When you’re running a photography business, driving traffic to your website can be difficult. What's more, even if you do manage to attract plenty of visitors, keeping them around is another challenge entirely.
While your image galleries should spark interest and grab visitors' attention, you can take things one step further by letting them comment on your images. There are many benefits to offering image commenting on your photography website, from boosting engagement to gaining insightful feedback from your audience.
In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of image comments and explain how they can increase engagement. Then we’ll walk you through how to seamlessly integrate image commenting with the galleries on your WordPress site. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Offering Image Commenting on Your Photography Site
As a photographer, you may worry that enabling image commenting on your WordPress site could hurt its appearance or be a distraction. However, there are actually many benefits to offering this feature on your galleries. Some of the advantages include:
- Increasing engagement and interaction. Enabling image commenting on your galleries provides a way for visitors to interact with your work. This can boost engagement and lead to longer visitor duration times, which can in turn strengthen your search engine visibility.
- Making your clients feel valued. A comments section lends a voice to your website's visitors and can make them feel more included in your work.
- Boosting Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Comments are a form of user-generated content. This means that new content is added to your site every time someone comments, which can help your site rank higher in search engines.
- Demonstrating trust and transparency. Offering image commenting also helps you establish a certain level of transparency. For example, by enabling users to comment on the site, you’re showing that you care about their input and opinions. This can ultimately help to increase trust and loyalty.
- Gaining feedback and social proof. Allowing comments on your images can also be an effective way to gain insight and feedback on your work. Positive comments can act as mini testimonials and reviews, which are effective forms of social proof. More negative comments can make you aware of aspects of your work that you might be able to improve.
When clients are able to share their thoughts on your images directly, it can positively influence others' perceptions of your business. Seeing visitors comment on your galleries can be an incentive for others to join in on the conversation as well, building you a stronger audience over time.
How to Enable Image Comments on Your Photography Website (In 2 Easy Steps)
If you’re ready to turn on image commenting for your WordPress photography website, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure a secure, seamless process. Let’s take a look at how you can enable image commenting on your website in two easy steps.
Step 1: Download a Responsive Photography Theme and Gallery Management System
To make the most of your comment section, it’s important to use a responsive photography theme and galleries. This way, you won’t have to worry about visitors who are browsing your site from a mobile device having trouble accessing, reading, or leaving comments.
At Imagely, we offer a variety of premium photography themes you can choose from for your WordPress website. In addition, we recommend using a responsive gallery management system such as NextGEN Pro.
NextGEN Pro is the premium version of NextGEN Gallery, the number-one WordPress photography plugin. It comes with a variety of features and extensions you can use to enhance your photography site, including built-in commenting for image galleries:
If you’re an existing NextGEN Gallery user, you can upgrade to NextGEN Pro by navigating to Gallery in your WordPress dashboard, and then selecting Upgrade to Pro:
New users can purchase and download NextGEN Pro from our website. Note that you will need to install NextGEN Gallery in order to use NextGEN Pro.
Step 2: Configure the Gallery Settings to Turn on Image Commenting
NextGEN Pro comes with a Pro Lightbox extension, which has built-in image commenting features for your galleries. This enables you to quickly and effortlessly enable image commenting on any of your premium WordPress galleries.
Once you have your NextGEN plugins installed and activated, you’re ready to turn on image commenting. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Gallery > Other Options > Lightbox Effects:
On this page, you'll be able to customize the color and style options for your gallery. If you scroll down to the Social section, you'll see an option to Enable comments:
Make sure "Yes" is selected. In the same section, you can also configure the settings to decide whether comments will be displayed immediately (we recommend selecting "No", so you can monitor your comments), and allow social sharing on your galleries.
Once you're done, save your changes. That's it! Now your photography galleries are ready for image commenting.
Attracting and engaging visitors on your photography website can be difficult. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to make this task easier, such as offering image commenting.
As we've seen, there are many benefits to allowing image comments on your website, including boosting engagement rates, improving trust and transparency, and encouraging user interaction. Plus, when you use a premium plugin such as NextGEN Pro, enabling image comments on your galleries is quick and easy.
Do you have any questions about enabling image commenting on your photography website? Let us know in the comments section below!