As a photographer, you understand the old adage "a picture’s worth a thousand words". It’s why you spend time and effort honing your craft and editing your work for clients. However, if you’re like many in the industry, you might forget to apply that attentive approach to your website.
If you’re creating a photography site for the first time, knowing which popular missteps to avoid can help make it a success. Once you know what the most common mistakes are, not only will you be able to prevent them, but you’ll also be able to use them to gain a competitive edge.
In this post, we’ll take a look at five common photography website mistakes as well as some tips for how to avoid them. Let’s get started!
1. Choosing the Wrong Theme or Layout
As a creative, you can appreciate how visual design influences a person's perception. You could have beautiful, captivating images on your site. However, choosing the wrong theme or layout to display them can negatively impact how visitors view them (or whether they do so at all).
A low-quality theme can be detrimental to your photography site because it may imply a lack of creativity or credibility. If someone is looking to hire a photographer, poor web design could be interpreted as a lack of skill.
That said, simply choosing a highly-rated theme may not solve this issue. Photography sites need to include galleries and layouts that are ideal for showcasing your images in their best light. A design meant for a blog or e-commerce website isn't likely to be the best fit.
Instead, it's wise to choose from themes that are created specifically for photographers, such as our Imagely WordPress Photography Themes:
Premium photography themes are built with image displays in mind. They typically boast clean layouts and prominent galleries, so you can feel confident that your work will be the focal point.
2. Not Including Information About Yourself
Another photography website mistake some make is assuming their portfolio will speak for itself. Of course, your work is a huge testament to your skills and experience as a photographer.
However, your photography website is also an opportunity to brand yourself and build connections with potential clients. In this sense, adding a section on your site to introduce yourself, such as an About Me page, can go a long way:
Adding information about yourself gives you a way to humanize your brand. Clients may be more likely to trust you if they’re able to put a name or face to your photography site.
You don't have to share an extensive essay or your entire life story. Instead, keep it simple by adding some information about your photography background and experience. A brief narrative of how you got started in the industry can also be helpful.
3. Forgetting to Protect Your Images
Getting your photography website up and running is definitely exciting. However, in your excitement, you don’t want to overlook the importance of protecting your content.
When it comes to photography website mistakes, forgetting to implement image protection features is a serious one. This slipup can lead to content theft. The last thing you want is for your hard work to be used without your permission.
Fortunately, there are a few security measures you can use to safeguard your images. One is to add a watermark so your name and logo are always included as an overlay. Another is to disable right-click functionality on your site.
Our NextGEN Pro plugin can help with this. After you install and activate the plugin on your WordPress site, you can enable Image Protection features by going to Gallery > Other Options > Image Protection:
From here, you can configure the settings to prevent site visitors from right-clicking. It also includes an option to disable dragging and dropping your photos.
4. Overlooking the Importance of Image Optimization
As a photographer, your images are obviously a critical part of your website. Naturally, you want them to be of high quality.
The problem, however, is that high-quality images can hurt the performance and speed of your website. Large media files take longer to load, and could leave your site's visitors sitting around waiting to view your content.
Sometimes photographers don’t realize this and, in turn, don’t have sites that are functioning as well as they could be. The good news is that you can optimize your images so they don’t weigh down your site, without sacrificing their quality.
A plugin such as Imagify and ShortPixel makes this process simple:
This free ShortPixel WordPress plugin is an image optimizer that lets you compress media files directly from your site dashboard. They also offer a Website Image Compression Test you can use to check your photos' current status.
5. Failing to Integrate Your Site With Social Media
Making sure you have a site that has quality design and performs well is important. However, it’s also helpful to consider other digital platforms that can boost your online presence, such as social media channels.
- Boost brand visibility and awareness
- Increase engagement
- Improve your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is why we recommend adding social sharing buttons to your photography site. Our NextGEN Lightbox feature lets you incorporate social icons in your galleries:
Adding these buttons to your image displays makes it easier for visitors to promote your content to their own social followers. In turn, this can help drive more traffic to your site.
Photography is your area of specialty, not web design and development. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a website that showcases your skills and attracts new clients.
As we discussed in this article, five common websites mistakes photographers make that you should avoid include:
- Choosing the wrong theme or layout.
- Not including information about yourself.
- Forgetting to protect your images.
- Overlooking the importance of image optimization.
- Failing to integrate your site with social media.
Do you have any questions about avoiding these photography website mistakes? Let us know in the comments section below!