Getting a photography website online has become a lot easier and cheaper with website builder for photographers. We present to you in-depth research of the very best, so you can select the best photography website builder.
These website builders are selected on the basis of ease of use, blogging functionality, SEO, and design.
The Top 5 Best Photography Website Builders in 2021
Here’s a list of 5 best photography website builders:
Squarespace being placed at the top of the list means it is the best in terms of its templates that are image-focused and stunning. These templates keep a balance between professional and artsy appearance.
Wix is strong due to its user-friendly interface which put it at the second position in the list.
SmugMug is specialised for the safeguarding your images on the website. We have created a comparison table to list the minor details of all the listed website builders.
|Builder||Best for||Pricing (/month, annual billing)||Free plan or trial|
|Squarespace||Best website builder for photographers||$12-$40||14-day free trial|
|Wix||Best to search new leads||$13-$49||Free plan|
|Smugmug||Best for event photographers||$8-$50||14-day free trial|
|WordPress||Best for photography blogs||$5-$45||Free plan|
|Weebly||Cheapest photography website maker||$8-$38||Free plan|
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these website builders to find the perfect for your need.
1. Squarespace – Best Photography Website Builder
Overall, Squarespace is the best website creator for photographers. It is known for being mobile responsive and creation of stunning websites. It comes with really attractive layout designs.
Squarespace creates a stunning website that feels high-end, polished and highly professional. It is among the most popular choice of the photographers because of its inexpensive premium plans. Also, it has a very easy-to-use user interface.
Squarespace gives you unlimited storage and bandwidth even at the cheapest plan.
|The templates are highly gorgeous and fit for creatives. It is best for the most stylish photography backdrop||It’s expensive. But it offers a lot of features in the package. Thus, better value for money.|
|All the features are in-house developed, so the standard is well-maintained. Third part plugins may vary in standard.||Squarespace poses a steeper learning curve. It is the most sophisticated builder which makes it the hardest to grip|
Squarespace offers the most stunning photography templates among all the website builders. The design is highly flexible and are professionally designed. Moreover, all the themes it offers are mobile responsive. Also, it allows you to switch templates easily to refresh the overall website design.
Squarespace Salient Features
Squarespace has quality features to support a quality photography website. It provides powerful blog features, strong SEO and social integration.
The range of featured plugins it offers is small. However, a wide range of third party plugins can be used to have more adventurous experience for every niche.
Squarespace offers help in optimizing the entire content of the website according to SEO. It further makes it easy to edit alt tags and descriptions of the images after uploaded for once.
Moreover, it also offers you to add extra elements such as to promote your work and engaging visitors may require creating a blog. In addition, you can accept enquiries by adding contact forms.
Squarespace offers a great platform that attracts bloggers. It offers multiple solutions such as:
- Adding RSS feed
- Optional comments
- Creating blog categories
- Adding unlimited number of pages on cheapest plan too
Squarespace is rated as the top in terms of blogging. It provides a minimalist, clean and crisp templates for blogging. Thus, your photography website will look highly professional.
It offers 4 price plans from $12 to $40 per month. These plans also allow you sell through your websites. Above all, you don’t need to pay for all the functions, only pay what you actually need. You are free to cancel or change your plan anytime.
The best of Squarespace is that it offers 50% off for a student package. It needs a valid academic email address for this in addition to the terms and conditions.
It offers 14-days trial period but does not have a free plan.
The personal plan of $12/month is most popular among the photographers.
Wix is ranked as the overall best website builder for photography.
It is highly versatile and user-friendly photography website builder. Wix provides a wide range of template that are easy to select and surprisingly easy to store and upload high quality photos.
Wix is an all-rounder but stands at the tops on the basis of its popularity among photographers. Moreover, Wix proves to be a great platform with SEO options that help photographers who are looking for online clients.
Specifically, Wix is suitable for event and shoot photographers.
|It gives full control over your website with frag and drop editor. It means you can do anything that you imagine. Wix is best for a highly customizable photography platform.||Template cannot be changed after the site is launched. So if you want to change your portfolio or design it further, it is not possible with Wix.|
|Wix automatically optimizes site for multiple platforms. The websites created as a result are fully responsive to all devices.||The creative control is overwhelming, especially for the beginners.|
Wix offers 500+ professionally designed templates. Out of which, 30+ are designed specifically for photographers.
It includes several gallery options to display your collection from Art photography to urban photography with clustered thumbnails to minimalist framing.
Even the gallery has different styles for you to explore. These include lightboxes to slideshows for image popping. Finding features in Wix is worth digging to get the best to represent your work.
Therefore, spending time on choosing the right template on Wix is worthy as you can change it later.
Wix also offers full control over your creativity. Wix provides a natural fit as it is flexible. The drag and drop builder makes it possible to do everything with the website that you need or imagine.
Moreover, the photo upload speed is also impressive that help minimizing time in bulk uploading. Above all, continuous editing goes on in the background.
With Wix, you can experience super simple image management and uploading. Thus, you can easily manage your collection while saving time.
Wix Salient Features
Wix offers several ways to let your photography stand out and grab visitors’ eyes. Adding social media connections and contact forms are super easy with Wix. Moreover, it has an impressive app store that gives an option of adding almost all sorts of features (mostly free and some paid.
You can add alt tags after uploading the photographs. Thus, Google can easily read them and improve the on-site SEO. Wix helps you optimize SEO site wide. It is ideal to push up your ranking.
Generally, Wix support your SEO strategy with its specific approach. The SEO Wizard in Wix tailors your website and content. It is pretty helpful as well as unique feature.
Wix blogging tool helps you add a blog to your website. It gives the best “blog on the side” type blog. But if you want to make yourblog to be the backbone of your site, then you will need to face some serious roadblocks. Such as;
- RSS feed is not possible so updating content is more difficult
- Posts will pile up because of archiving
Wix offers the most generous plans to build you website. If you are a beginner, you can build your confidence too. Obviously, building a fully professional website is not possible with a free plan, so we will not suggest you stay on it for long. Also, the free plan display Wix advertising, so that will eat up most of your storage.
Considering one of the premium plans is a good idea for monthly investment. Your own URL and custom domain can be added with only $13 per month. Thus, you can access a wider range of tools and templates while getting rid of Wix’s advertising.
It will also give additional storage so you can now upload more number of photographs. So, grow your website further.
Wix is a great thing for those who plan to sell their photography through website. It offers special ecommerce plans that start from $23 per month. These plans give you a set of selling tools.
To make the Wix website stand out, premium plans are best to opt. In this way, you will ensure the first impression.
SmugMug is a one of the best website builder for photographers that offers easy ways to display and sell your photographs. It is a specialised builder for what it does.
However, in comparison to other website builders it is limited in terms of versatility such as Superspace or Wix.
SmugMug still offers competitive advantage in terms that it helps selling out of the box. You can create custom price list, sell prints, photo download option and send gifts directly without extra integrations.
|It offers excellent photography features with security of your images after they are published.||The portfolio specialisation is limited. SmugMug does not hold up non-portfolio functionality.|
|You can easily monetize your photos with SmugMug. You can readily sell your prints and products right after signing up.||The cost of portfolio plan is $15 per month. It’s a bit steep if it is for starting out and not for monetizing.|
SmugMug shines with the photography-related features. Its higher demand is due to its designs. It offers pretty limited features particularly under the cheap plan and even with expensive ones. It only provides you with 21 templates.
It offers a moderate collection of designs that are simple to show off the photography. However, the features are limited. It is not only about the limited quantity. It’s great that SmugMug focuses only on the images, but, it simultaneously loses the extra features of maps or contact forms.
The customization offered by SmugMug is quiet basic. It is also rigid sometimes. For example, it does not allow much alteration with the width and height of the image boxes. If you truly want creative control, this website builder may not be for you. Instead, it lets your photos shine out and speak for themselves.
Smugmug Salient features
SmugMug is a specialised photography website creator, it has certain features and perks that other builders do not offer. The best feature of SmugMug is that it secures your photos from the third party.
The security options keep on increasing as you play more for the plan.
- Password protect the whole site including galleries, folders, and pages.
- Images can be protected with watermarks
- Right click protection is also enabled that displays customised notice of copyrighting as the right click is used by visitor on the website.
Here’s a closer look of some of the best features of SmugMug:
- Uploading albums from Dropbox and multiple locations
- Snap on upload and go straight to the image from the storage to website while still working on the front-end.
- Extensive integration with social media while staying connected to the community.
- Professional partnerships with printers so that it is easy to order products or prints directly from the website for more integrations.
- Lightroom syncing of the photo library
- Unlimited video and photo uploads.
SEO supports business growth so that you can tag keywords and descriptions on images. Meanwhile, you can edit meta data to create sitemaps and individual pages to submit a directory to Google.
SmugMug offers a specific SEO guide with extraordinary practical advice. Thus, ranking is not a problem with SmugMug.
Alas! If you are a blogger, SmugMug is not for you. There is no built-in option for blogging. Just know this beforehand prior to starting your photography website.
SmugMug does not offer any free plan, but 14 days trial for free. Then, you can subscribe to one of the most suitable premium plan. The plans range from basic $8 per month to pro plan $50 per month. On the basis of annual payments, the cheapest would cost you $96 per year.
WordPress is a famous and most popular blogging CMS on WordPress.org. Moreover, blogging powers are combined in WordPress.com. WordPress.org provides a user friendly and streamlined editor for website building.
WordPress offers a powerful yet challenging website builder which cannot be beaten. It provides outstanding value for your money. It is down on number fourth in the list because it is not good for photography portfolio. It is a good fit, if you want your website to be a low cost photography blog.
|It is best for blogging as it provides a wide range of built-in tools||Less likable choice for beginners as it is not easy to use|
|Worth money spending because of number of features||The primary use is for blogging so the designs and features are not specific for photography website as compared to competitors.|
WordPress.com offers thousands of themes with 91+ being tagged for photography websites. Most of the themes lack drag-and-drop tool that’s why their customizability is highly restricted.
The design and content cannot be edited at the same time. It creates restriction in creativity and feels clunky, especially if you are looking forward to redesign the template.
WordPress Salient Features
WordPress.com ranks on the top in terms of blogging. It offers many in-built plugins for free. However, these are still limited as compared to the other website builders in the list included in this post.
WordPress.com offers a complete set of blogging tools that cover all the user comments and social bookmarking.
Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com are consistent with SEO tool. WordPress.com comes with all the tools to build an SEO-friendly website. They both include content delivery networks (CDN) that further increase the page loading speed.
The most significant feature of WordPress.com is that it values for the amount it costs. It wowed the users with the number of features it offers for the dedicated price.
It has four paid and one free plan. The paid plans range from $45 to $5 per month. The WordPress.com branding can be unlocked with 200GB storage and gives an access to all SEO tools. It costs $25 for the business plan.
$8 is for another premium plan without these features but it is fine for a small photography business websites. It gives 13GB storage where you can also monetize your website.
Weebly is characterized as the cheapest website builder for photography. It offers a range of affordable designs that are not only sleek but flexible too.
There are several restrictions in designing with Weebly, but if you are not fussed with the design of your own website, then this restriction won’t hinder your work.
It offers amazing features that can easily be added through app center. So it is easy to add only those features that you want to add for your website.
|Weebly has unparalleled App Center. You can do whatever you imagine with the sheer number of apps on Weebly App Center.||Weebly is bought by Square which may be a good step towards ecommerce by away from creative website.|
|Interface offers a balance between structure and customizability. It presents your photography out of the box. You can easily and interestingly play around with templates and add multiple features.||Personal restore option is not available. Only Weebly support can restore a down site for you.|
Designs of Weebly are simple yet attractive but there are not much jaw dropping or groundbreaking type designs. It offers 50 stylish and clean layouts from a modest selection. Their themes are still below the average quality as offered by Squarespace or Wix.
The designs offered by Weebly are ideal, simpler and more basic. Technically, they do not standout. More visual and creative designs can, however, be looked under Personal and Portfolio categories.
The templates offered by Weebly are simple but easy to use. Therefore, they save a lot of time if you want to quickly build a photography website. Moreover, it can continue uploading photographs in the background. Therefore, you don’t have to wait for the uploads to complete.
Weebly Salient features
Weebly works well for selling products/images with these handy apps.
Printful-fulfilment service/custom service
Digital downloads-sell digital downloads
Weebly auto-optimizes images during uploading for web. It results in washed out colour palettes. Therefore, it is important to check for the potentially embed colour and sRGB to protect images from diminished vibrancy. It is specifically recommended for the images after editing in Ligthroom.
Weebly’s strongest point are its blogging tools.
You can expect the following from it:
- Viral blog with social bookmarking
- Archive with easy access
- Detailed analytics of blog performance
There are several useful apps for SEO promotion with Weebly. However, these are only available for premium plan subscribers. The more logical would be the subscription with the upgraded plan according to the requirement.
Also, it is easy to edit alt texts to tweak and upload photos with the settings to further optimize the site’s SEO. It helps to rank the website higher in the search engines.
Weebly is the cheapest in the list to create a professional photography website. It offers three paid plans with a range between $6 and $26 per month. A free plan is also present but we do not suggest it to create a professional website.
We strongly suggest the professional plan among all the plans as a starter. This is because it offers a good value for money as compared to the personal plan. Moreover, you can create a highly professional site with this plan. It is the cheapest plan that offers you to get rid of all the ads from the page.
To recap! We compared the most used and important features of the website builders available for photographers. The features that were thoroughly studied were ease of use, blogging, SEO, design and pricing.
We ranked every website builder according to the value for money, customer support and customer reviews in stars. The top picks are Squarespace, Wix, SmugMug, WordPress, and Weebly.
The most important aspect while selecting a photography website is that it should put your image to center and front with a show off. You image should be showcased in such a way that potential clients or even the visitors are attracted to see your photos.