Type “photography + (your city)” into Google and you’ll get a rough idea of the sheer level of competition you’re up against. The good news: 90% of the websites that show up will suck. The bad news: if you’re not one of the 10% you’re probably losing business. Photographers tend to make the same mistakes over and over again, and sadly, often get judged by their lack of web design skills, rather than their creative prowess. If you’re a photographer looking to get ahead of the competition, these tips will help.
1. Upload High-Res Images
Most photographers tend to fear uploading high-res images due to worries about increased loading times and copyright infringement. The former point shouldn’t bother you too much. High speed broadband and fibre optic ensure this won’t be an issue. As for the latter, if you’re worried about copyright infringement, use a watermark.
2. Get Rid Of The Flash
Flash websites are dated. Not only will flash prevent Google from indexing your website effectively, it will also hinder its smartphone functionality. Yes, flash can look great, but it’s just not worth the trouble. If you really want to have some kind of animation or movement, use a simple, sleek slider instead. This is also a great way to show off your portfolio.
3. Publish Contact/Price Information
If somebody stumbles upon your website they’ll want to know two things: where you are located and how much you charge. Don’t be cryptic about your prices. People use the web for convenience and many won’t even bother contacting you if they have to write an email. In addition, if you’re confined to a certain area make sure you specify your city/county.
4. Keep A Blog
A portfolio alone won’t cut the mustard. A blog will allow you to keep your content fresh in the eyes of Google – crucial for search rankings – and literally show your readership how versatile you are. Use a blog to experiment with new ideas, discuss your techniques and establish yourself as an authority – http://www.samuelburns.co/ is a textbook example of how this can be achieved.
5. Consider The Speed
This may seem contrary to the fist tip, but hear me out… work to the perimeters of your website. If it only displays images in 800×600, don’t upload anything that exceeds that value. In addition, you should use the .JPEG file format. To the naked, untrained eye the differences between jpeg and other, data-heavy formats will be minimal.
6. Refine Your Portfolio
Lastly, don’t overdo it with your portfolio page. Even an enthusiast won’t want to scroll through hundreds of photos. Select a handful of images that show off both your individual style and virtuosity, watermark them, and then place them all within a tidy template that has a “click to enlarge” option.
Fundamentally, quality website design – no matter what your industry – is about functionality. The easier you make it for customers to find crucial information and contact you, the better.