Using WordPress for a Photography website
Most photographers want a website for one or both of the following reasons:
Either way, if you are a photographer and require a website, you will want a site that showcases your photography skills in the best way possible.
We have 1 click install scripts for numerous content managements systems including Wordpress. Wordpress is extremely popular with photographers and boasts themes and plugins that suit a photography site perfectly.
Wordpress is free to use and easy to install using our fast installation script. However, some of the most popular Wordpress themes / plugins for photographers may be paid*. We have outlined a few below and have made clear which options are free.
Wordpress native gallery function
Wordpress has a very simple default 'create gallery' function. It doesn't involve buying any software or installing any plugins. You simply create a post, click 'add media'. You then select 'Create Gallery' and select your chosen pictures from your media library. Your selected pictures are added to your new post in a 'gallery' format. It is a quick, free, simple, no fuss way of adding numerous pictures to your Wordpress site.
It's by no means the fanciest or most aesthetically pleasing way of displaying your pictures but it does the job and would work for those who want to keep things basic or for non professional photography websites.
Wordpress photography themes
This is a free photography / art theme that you can install via the themes section in your Wordpress dashboard.
This theme is responsive with a grid design. With this theme, you can choose to have a portfolio or a blog layout. You can also change the width of your images to full width.
Portfolio Press has its own sub forum within Wordpress forums. The theme creator mentions on their own website that they check this forum regularly so it may be a good place to visit for support.
You can view a video about Portfolio Press here.
This is another free, responsive theme that you can install via your Wordpress dashboard. This theme allows you to customise layouts with several options available, one of which is a full width content area. You can also customise the colours and fonts.
The theme uses a simple, attractive design that can be used to showcase images as its main content.
Like Portfolio Press, it has its own sub forum which may prove useful if you have any issues.
There's a nice demo of Portfolio Gallery here.
Chances are, if you look at the source code of a number of photography sites, at least one of them would have been made using ProPhoto.
ProPhoto is a premium product that will need to be downloaded from the offical website (not through wordpress themes). At the time of writing, ProPhoto is $199. You can use ProPhoto without having any previous website building skills. It doesn't use flash for the photo galleries so every visitor should be able to view your site correctly.
Prophoto includes 14 different theme designs that you can use. There is an option to purchase extra designs if you prefer. Once you have chosen your design, you then have the option to add your images, upload your logo, change colours and fonts and add content.
Other features include mobile friendly slider galleries, watermarking and theft protection, social media widgets, contact forms and SEO controls.
Due to this being a paid theme, you will receive support which ProPhoto promise is fast and helpful.
There are a couple of live examples of sites using the ProPhoto theme on their website.
Impreza is a very highly rated theme that can be purchased from Themeforest for $59.
The theme doesn't have to be exclusively used as a photography site. There are lots of options. However, it offers portfolio functions (see portfolio demo below) that would help create a stunning photography website.
With Impreza, there are numerous grid display options for images (17 portfolio grid styles) as well as responsive slider functions. Impreza also has full design integration with Woocommerce which is great if you are selling prints / services on your website.
Impreza allows for lots of styling options and unlimited colours, it uses a drag and drop composer and if you use a demo site first, you can import the demo straight into your new live site.
As well as the standard 6 month's support included with your purchase, there is also a support portal with support tickets and knowledgebase documentation.
You can view the portfolio demo for Impreza here.
To fully test Impreza, you can create a temporary test site here.
Wordpress photography plugins
This plugin is a free addon that you can install via your Wordpress dashboard. This plugin allows you to password protect selected galleries. This means that your clients can access their photos via your website discretely without them being public. This would be really useful for wedding or studio photographers.
All you need to do is create the client's gallery and then send them a link to it with the password. Once your clients have accessed the gallery, they can view it or download the pictures. They can also select favourite photos from the gallery which you could use to indicate which prints they would like. Once your client has accessed the gallery and actioned any of the features, you will receive an email detailing whether they chose favourites etc.
You can watch this video that further explains how this plugin works.
You can also view the Photography Management forum here.
This is a free plugin that you can install via your Wordpress admin. This allows you to create fully responsive galleries that can be displayed in a variety of ways (thumbnail, slideshow etc).
This video may be a useful introduction to this plugin.
This plugin also supports watermarks on images, unlimited photo uploads per gallery, direct image download, right click disabling for image protection and search integration. You can also create unlimited galleries and albums.
You can view the support forum for this plugin here.
Meta Slider can be installed via your Wordpress dashboard. This slider plugin offers 4 different SEO optimised slider types. The various slider options offer differing transition effects.
Slides can be created / adjusted using images via drag and drop. Captions and links can also be added to slides. You can easily set / edit the size of your sliders to suit your page. Full width sliders are also supported.
You can view an introduction video to Meta Slider here.
There is also a tutorial video which explains how to add a slider to your header.
Link to Meta Slider support forum.
Smart Slider 3
Again, this is a free slider plugin that can be installed through your Wordpress admin. This free plugin has great reviews on the Wordpress plugin directory.
Smart Slider 3 supports slides for videos and you can also create slides from your Wordpress posts. You can add animation effects to your slides and they can be easily re-sized. Fonts and colours can also be edited. You can create either static or dynamic slides.
This plugin is fully responsive and the drag and drop nature of this add-on adds to its ease of use.
This plugin comes with 4 sample sliders.
There is a tutorial video here.
You will also find a brief manual for the plugin here.
Link to Smart Slider 3 support forum.
PhotoMosaic is a plugin for Wordpress. You can download this plugin from Code canyon for $18.
You can see a live preview of the plugin here.
Photomosaic is fully responsive and the mosaic effect of the plugin showcases your photos in an attractive way with a mixture of sizes. When you click on these images, they expand so that you can see the picture in a larger size. Photomosaic is basically a different layout for the basic, default Wordpress gallery function that appeals because it is not the standard design.
6 months support is included when you purchase this plugin which includes answers from the plugin author / developer and assistance with any bugs. Using a plugin like Photomosaic is a cheaper way of customising your photography site without paying large amounts for a theme.
This is another paid slider plugin for Wordpress. You can purchase it from Code Canyon for $19. Slider Revolution is very highly rated and is marketed as the number 1 selling slider plugin.
Slider examples can be found here.
Slider Revolution is a mobile friendly / responsive plugin that supports sliders, carousels and media galleries. You can also display your content across the entire home page. The designs are constructed via a drag and drop interface. Full width and responsive sliders are also possible.
This plugin also comes with Woocommerce (e-store) and social media feed support.
Support for this plugin includes a support ticket system and a FAQ database. 6 month's support is included with your purchase.
These are just a small number of options that you can integrate with your Wordpress install, there are many more out there. It is worth researching before settling on one. The sheer number of photography plugins / themes for Wordpress show just how photographer friendly this CMS is.
*we are not affiliated with or formally recommending 3rd party plugins / themes in any way. We are merely pointing out the options available.
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