template will put you on the right path to a stunning online presence. These templates are fully personalizable, allowing you to control every detail and adapt it to your needs. Because each of them has been carefully created by experienced web designers, the end results will be top quality despite the simplicity of the creative process. And let’s not forget the best part: they’re completely free.
04. Select your best work
One of the most common portfolio mistakes is putting quantity over quality. When choosing which photos to showcase on your site, you should aim for a small and diverse selection of your very best work. As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended to limit your galleries to no more than 20-30 images. Make sure you stick to the best resolution for website photos in order to display them in the highest quality possible.
All of them should belong to genres you’d be happy to be hired to shoot. As adorable as kittens are, don’t include them in your portfolio if you don’t want to work as a pet photographer.
05. Allow for easy navigation
You have a content plan, a general layout, and all of your visual content. It’s now finally time to work on your photography website design and put all these pieces together. The best way to approach the content organization of a one page photography website is by using strips. On the Wix Editor, select Add > Strip and choose the option that best fits each section. Include any text, images or videos you want for each of them. Encourage visitors to reach out to you by ending their journey with a rich footer that contains your contact information.
Navigation on one page websites is inherently easier than their classic design counterparts. However, you should still include a menu in order to allow visitors to create their own shortcuts and quickly access the sections they’re looking for. You can do so by adding anchors at the beginning of each strip and linking them in a menu that remains visible at all times. Make sure the order of the sections in the menu is the same as in the site itself, so as to avoid potential confusion. Additionally, you should add a fixed ‘back to top’ button to allow visitors to effortlessly reach the top of the website at any point.
06. Add a powerful CTA
What is the goal of your professional photographer website? The answer to this question should, of course, be aligned with the main message you determined when you planned the site’s content. A CTA (call-to-action) is a short phrase that encourages visitors to perform a specific action. This can be anything from booking your services to subscribing to a newsletter. As we mentioned earlier, this message should be placed at the very top of your site. The best way to do so is by anchoring a CTA button that leads to a later section of your site.
07. Include visual effects
There are many ways to catch your visitors’ attention and encourage them to keep scrolling. One of the most popular ones is parallax scrolling. This effect moves your site’s strips at different paces as you scroll, creating a 3D illusion. You can top it off by adding subtle animations to your strips, such as zoom in, reveal, and fade.
Another way to boost your site’s engagement is by including videos on your portfolio. Video will be one of the biggest photography trends of 2019, and it can help you set yourself apart from the crowd both online and offline. The combination of static and dynamic images within a gallery is sure to catch anyone’s eye.
08. Take advantage of the footer
The footer is the section at the very bottom of your photography website. Visitors who reach this segment will have either scrolled through your whole site or gone directly to the bottom of it. Either way, it’s likely they’re looking for a way to reach out to you or to see more of your work. In order to take advantage of this, include your contact details and a social media bar with links to all your accounts.
If you want to take your online presence one step further, you can incorporate your Instagram feed in your footer. This way, visitors will be able to see your most recent work at any time and will be encouraged to head over to your social channels right away.
09. Pay attention to SEO
Search Engine Optimization might just be one of the most important parts of any website. Proper SEO practices will allow your to show up higher on search engines results, driving more traffic and potential business to your site. Start by making sure your website is indexed on Google, and then target the right keywords. Sound complicated? You’ll be happy to know that your Wix site is automatically indexed, and that Wix SEO Wiz will create a full, personalized SEO plan for you.
10. Go mobile
Nowadays most people use their smartphones to browse the Internet. Statistically speaking, the majority of users who visit your website will do so with their smartphones. Such is the importance of these devices that Google is now ranking websites according to their mobile version, rather than desktop.
Because of this, mobile-first practices are expected to be one of the main photography website design trends in 2019. Once again, Wix has your back with an automated mobile version of your site. Before you click the publish button, simply review this version and make sure each section is performing as expected.
Ready to put all this knowledge into practice? Create your photography website with Wix today!
By Judit Ruiz Ricart
Photography Expert for the Wix Blog & Social Media Team