Looking back, being a photographer was a tough gig. Cameras were inferior, rolls limited how many photos you can take, a bunch of extra equipment was needed, and probably the toughest part was finding a place to display your work. Just think about it. Before the first photography website builder came about, people had to showcase their art in galleries, museums, and art books.
Luckily, things have progressed and become much easier. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that the photography business has become less skillful. I mean, one can even argue that it’s even more difficult now that almost anyone can buy a camera and snap some photos. However, the business part of photography is a lot less stressful thanks to the internet.
Today, you can share your work with the world faster than you can brew a coffee. Simply, create your personalized photography website, upload your work to it, and start selling. Easy, right? Well, it is, and it isn’t. The key is to use one of the top website builders for photographers, which is sadly easier said than done.
When I started researching for this article, my goal was to find ten flawless website builders, but as it turns out, it’s hard to find even one that is perfect. I ended up settling on these photography website builders, even though all of them have some flaws. So, what do you say we stop wasting time, and get right to the meat of the matter?
I have talked about WiX a number of times on our website. What can I say; WiX is just a great all-purpose website builder. It has a slew of features that are suitable for any type of business. I don’t have time to go over all of them right now, but if you are interested, I highly recommend checking out our WiX review. Now, let’s get back to our main topic, WiX for photographers. Photography websites have a bit different requirements, so let’s see how WiX stands in this niche.
Pros: The obvious plus for WiX is that it’s free. As most of you know, WiX will let you create a completely free website. With it, you will receive 500MB of storage space and 1GB of bandwidth. Also, all features will be unlocked, except the online store. Moreover, if you decide to opt for one of the paid plans, you can use a Wix coupon code for a significant drop in the price. Another big plus for WiX is its huge number of templates. Thanks to their drag-and-drop customization system, you can create a sleek and professional looking website within few minutes.
Cons: Storing all your photos will take a lot of space, and you won’t get that with WiX’s free plan. Ask anyone, and they will tell you that 500MB of storage space and 1GB of bandwidth for a photography website isn’t enough. So, I guess the only downside to WiX is that you will have to upgrade to one of their premium plans if your business picks up.Get Your Free Website Upgrade
People at Zenfolio market this photography website builder as an all-in-one e-commerce platform for showcasing and selling photographs. I couldn’t agree more. Zenfolio is not a joke. If you want a mesmerizing and one of a kind portfolio, then Zenfolio might be your best option.
Pros: Being a photography only website builder, Zenfolio has tons of features just for this niche. From watermarking and image protection to unlimited storage space and bandwidth, Zenfolio will give you all necessary tools to create a captivating and efficient portfolio. Beautiful and fully customizable themes are considered, so I won’t talk about them. However, I would like to mention their online store features. Zenfolio will allow you to sell your photos in bulk, set prices, and use different currencies. Great options to have if you want to please your customers.
Cons: The only con is that some of these features are locked behind a paywall. For example, if you want SEO support and batch pricing, then you will have to sign up for their Pro package, which is $20 per month. The standard package is cheap, only $5 per month, but you won’t get integrated shopping cart as well as some other key features.Start A Free Trial Pricing
Format is THE photography website builder. Unlike some of my other entries, Format completely focuses on building online portfolios for creative minds. So, if you are a photographer and want to create a stellar portfolio to showcase your work, then Format might be the right thing for you.
Pros: As I said before, Format is only about creating portfolios for photographers, animators, and other creative minds. You can create and manage galleries with ease, rearrange them to your liking, customize the website as much as you want, sell photos directly from your website, write blog posts, etc. Another great thing with Format is that it has a photoprotection feature. That means no illegal downloads through your website.
Cons: Similar to SquareSpace, Format’s only flaw, if you consider it as a flaw, is its business model. You will get a free 14-day trial, but after that, you can sign up for one of their four plans. The cheapest one is $6 per month, and it is pretty bare bones. It’s a great option for beginners, but if you are a well-established photographer with hundreds of photos under your belt, then you should go for the unlimited plan. It will cost you $44 per month, but you will have unlimited everything, as well as a custom URL.Start A Free Trial Pricing
RedFrame is another website builder for photographers only. It’s always great to see when a company decides to completely devote themselves to a certain niche, and Redframe has done just that. Their services are built just for photographers, and they have polished them to a tee. So, let’s see what makes them this great.
Pros: RedFrame offers many photography-specific features like unlimited storage and bandwidth, personal URL, SEO features, creative and professional templates, promo and coupon integration, and tons of customization options. However, the most impressive thing with RedFrame is that it takes 0% commission fee on your sales. Also, you can create custom photo packages and sell them in categories like sports, graduation, nature, etc.
Cons: The only flaw, which I can think of, is that RedFrame has only one payment option. I mean, the price is reasonable. For only $16 per month with an annual plan, you will get all features that RedFrame offers. However, this will be a problem for people that find some services unnecessary and want to customize their plans.Get Started Pricing
SmugMug might seem like your standard photography website builder, but it’s so much more. It offers everything that you might need for your photography website, and more. There is nothing special and unique about SmugMug, yet it’s able to stand on its own with industry giants like SquareSpace and WiX.
Pros: SmugMug is a perfect blend of pricing and features. They are chock full of great website templates, but you can also create your own theme without any coding. Some of their premium packages come with a personalized domain name, image protection, and an online shop. Also, there is a bunch of standard features like unlimited uploads, drag-and-drop customization, custom galleries, and much, much more. SmugMug just works, and it works well.
Cons: It’s hard to find cons for SmugMug. Sure, they have some money baiting tactics. Their basic plan is the biggest offender. It’s lackluster, and more than half of the essential features are missing. However, it’s hard to complain about their pricing policy when their most expensive plan costs $25 per month if you sign an annual deal. For example, almost the exact same plan from Format costs $44 per month.Start A Free Trial Pricing
I have talked before about uKit in my article about Top 5 Real Estate Website Builders. I am very familiar with this website builder, and let me just say that I still believe that uKit is one of the best website builders regardless of the niche. That is why I have included it on this list as well.
Pros: uKit is highly intuitive and easy to use. It is built so that even first-timers can create a photography website on their own. There are a lot of designs to choose from, and they are all mobile-friendly. The great thing with uKit is that it allows unlimited storage and ad-free pages with their cheapest plan, which is not that common.
Cons: When it comes to flaws, uKit doesn’t have many. Well, of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be on this list. The one thing that bothers me is that uKit’s cheapest package lacks some of the key features for photography websites. For instance, if you want to sell your photos, you will have to opt-in for one of the pricier packages like the e-commerce and the pro package. Also, if you want to make changes in the HTML code of your website, you will have to go for the pro package specifically. The other ones don’t have that feature.Get Started Pricing
PhotoShelter is your go-to website builder for photographers. Over 80, 000 individuals host, display, and sell their photos using their services. At first glance, PhotoShelter seems bland and ordinary, but if you scratch a little bit under the surface, you will realize that beneath lies a powerful photography website builder.
Pros: PhotoShelter has over 100 features. From standard ones like drag-and-drop customization and modern website templates to more sophisticated ones like marketing tools and cloud storage. PhotoShelter even has client delivery options, so you don’t have to hire third-party services to send high-res photos to your clients. Additionally, their security is top notch. You can implement custom watermarks and use their Image Theft Guard.
Cons: Similar to other entries, PhotoShelter is an inch away from perfection. The only flaw that I could think of is their disappointingly small number of templates. Regardless of what package you sign up for, you will be able to choose between nine HTML5 templates. That is slightly disappointing if you ask me.Start A Free Trial Pricing
Virb is your straightforward website builder for artists. They market their services to musicians, designers, and of course, photographers. If you are looking to create a website without breaking a sweat and for a reasonable price too, then maybe you should consider signing up with Virb.
Pros: Virb is very easy to use. There is nothing complicated with setting up a website if you do it with Virb. Their intuitive menu will allow you to create and customize your website as much as you want. Add on that unlimited storage space and custom URL, and you get a winning combination. Besides all of this, Virb will let you integrate photos and videos from any of your social media accounts. An awesome feature, if you were busy posting photos on Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Cons: Virb is a little bit lackluster compared to some of the entries from this list. I don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat, but Virb misses some photography-specific features like marketing tools and security features. For $10 per month, they could have at least integrated watermarks or any other image security system.
UPD: Virb is no longer accepting new signups.
Shopify is one of the most recognizable website builders. They focus mostly on e-commerce, which makes them great for photographers that plan to sell photos on their website. However, they are not a photography-specific website builder, so some people might find their features unnecessary.
Pros: Shopify is the best website for photographers to sell photos. Their e-commerce services are unparalleled. You will get unlimited storage, pages, and products, discount codes, fraud analysis system, etc. If you are interested in learning more about their e-commerce features, our Shopify review covers all of them. Additionally, Shopify’s website designs are amazing for photographers, considering that this is not their area of expertise.
Cons: Shopify is on the pricier side with their services going around $30 per month. However, Shopify also has a transaction fee of 2.0% for clients that use their basic plan, and lower for those that upgrade to one of their premium ones. So, if you are not planning to use their e-commerce features, Shopify might be overkill.Start A Free Trial Pricing
Squarespace has been on a roll in the past couple of years. They’ve managed to become one of the leading website builders in a very short period. As WiX, they offer their services to any type of business, including photography. So, let’s see what's good, and what's bad with Squarespace’s photography websites.
Pros: In my book, Squarespace has best designs and templates. They are modern, minimal, and most importantly, professional. Besides that, building a website on Squarespace is probably the easiest thing you will ever do. They use drag-and-drop customization system, so even the biggest newbie can get by. As for their feature list, it’s endless. Squarespace has every feature that a modern photography website needs. Image SEO, social media connection, online shop, blogging features, and much more. If you want to learn more about their features, you can read our Squarespace review.
Cons: There aren’t many. Squarespace is a great option for photographers. However, if you want to build a free photography portfolio website, then this builder is not for you. SquareSpace offers a free trial, but after it expires, you will have to pay $18 per month if you take the business package, which I recommend you do. It has unlimited storage, bandwidth, pages, and galleries. A must-have for any photography website.
Listed Best Photography Website Builders[price_table id=”2203″]
That wraps it up. I hope that you stayed with me until the end and that at least one of these website builders is the right one for you. As you can see, it’s hard to say which one of these entries is the best photography website builder. They all have their pros and cons, so it will be up to you to select the one that suits you the best.