9 Features Every Photography Website Needs Now

9 Features Every Photography Website Needs Now

Do you typically update your photography website on looks alone? Silly snapper! There is so much more to consider when putting together your website. Here’s a handy guide. How many crucial features do you have?

1. Responsive Web Design

responsive

What exactly is a “responsive” website? It’s a website design that changes based the device that is being used to view it. For example, a typical website design doesn’t look so great on a phone. The same website without gesture controls on a tablet also fails to take advantage of the device’s paradigm. And, a person viewing your site on a 27″ iMac has more screen real estate than an 11″ laptop. Scaling images, reflowing columns, device awareness – these define responsive website design. Since mobile browsing is projected to surpass computer-based browsing in the next few years (if not sooner), you need to make sure your work looks great from any device. Hint: If you have a Flash website, it ain’t responsive.

2. Search

barbour

http://archive.lincolnbarbour.com/

How many times did you google something today? Search is ubiquitous in the information age, yet so few photography sites have search capabilities. And as we add more photos to our sites, search become a necessary means of finding and navigating content.

3. Sales

strain

http://andrewstrain.photoshelter.com/

It’s hard work getting people to your website with all the distractions on the web. You should make a point of trying to turn passive visitors into paying clients as often as possible. But to do that, you’re gonna need a website that allows you to sell images. Don’t fall into the old trap of strictly using your website as an online portfolio. That’s so last century.

4. Private Galleries

password

Whether you’re a pro or amateur, you will undoubtedly need to show someone images that aren’t meant for the general public. Definitely a better option than tweeting your nude selfies.

5. High Res Downloads

downloadsizes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse

Sure, you could use file delivery services to send images to your clients (or your mom), but maintaining a consistent brand is a hallmark of good marketing. Plus, a photo website can display preview images, captions/meta data, and offer a number of different download sizes, which makes life a lot easier for clients who don’t know what to do with a 36MP file.

6. Social Media Integration

bedford

http://keithbedford.photoshelter.com/

What’s good for other sites is good for your site. See all those Facebook like buttons on your favorite news site? That tweet button on the crowdfunding site? You might have even clicked those buttons yourself. Let other people help your photos go viral by adding social media integration into your website.

7. SEO

google

If someone searches for you on the Internet and you aren’t found, do you cease to exist? Pretty much. Although building good Search Engine Optimization requires a number of factors, your website needs to place key information in known formats for search engines to find and index you.

8. Analytics

analytics

A website is a marketing tool for your photography, whether your a pro or not. Can you imagine investing time and money into a marketing campaign without knowing how it’s performing? That’s like TV without Nielsen numbers, radio without the Billboard charts, or a website without, well, analytics. Robust packages like Google Analytics are free, so what’s your excuse?

9. Copyright Notices/Image Security

copyright

http://www.robertcaplin.com

Image theft is rampant on the web, and while you might not pursue every infringement you find, you should maximize your chances when you do decide to go the legal route. Registering your images with the Copyright Office and posting that copyright on your images gives you both statutory protection (up to $150k per infringement) plus Digital Millenium Copyright Act protection (up to $12,500 per infringement) if the copyright information is removed. Interest piqued?

Extra tip: Beam websites have all the above features, and more. Bold, beautifully designed sites combined with the power of PhotoShelter’s ecommerce, file delivery, and online marketing tools. What’s not to love?

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There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Ryan at 3:21 pm

    A few of the points are valid. Responsive design is great. SEO is critical. Social Media Integration can be great.

    But I really don’t think every photography website needs high res download, sales or search.

    If, as a photographer, you are posting so many images to your portfolio to make search worthwhile it simply means you have WAY WAY WAY too many images in your portfolio.

    Sales and high res downloads are great for people wanting to sell their photos as stock or prints. For anyone else it is useless.

    Not that they are bad features, just the headline is really misleading.

  2. gene at 5:52 pm

    I think it’s a joke that you state “sales” in this article. You’re latest version of PS makes selling so difficult that I moved my site to zenfolio. For starters you cannot even find a sale’s button of any type when browsing images UNTIL you click on a tiny little “i” icon (who the heck is going to know they have to do this?)…. only then do you get a chance to actual buy a photo.

    People who want to sell their images,,, want to sell their images.. and that should be up front and obvious from the second a person lands on the site. Meaning easy to spot, easy to use buy buttons at all images locations and simple to find cart system (not hidden away inside some abstract category you’ve defined as “archives”….

    PS has taken a HUGE leap backward with your new platform.. all it does is look better,,,, but functionally it’s worse than before.

  3. gene at 5:55 pm

    ps. you also state “responsive design” as being so important. and you’re right,, it is…
    So why then are the “single image” pages NOT reponsive… it’s incredibly irritating for viewers to have responsive main pages, responsive gallery browsing pages,,, but then when you want to see a specific image with it’s information and sales, etc… then suddenly it’s no longer a responsive page.

    • Lauren Margolis at 1:44 pm

      @Gene – Thanks for your feedback. While Beam is in Beta, we’re working hard to make improvements and fully integrated PhotoShelter’s tools into the Beam platform. Of course if you have further concerns or suggestions, please feel free to email us at support@photoshelter.com

  4. Lee at 9:28 am

    Of course it’s misleading. This article is essentially a marketing tool to get you to buy into Photoshelter’s products so of course they’ll try to make it seem like everything they offer is critical.

  5. Pingback: Top Photography Headlines Of The Week | Fstoppers

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