Friday, 29 June 2012

The Essentials of Photography Websites

The days of having an online portfolio are over. Photographers should now be embracing their website in more ways than one. This means building and maintaining a photography website that not only shows your work, but also acts as a powerful marketing tool.
The statistics in this article come from Photoshelter’s survey of photo editors and commercial photo buyers. Eye-opening and insightful, I thought I’d share some of these statistics and tips to help take your photography website to the next level.
Whether you would like to update your existing website or start from scratch, use the new fundamental elements to make a “photography website of the future.”

Is your website following the new essentials of a “photography website of the future?” Photo by Stewart Baird

Function Over Fashion

“58% said a unique design does not matter”
A pretty website is nice. But if it doesn’t function the way it should, it might as well be retired. Instead of focusing on the look of your website, focus on the images themselves. Focus on the functionality of your website.
Here are a couple ways you can keep your website focused on function rather than style:
Keep things simple: The design of your website shouldn’t stand out more than your images. If it does, think about toning it down. A simple white or black background is standard for many professional photographers.
Avoid Flash: Although Flash is great in some ways, the issues with it outnumber the benefits. Basically, Flash is slow on many computers, doesn’t work without a plugin, and is difficult to index by search engines. Everything you don’t want your website to be.
Be consistent:. In addition to keeping the design of your website simple and consistent, keep your clients involved with your work via updates. This could mean establishing a monthly newsletter or posting news on a special “news” section of your website. When someone from your list of clients and prospects is in need a photographer, you’ll be the first one that pops into their head.
Deliver via download or FTP: The work of being a photographer doesn’t stop at taking stunning images for your clients. You’ll also have to deliver those images in a way that pleases your clients. Ditch outdated methods like e-mail and CD to deliver your photos.
When photo buyers were surveyed, “82% said they prefer to download high-res images directly from a photographer’s website.” Another effective method of delivery is FTP. Consider making these options an integral part of your websites functionality. It will streamline your workflow and please your clients.
Be speedy: For the question of how long would you wait for a photographer’s website to load, “71% of the respondents said they would give up after 15 seconds.” This means you need to make sure your website is running quickly and properly. Check the file sizes of your images if it seems to be loading slowly.
Read more:
The Essentials of Photography Websites

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