WordPress is an effective and powerful platform on its own. However, failing to invest in some quality photography site plugins to extend its native features could limit the design and functionality of your website.
Fortunately, there are a variety of WordPress plugins to take your photography website to the next level. From improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and increasing site speed to elevating your design and aesthetic, there are many ways you can use these tools to create a more sophisticated site.
In this post, we’ll take a look at five plugins you can use to help enhance your photography website, and explain why they're useful. Let’s get started!
1. Yoast SEO
SEO is the process of improving the visibility – and in turn, traffic – that your website receives. By boosting your position in the search engine rankings, it's more likely people will come across your photography site when searching for the services you offer.
Therefore, it's highly recommended that you make your site's SEO a priority. The Yoast SEO plugin can help with this:
Once you install and activate the plugin, it will add a meta box to the bottom of the WordPress editor to offer suggestions on how to improve the SEO of your content. This includes:
- Taking synonyms and related keywords into account
- Making internal linking suggestions
- Giving you a preview of what the page's listing will look like in Google
- Conducting a readability test
With photography sites, adding Alt text to your images is critical for proper SEO. Yoast can also help with this by notifying you when you have images that are missing this key element.
2. WP Rocket
As a photographer, images are of course a major part of your website. While high-quality photos are certainly recommended, they can also slow down the speed of your website if they're not optimized.
Fortunately, caching plugins can help prevent this. Put simply, these tools save static copies of your site's pages in users' browsers so they can be loaded more quickly on subsequent visits. This is why WP Rocket is a staple for photography sites:
This plugin offers several fringe benefits beyond automatic caching after it's activated. For example, because it helps reduce page load times, it also improves User Experience (UX), can increase retention rates, and boosts your SEO.
As we mentioned, photos can quickly drag your site down and make it more sluggish than it needs to be. The problem is that high-quality images translate to large file sizes.
The more media files you have and the larger they are, the harder your site has to work to load them. The good news is you can use image optimization tools such as the Imagify plugin:
Imagify uses a combination of lossless and lossy compression to reduce file size with minimal effect on image quality. It also lets you resize and optimize your photos in bulk, and automatically converts them to WebP format for free.
Tracking the performance of your photography site is important. However, it can also be tedious. This is especially true when you're using separate systems and tools to monitor site traffic and activity.
To make it straightforward as possible, it's best to use a plugin that lets you integrate analytics tools with WordPress to gain essential insights directly from your dashboard. We recommend using Google Site Kit:
This free plugin features a user-friendly interface. It gives you quick, easy access to information about how people are finding your site. Additionally, it generates stats and metrics from key Google products including PageSpeed Insights, AdSense, and Search Console.
No photography site is complete without a gallery management system. It helps to have the option of choosing between various styles and layouts, as well as an easy way to configure size, transitions, lightbox effects, and other elements.
Our NextGEN Gallery plugin helps with that and so much more:
With over 27 million downloads, NextGEN Gallery is the most popular plugin of its kind for WordPress. You can use it to:
- Batch upload photos
- Import metadata
- Add, delete, and rearrange photos
- Group galleries into albums
- Edit thumbnails
These are just some of the features you get with the free version. If you upgrade to NextGEN Pro, you'll receive lifetime access to a plethora of premium extensions, including ones for e-commerce, social sharing, and automated print order fulfillment.
Building your photography website with WordPress lets you easily customize and manage it. However, if you want your site to stand out and perform optimally, it’s a good idea to explore extensions that go beyond the platform's built-in features.
In this article, we discussed five essential plugins you can use to enhance your photography site:
- Yoast SEO: This handy tool provides suggestions to help improve your content's Google rankings.
- WP Rocket: With browser caching enabled, your visitors will be able to access your posts and pages faster.
- Imagify: By optimizing your media files, you can cut down your loading times.
- Google Site Kit: This makes it easy to track key metrics and analytics directly from your dashboard.
- NextGEN Gallery: Our gallery plugin will help you display your images beautifully.
Do you have any questions about photography site plugins? Let us know in the comments section below!
Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy.co. When he's not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.