While publishing photos on social media is important, having your own portfolio website to showcase your best work is even better! Here are a few of the many platforms you can use to build your site!
It shouldn’t be surprising to see this one at the top of the list. Thousands and thousands of websites are powered through WordPress. With its essentially infinite customization, it’s not hard to see why. There are tons of premium (and free!) themes that are designed specifically with photographers in mind. There are also tons of plug-ins to help you run your site more effectively and efficiently, including ones that improve SEO. All of these aspects of WordPress make it ideal for those who have a clear vision of the site that they want to create and know what they are doing. On the other hand, it can be overwhelming and a real pain for those who do not. WordPress is a platform that can’t really be fully optimized without at least basic coding skills (or hiring someone who has them) or spending money on premium themes, which can be a problem for some. So in short, WordPress can help you create a very unique and amazing photography site, but only if you have the right tools and a lot of patience.
There has been a lot of buzz around Squarespace in the photography world lately and after trying it out, I totally get it. This platform offers sleek and stunning templates with a friendly user interface, making it nearly impossible to end up with a subpar site for your portfolio. While it’s true that Squarespace has a very limited amount of templates to choose from, they are all high quality and beautifully designed. Also worth mentioning is the fact that this platform is the easiest to use out of all of the ones listed here. All you have to do is choose a template, load your content and logo (if you don’t have one, the font selection is fantastic as well), and then you have a beautiful portfolio on display! All it takes is a few minutes! The downside to Squarespace is its limited customization beyond the templates. For those of you who are tech-savvy and like to code a lot, this platform is probably not for you. There’s also the fact that it isn’t free (prices range from $8/month to $24/month), which may be a deal breaker for some.
I was able to make this portfolio in less than ten minutes!
I decided to try 22Slides out after stumbling upon the gorgeous website of Seattle wedding photographer Jordan Voth and man, am I impressed! Unlike Squarespace, 22Slides doesn’t exactly offer templates. Instead it opts for a customization page where you can choose the basic layout of your site and choose between a few different gallery types for your photos.
Where it is like Squarespace is in its minimalistic nature. With both of these platforms, less is more and content is supreme, which is how it should be. 22Slides also has awesome support for its users. There is a public forum where you can find answers to previously answered questions or ask your own, even very specific questions about a line of coding (yes, you can code!) or other features. Overall, I found it much easier to use than WordPress while still being more customizable than Squarespace. 22Slides does cost $10/month, but there is no long-term commitment, so you can cancel it anytime you’d like!
I have a love/hate relationship with Wix. I love that it can be fairly easy to make a unique site by simply dragging and dropping things where you want them on the screen, all while still maintaining the ability to code a little bit. Most of all, I love that it’s free! I hate its limitations when it comes to creating photo galleries and the fact that it is quite hard to perfect mobile versions. But all of these platforms have their pros and cons, and there have been some truly amazing sites built with Wix!
It all just comes down to personal preference.
This one is a bit different from the rest on the list. Though Tumblr is primarily known as a social media site, it can definitely still be used for a photography portfolio. In fact, being a form of social media can be great if you are looking for a more interactive experience! With great content and proper tags, you can gain many followers, which can help you build a base as a photographer (or expand it if you’re already established). The downside is that because Tumblr is a social media site, certain functions like being able to have a home page for your portfolio are quite limited. With that being said, there are definitely ways around this because there aren’t really any limitations to coding. There are also many themes that are designed for photography and portfolios that can help you achieve your desired look and feel. And unless you go for a premium theme, it’s all free!
(Tumblr may not be the best platform if you are certain you want to build a professional photography site, but it is definitely a great place to start just to get a portfolio online!)